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Six things we’ve learnt from the Newark by-election

6 June 2014

6 June 2014

So, the Tories have managed to hold onto Newark with a surprising 7,000 majority. For Ukip, it was a disappointing evening as they failed to come close to taking the seat. Despite adding 22 points to their 2010 vote share, the march of the People’s Army has encountered some unexpectedly difficult terrain. There were some interesting signs about the state of the parties and some hints as to what we might see in the general election next year. Here are six things that we’ve learnt from Newark:

1. Ukip are far from a Westminster breakthrough

Despite picking a local candidate in Roger Helmer and putting in a significant amount of effort (for them), Ukip’s dreams of returning their first MP have not come to fruition. Some will blame choosing a candidate with outspoken views, others would argue that Newark was never winnable for Ukip in the first place. But either way, the momentum gained by Ukip at the European elections is not looking so strong this morning.

2. The Lib Dems have serious problems on the ground

If it was a disappointing evening for Ukip, it was a disastrous one for the Liberal Democrats. Just four years ago, they took 20 per cent of the vote in Newark and rivalled Labour for third place:

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Yesterday, they managed to win just 2 per cent of the vote – coming sixth behind the independent hospital campaigner Paul Baggaley and the Greens. The Lib Dems may argue they had no hope of winning the seat and didn’t waste resources. But, as James has pointed out, it’s the ninth time since 2010 they’ve lost their deposit. A worrying trend given that the general election is less than a year away.

3. The Conservatives can fend off Ukip

It took thousands of activists and frequent visits from senior cabinet ministers but the Tories have proven they can successfully fight off the Ukip threat. They even surprised Nigel Farage, who predicted a 2,500 Tory majority earlier in the evening. Considering the by-election was caused by a Tory sleaze scandal, a 7,000 majority is a good result. But there is no way the party can put this amount of effort into every single seat in next year’s elections. As Isabel explains, Grant Shapps and co need to figure out how to make #RoadTrip2015 work with fewer resources. If Ukip are more organized and effective by then, their vote spoiling effect may still be a problem for Tories.

4. Unlike the Lib Dems, Labour still has a core vote

It wasn’t a particularly great night for Labour either — their candidate Michael Payne came third and managed to take off 5 per cent from their 2010 vote share. Ed Miliband will be facing questions about how much effort was put into the election, having only visited the constituency once. But as I outlined last week, the make up of the seat provides Labour with a solid core vote. On that basis, 18 per cent for not doing much isn’t entirely bad.

5. Nigel Farage isn’t a serious campaigning leader

Where was the Ukip leader throughout this campaign? Instead of frequently popping into Newark— like David Cameron, who visited four times — Farage went off to a conference in Malta, where he was unfortunately caught by paparazzi from the Daily Mirror. He did deign to visit for 30 minutes yesterday though. It’s surprising that the party’s greatest asset, as admitted by Roger Helmer, didn’t put more effort in. Did Farage suspect they had no chance of winning the seat?

6. Tactical voting against Ukip has arrived

As the Telegraph’s Ben Brogan reports this morning, Newark has produced the first signs of tactical voting against Ukip. It appears that some Labour and Lib Dem voters ticked the Tory box yesterday just to keep Helmer out of office. The Lib Dem commentator Miranda Green said last night she’d happily have voted Conservative in Newark for this very reason. Could this be a silver lining to the Ukip assault on the Tories; picking up voters who are anti the anti-politics party?

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Show comments
  • Phil_Aterly

    Some usual journo repeated tosh. Except for the Cons setting a strawman argument obediently propagated by the establishment MSM, UKIP never considered they had a great chance in one of the Cons safest seats. From 4% to 26% was however a great result in the circumstances.

  • global city

    6 Things we’ve learnt from Sebastian’s recent blogs

    1. He’s not very insightful

    • the viceroy’s gin

      2. The new XBOX system is waaaaaaaay cool, dude!

  • Mynydd

    The main thing we learned, unlike Mr Galloway of the Respect party, Mr Farage’s UKIP party are incapable of winning a by-election

    • Wessex Man

      I wonder how many of your lot could make such inroads whilst the other paries are voting tactically, of maybe they didn’t because all of their share of the vote went down, you and your lover Hooky babe arn’t very good spinners are you?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …but apparently they’re well capable of winning a national election, the first time a 3rd party has done that in well over a century.

  • Iamfatman

    UKIP is a result of the UK striving for mediocrity at all levels particularly schools. It appeals to emotion rather than sense, and people seem unable to exert their intellectual capacity to see UKIP for what they are.

  • Q46

    So what exactly does ‘safe seat’ mean?

    How often do Labour safe seats fall to the Tories/Lib Dems, or Tory safe seats fall to Labour/Lib Dems.

    Labour has been around for over a century, the Tories over two, and yet a Party that has been around for about five minutes, with zero vote last time, without the base, experience or funding of the other two, takes a large slice of the vote from the safe seater, pushes the other heavy weight into second place, kicks one of the Parties of ‘Government’ into touch… but Ukip is ‘far from a breakthrough’.


    What’s the weather like on your Planet?

  • berosos_bubos

    UKIP is not anti-politics, it is pro-sovereignty.

  • Kitty MLB

    I agree with all your analysis.Despite the reduction, its still
    very good news for the Conservatives.You say Nigel Farage
    wasn’t interested. Well his energy was spent on the EU elections,
    the names on the tin and all that.And Labour as well as thr Lib Dems are not credible.

  • Smithersjones2013

    1. UkiP are far from a Westminster breakthrough.

    One has to wonder why the Tories threw the Kitchen sink at saving their 44th safest constituency that boasted a 16,000 majority given UKIp are so seemingly weak?.

    Its fascinating how Payne has dismissed the efforts of thousands of Tory campaigners in one sentence.but Absolutely I agree.

    Forget about all the eastern regional coast. All those Kippers out there will just put there hands up in horror at the disaster of Newark and vow never to vote UKIP again There is definitely no need at all for the CCHQ to waste resources on the 30 to 60 seats that UKIP will target in 2015 when there are far more pressing needs in the Con/ Lab, Lib/Con Lab/ Con marginals. Thats where all the resources will need to be concentrated.

    In fact why don’t the Tories put a donkeys up in Boston, South Thanet, the Medway constitiuencies, Yarmouth etc as the Tory candidate because even if it is Farage fighting the seat as Little Sebby has decreed UKIP haven’t got a chance

    PS The reason why UKIP didn’t win was because it was the Tories 44th (out of over 300) safest seat with a 16,000 majority. It would have required a 25% swing which would have been among the most dramatic defeats in electoral history. Add the resources thrown at saving the seat and it would have been a miracle if UKIP had won. That there was a 15.5 swing from Tory to UKIP says plenty though.

    3. The Conservatives can fend off Ukip (in a single seat)

    I bloody well hope so. They have three times the members, 10 times the longevity of existence and experience and many times the funding. If a 20 year old novice party could turnover the Tories in one of their safest seats then we’d be talking about 1997 level destruction of the Tories in 2015.

    The Tories will have to seriously fight 120 plus seats at the next election. None of which will have half the majority that Newark had as a starting point .They will have to fight three separate parties from both sides of the political spectrum. Clearly they will never be able to dedicate anywhere near the same levels of resource at all those seats. I can see Shapps indulging in a great deal of Voodoo to raise deceased party members to come and join “Roadkill 2015”.

    5. Nigel Farage isn’t a serious campaigning leader

    Oh puhlease he’s just won a national election. What he isn’t is desperate and if Cameron had of lost the 44th safest seat in his realm after coming a desperate third in the Euros where UKIP defeated the Tories across large swathes of their heartlands then Cameron would have been toast hence he threw the Kitchen sink at Newark and survived

    Its priceless that they whine that UKIP is a one man band but then when Farage proves that that is not the case they whine in any case. What is becoming clear is that the Tory outlook is that of a one man Presidential band. I feel sorry for all those activists sponsors and parliamentarians who spent so much time and money saving Newark because after all that its all about Cameron the leader. because the only thing that mattered was that Dave was there 4 times.

    6. Tactical voting against Ukip has arrived

    And little Sebby thinks that Labour (the Libdems will be incosequential if Newark is anything to go by) voters are going to vote Tory to stop UKIP when voting Tory will stop Labour getting a majority? Of course those voters won’t vote Tory in 2015 and Labour’s campaign machine which makes the Tories look like amateurs will just not let it happen

    So all in all thanks for the giggle Little Seb its amusing to know what Tories are spanking their little monkeys to today.but most of it though is pure delusion, crass propaganda or wishful thinking but hey ho twas ever thus…….

    • Denis_Cooper

      I’m afraid you may be wrong about the tactical voting.

      Consider a constituency where of the three old pro-EU parties it is party X that is clearly in the lead, but it is under threat from the anti-EU UKIP.

      Parties Y and Z know that they are unlikely to be able to beat X, it will be a contest between X and UKIP; so if some of their supporters do vote tactically for X in order to block UKIP that will not cost either of them the seat, the only cost to them will be in terms of their reported shares of the votes in that one election in that constituency, which is of relatively little significance anyway and especially if it has been arranged that the tactical voting will work in their favour in other places.

      It is possible to conceive of an extreme outcome where highly organised collusion between the pro-EU parties meant that UKIP came second in every constituency but the seat was always taken by one of the pro-EU parties; here Y and Z lent X some of their supporters so that it could beat UKIP, there X and Y lent Z some of their supporters so that it could beat UKIP, and elsewhere X and Z lent Y some of their supporters so it could beat UKIP.

      The first question is whether those leading X, Y and Z would be sufficiently
      motivated to collude intensively to try to block UKIP everywhere that it might win a seat, and the second question is how many of the electors who would be minded to support respectively X, Y and Z would be prepared to do as the party leaders wanted and vote tactically to block UKIP.

      As I have said, it seems that in Newark about a third of those who were initially minded to vote Labour ended up voting Tory instead, and the poor performance of Labour and the surprisingly high Tory majority are not unconnected facts, they are directly connected through anti-UKIP tactical voting encouraged by the numerous Tory campaigners and not discouraged by the far fewer Labour campaigners.

      • lilly valley

        It may have played a role but your reply suggests that voters receive instructions from on high or follow orders. Maybe some party members do that but the average person just goes out and votes. They don’t “collude”. Anyway, if a third of Labour people had noted Labour, not Tory, their share would have been c 9000, or closer to ukip. The Conservatives would have been c 14,000 i.e. they still would have won. So all that effort means only one thing: a really crap result for Labour. I hope they are pleased, if that is what they did. How do you know it was one third, anyway?

        • Denis_Cooper

          My reply suggests nothing of the sort, and the “collusion” is by the parties not by the mass of voters who are not in the parties.

          There is nothing new about this: it is notorious that in 1997 there was widespread collusion between Labour and
          the LibDems, for example near here Labour agreed not to campaign hard in Newbury and instead leave that for the LibDems to win while in return the LibDems went easy in Reading and instead left those two seats for Labour to win.

          I can’t say with absolute certainty that a single voter in Newark changed their mind during the campaign and decided to vote Tory rather than Labour in order to stop UKIP. Nor can I say with any certainty that it was a third of those who had initially intended to vote Labour who changed their minds.

          I can however look at the trends in the two Survation opinion polls and the final result of the election and draw what seem to be reasonable conclusions, one being that about a third of those who had originally intended to vote Labour shifted to voting Tory instead – Labour support down by 9% from 27%
          to 18%, Tory support up by 9% from 36% to 45%.

  • Ooh!MePurse!

    Conservative majority government from May 2015. Fantastic!

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Dream on.

      And bet on your dream, lad. You’ll get good odds.

  • Lucy Sky Diamonds

    26% is enough to win a marginal, and they will have more than 26% in many seats. 27% was enough to ‘win’ the Euros dont forget…..

    The Tories cannot fend UKIP off everywhere.

    All good and well in a safe seat with the whole Tory regime thrown at it…..

    A positive swing of 22% is PHENOMENAL.

  • Makroon

    “The LibDems have serious problems on the ground”.

    And in the air. Probably because they are all at sea.

    Where is the evidence that the Tory “overkill” at Newark, actually won them any votes ?
    It was part effort to win the seat, part tactical dry run. How many votes would they have dropped with (say) 30% of the visits ?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      You’ll be finding out in spades in the GE, lad. They won’t be able to press-gang the entire government to go down and campaign for their partisan purposes.

      Then again, maybe they will. They are socialists, as we know.

  • colliemum

    Strewth! Is this supposed to be a serious analysis, when it starts: “So, the Tories have managed to hold onto Newark with a surprising 7,000 majority.” – ah, did you think it would be even smaller? Shedding over 50% of one’s majority is is indeed surprising, given the effort spent by CCHQ on that by election, but certainly not a cause for jubilation.

    But thank you for actually mentioning the tactical voting by LibLab voters, to ‘keep UKIP out’. I’m sure Mr Generic will be thankful, else the result would have been even more dismal.
    Just ask yourself this question: if Labour, not UKIP had come from such a low start to win second place, wouldn’t you now all be aghast at the way the Tories managed to lose such huge majority?
    And finally – why don’t you ask why Cameron, as PM, saw fit to spend his valuable time not on running our country but on gallivanting around, campaigning in a by election, not once but four times? Could the candidate not make it on his own? Doesn’t say much for his quality, does it – especially since he’s been given a couple of ‘minders’ these last few days so nobody could ask him inconvenient questions …

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, Dave shut down the government and sent everybody down to Newark for partisan political purposes, which is a clear breach, not that anybody in the bubble would care.

      And LibLabCon banded together to fight off their common enemy, it appears. So maybe the H2B is really the kingfish of the political branch of the people as a whole, like his hero Blair aspired to be.

      • colliemum

        Yes – and this might well be the first real sign that we’re now in a two-party system: LibLabCon v UKIP.

      • you_kid

        oh how sweet that victory was last night. Well done to all at UKIP special branch.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …what are you blathering about now, lad?

  • Denis_Cooper

    The first thing we’ve learnt from this by-election is that UKIP’s success in the EU Parliament elections was not a flash in the pan; in a UK parliamentary by-election with a much higher turnout than on May 22nd UKIP got 26% of the votes, compared to 32% in the same area and 33% across the East Midlands for the EU Parliament elections; and at present that kind of support seems pretty solid, given that an extraordinarily intensive Tory campaign in the constituency and an unremitting and totally unscrupulous anti-UKIP campaign across the mass media, both left and right leaning media outlets, succeeded in achieving only a slight erosion of support for UKIP from 28% to 26%.

    The second thing we’ve learnt is really more of a question: having already seen a major realignment in British politics with the collapse of the LibDems and the consolidation of almost all of the anti-Tory vote on Labour, are we now seeing the start of a second realignment in which the three old pro-EU parties combine to encourage tactical voting by their supporters to prevent anti-EU UKIP winning any seats in the Commons? Because the evidence is that about a third of those who were initially inclined to vote Labour in this by-election were induced to vote Tory instead just to be sure of stopping UKIP.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      There’s some evidence of that, yes. But the Lab supporters are claiming some of their crossover went to UKIP, and that is likely so.

      There’s still a lot of sloshing-about going on, understandably so. These results and the EP and locals would require quite a lot of fine-grained analysis, to really suss it out. The Achcroft types are incapable of that work, clearly, so we may remain bereft.

      LibLabCon will structurally join to fight UKIP, yes, but that’s just the bubble expression of their rage. Down below and in the regions is where the real action is.

      • Denis_Cooper

        I think it’s necessary to distinguish between people making a strategic switch from Labour to UKIP before the EU Parliament elections and and other people making a tactical switch from Labour to the Tories during the campaign for this by-election. Most of those who voted for the LibDems in May 2010 had deserted them by early 2011, and the first Survation poll for Newark gave them only 5% support, so it is mainly a matter of Labour. But whereas in 2010 Labour + LibDems combined got 42% of the votes cast in that first Survation poll their combined support was only 32%, so 10% had already gone elsewhere and probably most of those had made a strategic switch to UKIP. Then when the election was held Labour + LibDems combined actually got not the 32% support they had apparently had a week before but only 20%, so during that week another 12% had gone elsewhere and I presume most of that was a tactical switch to the Tories to be sure of stopping UKIP. However on that analysis it remains the case that two thirds of that leftish 32% were not moved
        to defend our membership of the EU against attack by UKIP by holding their noses and voting for the Tory candidate.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, interesting, and those 2/3 holdovers may be persuadable to UKIP, which the Millipede will have noticed, you may depend. These results may have him moving policy-wise, on both accounts, the 2/3 who didn’t tactically move and the 1/3 who did, and who aren’t always a sure thing
          to move back.

          • you_kid

            Yes, and a victory is a victory. you should celebrate!
            Well done to all a UKIP special branch, say hi to all the sockpuppets too …

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …can any other of you socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

  • Benedict

    I must confess that I am disappointed by the lack of insightful comment from journalists. A friend on the Continent has suggested that a new shape is emerging in British politics – a three party system – Labour – Cameron liberal – UKIP.
    I do not necessarily agree with his analysis but it is more interesting than the journalists’ stuff. His thesis sits comfortably with the Letwin-Cameron plan in 2010 to construct a centre party that would rule perpetually. The Coalition may mark the death of the LibDems.

    • Denis_Cooper

      I think it’s simpler than that: three old parties totally committed to keeping us in the EU at all costs, one new party totally committed to getting us out.

      • Benedict

        That is indeed a great divide.
        I would not be totally surprised to see the Labour party, post Miliband, re-align itself and become anti-EU.

        • Holly

          I reckon, Miliband will get around his ‘not offering an in/out referendum’, by stating publicly, IF Cameron/the Tories announce something in the commons re Europe/referendum then Labour will not oppose it.
          Snivelling little bandwagon jumper that he is.

          • Benedict

            Thank you for your post.

      • Adro

        I’d agree with Benedict. We now have a situation where Labour has tacked to the left, UKIP are emerging as hard-rightists, and the Tories are ending up as a centrist/Liberal (in the classical sense) party. The Lib Dems are nowhere.

        Your thesis about the EU doesn’t stand up for two reasons. Firstly, the only party actually committed to being pro-EU is the Lib Dems. Although you might not like it, the Tory position is attempt to extract the best deal, devolve powers to the nation state etc, put the aforementioned to a referendum, and if people vote to leave, we leave, and vice versa.

        Secondly, the idea that Labour and Lib Dems, as well as non-aligned people will tactically vote for the Tories to keep out UKIP in seats like Newark because they’re all pro-EU is laughable. For most, the EU doesn’t register as an issue on the radar. Instead, they are concerned about schools, hospitals, the economy etc. On those things, most people have no idea where UKIP stands. To most, it doesn’t have policies outside those related to Europe. Those ones they may have heard of (taxi uniforms etc) make the party look like a joke. The other big reason is the perception of UKIP. Yeah, they’re anti-Europe, but many also see them as anti-gay and very often racist. I’m not saying they’re right, but the perception is out there and it causes many to instinctively dislike the party, particularly among those under 45. Unfortunately, UKIP have attracted an image as (to call up an old phrase) as ‘the nasty party’ in British politics among many. In short, they have an image problem among many potential voters.

        • Denis_Cooper

          UKIP are certainly not “emerging as hard-rightists”, they have been moving significantly to the left and has been extending their appeal across the political spectrum.

          “Firstly, the only party actually committed to being pro-EU is the Lib Dems.”

          Don’t be ridiculous; the Tories took us into the EEC and the EU and those leading it now are just as determined to keep us in it at all costs; Labour came late to supporting it but its leaders are as fervent about that as the Tory leaders.

          “Secondly, the idea that Labour and Lib Dems, as well as non-aligned people will tactically vote for the Tories to keep out UKIP in seats like Newark because they’re all pro-EU is laughable.”

          Of course not all Labour supporters are as pro-EU as the leaders of that party, in fact those who disagree have been slowly bleeding away to UKIP, and it seems that only a third of those who were initially minded to vote Labour in Newark were persuaded to vote for the Tory candidate instead.

          Of those third I guess that most would have been motivated by their support for the EU to a greater or lesser extent.

          But of course there would be other reasons for disliking UKIP and wanting it to be stopped in its tracks, not least the realisation that it is beginning to undermine the position of the Labour party and not just that of the Tories.

  • alabenn

    Labour does have a core vote, that 17% is it, outside of the big cities with high immigrant areas it is washed up.

  • foxoles

    ‘So, the Tories have managed to hold onto Newark with a surprising 7,000 majority …’

    Do you mean surprisingly high or surprisingly low? 😉

    • Denis_Cooper

      The evidence is that nearly half of the Tory majority was provided by people who would normally be inclined to vote Labour but who were induced to vote for another pro-EU party, the Tory party, which was obviously more likely to stop the anti-EU challenger, UKIP.

  • english_pensioner

    The Conservative majority was more than halved from 16,000 to 7,000.
    This is the 44th safest Conservative seat in the UK, and in spite of throwing every thing they could at it, their majority was halved by the upstarts at UKIP
    As they won’t be able to provide this type of support to candidates in the general election, I wonder how those MPs in Tory marginals are feeling.
    And best of all, as far as I am concerned
    The LibDems lost their deposit!

    • Donafugata

      Ha, Cleggy gets another hiding, he must be rolling on the floor in mortification.

      • Conway

        More likely finalising his EU job prospects.

  • Sapporo

    1. How are the Tories going to campaign across the Country in 2015, when they have very few activists, these days?
    2. The continuing Media onslaught against UKIP and Farage is having an effect. Media smears do work.

    • Hello

      “The continuing Media onslaught against UKIP and Farage is having an effect. Media smears do work”

      Do they? Interesting, just a couple of weeks ago you chaps were claiming that people see through the smears, and that they don’t work. I thought the European elections were proof of that, no?

      Is it because you got a rubbish result in Newark that you’re changing your mind?

      • Wessex Man

        are you insane? Tories 45.03%, UKIp 25.91%, Labour 17.68%, IND 4.89%, Green 2.73% and lib/dums 2.59%.

        Tory share of the vote down 8.82%, Ukip up 22.09%, Labour down 4.65%, Ind no cadidate last time, Lib/dums down 17.41%.

        A stonking result for Ukip no matter have you, Hooky Babe slime ball tele and yuo_kid no matter how you try and spin it!

  • Jez

    It’s been the best case scenario.

    The Conservatives haven’t been mortally wounded, so they won’t go into self destruct mode.

    UKIP have had a wake up call, 12 months before the GE.

    The Right have now evolved into the dominant force of British politics.

    The Lib Dems should have a good time, whilst there are still alive for the next 12 months.

    Labour is not an alternative.

    People have woken.

    • berosos_bubos

      UKIP is not a right-wing party. Re-establishing sovereignty appeals to the left and right.

  • Streben80

    Of course the Conservatives didnt fend off UKIP, they lost ground to them, just not enough to lose the seat.
    Nigel Farage is not a campaign manager, any UKIP branch will have the people to run a campaign and there are regional organisers who can step in to help – UKIP isnt a one-man band and the idea that he has to be there telling people what to do is frankly ridiculous.
    UKIP has work to do, that is for sure but I dont doubt that it has already started.

    • Benedict

      If Farage is present – UKIP is a one-man band.
      If Farage is away – he is not a serious campaign manager.

      Welcome to CP Central Office.

  • Rog Tallbloke

    If LibLab’s tactically supported Cons, UKIP got a lot of votes from people who’ve never voted before or not voted in a long time, and a lot of previous Con supporters didn’t bother voting. The turnout was over 50%. Be scared LiblabCon, be very scared.

    • HookesLaw

      This was not to choose a government. This was a good chance for ukip. They did not make the impression they wanted.

      • Wessex Man

        well if your socialist partners will insist on supporting you! I look foraward to even more Tories deserting the Call me Dave bandwagon when they realise Hooky babe.

  • global city

    and so the narrative develops. All meaningless of course. Our MSM contributors do not seem to be worried about small things like reputation and insight, they are happy to toe the establishment on virtually anything required.

    The anti UKIP tactical voting came across clearly last night as a tripartite initiative. Where do they meet to plan these things?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Wait, Clegg won those EU debates, didn’t you hear?

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        That’s the headline of the day.
        A kid spoils all the fun, nobody knows this kid, yet he spoils the fun. A nobody just beat the chap that everyone knows for being a loon. Hilarious!

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …how’d your sockpuppets vote, lad?

          • BarkingAtTreehuggers

            NOBODY will ever know.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …you mean, there are too many to count.

    • Ian Walker

      I bet the Lib Dems are glad they didn’t suffer a ‘disastrous’ 22% positive swing like UKIP did.

    • Penny

      Reading the Brogan piece, apparently the tactical voting narrative has arisen via the evidence of one Tory activist and an unnamed Tory MP. I’m at a loss to understand why Sebastian Payne thinks this is somehow significant.

      • Denis_Cooper

        On the other hand I think it’s probably significant that the
        first Survation opinion poll conducted on May 27-28 had:

        Tories 36%
        Labour 27%

        while the second conducted on June 2-3 had

        Tories 42%, 6% up from the first Survation opinion poll
        Labour 22%, 5% down from the first Survation poll;

        and then on June 5th the result was:

        Tories 45%, 9% up from the first Survation opinion poll
        Labour 18%, 9% down from the first Survation poll.

        That could just about be a coincidence of random variations
        in the poll results, but I don’t think it is.

        • Penny

          Interesting, Denis. I’d not seen that poll before. I haven’t followed Labour’s progress (or otherwise) in Newark – any idea if they had as many feet on the ground as the Tory party (difficult to imagine given their onslaught)?

          Newark will make for an interesting GE.

          • Denis_Cooper

            As I understand it was a rather half-hearted campaign, not as weak as the LibDems but not as strong as UKIP and nowhere the intensive efforts by the Tories. It may even be that to some extent they were standing aside to let the Tories pull some of their usual supporters away and get further ahead of UKIP.

    • Smithersjones2013

      But will Labour vote tactically if that stops Labour beating the Tories. I think not…..

  • HookesLaw

    Farage is a chancer. He is on a nice little earner. Nice work if you can get it. How much is his EU pension worth by now?

    • Denis_Cooper

      I don’t know what his EU pension is worth.

      I do know that he wouldn’t be getting any EU pension at all if treacherous Tory politicians hadn’t dragged us into it.

      • Adro

        I wouldn’t mind him getting a pension if he and his cronies actually did any work.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …they’re cultivating the political soil to mount Dave’s head on a spike, what more do you want, lad?

    • echo34

      I’d like to know how much cleggs is worth.

    • Wessex Man

      Now listen he zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • the viceroy’s gin

    And I’ll tell you what we’ve had confirmed in Newark, lad.

    In 11.0 months, Call Me Dave’s head is going to be mounted on a spike. If this is how it goes in his 44th safest seat, he’s doomed.

    • Hello

      He has a majority which is almost the size of the entire Ukip vote, you monkey.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …well that will be a nice comfort for him, as his head gets mounted on that spike.

        • Wessex Man

          you’ve got him rattled now!

      • Adro

        Don’t bother. Viceroy is the Kipper equivalent of Telemachus. Both are equally mental. Farage could announce anything and Viceroy would still claim he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, lad.

        Personally, a part of me would have liked to see UKIP win the seat. Primarily so the country can see how useless they are when handed any power.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …oh stop whining, lad. Dave’s head is going on that spike, no matter how much you whine, so you might as well save the energy. Maybe it’ll reduce your carbon footprint, too. You Camerluvvies are big on that aren’t you?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Heh. LibLabCon joining ranks. The socialist clones. The bubble denizens sharing clothes like schoolgirls. That’s funny.

    • DavidL

      That’s one way of looking at it. Another point of view is that UKIP is becoming the “Marmite Party”. At the same time as winning widespread and enthusiastic support, it has also driven some voters the other way. Thus the rise of UKIP is running in parallel with a well-documented rise in support for staying in the EU. Whether that means the viceroy’s glass is half full or half empty is down to the viceroy to decide!

      • the viceroy’s gin

        You know, raising them up by 22 points in Newark is a funny way of the electorate showing its displeasure with UKIP, lad.

        The poll yesterday said 42% Out and only 40% In, so you’d be off on that one as well.

        • BarkingAtTreehuggers

          In the interest of balanced objectivity please allow me to correct you and give you my take on last night’s outcome:


          • the viceroy’s gin

            …yes, you socialist nutters did provide a laughable electoral performance, no doubt.

            • BarkingAtTreehuggers

              did ‘we’, lad?
              According to your own bigoted outpourings the ‘socialist nutters’ banked 76% of the vote!

              • Wessex Man

                oh dear, how sad.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …how many of your sockpuppets are in that bank, lad?

      • Wessex Man

        oh dear David where have you been? I’ved missed your insightful proclamations here on the fate of UKip, the Tories this country, the EU, the Scottish Nation, the World. Welcome back all knowing one, have you been writing another best seller?

        • DavidL

          Why thank you for paying such close attention.

  • Grey Wolf

    Labour relegated to the 3rd position
    Lib Dems almost non-existent
    While UKIP stood 2nd with 26% vote share. Fantastic.

    The Tories put all they have in this by-election, some of them are still out of breath and being drip-fed sugared water.

    Nigel should now set his eyes firmly on 2015.

    • telemachus

      He has no chance
      He will like yesterday have a lot of second places
      His main role is to come second in the 43 Tory marginals
      Second that is to Labour who will clean up with split vote
      His targeting strategy will not work in the way it has for the LibDems

      • Grey Wolf

        Who can argue with a deluded fanboy like you. This country does not want any more of lying Blairites and stupid Brownites. Got that? We don’t want this country reduced to Tower Hamlets. Did you get that loud and clear?

        • telemachus

          I hear the words that you believe
          Equally I remember that you like everybody else were heartened by the hope that Blair gave us
          And 10 years of the greatest prosperity we have known
          And equally you were glad that Brown rescued the world banks after the US tragedy of Lehman

          • Colonel Mustard

            “…like everybody else”.

            What a boastful and presumptuous fellow you are. I never voted for Blair and always considered him to be a charlatan.

            More people voted for the Tories and Lib Dems in 1997 than voted for New Labour – 14,843,890 vs 13,518,167 and yet this ‘defeat’ netted them 207 more seats than those two parties together.

            The evil injustice of that was a meme for the horrible 13 years that followed. A new day had dawned, had it not? But not in a good way.

          • Holly

            Would that be the ‘greatest prosperity’ we are all now repaying, after nutjob Bozo wrecked the financial system, and spent way over the country’s income?

            IF Lehman’s was so bad for the UK how come we are doing better than a lot of other countries?
            It was a sh*t bank, got into trouble and quite rightly got dumped by the US Government…..

          • Gafto

            “And 10 years of the greatest prosperity we have known”.

            I’ve noticed you constantly refer to this 10 years of prosperity. You sound like a spokesman for North Korea. This so called prosperity was nothing more than a credit splurge encouraged by your dear leader and his cronies, look where that left us, totally unprepared for the global economic meltdown.

            “Brown rescued the world banks after the US tragedy of Lehman”,
            I nearly choked when I read this bit.

            ‘Gordon Brown admits ‘big mistake’ over banking crisis’.

            • Makroon

              Nevertheless, Brown’s ‘save the banks’ stunt worked.
              It frightened the “Great British electorate” back to the grinning Blair-Brown comfort blanket as the Tory lead of (up to) 27% melted away to 6-7%.
              It prevented a Tory majority, and came close to delivering Brown a second term in alliance with the Cableist LibDems.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                What prevented a Camerloon majority is your guy Dave, lad. The electorate got a long look at that guy, and we see the results, still. Yesterday, in a by-election, a challenging conservative party took 26% in one of his “safe” seats. Think about that.

            • telemachus

              The link has nothing to say on the saving of the banks
              The banks of the Western World
              Gordon’s triumph

              • Mike

                If it was Gordons triumph why is it he failed to win an election and has disappeared up his own orifice these days. The guy did nothing but hobble the UK with massive debts instead of letting market forces punish those who behave recklessly.

          • Stigenace

            It wasn’t real prosperity. It was a mountain of debt built on sand. We were consuming future prosperity.

            • Mynydd

              I would remind you Mr Cameron will add in 5 years to that mountain of debt twice as much as Mr Blair/Brown did in 13 years.

              • Stigenace

                True, but to have cut the annual deficit drastically within one term of parliament would have brought the economy to a crashing halt, might have caused civil unrest, might have proved politically impossible to sustain the coalition and necessitated an early general election [not necessarily a bad thing] and then resulted in a quick return of a Labour government even less dedicated to reducing the deficit. The mountain of debt would then be growing more quickly than at present. All of which is pure speculation but not improbable.

          • Grey Wolf

            Now that is a lying Labour fanboy.

            Stupid Telly, I have only started posting with this moniker about a year ago so you have no way of ”equally I remember”. You are lying just like your Gurus Blair-Brown whose lies have hurt this country.

            You are growing old. Repair thy brain, fool. Study. There are great books out there by great Englishmen that will open your eyes – JS Mill, Burke, Milton, Aldous Huxley….go read. Stop lying and looking up to effete idiots like Blair / Brown.

          • Smithersjones2013

            So come on tellytubby. here’s a puzzle for you

            Here’s the choice. Your vote if you vote tactically for UKIP (Labour have no chance) will make a UKIP candidate the first UKIP MP. At the same time the defeat of the incumbent Tory will ensure that Labour become the largest party in Westminster. If you don’t vote UKIP the Tories would become the largest party?

            Do you vote UKIP?

            • telemachus

              Loathing of racism trumps tactics
              The moral dimension is all

              • Colonel Mustard

                There is no moral dimension to you at all. You are one dimensional and preposterous.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  On target, fire for effect.

      • Holly

        That seems to be Labour’s only hope.

        Last time I looked coming second beats coming third, or do Labour do Labour, and yourself think third was some sort of utopian win?
        Or do Labour simply continue down the same road to….erm…losing the election?

        As for the snivelling tactical votes, well according to our brilliant MSM Lib Dem voters will never forgive Clegg for jumping into government with the Tories, but find no problem with voting Tory in a by-election, and dump themselves into sixth place….Stupid is as stupid does eh?

      • Wessex Man

        there i was hoping that the Speecie had banned you for life with your disgusting comment on another thread!

        • Colonel Mustard

          What thread? What comment? I must have missed that.

        • Ooh!MePurse!

          Intrigued! Which thread?

          • telemachus

            Try the three cheers for hypocritical hubris from in fact Wessex

            • Wessex Man

              You are a slimy nasty racist piece of work, who feeds on people’s idignation of your buffonery.

    • John Dalton

      And so the Tory lickspittle PR machine groans into gear. “Hmm how do we spin this one, chaps? I know, we’ll say the halving of our majority and the surge in support for UKIP is all about how spent / useless / leaderless / racist (insert word here) UKIP are – and how we have the nation’s total support in putting those nasty little bigotted upstarts in their place! The sheep should fall for that! Call the Spectator now and have young Sebastian and that lovely Isabel get typing – that’s if she’s not busy appearing on Question Time and This Week of course!”

    • Wessex Man

      Yes and with apparantly tactical voting by the Labtards and Lib/dums, Fantastic result!

  • you_kid

    Six other things we’ve learnt:

    1- when you don’t win, you lose
    2- when you nearly win, you lose
    3- when you don’t win at all, you lose
    4- when you lose, you lose
    5- when you lose by a margin of 7,000, you still lose
    6- FPTP keeps the loons out, that’s what it was designed to do.

    Hope this helps.

    • helicoil

      When you don’t indulge in negative propaganda, you lose

    • HookesLaw

      When you lose you make excuses. It’s amazing that Farage effectively did nothing in the campaign.

      • southerner

        Where did 26% come from then? I thought UKIP was a one man party?

      • Grey Wolf

        yes, like the excuses Tories were making after their rout in the EU elections

        • Hello

          They didn’t make any excuses, they were just content with the result. They were expecting worse. Are you content with your Newark performance?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …are you content that Newark confirms Dave’s head is headed for a spike?

          • Wessex Man

            Well I am very content with it and with what a 25.91% share of the vote will mean through-out the country.

      • Wessex Man

        Please read the results before making an even bigger fool of yourself than normal Hooky babe.

    • pajeroexceed

      when. you win you win. especially spectacularly like in The EU. There’s only one loon here, Just look at the halving of a safe Tory seat recently. It show things to come Come back in about six years from now when all the UK problems will be bubbling over and in all our faces including yours…

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