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Those UK By-Elections… February 24, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

So Labour lose in Copeland to the Tories but hold off UKIP in Stoke.
A mixed bag for Labour with the real winners being the Tories in both winning Copeland and polling well in Stoke. UKIP seen off in both , although you’d have to think that they probably couldn’t have come up with a worse candidate than Nuttall with all the publicity over all sorts of lies he told.
Corbyn safe for another while and The Tories on the rise.


1. Roger Cole - February 24, 2017

Considering the war monger Blair attacked Corbyn just before the election with the support of the UK liberal imperialist media like the Guardian it was a good result for Corbyn.


Aonrud ⚘ - February 24, 2017

Best not to look at the Guardian today – the sheer pleasure it’s taking in a Tory win shows how far gone it is.

Regarding Blair, the Guardian’s weird capacity to put him in the top story slot is getting like the Express with Diana.


Ed - February 24, 2017

The Guardian has been running a series called ‘The Brexit Diaries’ based on focus groups run by the pollster Deborah Mattison. She was very keen recently to stress that Corbyn’s personal ratings as opposition leader were worse than Foot’s or Kinnock’s or Duncan-Smith’s; this meant that he was unsuited to lead any fightback against the Tory Brexit plan, she explained. In the very next paragraph, she said that Tony Blair was a much better potential figurehead. For a professional pollster, Mattison seemed very reluctant to spell out what Blair’s personal ratings might be; she just had a vague comment that his reputation had ‘taken a hit since he left office’, without saying why it had taken a hit or with whom. You never would have gathered the impression that Blair can only dream of being as popular as Corbyn; he has uniquely poor ratings, across every section of public opinion (young/old, male/female, Leave/Remain, Labour/Tory/UKIP/Lib Dem). The refusal of the liberal media in Britain to recognize how toxic Blair is would be almost heroic if it was in defence of a better cause.

(Thanks to Phil BTW for laying out all the polling data for Blair in a blizzard of tweets the other week; I haven’t see a single newspaper article setting it out as clearly as he did.)

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2. Phil - February 24, 2017

In Copeland a big chunk of UKIP voters went back to base, and Brexit eroded the Labour vote in favour of the Lib Dems. Sad but straightforward. At least it’s a warning shot against Labour trying to go any further down the Brexit/UKIP/right-populist rabbit hole. Both that and Stoke should make it pretty clear that UKIP’s place is on the Right, their main competitor are the Tories and this idea of them hoovering up ‘traditional Labour’ votes was always oversold.

The Stoke result does worry me, though.The LDs came back in a fairly big way, as I’d expected, but this doesn’t seem to have harmed UKIP, which I thought it would. Instead, both UKIP and the Tories actually increased their vote share. The picture was complicated by the vote share of local independents going down 5% – so the main parties’ total vote share has gone up accordingly – but it looks as if Labour lost votes to the LDs on one side and the Tories and UKIP on the other, perhaps picking up some from the Greens (who are also down). Glad we won, but it would have been nice to push the enemy back a bit harder.


3. 6to5against - February 24, 2017

I can’t see it as a good result for anybody but Tory diehards.

As they lead their country, and possibly Europe, into a chaotic mess and use that mess as an excuse for the dismantling – selling off – of what remains of the welfare state, the Tories have been strengthened.

I’m usually open to arguments for pragmatism over ideological purity. But what exactly are the Blairites arguing for? If the only route to power, if the only way to beat the Tories, is to adopt a right wing, racist platform, then surely the correct response is to fold your tent and go home.


4. Gerryboy - February 24, 2017

So many English voters are conservative with a small ‘c’. The mass media still have the power to sway popular attitudes.


5. Jolly Red Giant - February 24, 2017

To demonstrate the antics of the Blairites controlling the LP – this week hundreds of LP members in the North were expelled from the LP by letter from LP HQ. Their crime – as little as ‘liking’ a Facebook page of a ‘labour’ candidate in the Assembly elections.

This weekend a conference in Belfast was due to see a challenge by Corbyn supporters to take the leadership of the LP in the North from the Blairites.


Aonrud ⚘ - February 24, 2017

I see they expelled the candidate for the SP’s Labour Alternative group. Did supporters get expelled as well?

Did they expel the Labour Representation Committee candidates last year? I can’t see any reference to it anywhere – I assumed they would from the rhetoric around it at the time.


Jolly Red Giant - February 25, 2017

My understanding is that a large number of LP members have been expelled this week including Donal O Cofaigh


Jolly Red Giant - February 25, 2017

Just checked and it appears that the LRC candidates were not expelled last year.


Phil - February 28, 2017

Corbyn’s biggest single problem is that he still doesn’t have control over the party, and he can’t count on so much as grudging acquiescence from his enemies. A leader who had a bit more of a track record in inner-party scrapping might have made a better fist of it, but these days everyone looks at me funnily if I mention Ken Livingstone…


WorldbyStorm - March 1, 2017

That would be precisely the sort of person to take on that challenge.


6. After the by-elections… | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - February 28, 2017

[…] As Phil noted on the CLR last week, the Stoke ‘win’ is actually deeply concerning. […]


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