Tag Archives: Mid

Tories lose two by-elections – but Labour only wins by default

The ballot box: do either of Labour’s two new MPs actually have a mandate, when the vast majority of voters in both constituencies did not support them?

Once again, This Writer feels compelled to say: don’t buy what Keir Starmer is pedalling – the by-election results in Tamworth and Mid-Bedfordshire are not great victories for Labour.

Yes, Starmer’s party gained the Parliamentary seats in both constituencies after yesterday’s (October 19) votes – but only because 46,000 Conservative voters stayed away from polling stations or didn’t post in their choices.

And yet, once again, we’re seeing reports of huge swings toward Labour only because they are recorded as percentages of the turnout, rather than of the electorate.

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So, in Tamworth, we’re told this:

But turnout was down from 46,066 in the 2019 general election to 25,586 – a drop of 20,480. The Conservative vote fell from 30,542 to to 10,403 – a drop of 20,139. So we can see very clearly that Labour’s gain was due to Tory disaffection.

The electorate is currently taken to be 72,544 (although these figures are from 2010 and are therefore around 13 years old).

Labour had 10,908 votes in 2019 – around 15 per cent of that electorate. Yesterday the party’s vote did indeed increase in real terms – but only by 811 votes to 11,719 – around 16 per cent of the electorate.

That is hardly a thumping majority.

Some might say it is not acceptable. With turnout at just 35.3 per cent, we can see that 64.7 per cent – nearly two-thirds of the electorate – did not want any of the candidates offered to them.

How can Sarah Edwards – the apparent winner – claim to represent them or their political desires?

She can’t.

Let’s move on to Mid-Bedfordshire, where the situation is even worse, although you wouldn’t know it from what’s being said:

At 40,720, turnout was 48.3 per cent of the 84,212-strong electorate but, again, the number actually voting for the winning candidate was pitiful.

Tory voters again avoided the ballot boxes in huge numbers, with only 12,680 supporting the Conservative candidate – down a massive 26,012 from the 38,692 who voted Nadine Dorries back into Parliament in 2019.

As turnout then was 64,717 we can see that the 23,993 fall in voter numbers is entirely Conservative, with 2,019 others choosing to vote who did not take part in 2019.

So, again, Labour’s gain is due only to Tory voters turning away.

Labour’s candidate, Alistair Strathern, actually gained fewer votes than the party’s candidate in 2019, Rhiannon Meades. She collected 14,028 – around 16.7 per cent of the electorate, while he could only manage 13,872 – around 16.5 per cent.

Again, it may be suggested that, with 51.7 per cent of the electorate not turning out, and with 83.5 per cent not voting for him, the winning candidate does not have a valid mandate to represent the constituency.

But you wouldn’t think that, listening to Starmer!

“I think this really is a gamechanger,” he said, according to the BBC.

“There is a confidence now in this changed Labour party that we can go anywhere across the country, put up a fight and win seats that we’ve never won before.”

Fine words about two constituencies where Labour will almost certainly lose both its new MPs at the next general election, when the disaffected Tory voters will most likely return to do their bit to foil Starmer’s chances of forming a government!

In fairness, he did admit, “I don’t want to get carried away” and added that “every single vote on this journey has to be earned”.

Some Conservatives are being far more realistic about their own performance:

I hate to say anything positive about the Tories…

But at least Frost isn’t lying to you. Starmer’s words are disingenuous at best.

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