Interesting, no?

The UK Independence Party has come within a few hundred votes of a stunning by-election upset in a result that lays bare Labour’s vulnerability to the party in the North.

Nigel Farage’s party received more than 11,000 votes in a Labour stronghold where they had almost no electoral holding in what amounted to Ukip’s best ever result in a northern England by-election.

Around 700 votes short.

You only need a little bit of variance around those sorts of levels at a GE to win at least some of those Labour northern strongholds. That’s rather ore of a game changer than the Clacton win really.

48 comments on “Interesting, no?

  1. The interesting question for UKIP is whether they now move to tailor their policies to win over disgruntled northern Labour voters.

    It already seems that UKIP has lost much of its libertarian supporters (ring fencing NHS spending, reining back radical tax reform etc) so would trying to appeal to blue collar northerners impact on electoral chances in the south ?

  2. Simple. The party splits into N-KIP and S-KIP. Then having secured victory grants independence for the North, because there is no good reason they should be ruled by a bunch of unelected faceless bureaucrats in Westminster with its dodgy parliament merely rubber-stamping the legislation said bureaucrats come up with, and locked into a ruinous currency union with London to boot.

  3. Matthew L: share up by less than 1%, votes cast down by 7000 or something like that, I think.

  4. Arnald,

    > 36% turn out.

    And? What we saw in the Scottish Referendum was that turnout increases massively when people really really care about the outcome. What a fairly normal turnout like 36% shows us is that a large part of the electorate aren’t that bothered about the difference between Labour and UKIP. Which makes two points: that the seat can no longer realisticaly be regarded as a Labour stronghold; and that the public don’t regard UKIP as dangerous lunatics.

  5. It is time for a new slogan – A Vote For Cameron is a Vote For Labour

    Don’t waste your vote by voting for the other Lib Dem party. Vote UKIP.

  6. In her victory squawk, the Labour candidate effectively dismissed UKIP as just another Tory party which suggests that Labour are continuing to miss the point that the issues that UKIP campaign on are issues where the working class are very much not alligned to the liberal inteligensia that run Labour. It’s something that those who run Labour can’t forgive the working class for – there is a core of small ‘c’ conservatism at the heart of much of the working class. The now defunct BNP weren’t getting votes in leafy suburbs!

  7. Yes, a very interesting result in the north, though probably a by-election protest vote (unlike Clacton, which is UKIP territory).

    In the long term, I suspect UKIP will implode, because a populist coalition of right-wing libertarians and of anti-immigrant, anti-free-market ex-Labourites will not cohere.

    In the meantime, UKIP’s presence will hurt the Tories more than Labour. I fear this means that unless UKIP sympathisers are prepared to vote tactically in 2015, Milimarx will be handed the keys to No 10.

  8. How many votes did the Tories get? If it was 700 or more then they now know that tactical voting could knock ZaNu off its perch in its supposed strongholds.

  9. I would have thought 36pct isn’t too far off the mark for a bi-election turnout; and whilst the Labour vote was up 1pct, it ignores Labour voters moving across to Ukip, being replaced by LibDem voters moving to Labour. I see no reason why the Libertarian right can’t coexist with conservative Labour voters for the north; it happened during the Thatcher years. As for letting Miliband in…I’m not sure Ukip voters are that fussed, as long as they have a campaigning voice that represents their views. One thing’s for sure: after last night’s results, everyone will be tearing up their existing play book.

  10. “for a bi-election turnout”

    Is this some special LGBT enfranchisement from which I as a white male heterosexual have been excluded? Would not surprise me, as a member of the oppressive misanthropic “elite”.

  11. Mr Ecks

    You are right. The Tories got 3476 votes in H & M. If had been a voter in the constituency, I would have voted UKIP on tactical grounds, even though I’m a Conservative supporter.

    UKIP’s “LibLabCon” rhetoric may be good populist stuff; but the fact is that the Lib, the Lab and the Con are simply not equivalent or even equally bad, because a Milipaedo government would be aggressively socialist – ie regulatory, bossy, confiscatory and in thrall to the religion of ‘equaliteee’.

    Please, UKIP-ers and Conservatives, vote tactically, not tribally, to defeat Milipaedo. A Conservative + UKIP coalition in 2015 would be the ideal outcome.

  12. “You only need a little bit of variance around those sorts of levels at a GE”

    Well, yes, but since when were by-election results anything more than fluff?

  13. Bernie G:

    “I see no reason why the Libertarian right can’t coexist with conservative Labour voters for the north; it happened during the Thatcher years.”

    UKIP’s “libertarian right” — with its flat taxes, pro-business and radically smaller state platform, etc (which I favour) — goes far beyond what the Thatcher governments dared implement. (Understandably, Mrs T was very cautious about the NHS and Education.) Meanwhile, UKIP’s pitch to the anti-immigration, once-had-a-job-for-life-in-manufacturing, anti-free-market, right-of-centre Labourite vote simply isn’t going to be sustainable, if the UKIP manifesto reflects the views of its libertarian right leadership and donors (and if it doesn’t, will they hang around?).

    “As for letting Miliband in…I’m not sure Ukip voters are that fussed, as long as they have a campaigning voice that represents their views.”

    They should be “fussed”, because the consequences of a Milipaedo government – higher taxes, economic instability, even more PC craporola, general incompetence – are too horrifying to contemplate. Milipaedo is the most pathetic and unsuitable candidate for PM that there has ever been!

  14. “Milipaedo is the most pathetic and unsuitable candidate for PM that there has ever been!”

    But that’s never stopped us in the past. We’ve been saying it for some time really, haven’t we?

    Cameron
    Brown
    Blair
    Major?

    At least three, and arguably four (though mostly because he was in the Thatch’s shadow), successive most pathetic and least suitable candidates ever. So why not yet another one?

  15. Theo, I agree: Miliband is a dickhead. However, the general tone down at the Dog & Duck is that ‘they’re all the same’. And as horrifying as a Miliband administration may appear, they can’t forgive Cameron for the fruitcake jibe.

  16. BiG

    But you are just recycling the tired ‘LibLabCon equivalence’ theme. Which just ain’t true! For anyone leaning to the right, Cameron is considerably better than Milipaedo — by any objective measure of performance and stated intentions. OK, Cameron is very far from perfect; but he’s better than the alternative.

    If, however, you are supporting UKIP because you imagine it is “different” or “anti-politics”, you are deluded. It is an increasingly professional party, and it will compromise the closer it gets to power. If it doesn’t, it will remain a protest vote party.

    Democratic politics is always messy. As I see it, the problem that Cameron faces is that he has to shore up his core vote but also appeal to 250,000+ floating voters (mainly female) in the key marginals (who, at present, are inclining towards Milimarx, if Ashcroft’s polls are to be believed). If Cameron appeals too much to one group, he will lose the other. And if he loses more of the core Tory vote, UKIP will prevent the Tories winning; while if he loses the floaters in the key marginals, there will be a Labour landslide. So a tricky balancing act. He may yet be politically agile enough to pull it off; but I doubt it.

    So, putting anger and doubt to the side, the only rational approach for both Tory and UKIP supporters is to vote tactically – to build a post-GE coalition of the right. I urge any Tory voters to vote UKIP in a constituency where UKIP is the main challenger to Labour or LD. Likewise, I urge all UKIP supporters in a constituency where the Tories are the main challenger to Labour to vote Tory. Please! 🙂

  17. Theo..

    Your first comment was nearer the mark, if only that you accept that UKIP is attracting all sort of different voters. I sense however – with your continued “vote Nigel / get Ted” mantra – that you don’t truly understand why increasing numbers are voting UKIP.

    It’s almost the typical Tory response that believes that it somehow owns votes that it thinks should be Tory, when in reality there are clearly very large numbers of UKIP voters that couldn’t give a flying dildo that Ted gets in rather than Dave.

    Your repeated mantra is also clearly wrong in that, at both Heywood and Eastleigh, it proved to be a case of “vote Dave, get Ted” (ie the Conservatives stopped the main challenger UKIP from winning in both of those seats – to follow your advice) and yet you would have been hard pushed to judge that tactically in advance?

    My personal view is that if Conservatives wanted to vote Conservative in both Heywood and Eastleigh, then who the hell am I or anyone else to tell them they shouldn’t. And ditto those who wanted to vote UKIP, for whatever reason, or Dum Flabs, Eco Loons or whoever…

    I’m sure, as a Conservative voter, that your personal preference may well be A) Con, B) UKIP, C) MRL, etc, or even switch A and B (?), but not everyone sees it the same.

    I know you won’t approve but can I venture that getting Ted may even inspire (proper) Conservatives to think a little more carefully about what they really believe in and then perhaps elect a half decent leader next time, which I am guessing you might be fully supportive of (a half decent leader, that is)..!?

    And no, I’m not personally too interested in “but, by then it’ll be too late” and all the rest of the “vote Dave or else” substitutes… Dave had his chance, and – given what he was competing against in 2010 – blew it spectacularly..:)

  18. Theo

    As I see it, the problem that Cameron faces is that he has to shore up his core vote

    Wasn’t that his problem from the very start? I’m not sure he ever understood that. And hence he lost them, possibly in their millions?

    Reagan understood that first you cling your core vote closely, and only then do you reach out to the centre and left and try and inspire them to join you. And which of course they did in more than sufficient numbers.

    Dave instead looked to Tony for his inspiration – need I say more…

  19. “Dave had his chance, and – given what he was competing against in 2010 – blew it spectacularly”

    Cameron did ok in 2010 — not great but ok. The Big Society bollocks (which they wisely chucked in the bin after they got settled in) was a crock of bullshit, and DC himself is too silky smooth for a lot of peoples taste. But the arithmetic just wasn’t in his favour. It’s worth remembering how totally and utterly wiped out the Tories were in 97, and how piss-poor their results were in the two elections after that.

  20. Dan

    “Cameron did ok in 2010”

    Hmmm… given it was Gordon he was up against, and who had just single handedly saved the world, I guess I have a different interpretation of “OK”..:)

    “The Big Society bollocks”

    And the green crap.

    And of course the biggie was reneging on Lisbon before the election as he mis-calculated that his “Euro loons” had nowhere else to go. That almost certainly cost him an outright majority.

  21. History will record Gordon Brown’s “…that bigoted woman” comment as the moment when the mask of what the Labour party REALLY thinks about its core vote.

    People saw that. People finally noticed. They thought, “Hey! That’s what they actually think of me!”.

    The fact that that the Central command and MSM/Twitterati still don’t ‘get’ UKIP shows that nothing has changed in their mental view of the political world.

  22. “the moment when the mask of what the Labour party REALLY thinks about its core vote.”

    There was an astounding quote from Milliband this morning in the Grauniad.

    “I asked Ed Miliband on Tuesday why I had not heard him mention immigration during his two visits to the constituency when it was so obviously so many people’s number one bugbear. He replied: “I’m proud of our policy on immigration,” before claiming it was the NHS that people had raised as an issue on the doorstep.”

    That’s some serious head in the sand shit right there! Didn’t even bother pretending to answer the question, never occurred to him! The longer he hangs around, pretending to be a big boy the more convinced I am that he believes what he says.

    I’m counting on his spectacular un-skills to ensure he loses big next May. I do not want PM Miliband- I’d happily take another 5 years of David Cameron and chums, (even in another coalition with Clegg and his twats) over that.

  23. Milipaedo is a second-generation immigrant (who, with minimal talent became a full-time politician) inheriting from his blinkered father a Marxist critique of all UK institutions. He might yet – thanks to UKIP supporters who do not vote tactically – be elected as PM and reek havoc…..

  24. More snappy one-liners:
    – Vote Labour, get Rotherham
    – Vote Tory, get Brussels
    – Vote LibDem, get sectioned.

  25. Theophrastus doing an enthusiastic but unconvincing job there of “Labour would have been worse” and “the Tories must have been better”.

  26. BraveFart

    Spot on – even better than that from Murphy:

    ‘Most of all, by offering the electorate what seem like a string of untruths to get elected UKIP show a profound contempt for democracy.

    But they have been elected. And that’s the real worry. If people vote UKIP they must be really fed up, and they are.’

    The fact that Murphy despises ‘everything UKIP stand for’ may be the key to their popularity – sadly he, and his acolyte on here, are too thick skinned to realize that….

  27. BF

    Even better than that in the comments:

    ‘And young people think Green

    It is now in their DNA’

    echoes of a statesman in 1930s Germany saying to his opponents ‘Who are you – you will soon pass way, your children belong to us’ – truly terrifying…..

  28. Theo

    You are right. The Tories got 3476 votes in H & M. If had been a voter in the constituency, I would have voted UKIP on tactical grounds, even though I’m a Conservative supporter.

    and then you say:

    I urge any Tory voters to vote UKIP in a constituency where UKIP is the main challenger to Labour or LD.

    Likewise, I urge all UKIP supporters in a constituency where the Tories are the main challenger to Labour to vote Tory.

    Can you not see your own obvious self contradiction?

    Before yesterday, the Tories WERE the apparent main challenger to Labour in Heywood. And yet you “claim” you would have voted UKIP!

    Or are you just being disingenuous?!

  29. >Before yesterday, the Tories WERE the apparent main challenger to Labour in Heywood.

    They may have been at the last general election, but at least a week ago it was becoming clear from the polling this was a Lab-UKIP battle (admittedly, not one anyone was expecting UKIP to come particularly close to winning).

    I suspect there are still quite a lot of people (like me) in Lab-Tory marginals who give a UKIP VI, who vote UKIP in the euros and council elections, but who will hold their noses and vote Tory when it comes to at the general election.

    When I used to live in a safe seat (Plaid Cymru), I voted UKIP at the GE – and I would definitely do the same now if I lived in a northern Labour seat like Heywood.

    The big question is – will ex-Labour kippers experience similar amounts of “unwind” or not? If they do, then it’s all to play for; if they don’t, Miliband can join Foot and Kinnock in the long list of unconvincing Labour leaders who have been hammered at the polls…

  30. Theophrastus – “For anyone leaning to the right, Cameron is considerably better than Milipaedo — by any objective measure of performance and stated intentions. OK, Cameron is very far from perfect; but he’s better than the alternative.”

    I disagree. It depends whether you are thinking five years ahead or ten or more. Cameron is no different to Miliband. I can’t see any light between them. A little better perhaps. But we need more than three Lib-Dem parties. We need actual choice – and preferably a Tory choice. So the best solution is a Miliband government. Which would be like electing Tony Benn. That will put off a generation from voting Left, and with luck Cameron and his Blue Blairite tendency will be purged from the Conservative party. We might then get an actual Right Wing party to vote for.

  31. This reminds me a lot of what I once saw characterised as (and remember as) the “Barking Dog Problem”.

    There is a dog at point A, and a bone at point B, and running between them is a chainlink fence. The dog can smell and see the bone through the fence. Some distance along the fence from the point where the straight line between A and B crosses the fence is an open gate.

    A stupid dog follows the simple strategy of closing its distance to the bone. It reaches the fence and can proceed no further, so just sits there barking. A more clever dog realises it must move away from its objective (point B) to go through the gate and ultimately reach it.

    Holding your nose and voting Tory is the dog barking at the fence.

  32. Ian B – “Holding your nose and voting Tory is the dog barking at the fence.”

    I think it is worse than that. The leaders of the main right wing parties in both the UK and the US clearly have contempt for their supporters. The Republican leadership cannot hide its open disdain for Value Voters – especially if they are poor, White and southern. The Tories have gone on about fruitcakes a little too much.

    So f**k ’em.

    They expect their voters to always be there because the alternative is so much worse. And, after all, where else can they go? Well they can go to UKIP.

    The Republicans seem determined to repeat the mistakes of the past by forcing yet another “moderate” (that is to say, Democrat in all but name) on the voters. Let’s see if the Tories are quite so stupid.

    But the mainstream media is still firmly in the bubble of metropolitan delusion. Farrage says something sensible about immigrants with HIV and even the Daily Mail has kittens. Is there any sane person in the UK outside of the North London elite who does not think keeping people with HIV out of Britain is not a sensible policy?

  33. Oh, the Tories are that stupid. But that’s probably a good thing, because they are the biggest roadblock to ousting the Neo-Proggressives in politics, and a destroyed Tory Party is thus an important objective.

  34. TheProle

    Before yesterday, the Tories WERE the apparent main challenger to Labour in Heywood.

    They may have been at the last general election, but at least a week ago it was becoming clear from the polling this was a Lab-UKIP battle

    You are quite right of course with regard to the one off that took place yesterday.

    The simple reality is that, in a general election, there will not be daily / weekly polls in all 650 seats spelling out the latest voting intentions, and with sufficient press coverage for that to be usefully absorbed.

    Hence, why not use the election results from 2010 as the basis for deciding who the main challenger is…

    No thanks!

  35. > Is there any sane person in the UK outside of the North London elite who does not think keeping people with HIV out of Britain is not a sensible policy?

    Are you calling Farage insane, or just using a sentence construction beyond your competence?

    The UK has comprehensive rules restricting immigration by sick people, specifying that people should not usually be admitted who are likely to require medical treatment they can’t afford to pay for, or who are too sick to be able to maintain themselves and their dependants, or who may be a danger to public health. I see no reason to add a special rule for people with HIV.

  36. PaulB – “The UK has comprehensive rules restricting immigration by sick people, specifying that people should not usually be admitted who are likely to require medical treatment they can’t afford to pay for, or who are too sick to be able to maintain themselves and their dependants, or who may be a danger to public health. I see no reason to add a special rule for people with HIV.”

    Then they should enforce them. But it is nice to see you agree with Farage.

    However the problem is that they are not enforcing them as can be seen by the fury prompted by this very sensible suggestion. A lot of East Asian countries, including China require a HIV test as a condition for a visa. So should the UK.

  37. what SMFS said – long term, it’s possible that a short but disasterous Millimarx government would blow the cobwebs out the system, as it were, ushering in a new classical-liberal-ish dawn, à la 1979.

    Let the metropolitan trustafarian lefties have a go – the results will be entirely predictable – then ride home to save the day like the reincarnation of St. Margaret.

    The other alternative is another slim majority Tory/tory-led fustercluck trying to square the circle against the opposition of the BBC etc.

  38. PF,

    > there are clearly very large numbers of UKIP voters that couldn’t give a flying dildo that Ted gets in rather than Dave.

    Agreed.

    > if Conservatives wanted to vote Conservative in both Heywood and Eastleigh, then who the hell am I or anyone else to tell them they shouldn’t. And ditto those who wanted to vote UKIP, for whatever reason

    Agreed. Those who claim to be supporting pragmatic tactical voting are always just supporting the status quo. If everyone voted for who they actually wanted, the country would be quite different — as we saw in Scotland the other week. What seems to be happening with UKIP is that lots of people are finally doing that.

    > getting Ted may even inspire (proper) Conservatives to think a little more carefully about what they really believe in and then perhaps elect a half decent leader next time

    God, yeah.

    > I’m not personally too interested in “but, by then it’ll be too late” and all the rest of the “vote Dave or else” substitutes

    Me neither.

    > Dave had his chance, and – given what he was competing against in 2010 – blew it spectacularly

    Agreed again.

    Surely part of Conservatism is the ability to think long-term. There is a strong argument that, from a right-wing point of view, Cameron is even worse than Milliband, because a Cameron victory reinforces the idea in the Conservative Party that Cameronism is the right way to go and embeds the idea in the electorate that Cameronism is real right-wing Conservatism. I don’t give so much of a fuck about the next five years; I care about the next twenty.

    It’s like “Austerity”: what’s its long-term legacy? Well, it hasn’t worked that well, unsurprisingly, because the Coalition have not in fact cut state spending at any point. So what will happen if we really need proper austerity measures in ten years or twenty or whenever? Everyone will refer back to the Coalition policies of the 2010s and say “Look, austerity doesn’t even work.”

    I don’t want Cameron to win just so that we can have a slightly-almost-right-wing-ish government for five years if the cost of that is that we don’t have the option of real right-wing government for a generation. And, in this, as I always point out to lefty friends, I am in agreement with Tony Benn.

    Dan,

    > I’d happily take another 5 years of David Cameron and chums, (even in another coalition with Clegg and his twats) over that.

    Even? I’d happily take another five years of the Coalition — that way we get a bit of Conservatism without the Tories getting to remain under the delusion that Cameron is electable. Plus, as I said the other day, a government that keeps getting in its own way is a good thing. It’s a Cameronist majority that would be awful.

  39. Squander Two – Spot on. Especially your observations about austerity. There simply hasn’t been any of real significance.

    And the current Tory party is just a facsimile to give people the illusion of choice.

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