Jump to content

UK Politics: No Bully XL for you


Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, Pebble thats Stubby said:

Labour get Tamworth.


edit  and Mid Bedfordshire


John Curtice says Labour's byelection performance equivalent to what was happening before its 1997 landslide victory

Last night, before the byelection results were declared, CCHQ issued a damage limitation briefing to journalists saying it was normal for governments to lose byelections. A party spokesperson said:

    These were always going to be challenging by-elections and the rule of thumb is that governments don’t win them. We have seen little to no enthusiasm for Sir Keir Starmer who voters can see stands for nothing and always puts short term political gain first.

But Prof Sir John Curtice, the leading elections expert, told the Today programme that these results could not be dismissed as standard byelection losses. He explained:

    The truth is these were not ordinary government losses. The swing in Tamworth, at just below 24%, is the second biggest swing from Conservative to Labour in postwar electoral history. And at just over 20% the swing in Mid Bedfordshire is also in the top 10.

    No government has previously lost to the principal opposition party a seat as safe as Tamworth. You have to go back to 1977 and the Ashfield byelection to find an equivalent.

    If you want to look at the precedent – what’s the last time that we had swings of this order? The answer is the parliament of 92 to 97. There were four byelection in that in which Labour got swings of over 20% from the Conservatives, and we all now how that ended.

    And, by the way, those swings also occured in byelections in which the fall in turnout was often greater than it was in these two byelections.

    So the point is we are not looking at ordinary byelection losses. We are looking at exceptional swings, and swings that for the only real precedent is not a very happy one for the Conservatives.

Curtice conceded that Starmer is not as popular as Tony Blair was ahead of the 1997 general election. But he pointed out that the 12 point rise in Labour’s vote in the Mid Bedfordshire byelection matches the 12 point increase in Labour’s vote in the national opinion polls. He went on:

You can argue maybe there isn’t as much enthusiasm for Labour as there is discontent with the conservatives. But, nevertheless, when Labour have been challenged, they still managed to win that challenge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...