Friday, 4 December 2015 2am
Well, well, well, today Labour has faced their first by-election challenge of this parliament in an ultra safe seat of theirs in Greater Manchester, but nevertheless a serious test. However, this was the first chance for the general electorate to have their say about current politics, wasn’t it?
Labour was always undoubted favourite to win, so even at the last were understandably confident of victory, as they were defending a massive majority of 14,738. The result in the early hours of this morning was not one of just holding their own, but one of totally trouncing the opposition, and increasing their share of the vote by over 7% to 62%, an unbelievable result on a lower turnout, surely? It shows that Jeremy Corbyn and the Party are in anything but dire straits, wouldn’t you say? Corbyn will sleep better now! He will be over the moon.
The expected main challengers UKIP’s campaign was primarily based on dirty tricks attacking Labour’s wet-behind-the-ears new Leader Jeremy Corbyn – so he kept a low profile, as he didn’t seem to expect to appeal to the electorate, which must be a very worrying sign for the Party this early in his reign, eh? But it backfired badly on UKIP when the voters concentrated perhaps on local issues?
UKIP thought their prospects were good here (at least of securing a strong second place) as they became within a whisker of actually seizing a similar ‘safe’ Labour mill town seat of neighbouring Heywood and Middleton in a 2014 by-election (less than 500 votes in it). UKIP said they would do well here but not well enough to win – and of course they started from a low base of only 21%, achieved out of the blue just four months ago, against Labour’s 55% (so no one really believed they could actually win, did they?). Many thought though that a poor performance by Labour would reinvigorate UKIP whose fortunes have been languishing recently, perhaps? That was not to be, was it? Has the UKIP bubble finally burst then?
Moreover, UKIP were the dunces of the piece and made no headway here whatsoever – gone was their expectation, fielding a good experienced candidate, of doubling their vote and they certainly did not do well by any standard. Why then did UKIP not take extra votes off others, do you think? They are claiming that it was all down to Labour’s postal voting that had been ‘bent’ – well let’s see if they come up with any real evidence to substantiate that accusation, shall we? Others say that assertion is simply sour grapes.
The Conservatives were not expected to do well and indeed were not in the race so got less than ten percent of the vote – a disastrous performance that belies their claim of creating a northern powerhouse, eh?
As before last time the LibDems got nowhere again (but they should have at least double their 4% to have even performed here), so their general demise continues, doesn’t it?
[Whatever the circumstances here, the current operation of postal voting needs to be analysed – it is anything but democratic, secret, or appropriate in our society, is it?]