Tag Archives: Victoria Ayling

ANALYSIS: Sleaford suggests flooding a constituency with campaigners really DOES get results

New Conservative MP Dr Caroline Johnson [Image: Joe Giddens/PA].

What are we to say about the result of the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election? That you can get a good result – even if you can’t spell the constituency’s name – by flooding a constituency with campaigners and hassling people for their vote?

If so, we would have to qualify that by saying the tactic only served to give UKIP a smaller drop in voter numbers than Labour. If you look at the chart showing what happened to voter numbers between last year’s General Election and yesterday, you’ll see…

… the Conservatives lost almost half the votes they had in 2015, making them both the winners and the biggest losers of the by-election.

Labour’s drop to fourth place makes the party look terrible, but there is a difference of just 1,063 votes between the second- and fourth-placing parties, making the result statistically useless if any attempt were made to use it to predict a general election result.

In effect, Labour, UKIP and the Liberal Democrats are neck-and-neck.

Liberal Democrats don’t care about the good of the UK – they care about being in power.

But the Lib Dems managed to increase the number of voters they had – and this is significant as turnout, at 37.1 per cent of the electorate, was 33.1 per cent lower than at the general election last year.

It indicates that voters are continuing to return to the Lib Dems after punishing them for five years of coalition with the Conservatives at the 2015 election.

It indicates that the Lib Dems, who claimed to have run their biggest campaign ever in Lincolnshire, are also following the tactic of flooding a constituency with campaigners – but, with them, it paid off better.

It also indicates that voters are choosing to ignore the fact that the Lib Dems would happily go right back into coalition with the Conservatives if it gave them another whiff of power.

In a recent interview, Mr Farron said: “Any serious politician who rules out going into power isn’t a serious politician.

“It’s not up to me to choose who the Liberal Democrats go into power with if the Liberal Democrats don’t get a majority. That’s up to the electorate [and] that’s how the arithmetic worked out in 2010.”

Voters should remember that: Liberal Democrats don’t care about the good of the UK – they care about being in power.

Here’s how the Daily Mirror reported the story:

“The Conservatives have comfortably held the Sleaford and North Hykeham seat with Ukip the runner-up in the parliamentary by-election.

“Tory candidate Caroline Johnson will be the new MP after winning 17,570 votes, beating Ukip’s Victoria Ayling, who had 4,426.

“It was a bad result for Labour, slipping from second place at the 2015 general election to fourth, behind the Liberal Democrats.

“The Tory majority of 13,144 is far lower than the 24,115 secured by Mr Phillips last year but represents a comfortable hold for the Conservatives in a by-election with a turnout of just 37%.

“Dr Johnson won 53.51% of the votes, down 2.68% on the share in 2015, while Ukip won 13.48%, down 2.21%.

“Labour’s Jim Clarke won 3,363 votes, a 10.24% share, down 7% on 2015, while Liberal Democrat Ross Pepper’s 3,606 votes gave him a 10.98% share, up 5.33% from the general election.

“Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said … ‘With Labour yet again nowhere, and after losing their deposit in Richmond, the Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government.'”

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Polls open in the OTHER #Brexit by-election

Labour candidate Jim Clarke.

Labour candidate Jim Clarke.

Nobody should get their hopes too high that the Conservatives will be defeated at Sleaford and North Hykeham.

A majority of 24,115 at the general election last year means any other party would face a near insurmountable task to overturn it.

But Labour’s Jim Clarke seems a good choice. He’s a dustman, meaning the party is fielding people with real jobs again; he’s a local man; and he’s hitting the right policy points on poverty and the NHS.

Regarding Brexit, the arguments are now so confused, who knows what’s right any more?

UKIP certainly doesn’t. The party that couldn’t even spell the name of the constituency properly has flooded it with activists in the hope of emulating the Liberal Democrat win in Richmond Park last week – without understanding why the Lib Dems succeeded.

Richmond Park had been a Liberal Democrat stronghold before Zac Goldsmith took the seat in 2010. Residents only needed a nudge to go back to their old ways, and the huge numbers of campaigners meant they actually received a shove.

In Sleaford and North Hykeham, UKIP came third, behind Labour. A victory from such a distance seems unlikely.

But will Labour make significant inroads into the Tory vote? Could UKIP leapfrog Labour to gain second place?

These are all valuable data to election watchers – far more so than the opinion polls that have been pushed out by the newspapers lately and that seem to run in defiance of what happens at the ballot box.

Polls have opened in the second Brexit by-election with Labour aiming to take advantage of mild weather to boost turnout.

Jim Clarke, a dustman and GMB activist, hopes to make inroads into the Tory vote but paediatrician Caroline Johnson is favourite to replace Stephen Phillips, who stepped down over “irreconcilable policy differences” with his boss Theresa May.

Temperatures in Sleaford are expected to run between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius for much of today, in contrast to the near-zero conditions which provided the backdrop to the poll in Richmond Park a week ago.

Clarke is one of 10 candidates fighting the seat which is located in North Kesteven which, at 62.2 per cent, was one of the strongest Brexit-supporting areas. When he was selected as Labour’s candidate Clarke said immigration “played a big part” in the vote to leave the EU.

In last year’s general election Labour came second in Sleaford and North Hykeham, behind a Tory majority of 24,115, with UKIP close behind them in third place.

UKIP, whose candidate is Victoria Ayling, has flooded the seat with activists in an attempt to revive their fortunes under new leader Paul Nuttall.

Source: Mild weather prompts hopes of high turnout in today’s Brexit by-election | LabourList

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Despite all its efforts, UKIP continues to be a bad joke

[Image: Independent].

[Image: Independent].

The United Kingdom Independence Party continues to provide more material for the gossip columns of newspapers than for their political coverage.

No less than three articles appeared on other blogs last night (Friday), bringing the Party That Loves The Media into ridicule.

First we had The Critique Archivesjoke, based on the howler committed by Kipper councillor Victoria Ayling while she was discussing renewable energy.

Then Pride’s Purge weighed in with the revelation of the “jaw-dropping” remarks made by another (now-former) UKIP councillor, Rozanne Duncan.

Perhaps even more jaw-dropping was the article’s comment that Ms Duncan was a card-carrying Conservative Party member and activist for more than 20 years before joining UKIP. Tom’s comment, “At least UKIP threw her out,” is more damning for the Tories than the Kippers.

Finally, it was back to The Critique Archives for a discussion of UKIP’s situation that, in fact, had a serious basis – even if it was filled with references to the farcical, such as Nigel Farage’s latest gig as an ‘expert-voice’ on European immigration for Fox News.

The verdict on Farage is triply damning. First, he is described thus: “As addicted to publicity as a crack-addict is to white powder”; then the article points out that the party’s leaders have been trying “to distance themselves from the air of xenophobia and, frankly, comedic stupidity that has pervaded the party since its earliest days, and that job is quite difficult enough when so many of its members are prone to making crass, opinionated and uninformed public gaffes. But the exercise is defeated altogether when Farage allows himself to be so expressly associated with a poisonous and ultra-conservative hate-receptacle like Fox News”.

Finally, we are told: “Even if we were to assume for the moment that Farage is telling the truth when he denies he is a racist or xenophobe, he never quite acknowledges an ugly related fact – that an awful lot of UKIP supporters are both.”

The solution? Farage needs to say, not only that he does not want racists in his party, but also that he does not want them to vote for UKIP either: “Until he does say it, the whiff of suspicion surrounding his own attitudes will remain”.

The dilemma is that the move “will cost him more support than it is likely to win him; anyone impressed by it is likely to vote for the Conservative Party instead (not that they are exactly racism-free themselves), while the easily-angered racist fringe will become disillusioned very quickly and desert in droves”. His support base is too divided – built “on racism and xenophobia in the first place”, it “has only grown due to large numbers of newcomers who know almost nothing about UKIP, but just like the ‘cool-sounding’ idea of voting for a new party”.

What is his best option?

Read the article and find out.