Surprising By-Election Results

I hadn’t been paying very much attention in the run-up to yesterday’s two by-elections. I had the vague idea that Douglas Carswell was expected to win the Clacton by-election, and that Labour were expected to hold their safe Heywood and Middleton seat.

In the event, UKIP almost won both of them. And they’re both rather remarkable stories. Here are the Heywood and Middleton results in the last two elections.


It looks as if the Labour vote held up, but the Conservative and Lib Dem vote collapsed, and UKIP got 10 times the number of votes as they had 4 years earlier. And Labour didn’t manage to call out its vote. The weather might have had something to do with that – there was heavy rain and even a tornado in NW England yesterday. Dan Hodges in the Telegraph:

The Tories knew Clacton was coming. They had priced defeat in. No one on Labour’s side saw Heywood coming. There had been whispers circulating Labour conference that the party had a problem in the seat. But over the past fortnight the whispers had ceased. Opinion polls gave Labour a 20-point lead. Even in the minutes after the polls closed Labour officials were confidently briefing that victory would be theirs by a comfortable margin. In the end they came within a whisker of losing.

It must’ve been an awful shock for Labour to almost lose what was a regarded as a safe seat.

But Clacton was also remarkable. Here are the figures for the last two elections:


What’s remarkable about this is that Carswell not only quit the Conservative Party and joined UKIP, but that he took his constituents with him. And also won a larger majority, and a higher percentage of the vote.

I’d expected him to win, but with a greatly reduced majority, as voters punished him for disloyalty. Not a bit of it. His Conservative voters were as disloyal as he was. Which suggests that Conservative voters elsewhere may be not be very much more loyal.

Anyway, UKIP now have their first MP in Parliament. In fact they almost got two. For the past decade or so, they’ve been doing well in European elections, but getting nowhere in national elections. And this now looks set to change. Voting UKIP will no longer look like a “wasted vote”.

Next year’s General Election should be very interesting. UKIP say they’re going to be targeting just 9 seats. I reckon they could do much better than that. The Lib Dem vote has collapsed, and their 57 seats will be up for grabs. And neither Labour nor Conservatives are riding particularly high. The only party that’s on a roll is UKIP. So it may just be possible for them to end up holding the balance of power next year. Tim Worstall:

…support for Ukip isn’t, for many, actually a complaint about the EU, it’s a protest against that conformity of view of the political class we now have. Similarly on immigration: those bright young things in their bubble all know, absolutely know, that it’s just great for Britain. Where many Britons aren’t all that sure about that and the protest isn’t against the immigration per se it’s against the disconnect between the views of the ruling political class and the ruled.

Particularly in respect of the smoking ban, in my own case.

About Frank Davis

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Surprising By-Election Results

  1. woodsy42 says:

    Carswell didn’t just take conservative votes with him – look what happened to the Labour vote, they lost more than half their 2010 votes too.

  2. waltc says:

    In the US , with only a 600 vote margin, we’d demand a recount. Or house arrest for those 600 voters.

  3. pubcurmudgeon says:

    The working class are starting to cotton on that Labour has been waging a culture war against them.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Exactly. It’s one of the stunning things about the Labour party, that’s it’s turned on its own core supporters.

      • Jay says:

        Well, quite frankly, if I were in the Gillian Duffy, archetypal Labour voter mould I’d never vote for them again.

        UKIP’s we’re targetting nine seats in the GE doesn’t really square with the we might well hold the balance of power. I wonder if they’re just keeping their powder dry?

        • Frank Davis says:

          As I see it, UKIP has a set of values on which not only most Conservatives would agree, but also most Lib Dems (I used to vote Lib Dem!) and most of old Labour. The trouble with the entire political class these days is that they’ve become too radical, the lot of them. And if UKIP is the only party offering traditional values, I think that could be very attractive to everybody except the most radical. Which is why I think they’re likely to do better than just 9 seats.

  4. woohoo02 says:

    There is a hint of fraud in the Heywood Middleton By election, where the Mayor(Labour) tells Liz McInnes(Labour) after Liz thanked her, “Never mind, it would have been THAT result, whatever it said”
    Look @ 2:16 in,
    Very dodgy things going on!!

  5. Smoking Scot says:

    Had a wee shuftie at Mark Reckless. He’s another who did not vote for the smoking ban.

    Pleased about that to an extent, though would have preferred something more than a simple abstention.

    His seat is a huge Tory stronghold, so it depends on how good a constituent MP he is if he can manage a repeat of Clacton.,_2014

    If this one falls to UKIP then I’m inclined to agree with comments I’ve seen elsewhere that it could result in several more MPs from both Tory and Labour jumping ship. Hope UKIP bosses start to become very selective indeed should this transpire. Last thing UKIP needs is others retreads, especially any with a dogmatic, finger pointing, controlling, do-as-I-say background.

    There’s a difference between UKIP specifically targeting 9 seats and contesting in all constituencies. Given they really only had Farage and Nuttal as ambassadors I can see their logic in concentrating on these – and win – rather than depend on flying visits to rally local support and risk the 9.

    That said, the chap in Heywood and Middleton is an example of what can happen with exactly just that. Sod all in terms of office, staff or even foot soldiers and just a couple of quickies by Farage to offer morale support.

    IMO Frank what we’re seeing here is something that’s developing at a pace very few could have foreseen, even in June with the EU elections. I suspect much more money will be finding its way to UKIP. They have the background to use that to maximum effect, so yes it could well be that they’ll revisit many of their strategies well before the General Election. Certainly they’re likely to leverage Carswell in the all important South East

    One thing that’s not been mentioned. Now they have an MP im Westminster they’re entitled to equal access to the media at the General Election. That was not a right before. It’s an enormous benefit to any party – free TV coverage, including the Beeb (they had to go to court to force them to give them equal treatment at the EU elections – and that ruling was ONLY for the EU elections).

    But Farage needs to groom others to appear on behalf of UKIP. We’re not a world away from “Farage Fatigue”. Let’s hope Carswell can step up to the plate.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Re Heywood, there are two contradictory stories in Breitbart. First:

      HEYWOOD, United Kingdom – As exhausted and jubilant UKIP activists head to bed after two hard fought campaigns, they face a very sobering thought: the party’s strategy over the last few weeks probably cost them a seat. From the outset UKIP had thrown money and people at Clacton despite being 40 percent ahead in the polls, resources that would have won them Heywood and Middleton.


      HEYWOOD, United Kingdom – The Labour Party in Heywood and Middleton is “shocked” by the size and professionalism of the UKIP machine at today’s by-election according to a party spokesman. Nigel Farage’s party had been expected to struggle to run two major campaigns simultaneously but have instead taken the gamble of moving resources out of Clacton on the assumption that a win is certain.
      The party boasts having 160 activists out in Heywood and Middleton today and say they have put a leaflet through every door in the constituency in the last 24 hours. A recent poll from Lord Ashcroft showed that 68 percent of the local population recall being sent UKIP literature, with Labour only narrowly beating them on 69 percent.

      The odd thing is that they’re both written by the same guy: Andre Walker.

      Re “Farage Fatigue”, I read recently somewhere that he said that he’d probably leave politics in 6 or 7 years, because he’ll be “burnt out”.

      Incidentally, a summary of UKIP policies announced in Doncaster can be found here. It includes ventilated smoking rooms for pubs, and No to plain packaging.

      Agree about re-treads.

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        I’m wondering how many people that have abstained from voting before are enthused about voting UKIP. I’m reminded of a TED talk about ‘how to start a movement’

        This would make Douglas Carswell very important as he’s not considered a ‘nut’ or a ‘fruitcake’.

        In that clip, people are sprinting to join in.

      • smokingscot says:

        Many thanks for the link to Doncaster policies. (Under Culture way down at foot of the page). I like most of them, especially the bits about tax.

        Did mull the smoking rooms business last month should you care to visit.

  6. prog says:

    I think the mistake Labour/Lib Dem make is to assume that most of its supporters are idealistic, unselfish ‘nice’ people with a genuine concern for the environment and well being of all. IMO, most people probably vote for a system that benefits them as individuals, be it re benefits, job opportunities, tax breaks or local issues (including concern about unfettered dilution of their traditional culture). That many 1000’s in their droves can suddenly switch allegiance from one extreme to the other speaks volume about how out of touch the elite are.

  7. Dunwaffling says:

    At the next General Election there a distinct possibility UKIP will get circa 30-35% of the votes yet
    less than 1% of the seats in the House of Commons ie 6 seats or less.
    Democracy in the true sense is dead, giving us a piece of paper every 5 years just gives the
    Westminster gang legitimacy to treat us as idiots and pass laws for the noisy Lambeth Cliques
    and Capucine swigging Fabian loons.

  8. It’s very intriguing where it goes from here. How many more Eurosceptic Tory MPs will join UKIP? I got on well with two of them on Facebook. It’s not just the MPs who had healthy majorities last time who should consider joining UKIP.

    One of my FB ‘friends’ was Nick de Bois (recently unfriended by him, possibly for mentioning UKIP too much, possibly because he’s considering jumping ship?). In the 2010 election he won Enfield North from Labour at the third attempt. Majorities averaged just 2,000 in all three.

    With UKIP taking Labour votes as well as Tory ones, his best chance might be to jump ship now.

    The other Tory MP is Henry Smith (Crawley), who had a 6,000 maj. last time, but lost to labour in 2005. The result then was 16,411 to 16,374 – he lost by 37 votes!!

    Like Carswell, he seems to be a monumentally popular MP and highly anti-EU, yet believes in the fairytale of yet another EU referendum in 2017 (or says he does). (He even helped me out with something after I DM’ed him, even though I live 400 miles from his constituency.)

    Who knows? The flood from Tory to UKIP could be so large that they’ll need an ark, so I agree with Smoking Scot that UKIP would have to start becoming selective.

    I also agree about UKIP needing more spokesmen, but I would disagree about “Farage Fatigue”. I can’t get enough of him, although I only ever see him on the internet, what with not having broadcast TV.

    I will add that next year’s general election could be our last chance to save the country. Nobody but UKIP will get us out the EU (unless they kick us out); nobody else will put an end to mass immigration; nobody else will save us from a cold, dark future by revoking the Climate Change Act 2008; nobody else will relax the smoking ban…

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      I will add that next year’s general election could be our last chance to save the country. Nobody but UKIP will get us out the EU (unless they kick us out); nobody else will put an end to mass immigration; nobody else will save us from a cold, dark future by revoking the Climate Change Act 2008; nobody else will relax the smoking ban…

      Stewart On the face value of today I agree UKIP is the future and their agenda.

      But as we all can see the climate BS is being tossed aside by countries around the world unless theres a buck in it for them. Its like a Climate change summit and the Welfare office the countries that show up have to in order to get the next check or food subsidy.

      The same way for smoking bans and the FCTC. The only thing holding it together is the same welfare office scenario……………Once they meaning the US,WORLD BANK,IMF etc etc and what ever other financial payoffs they have don’t have the money to keep up the pyramid scheme it all ends.

      But then the other is Political will and population discontent of the people themselves……..

      Nothing lasts forever and just moments ago a single comment from somebody said about 6 Billion mouths at one time:

      acojatina • a day ago
      I don’t believe a word our government tells me.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    China arrests leading biology scientist for swindling state research funds

    BEIJING – Chinese authorities have arrested a leading scientist in transgene biology on the charge of swindling state scientific research funds.

    The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology said Friday that Li Ning, a professor at the Chinese University of Agriculture and member of the elite Chinese Academy of Engineering, was suspected of swindling state funds in his research project on the cultivation of new transgene biological species.
    His arrest came after national audits found seven professors from five universities obtained research funds of more than 25 million yuan ($4.08 million) through false means. The ministry says two of them have been convicted and sentenced to prison.

    Comments are currently

    closed for this article


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Academic corruption is prevalent in universities and research institutes, where plagiarism, bribery for promotion, and misuse of government funds are common.

      • smokingscot says:

        @ Harley

        Can you please – okay can you pretty please – wade in on this one? It’s an American writing.

        WHO want a global tobacco tax.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Recommends that tobacco excise taxes account for at least 70 percent of the retail prices for tobacco products.”

          In America the tax on cigs is already at nearly 90% of the price. And since Mitch Mcconell is the minority leader and likely to become the next senate Majority leader in January after the Novemebr elections its a dead duck issue. Mitch is from Kentucky………….He is dead strong even against smoking bans just as is Rand Paul from Bowling Green about 15 miles from me.

          Then we didn’t pass the FCTC either………….

          Then you must remember the WHO under the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit was ready to push thru this same tax back then along with their One World government unelected body……………..

          National Sovereignty is fast becoming a front line issue around the globe…………The nanny Nazis worse fear…………. Defiant Nations saying FUCK YOU!

          Also the Currency wars that have been going on for the last 18 months are another big issue as everybody tries to save their own asses financially in the world market.

          We may well start seeing nations actually going back to manufacturing what they need and only buying raw materials abroad yet again………….Solving so much of the trade imbalances that have created so much economic problems the world over.

          Would you fly to china to get a ball bearing………..Me either!

      • smokingscot says:

        Many thanks. It’s the same in the UK – about 90% of the retail price is tax.

        Now the WHO realise they’re thoroughly despised, they’re hunting for a permanent source of funding from the very people who loathe them.

        Kinda like Mr. Glantz. And he only has these mouths to feed:

        oh, and these:

  10. Frank Davis says:

    Now he’s won, though, having polled a massive 60pc of the vote, the returning Clacton MP’s party affiliation is deeply significant. As Ukip’s first elected member, Carswell can table Ukip parliamentary motions and lay Ukip amendments to legislation. He can question the Prime Minister on television and hold ministers to account. Above all, he can play a leading role in determining his new party’s economic platform ahead of the May 2015 general election and beyond.

    Critics complain Ukip is a protest group, lacking serious policies beyond Europe and immigration. Well, now Carswell has the opportunity to shape an entire economic manifesto which, given his poster boy status and the media’s escalating interest in Ukip, is certain to command attention.

    Carswellian economics, in other words, is about to hit the mainstream. That’s good, because the man talks sense.

  11. Tony says:

    A couple of commentators here have complained that Nigel Farage is UKIP’s only spokesman. I disagree. There are now spokesmen for every area of policy and they have appeared all over the media. Here is a selection of speeches from them at this years party conference:
    No mention of smoking as such though.
    But F2C also have a blog piece today about UKIP and smoking:

  12. Philip Neal says:

    The key to interpreting by-election results is that the working class voters stay at home. In both seats, the fall in the Labour vote is accounted for almost entirely by working class abstentions (calculation below, rounded figures). The real story in both north and south is that middle class voters switched as a body from Conservative to UKIP. I predict that the election map next year will show the red Labour cities as islands in a blue and purple sea.

    General election 2010 turnout.
    Clacton: 43 thousand
    Heywood and Middleton: 46 thousand

    By-election 2014 turnout.
    Clacton: 35 thousand
    Heywood and Middleton: 28 thousand

    By-election stay-at-homes
    Clacton: 43 – 35 = 8 thousand
    Heywood and Middleton: 46 – 28 = 18 thousand

    Votes for Labour + BNP 2010
    Clacton: 13 thousand
    Heywood and Middleton: 22 thousand

    Labour/BNP vote 2010 minus stay-at-homes 2014
    Clacton: 13 – 8 = 5 thousand
    Heywood and Middleton: 22 – 18 = 4 thousand

    Fall in Labour/BNP vote 2010 to 2014
    Clacton: 6 thousand
    Heywood and Middleton: 7 thousand

  13. Pingback: UKIP | Bolton Smokers Club

No need to log in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.