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Err, yes?

Nigel Farage’s party is facing allegations of running paper candidates in seats across the country, having tried to field a full slate for the first time in the general election.

Anyone think the Tories really try in Merthyr Tydfil?

45 thoughts on “Err, yes?”

  1. “Anyone think the Tories really try in Merthyr Tydfil?”

    One of them does: the candidate just starting out tries really hard to put on a good show (organisation, speeches, networking, gracious defeat, etc.) so that they get offered a better seat next time.

  2. No Reform candidate in my constituency; well-informed rumour is that he did the nomination paperwork incorrectly.

    It’s currently a Conservative MP, but was LibDem until 2015 and was expected to go back to them. With no Reform candidate, and a Green running, the Conservative might scrape in again.

  3. Apparently, the Labour candidate for my Constituency has been ‘redployed’ to the West Midlands….

  4. ‘re-deployed’.

    Sorry folks. And i’m not going to grizzle about no edit function……..

  5. Merthyr is just used as a testing ground by Conservatives. Can you work with volunteers, do you say the right things to the local paper etc, resist the urge to chin people on doorsteps? If so, next time you get to fight a marginal like Wellingborough. If not, nothing much lost.

    And almost everyone votes for party or leader. Lots of people can’t name their MP and very few of them can tell you much about their political positions (I can: wet surrender monkey). It’s got to be a really tight marginal for any door knocking to make much difference.

  6. Martin Near The M25

    @Addolff Sent to Coventry?

    My Reform vote is in. My Tory MP isn’t the worst but the party is a dead duck and their campaign has been dreadful.

  7. Tory incumbent here with a large majority. She has sent us three leaflets. Reform, greens and independent one each, labour and libdem nothing. The Labour candidate Mr Khan lives in Hounslow and ‘will move to Lincs if elected.’ I’d like to ask him to sing the Lincolnshire Poacher or endorse the many local butchery products but I don’t suppose we’ll hear from him again. Nor will anyone else if his performance is meant to reward him with a better chance of a seat next time.

  8. Which is worse?

    <b Reform’s Dorset candidate lives 200 miles away and has only visited county once
    Morgan Tara Young admits she is ‘not active’ in the constituency she is supposed to be contesting in the general election

    Popup party has paper candidates in areas they’re not likely to win.

    Basildon and Billericay: Tory chairman Richard Holden might not win this safe seat 300 miles from his home.

    Governing party unable to guarantee its chairman will get elected after screwing over local party members by parachuting him into a “safe” seat.

  9. The only campaigner who has ever been to my door at any election-time was last week, some fairly pleasant lady from the Labour Party.

    After a brief, and entirely polite, chat, I told her that if I did vote for her party it would be on strictly tactical grounds, She sighed and said, “yes, I’m hearing that a lot”.

    But of course the rules are different north of the border: it’s all about keeping the SNP out.

  10. the many local butchery products

    Ah, memories…haslet, stuffed chine, sausages, potted beef and not forgetting plumbread.

  11. My constituency in central Glasgow used to surprise everyone by having one of the most active Tory associations in the country. It was wound up in the mid-’90s. I assume CCHQ is fielding a candidate today, but I have no idea who it is.

  12. Good god, ALL parties run paper candidates. I’m a ****ing paper candidate, you really think my party can go from 3% to winning in my seat? I’ve stood as a paper candidate almost every year for the last 15 years so there’s a *****y name on the ballot paper.

    Anon until the polls close.

  13. @WB, Rhoda, Steve
    Isn’t this really what’s gone wrong? In the UK electoral system your MP is supposed to be your representative in Parliament looking after your interests. Parliament, the whole of it, looks after the interests of the country as a whole.
    The party system has turned being an MP into a job working for a party. And I think we can safely assume, the party is mainly interested in looking after the interests of the party. Any government comes out of this is purely accidental.

  14. Got my vote cast for Donald Robert Walmsley (Reform UK) in Calder Valley.

    For all you moaning about the “two cheeks of the same arse” uniparty – get out and vote for a change!

  15. My vote for the Reform candidate is in. I urge everyone to get out there and vote Reform. Just increasing the national numbers would at least let the incoming Labourites know that we won’t take much more. Starmer will have to do a lot of difficult thinking tomorrow, and one scenario he ought to consider is what happens when the military refuse to fire on the rampaging white mob.

  16. Just got back from voting for Reform. I live in a bell weather dear and was hesitating until I bumped into the local Tory MP the other day who called RUK voters ‘idiots’.

    Also, we had a mock election at the school I work out and I saw the result today: 36% Labour and 26% Reform. Still keen on giving 16-17 year olds the vote Starmer?

  17. For all you moaning about the “two cheeks of the same arse” uniparty – get out and vote for a change!

    I did. I voted Reform by post a couple of weeks ago,

  18. BiS – The party system has turned being an MP into a job working for a party.

    We really need to make being an MP a part time, unpaid position like jury duty. No reason why they can’t meet online, after work, three days a week or something – we don’t need the volume of legislation the current arseholes create.

  19. BiND in Lüneburg

    “ Also, we had a mock election at the school I work out and I saw the result today: 36% Labour and 26% Reform. Still keen on giving 16-17 year olds the vote Starmer?”

    Also, we won’t be hearing the left moaning about the unfairness of FPTP and demanding PR for quite a few years.

  20. No reform where I am, wish I’d known, I would’ve been a paper candidate if needed. And no social media or other skeletons, unless you count the mountain of class A I snorted, but that’s probably a positive.

    The independents here sound batshit. One is a mad mullah, one is too net zero extreme for even the greens. So I won’t be bothering

  21. Had the advantage of not only voting for our Reform candidate, but knowing her beforehand which helped. Her son was our local co-ordinator for Vote Leave and she was with us at the count back in 2016.

    Placed a tick in her name, but it’ll be the SNP guy that wins the seat in all likelihood.

  22. It’ll be a wonderful surprise tomorrow, if the pollsters fuck up like they did during Brexit, and there is a large silent contingent who vote for Nige/Reform.

    Dreading seeing Sir Neil’s crowing face in every media outlet, but a Reform opposition would help a lot. Doubly so if the other parties (Tory, LibDem and Greens) have bugger all MPs.

  23. I voted reform.

    Not sure how much difference it will make.
    Even while the rest of the red wall fell to the Tories last time, mine was still Labour, but only just.
    Depends how many people round here have woken up. Quite a few it seems. But it’s an uphill struggle here.

  24. Even if Labour win the vast majority all over, it’s good for people to vote Reform all over.
    If they come second in a lot of places it:
    1. Puts reform into more people’s minds
    2. Helps bury the Tories
    3. Shows how people are thinking.

    Hoping for a big upset personally and Reform being the official opposition.

  25. Reform for me. It won’t make a difference to the local result (LimpDims won in last by-election ) but the more votes nationaly for Reform the better.

  26. Hoping for a big upset personally and Reform being the official opposition.

    Exit poll not remotely matching your hopes. Of course, only the real vote counts for anything.

    Shame the comments are buggered; it would have been a good laugh following it through together live.

  27. Round here they weigh the votes, it’s quicker.
    I was hesitating between a spoilt ballot and Reform, who seem to me a bit wet.
    Not that it makes any difference but I put an X on the R candidate, just to make up the numbers.

  28. I voted Reform, too, although I’ve nothing against my current Tory MP. Exit polls predicting 13 Reform seats, which would easily be the largest ever showing for a fourth party – I think the SDP in their Limehouse days only managed 6 and they had a pact with the Liberals.

  29. I voted Labour. The exit poll says Labour won. It is a great win for Labour. One of the biggest majorities in history. The public have chosen a moderate centre left government.

  30. Well, here’s to a Reformation.

    I’d take any crumbs of hope we can get tho, a few seats would be nice. The system is staggeringly difficult for new entrants to break into.

    But whatever happens, they gave me a genuine choice for a change. And for that, I am grateful.

  31. Voted for Nige. Looking at the stats at the mo’, Reform have 3 million votes = 4 seats. Dum Libs have 2.2 million votes and 44 seats.

    Something needs to change perhaps?

    p.s. Really, sincerely sorry to see Andrew Bridgen lose his seat………..

  32. This election has finally convinced me that we need a form of PR.

    FPTP works when there are a couple of parties but not when there are as many as there are now.

    For Labour to get such a majority on that little share of the vote is wrong.

    I heard Nigel Farage on the Triggernometry podcast a few months ago predicting there would be a massive populist revolt in Britain in a couple of years. He has his finger on the pulse and I think he could be right.

    When people see that Labour won’t make things any better they are going to be pissed off.

    Starmer has a lot of work to do. I don’t think he’s popular either within his party or with the public. People only voted for him because the other options were worse. With that many MPs they won’t all have parliamentary jobs so lots will be free to make mischief.

    My impression is that Starmer is heir to Blair in that he tries to come across as straight but, even in the short time he’s been around, there’s enough evidence that he’s a dodgy cunt.

  33. @CM

    Surprised by that exit poll indicating 13 seats – something wonky with their modelling since double figures was not realistic. Obviously it’s hard for the psephologists to model when a new phenomenon comes along, but they do have experience handling a 4-party setup in Scotland and Wales.

    The problem for Reform was never the raw vote numbers. They were always going to get those. It’s the seat to seat variation that matters, and Reform was inevitably too evenly spread out – the same Achilles heel as the SDP. Unless you’ve actually done some statistical modelling on it at some point in your life, I don’t think most people realise just how much the parliamentary seat totals rely on votes being concentrated efficiently into your target constituencies. Preferably not too concentrated – 55% in two constituencies is more efficient than 80% in one and 30% in another – but either of those is better than a flat 11% across 10 constituencies.

    Anyone who was hoping that the pollsters had stuffed up badly and Reform were going to become the surprise official opposition had their head in the sand. With Brexit, a couple of percent of error or bias could make a big difference in a tight referendum where every vote counted equally. I know the famous bias is “shy” voters not wanting to voice an unfashionable opinion, but the bigger problem for pollsters is reaching politically disconnected voters and accurately weighting their likelihood to vote (a lot of people voted in that referendum who would not ordinarily have been expected to turn out, for example). The pollsters had some egg on their faces after the results came out, but they hadn’t been saying Remain would win 70-30. They had been saying it would be pretty tight. The fact so many polls got the final result wrong was due to a couple of percentage points error. It happens. Sometimes a few percent here or there makes no difference, sometimes it’s critical.

    But in a general election it’s the efficiency of votes that’s crucial rather than the raw percentages. For a party with very efficient votes, just a few percent in the polls can make a huge difference to seat numbers. That’s one reason it was hard to predict how well the Lib Dems would perform – as things stand their vote share has risen by 0. 7% to 12.3% which sounds tiny, but their number of seats has jumped from 8 to 71! (Aided by the Conservative vote being split by Reform, of course.) A few percent more or less and the Lib Dems would have reached a completely different seat total. Reform with 14.3% of the vote stand to get 4 seats. A couple of percent of error here or there for Reform would have barely changed their seat total – it would have had more effect on other parties, in fact. The effect of the right-wing vote being split was the thing that was difficult to predict about Reform’s performance. The fact Reform were only going to get a handful of seats was blindingly obvious. Given their very inefficient vote distribution, Reform would have needed something like 25%, maybe more, of the national vote to match the Tory seats on seats.

    It might have had the potential to happen – a big question is how low Farage’s ceiling is, even his fans would admit he has a marmite effect – and if Sunak had stumbled on until autumn while his government fell apart, who knows. But throughout this election, the pollsters only ever had Reform snapping at the Tories’ heels. Even allowing for the fact that the polls can be misleading, you would have needed to see Reform polling crushingly higher numbers than the Tories for the wipe-out scenario to be in play. Nothing even close to that ever showed up in the data, which meant Reform were bound to get a “count them on your fingers” result. I’m very surprised the exit poll, which has a lot of advantages over other polling (especially that it avoids the genuinely tricky issue of modelling likelihood to vote), was unable to forecast that it would be more like “fingers of one hand”.

  34. Reform have 3 million votes = 4 seats. Dum Libs have 2.2 million votes and 44 seats

    A lot of those LD seats are rural ones where LD normally come second to Con and Labour are nowhere. So subtract the Reform vote from Con and add a few more LD votes and they are in. Ed Davey should thank Nigel for that, but he won’t!

  35. Something I didn’t mention above but I did post here in the past: even the scenario where Reform trumped the Tories to become the major right-wing party was incompatible with becoming official opposition. The only realistic scenario in which it happened would have been as a fight to be 3rd or 4th. It’s the Lib Dems who would have been poised to take 2nd spot of the Right split like that. Reform couldn’t expect to take over the entire Tory vote share since they fish in a somewhat different pool to the Conservatives and there are plenty of die-hard Tories about. Even in the most optimistic scenarios for Reform, those diehard Tories would have won a handful of Conservative seats, Reform might have managed rather more if they could get their widest possible voter coalition together (and got them to turn out) but in a lot of well-heeled constituencies this would have meant the Lib Dems coming through the middle. The LDs came quite close to becoming official opposition even with this pretty poor Reform showing. If Reform had done well enough to get a good number of seats, the LDs would have romped into 2nd place behind Labour.


    Currently 71 MPs for LDs with 3.5 million votes vs 4 MPs for Reform with 4.1 million. Something must change? Well if you want perpetual rule by the Uniparty then feel free to campaign for PR. If you want a party like Reform to win a smashing majority then FPTP is your best bet, you just need a lot more voters. If you don’t have a “salt the earth” approach to the Tories, and thought a coalition might be viable in future, then you might prefer Alternative Vote or STV. That would have avoided some of the problems of the Tories and Reform splitting the right-wing vote. Only problem is it would also help Greens, Labour etc avoid splitting the left-wing vote.

  36. I can see my follow-up comment but not my original – guess I got eaten by the spam trap. Thought it looked quiet on here for an election night.

  37. As I’ve said elsewhere I don’t blame the bbc, channel 4 or the telegraph for their sniping fearmongering and outright lying. I blame the more than 20% of weak pathetic individuals who clung to nurse and in doing so kept the uniparty secure for the foreseeable future.

    Farage will do his best in parliament but he’s about as unlikely to be called to speak when it actually matters as a reform supporter who somehow got into a question time audience.

  38. I’d take any crumbs of hope we can get tho, a few seats would be nice.

    The fairy godmother of hopes and dreams has granted your wish.

  39. I’d suggest now what’ll be interesting is the war that’ll inevitably break out in what remains of the Tory party. Both parliamentary & constituency. My suspicion is it’ll be the One Nation/wet end of the Tory party will be getting the blame for this. But it’s them will be manoeuvring to keep control of the party. I reckon there’s a lot of ruin still to come. Any luck. it’ll disintegrate.

  40. @ BiS

    Read some of the comments on ConservativeHome from the wet side of the Tory party. It’s hilarious – somehow they imagine that being even more like the Labour or LibDems will mean people vote for them.

    The question they don’t seem to ask (or have an answer for) is why would the electorate vote for the Blue version of a WEF directed party of pig shit thick wankers when they can vote for a Red or Yellow one instead?

    The actual answer is to have a party that has a different set of policies than everyone else and have the electorate come to you (as they surely will once the realise how fucked the country really is). But Reform have now taken that place, so the Tory party has nowhere to go. A pox on the lot of them.

  41. @Joe Smith.
    I wouldn’t agree that Reform have taken that place. Although they might do eventually. But it strikes me that Reform are roughly where Macron was at the start. And we can see what happened to Macron.

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