Saturday, 1 December 2012

Analysis of 6 recent by-elections. Where did the votes come from

There have been 6 recent Westminster by-elections: Cardiff South, Manchester Central, Rotherham, Middelesborough,Croydon won by Labour and Corby won by the Tories in 2010. That's a decent sample size. Labour won all 6 gaining Corby from the Tories. What conclusions can we draw from the vote swings since 2009. Lets start with the swings over all 6 seats. I give the results below, average, maximum and minimum.


Labour UKIP Tory LibDems
Average 9.90% 8.12% -10.40% -12.07%
Maximum 16.38% 15.87% -7.25% -9.48%
Minimum 1.62% 2.98% -15.63% -17.16%

The average row makes it clear the swing to Labour and UKIP is almost exactly balanced by Tory & Lib Dem losses. So UKIP like Labour won vote from this very unpopular coalition government. Any government that came into office after Gordon would have been similarly shafted. As Mr Byrne, Brown's Treasury Chief Secretary left on his desk for Laws, the note there is no money left. But Cam and Clegg were desperate to get into power they took the poisoned challice and destroyed their parties for the next three elections. That is a big opportunity for UKIP but are they up to it? Well not the current Farage cabal for sure but some clean skins might just triumph in 16 years time.

UKIP's best result came in Rotherham thanks to the social services in that town. Middlesborough was also very good. Worst was Croydon.

Before we run away with ourselves look at the share of the vote figures I give below:

Labour UKIP Tory LibDems
Average 56.05% 10.70% 13.25% 6.79%
Maximum 69.12% 21.79% 26.57% 10.82%
Minimum 46.25% 4.50% 4.53% 2.11%

Labour have 56% of the vote. OK these were up North and Welsh results with none from Southern England and the shires. Allowing for this it looks like a 40% vote share for Red Ed which would put him into Downing Street with a circa 100 seat majority. Look at UKIP's 10.7% compared to the Tory 13.25% and LibDems 6.79%. They could take out the LibDems next time on share of the vote and possibly the Tories the time after next. But how many seats would they get faced with a rock solid Labour vote of 40%+? Not a lot I opine.

UKIP could win a handful if they had a well organised party structure in target constituencies like the SNP had. The trouble is Farage and his cabal have kicked everyone out of UKIP who have the political and organisational skills to do this so its highly unlikely. Farage ain't no Alex Salmond and the people round him are not in the same league as Alec's boys.

Tony and Gord were great political operators. Not only did Tony win 3 elections but Gord made sure they will win the next 3 as well. After this UK economic meltdown nobody will vote fo LibDemCon for a generation.

I expect to see Tony as EU president within 5 years and he will be a real problem for UKIP.


ALAN WOOD said...

Dear Eric,

Interesting observations from you about the future of the political parties !

Clearly, Clegg made a bad decision to throw his lot in with the Tories. Bearing in mind that the Liberal-Democrats were a hybrid party comprising the remnants of The Liberal Party and the offshoot from the Labour Party - the Social Democrats - this Pink/Red combination is hardly the right bedfellow for the Tories. Cameron should have been brave enough to form a minority government, then had a general election after a year when they had examined the books.
For the future, Labour will be"home and hosed". The only way for the anti-EU brigade to prevent the EU Commission from gaining total control with Labour support is for a new centre party to emerge which can do two things :-
1. Take Labour votes as well as Tory votes;
2. Eventually combine resources with the other anti-EU parties to squeeze the BNP vote.

Stephen Harness said...

So the pressure is on the Conservative and LibDem parties. The latter have nowhere to go. The Conservatives can play musical chairs with their leader and a referendum. If not they split in two.

Eric Edmond said...


Agreed about what Cameron should have done. Now he and his party are shafted for the next 10 to 15 years.


The LibDems are stuffed AQfter the student fees fiasco no one will ever believe a word they say which puts them in the same boat as the Tories

Eric E

Greg_L-W. said...


never having had personal political ambitions I incline not to have so rosy tinted a view of UKIP who have clearly let us all down with their abject failure to gain the trust of the British electorate in any domestic election of any consequence EVER!

UKIP have indeed picked up members in almost exact proportion to the loss of members by The BNP who due to UKIP's racist associations as members of Farage's cash cow The EFD and Blooms cash cow the Alliance.

UKIP's results have been obfuscated and made to look good by the fact that the protest votes they could have been expected to pick up rejected them and stayed at home - thus although UKIP seemed to gain a couiple of quite good percentages of the turnout in the last 6 by-elections they achived an average 3.3% of the electorate and came nowhere near even being within strike of winning a Westminster seat.

UKIP has become a political embarrassment but a useful stick with which to stir the political pot until in the run up to the next election they can expect the serious media to do a very in depth exposee and we have seen a number of forays to that recently such as the recent documentary on Farage damning him with faint praise as a drunken fool on Radio 4.

There are a couple of very consequential commentators amassing material at the moment and conducting interviews for later editing and use.

The sad fact that UKIP has absolutely no one willing to have their name associated with the party of any stature or gravitas, backers who fail to register on the electoral roll and are now seemingly tax exiles in the Channel Isles, not a single MEP of any consequence or competence.

Not a single PCC, MP or councillor of any note and an embarrassment for staff in the main appointed it seems for their willingness to act as praise singers for Farage.

UKIP clearly has no vision, no strategy, no tactics, no ethics, no political nouse nor even an exit and survival strategy relative to The EU labouring under the idiotic belief that the way to Leave-The-EU is to merely run away in breech of contract defaulting on international treaties and with no thought to consequence.

UKIP has displayed its abject lack of intellectual political thinking or understanding backed by a clear lack of competent PR or Press management managed by people of staggering ineptitude, an embarrassment to others in the 'job'.

Sad isn't it when so many of us had high hopes of what UKIP might achieve just a few years ago.