The Dissenter's Voice

The ocassional comments, opinions, rambling and rants of a liberal dissenter in New Labour's Britain

Friday, June 30, 2006

Bromley, Blaenau and a bloody nose

Here's something I posted on earlier today...

"I went to bed last night with Tories promising to ‘eat their hats’ if there was a recount and accusing ‘Limp Dems’ of spin for suggesting B&C was going to be close.

Whither DC & Rik now? Anyway, gloat over (teehee).

This is a great result for the LibDems, very poor for the Tories and BG was just plain abysmal for Labour. However, this result does not really change the fundamentals of the current political situation.

The Tories are doing well under Cameron but not well enough to be confident of winning the next election. Bromley has exposed the fragility of his message.

In opposition under Thatcher in the late 70’s the Tories were winning seats of Labour like Workington & Birmingham Stechford with massive swings. They held their own seats like Saffron Walden with increased majorities, indeed the Liberals fell below the National Front in that by-election despite starting in second place! In comparison to that the Tory performance last night was woeful.

This result exposes a vulnerability to their right in certain places - if UKIP can get its act together it could play an important spoiler role in some areas running on a nationalist, anti-immigration ticket, denying the Tories seats they need to win at the next GE.

It also shows that Big Dave is not invincible. Yes it was a local campaign & an unsuitable candidate - but if Cameron were really creating a wave of popular dissent in the suburbs then that shouldn’t have mattered - like the Tories in the 70’s he should have swept all before him on the strength of a national swing. The comparison to make is not with the Tories under Thatcher in the 70’s but Labour under Kinnock in the 80’s.

Once again Cameron’s luck has come through. He should actually be thankful that Labour’s treadful own goal and the local Bromley association’s stupidity will allow him to avoid answering some tough questions about his electoral prowess.

Blaenau Gwent is just horrendous for Labour. Yes they made a tiny recovery but it shows two things.

First, where the habit of revolting against Labour takes root it very hard to shift. That doesn’t bode well for seats where there was a big swing to the LibDems at the last general election. There a many Labour people in the Labour party who believe that when Blair goes, memories of Iraq will fade and things will return to normal. This result chimes with the opinion polls that show that isn’t necessarily the case at all - Labour is likely struggle to recover lost ground.

Secondly, Blair has to go and go soon. While some iin the party may round on Charles Clarke, the turth is that the spectacle of this Govt eating itself alive has to stop. As I’ve just said Labour will struggle to reconnect with its lost support anyway, however if it carries on like this much longer - it will have no chance of doing so - and will evetually reach a Major Govt-like condition. The only way for them to lance the boil now is for Blair to go before it is too late to rewrite a winning narrative for the govt.

For the LibDems this simply shows yet again, for those who continually write them off, that to paraphrase Mark Twain ‘reports of their death are greatly exagerated’.

The party still packs a punch - and this is not just about by-elections. Yes, the locals in may were disappointing, but they still came second in the popular vote with 27% and consolidate their seat tally. This result, as with Dunfirmline and Cheadle should demonstrate to both Labour & Tories that they will be far harder to shift at the next election than many currently expect.

The Bromley result re-inforces my view that the LibDems support is not about the popularity of its Leader. The party is I believe reaching the critical mass of solid support that implies yet again that we are in an area of 2 1/2 party politics for some time to come."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you'll find out that there's an "e" in "Blaenau". Also, it's "Dunfermline", not "Dunfirmline".

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

I think it's Blaenau, not Blanau....but maybe it's spelled in this way in a joke attempt

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure you would be more at home in teh Libertarian cosnervative party than liberal party what is the difference between altruism and egotism.You lost seat for Liberla democrats by your actions or lack of them in standing up to your group and allowing them to play paving stone politics

8:27 AM  

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