Friday, January 14, 2011

Odd Oldham outcome?...

I think so. Clearly and as expected Labour won but was it convincing?. Open to debate: Labour votes in May 2010: 14,186. Labour votes in by-election, January 2011: 14,718...admittedly their percent of the vote went up but only to just under the level achieved in the 2005 election. The Conservative vote fell drastically (by over 7000 votes) as expected and so too the Lib Dem votes but less so (14 thousand down to 11 thousand) although between them the 'Coalition' got more than Labour (edit: imagine had there been AV, hehehe); so we can deduce that the people either didn't vote (turnout was 48%) and possibly many Conservatives boosted the Lib Dem vote as the best opportunity of a upset (pah!). This result is certainly a blow for the Conservatives BUT the tiny increase for the winner IMHO is hardly the ringing endorsement or judgement of Ed Miliband or his performance as opposition leader nor proof of public "anger" over reductions in spending to 2007/8 levels.

Update: I have just added the image (above left, click on image to go to larger version in BBC news article), look at the numbers: would it be too simplistic a view to say that 'Labour' and 'Others' are more or less the same as before and that the Coalition together got 10,000 fewer votes and that voting numbers (62% then, 48% yesterday) were 10,000 less than the general election?

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The Great Gildersleeve said...

To some extent it would be good if the population voted for their own MP's and ignore thinking about who leads any party.

Unlike the US we do not choose our leaders as they do in say America.

Out there you vote for the position of President on top of all other political positions in both national and local governments.

Here that is not possible.

Then again, if the leader isn't voted in by the nation the winning or losing party has to look for another if they fail to be voted in their constituency.

So I suppose in a way we can affect matters.

We're too far away from a general election and many bye elections unless MP's start dropping like flies or are found to have done something that sees them in court.

So local elections may show how the population feels and if they ready to demonstrate at the ballot box or in the street.

As we enter the year, the cuts still have yet to bite for most so things feel much the same. See if that changes in a few months time.

For now the Government is in a fortunate situation where they are protected to some extent.

I come at this from no particular direction just as any observer might who watches or listens to the media at large.

Span Ows said...

Well there's already another by-election on the cards but it's another Labour seat and it will be another meaningless Labour victory. However, I don't really see how you can say the government is in a fortunate position.

You're certainly right about the cuts not being felt yet but already councils are playing politics: the "cuts" are revising spending down to the levels of 2007/8, this is being done over the whole parliament (4 years) and councils should, as much as possible, cut the waste and not cut services...we know they can but they won't, THIS IS the crux of the problem.

The Great Gildersleeve said...

Fortunate only in that because of the majority they have and assuming the coalition works for it's full term they will get all or many of their policies through even if they have to battle against many obsticles thrown at them from many quarters of the population be they unions, other political parties, pressure groups or other sections of society.

They would've been much happier if they had won enough seats so they did not have to share power.

Span Ows said...

Ah, OK understood but remember it is a coalition of two parties that have always some things in common but also an awful lot of differences so BOTH parts of the Coalition have to get ALL their members to toe the line to make it as easy as you suggest. That said, at least for many 'middle' poliices you are correct, also that the Conservatives would've been much happier if they had won enough seats so they did not have to share power

Paul said...

I think only the Lib Dems came out of this well, and it's all relative. It has been the LD's that have taken the most flak from their supporters whereas David Cameron is actually taking flak from his own party.

Span Ows said...

Hardly well, but not as bad as expected.