ukip’s 36.06 percentage point increase in vote share over 2010 General Election result in Heywood and Middleton down to gaining 14.88 percentage points from David Cameron’s Conservative Party and around 14.59 percentage points from Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats as well as being the repository of 7 percentage points as BNP did not stand in this by election.
The Greens, who did not stand in 2010, look to have gained their 3.06 percentage points from the Liberal Democrats, all other things being equal. There was no Independent candidate on this occasion (0.4% vote share in 2010).
Liz McInnes (Lab) 11,633 (40.86%, +0.75%)
John Bickley (UKIP) 11,016 (38.69%, +36.06%)
Iain Gartside (C) 3,496 (12.28%, -14.88%)
Anthony Smith (LD) 1,457 (5.12%, -17.59%)
Abi Jackson (Green) 870 (3.06%)
Lab maj 617 (2.17%).
17.65% swing Lab to UKIP.
Turnout 28,472 (35.96%, -21.57%).
No room for Labour complacency, but hardly evidence for a Labour meltdown when Labour’s vote share held firm and that a small increase over 2010 won it the seat. Surely the big news here is that ukip took a sizeable number of votes from the two parties whose northern support is dwindling. Was it a protest vote? Only May 7th next year will prove that one way or the other.
Ashamed or Embarrassed Switchers to ukip,Tactical Voting Against ukip and Collapse of ukip’s Hard Right Rivals
Given recent opinion polls in Heywood and Middleton, it would seem that a good number of the switchers lied to the pollsters rather than admit they were going to vote for ukip. There have been signs elsewhere that as turnout rises in an election, ukip’s chances recede. Rochester and Strood may provide evidence as to whether or not that is a trend.
The Rochester and Strood by election may also provide evidence that tactical voting against ukip is now a fixture of UK elections. We know it happened in Newark. Ukipers on Twitter were whining about why would people switch normal party allegiances to vote against us? It happened again yesterday in Clacton. Douglas Carswell’s vote share in 2010 (as a Tory) was 53.0%. His vote share yesterday for ukip (and as a popular, hardworking local MP benefiting from the incumbency factor) was 59.75% and yet the Tory Party candidate got 24.64%. Where did some of that vote come from?
And lest we forget, the big story in Rotherham back in May’s local authority election was ukip massively benefiting from the collapse in support for other parties (other than Labour). Latest polling data on Rotherham, courtesy of a ukiper, has ukip on 37% (down 7 on May) and Labour on 48% (up 7 on May).
Labour’s Corporal Jones Tendency
As for the Corporal Jones tendency in Labour, would adopting John Mann’s policy of listening more to working class opinion be of much help in a place like Heywood and Middleton? Or were all those ex Tory and ex Liberal Democrat voters members of the working class? And is this what Mr Mann means:
“that Labour should tell women, you will have to wait a bit longer, luv, for equal pay; LGBT communities, you left the closet a bit too early for the likes of ukip’s dwindling band of social Luddites; Black and Ethnic Minorities, be content with what you have already got, Rome was not built in a day, you know; those with infirmities and illnesses, some from birth, be thankful for what you get, given you contribute so little to our society and so on.
Can you (John Mann) name a group, at a disadvantage in today’s society, that ukip and the Tories do not think are treated overly fairly at their expense? In ukip world, without all this ‘political correctness crap’ more white males than now would, according to them, get the opportunities that they deserve, purely on merit. They fail to see that, by implication, that unrealistic assessment makes them misogynist, racist etc. If you are born a white male in the UK then you have won the lottery of life before even your umbilical cord has been cut.”
I have got a message for Mr Mann, the working class is way bigger than ukip’s conception of it and if he wants to go down the road of torpedoing Labour’s electoral chances below the waterline then he may go after that vote, but in his constituency alone. Perhaps, if he spent less time on electoral strategy and more time campaigning on the issues I talk about in Thatcher, 1st political leader in any major country to warn of danger of climate change then perhaps Labour would be further ahead in the national opinion polls.
Heywood and Middleton 2010 General Election Result
|Jim Dobbin, Labour||18,499||40.1%|
|Michael Holly, Conservative||12,528||27.2%|
|Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat||10,474||22.7%|
|Peter Greenwood, British National Party||3,239||7.0%|
|Victoria Cecil, UK Independence Party||1,215||2.6%|
|Chrissy Lee, Independent||170||0.4%|
Labour Majority: 5,971.