Coffee House

John Prescott battling, and the Tories get thrashed in northern cities

16 November 2012

3:27 PM

16 November 2012

3:27 PM

John Prescott’s trials continue. There will be a run-off between Prescott and the Tory challenger, Matthew Grove. This has been quite a turn around, with Grove staging a late charge in the race for first preference votes when the rural East Riding area was called in his favour. He displaced the independent candidate, retired copper Paul Davison, who finished third by a mere 300 votes. The race has been very close so far; now it comes down to second preferences. Sky News’s Jon Craig reports that the Tories are confident of an upset.

There have already been a couple of shocks in the PCC results. In North Wales, Labour’s Tal Michael was beaten by the independent candidate, Winston Roddick, which has prompted questions in some quarters that Labour has not performed as well as it should have done in these elections. However, the low turnout (12% in some places) should soften such fears in the red camp: these elections cannot reasonably be described as representative of the national picture.


This point is perhaps reinforced by the Tories winning in Dyfed-Powys at the mid-term point of the parliamentary cycle. It is, though, important to remember that the PCC elections are not, in theory at least, a referendum on the government; they primarily concern localism and the law and order policy brief. That said, the Tories’ woeful showing in South Yorkshire (beaten into 3rd by the English Democrats) and in Durham (finished a miserable 4th), to say nothing of the debacle in the Manchester Central by-election (where the party lost its deposit), should concern the party. As James argued in a recent magazine column, the PCC elections gave the party an opportunity to improve their standing in urban areas by fighting on an issue that suited them. These elections suggest that many people, especially in the north, simply cannot listen to the Conservative Party.

Doubtless, the comparatively strong performance of UKIP will lead some on the right to argue that the Tories need to bang on about Europe or tack to the right; but that would be misguided on the basis on these polls: the flavour seems to be distinctly anti-politics rather than anti-wets. This explains why turnout is so low and why independents have polled well across the board. They have even won in a few places – Dorset, Gwent and North Wales PCC, and the Bristol Mayorality (won by George Ferguson). Good on ’em.

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Show comments
  • Hilary Chapman

    You reported that “In North Wales, Labour’s Tal Michael was beaten by the independent candidate, Winston Roddick”. In fact it has now been revealed that the so-called Independent was really a LibDem. See

  • andagain

    “UKIP – putting Labour in power in 2015”

    • Trev

      No,Cameron putting Labour in power in 2015.

      • andagain

        As I recall, in 2010 far more people voted for parties to the left of the Tories, than voted for parties to their right.

        And in 2005.

        And in 2001.

        And in 1997.

        I sometimes wonder if there is one single Tory right-winger who is capable of remembering that.

  • mikewaller

    Instead of engaging in childish invective regarding one of yesterday’s men, how about considering the big question: did the police steal the election? It was reported on the radio today that Independents did almost as well as Tories and Labour and that former policemen and members of the committees that used to supervise them made up a very large proportion of the Independents. Indeed, as at least one of the successful Labour candidates was also an ex-committee member who is now promising “To give officers a fair deal”,the police-related hold on the new structure seems even greater.

    As the whole purpose of the exercise was to get a better grip on institutions which even their friends would accept have tendencies towards self-obsession, it what I think might have happened, has happened, it has to be viewed as an unmitigated disaster. After all the incredibly small number who voted might well have brought some polls into the reach of the one group who were really concerned about the issue.

  • anyfool

    I am not sure your reading of this is correct, with the exception of Corby”a one off” it appears that given options differing from the Conservatives, Labour seems to be doing rather poorly in comparison to other parties, there is quite a few close run contests in the north and in the south they do not seem to have made any inroads, Wales appears to be losing interest in a Labour party that cannot promise English gold.

    • Amergin Selby

      Whistling in the dark.

  • Clive Holland

    I voted UKIP in Wiltshire to send a message to the band of onanists in Downing Street

  • Swiss Bob

    Prescott. Ha hah!

    • vanbar

      Delighted the fat slug lost. No not delighted ecstatic is the word. I shall open a bottle of the local off licence £5 grog. Whoopee

      • Amergin Selby

        Ecstatic? Ye gods, what a dismal, empty life you must lead when you get excited by an old has-been being defeated in a stupid election that should never have been taking place.
        I am of the left and I am glad to see him go but ecstatic? Neh!

        • anyfool

          The reason people are glad to see this creature lose is he has spent decades causing damage to the country and when he became a minister went about spending billions on futile exercises in destroying homes that were the centre of communities, then he failed to deliver the supposedly better alternative.

          A fat unthinking Labour oaf who should never have been given office in the first place.

          In this mans defeat and other results are the first signs of moves away from the main parties unthinking support by the people a bit like you, it just might be that they realise there really is no money left or just cannot be bothered but either way its a change for the better.

          Another good thing, LibDems not one win.

  • eeore

    Prescott lost.

  • anyfool

    Well one good thing has come out of these elections, Prescott has lost and hopefully will fade in to obscurity where he belongs.

  • TomTom

    You have to turn out to spoil your paper

  • RKing

    What is it about “Old Labour Has-beens”

    The Kinnocks

    They lose but they still sponge off the state.

    They preach to the masses about socialism but behave like Chilean dictators!

    • Noa

      The epitome of Ploated Blutocrats, all of them, but especially Pressa.

  • Gina Dean

    Does he not have enough money with his pension that he has to try to win this election.

  • EJ

    Oh and please let us be shot of that vile old philanderer Prescott once and for all. Every time I seem that bullying old windbag shouting the toss with his Leftist grievances I want to reach for the eggs…

    • therealguyfaux

      Don’t waste eggs unless they’re already rotten like Lard Prescott.
      Just enjoy watching Fatty and his sack o’ shit:

    • telemachus

      Prescott is fat
      No more need be said

      • Amergin Selby

        Fat, maybe but Pickles would make three of him.

    • Troika21

      Quite right. Biggest hypocrite in British politics.

      Loud, arrogant man looking for a cushy job to end his twilight years in.

  • Vulture

    I think UKIP beating the LIb dems into losing their deposit in Corby suggests, David, that the Tories need to bang on about Europe rather more, as their present policy of handing this country to the EU on a platter is clearly going to lose them the next General Election.

    Still, if you want to pretend that the elephant isn’t in the room with you, that’s entirely up to you.

    • 2trueblue

      Cameron needs to use his only one ace, give us our referendum. He can not afford to be dismissive of UKIP, they are gaining traction.

  • EJ

    No matter what, you lot just won’t see it will you? Or maybe you do see it and you’re just desperately trying to spin it the way you’ve been told to. Sad.

    The turnout is so risible because all of us are absolutely sick and tired of the lot of the smug, contemptuous, self-serving, left-leaning elite that dominate the Lib / Lab / Con. We’re not disappointed or frustrated – we DESPISE them.

    The UKIP turnout is good because they actually do have something to say about the things we care about that the rest of you conspire so furiously to ignore: immigration, the EU, crime, cultural displacement, our endless sink into ruination etc.

  • Archimedes

    UKIP managed to capture roughly 15% of the Corby vote. It’s not anti-politics – the Conservatives are suffering from a protest vote, which they haven’t traditionally been so exposed to on the right of the party because of the lack of an appropriate vehicle: something that UKIP now offers.