‘Project Fear’ wins as Jane Dodds unseats Chris Davies in Brecon and Radnorshire

Jane Dodds: She has won the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election by instilling fear in voters that if they didn’t support her, convicted criminal Chris Davies would get back in.,

Congratulations are due to Jane Dodds, the new Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, who has won by convincing people that she was the best chance they had to unseat unpopular former Conservative MP Chris Davies.

But it was a narrow thing – she took 13,826 votes while Mr Davies accrued 12,401.

“People have chosen to believe in my positive Liberal vision for something better,” said Ms Dodds, in complete denial of the fact that her entire campaign was based on fear that Mr Davies would win if people didn’t vote for her.

She has no policies that are workable, although she is sure to claim credit for Ofcom’s order for better broadband in rural areas, for economic improvements ordered by Labour’s Welsh Assembly Government, and for the £1.4 million boost to healthcare courtesy of the same Labour-run Welsh Assembly.

Oh yes – she also supports remaining in the European Union, along with the other 12 Liberal Democrat MPs who have absolutely no influence in Parliament whatsoever.

Labour, whose Welsh Assembly Government will provide many of the boosts to Brecon and Radnorshire that Ms Dodds is sure to claim as her own, garnered just 1,680 votes – a huge drop in support, due entirely – it is believed – to a wish to drive Mr Davies out by any means necessary; Labour voters lent their support to Ms Dodds.

But she is unlikely to get such support again. The Liberal Democrat campaign was despicable.

Whether it was bombarding the electorate with lying leaflets, harassing them with telecanvassing calls or hanging on voters’ doorbells, Lib Dem campaigners disgraced themselves across Brecon and Radnorshire.

Some canvassers allegedly made false claims that Labour was not putting up a candidate in the by-election, and others apparently confronted Labour rivals, asking when they were going to “punch a Jew”.

All these matters are likely to be reported to the relevant authorities.

Still, congratulations are due to Ms Dodds. She has removed a Conservative from Parliament.

But people in Brecon and Radnorshire will be watching her performance very closely.

On the basis of her campaign, I’d be surprised if she gets a single vote from someone who isn’t a member of her party next time.

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  1. Gary August 2, 2019 at 5:23 am - Reply

    An unsurprising result. She campaigned hard, although from what I’ve read here, not fairly.

    what DID surprise me is that a convicted fraudster who actually used the office of constituency MP to unjustly enrich himself at the taxpayer’s expense was firstly, not deselected after having been recalled and secondly how well he still did. Had it not been for the three way pact between Plaid, Green and LibDem Parties then you’d STILL have a convicted fraudster Tory representing you. So, surely this IS better?

    Labour managed a paltry 1700 votes and came fourth with roughly half the votes that the Brexit Party got. Again, not terribly surprising. Dirty tricks by the winning candidate’s canvassers COULD be partially to blame but to be fair it was a Tory-held seat and only the three way pact broke this. Without the pact Labour would STILL have been fourth. But I think there was never a chance for the party. Many potential voters could have felt just at home voting Brexit Party as they are still a single issue party and many Labour voters DO support Brexit. Labour’s policy on this is altogher too vague and they appear to be on the precipice of losing many more votes by following the LibDems down the rabbit hole of overturning referendums.

    But the most damage done to their chances is by their own party members. Since Corbyn took the leadership the PLP have been utterly unable to accept it. They have tried, procedurally to rid themselves of him and now the smear campaign (aided by outside forces) on anti-Semitism which has been years in the making is taking its toll. It doesn’t need to be true, and it isn’t, but it is oft repeated in newspapers, by MPs of all parties including Labour MPs and often features in BBC news too. Smears become opinion which masquerade as fact. Many on Labour’s right are willing to shred their own party to get one of their own at the helm again. And losing badly at by-elections like this will continue whilst those who wish the party ill are allowed to remain part of it.

    After the summer recess it will now only need ONE Tory who is anti Brexit to resign the whip and a vote of no confidence could actually succeed. Don’t see it happening though. If it WERE to happen the resulting shut down would see a default no-deal go through as parliament would not be able to sit in the run up to an election. I don’t see Labour or any other opposition party actually going ahead with that under those circumstances. So the end result will be business as usual, Boris will drag us all down to his level while Labour looks on impotent…

    • Mike Sivier August 2, 2019 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      It is better than having a convict representing me, yes. But the difference is between having someone who is diabolical and having someone who is merely bad. Neither were going to do the people of Brecon and Radnorshire any good.

      Labour’s situation is complicated – more than some commentators are going to suggest. The Lib Dems and Tories both reduced this by-election to what I’ve called toddler politics – they made it solely about Brexit and about removing a criminal from Parliament – and those messages, misleading though they were, penetrated the public imagination. Next time, neither Brexit nor criminality is likely to be an issue – at least, not in the same way.

      Your point about high-profile Labour Parliamentarians harming the party’s chances electorally is well-made.

      I heard last night that at least one Conservative MP was considering defecting (possibly to the Lib Dems) thus negating that party’s majority in Parliament. I fear that this may happen as a planned tactic, in order to make it possible for “no deal” Brexit to happen, or for the Tories to get a larger majority that will make it possible for Mr Johnson to push through with anything he likes, or for the Tories to hand Brexit over to another party – their preference: Labour – who would then take the blame for it.

      • Zippi August 3, 2019 at 12:24 pm - Reply

        Sadly, it would appear that, for those of us who are outside the Party, £abour’s position is unclear. A pal of mine told me that she has heard, in interview, contradictory statements from £abour M.P.s. A tactic?
        Where does Alastair Campbell get off? It’s not HIS Party, it’s the Party of the members and we want to take things in a different direction from that in which we were heading; what is wrong with that? Join the £ib.Dems, or become independent. We don’t care; that’s for you and you alone. Do you hear ordinary people crowing in the media about things in the Party that upset them? I don’t agree with everything that £abour does but that’s the price that you pay; it’s a shared ideal, a shared venture. If you don’t like it, you’re free to leave, you’re not a prisoner. You chose to break the rules now deal with the consequences, like an adult. This smacks of, “if I can’t have it, nobody can.” Grow up!

        • Mike Sivier August 4, 2019 at 11:49 am - Reply

          I agree with your opinion about Mr Campbell. As for Labour’s attitude to Brexit, I think you’ve more or less put your finger on it – high-profile party representatives are saying contradictory things in order to muddle the issue. They should be reprimanded but – and this is Mr Corbyn’s major weakness – they won’t be.

  2. susieb1211@aol August 2, 2019 at 6:39 am - Reply

    She hasn’t really unseated a Tory has she? Didn’t Jo Swinson say the Lib Dem’s would work with Tories but not Corbyn? Then there’s the travesty of the coalition govt in 2010!

  3. kevin strong August 2, 2019 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Project fear did not win Jeremy Corbyn lost. No if’s no buts. he will lose the next general election as ell. No If’s no buts

    • Mike Sivier August 2, 2019 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      You seem very reluctant to entertain alternative views, but I have several ifs and buts, thank you very much.

      Project Fear won because voters were told they had to vote Lib Dem or have a criminal as their MP. They didn’t want a criminal as their MP so they did as they were told, even though the candidate they ended up supporting is – in my opinion, admittedly – rubbish. Even then, the criminal would have got in if the Lib Dem hadn’t enjoyed the support of Plaid and the Greens.

  4. Growing Flame August 2, 2019 at 8:18 am - Reply

    One lesson is , unfortunately, that there are over 12,000 voters in the area who are so obsessed with getting Brexit that they would vote for a convicted criminal to get it!
    Which fits in with the recent poll of Tory members which revealed that the majority of them would accept the loss of the north of Ireland(after all the lives lost trying to keep it in the UK) AND Scotland AND accept economic harm to England , just to secure their precious Brexit.

    Which is a bit reminiscent of the US where millions (a minority, I know) seem to adore Donald Trump above all others and wilfully ignore the financial and moral corruption that swirls around his family.

    Reactionary ideas are firmly embedded in ,perhaps, 35% of our populations and right-wing adherents seem grimly determined to sacrifice themselves as well as us to get their way.

    • Zippi August 3, 2019 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      Could it not be more about upholding the democratic mandate? Surely, Parliament should have had all of this figured out before giving us the Referendum? Don’t blame the people. Why ask the question if you are going to ignore the answer? What was the point of the Referendum? People voted in good faith that the result, whatever is was, would be implemented. If this does not happen, what are our voted worth? What is the point in voting? You don’t have to like, or agree with the result but surely, this is the most important point?

      • Mike Sivier August 4, 2019 at 11:50 am - Reply

        Not Parliament – the Tory government should have had it figured out. There’s no call for blaming all the other parties because it was the Conservatives who, ultimately, passed the legislation and put it in front of us.

  5. nmac064 August 2, 2019 at 8:21 am - Reply

    What is worrying is that just over 12,000 people voted for a convicted criminal.

  6. MARK BEVIS August 2, 2019 at 8:29 am - Reply

    26,200 voted Tory (blue or yellow), 1680 Labour

  7. MARK BEVIS August 2, 2019 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Looking at the results, a stunning 93.6% of voters opted for extreme rightwing parties (Lib-Dems, Tories, UKIP, Brexit). Turn out was good at 59% though, double what you normally get in a local election. Who knew that the silent majority were closet fascists?
    That’s unfair comment. Closet gullibles would be better. 12,400 voted for a criminal, wow, is nothing sacred anymore?
    Just shows the power of MSM. We sit here in our silos of the independent media, trying to make a difference, thinking ourselves important, preaching to the converted, and look what happens.
    A staggeringly depressing result.

    Meanwhile the 6th extinction level event rolls on. Votes like these speed it up, as it encourages even more neo-liberalism, more extractivism, more pollution, more inequalities. Because that is what these types of parties believe in.
    The latest research on what happens when all the Arctic ice melts is also staggering. (see Paul Beckwith’s youtube channel if you really want to know).

    • Zippi August 2, 2019 at 10:43 am - Reply

      Is any politician advocating fundamental change to our economy and that way in which we do things? If we want to mitigate the effects of climate change, this is what is required. It’s not about saving the planet, because it doesn’t give a poop, it’s about saving ourselves. All that I hear, from every politician, is about making it easier to carry on as we are. We can’t do it overnight but we can do it but that requires huge changes to our infrastructure, energy consumption and so many other things.

  8. Zippi August 2, 2019 at 10:37 am - Reply

    I’m not sure about “Project Fear” but I’m astounded that Mr. Davies did as well as he did, given the reason for the by-election. I’m equally surprised that, given what you’ve told us, that Jane Dodds was as successful as she was and that £abour did so badly.
    The big surprise was that the £oony Party was not last… Enter U.K.I.P.!
    I’m not sure of what Nigel Farage was trying to do but methinks he may have shot himself in the foot.

    • Mike Sivier August 2, 2019 at 10:44 am - Reply

      The Brexit Party certainly took votes from the Tories and in that sense I think you’re right.

      Looking at the numbers, I think the operative question is: Where did all the voters go?

      • Zippi August 2, 2019 at 11:25 am - Reply

        Methinks that people are exasperated with our politicians and are beginning to feel, or are feeling more that our politicians don’t listen to us so, what’s the point?

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