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That Richmond By-Election December 2, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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A victory by the LibDems over Zac Goldsmith who resigned his seat over the plans for a third runway at Heathrow and ran as an Independent. With Labour, Goldsmith and LibDems all against the Third runway it seems to have boiled down to Brexit.
Hard to know if its a new dynamic of pro and anti Brexit cooperation. Anti Brexit parties backed The LibDems whilst UKIP and the Tories backed Goldsmith. Labour were stuck in the middle.
We’ve seen anti government votes, tactical voting and so on before in the UK but will this signal a more concerted Brexit Battle?
LibDems standing aside where Labour have a chance to beat the Tories, LibDems and Labour standing aside to let the Greens take on UKIP /Tories and so on.
It will take another by-election or two in a different type of constituency to see if , for the moment anyway, Politics becomes about being pro and anti Brexit. Where does Labour fit into this?

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1. roddy - December 2, 2016

Going by that photo,it certainly was’nt her smile that won it for her anyway!

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2. NollaigO - December 2, 2016

Labour not against 3rd Heathrow runway – previous Labour government very pro!

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3. Gerryboy - December 2, 2016

What about the workers? They don’t live in Richmond under the Heathrow flight path.

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4. Ed - December 2, 2016

I’ve had a look at the previous election results for this seat, and it seems to be a lot less dramatic than the swing since 2015 would suggest. Richmond Park has been a constituency since 1997; it was always a toss-up between the Tories and the Lib Dems, with Labour nowhere in contention (even at the peak of Blair’s success). The Lib Dems won the first three, then they were narrowly beaten in 2010; it was only in 2015 that the Tories stacked up a huge majority (I’m guessing that was either former Lib Dems who were angry with the coalition and abandoned them that time, or former Lib Dems who were happy with the coalition and just opted to vote for the bigger government party). So the main story seems to be, most of the former Lib Dems have come back to the party, mostly over Brexit I guess, with some Labour and Green voters swinging behind them because they were the only ones with a chance of knocking out an especially odious Tory. The Tories have something to worry about if there’s a general pattern of the Lib Dems getting a boost in southern English constituencies where they’re the only party that could possibly take seats off the Conservatives; not much for Labour to worry about unless the Lib Dems get a boost in their strongholds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_Park_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Election_results

Some people already trying to use this as leverage to argue for a ‘progressive alliance’ involving the Lib Dems (the Green leader Caroline Lucas for example); the Labour leadership shouldn’t touch that with a bargepole, the definition of ‘progressive’ here only stretches as far as being in favour of social liberalism and the EU, it has nothing to do with economics (or with defence and foreign policy either, aside from Europhilia). In areas where the Lib Dems are the only ones who can beat the Tories, there’s going to be tactical voting anyway, regardless of whether there’s a formal alliance (that was what happened in the 90s). The ‘progressive alliance’ formula is being pushed by people whose overriding priority is to keep Britain in the EU, but it would just allow UKIP to pose as the only ones speaking for those parts of the working class that voted Leave.

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