Election comment 2 – the Corby constituency

Corby town

I live in the Corby constituency – a marginal constituency which tends to change party when the government does.

People who live in the top photo vote Labour  (or UKIP). People who live in the bottom photo vote Tory (or UKIP).  People who live in the small towns, that’s me, vote Tory or Labour or UKIP.

Since living here I have had the following MPs: William Powell, Phil Hope, Louise Mensch, Andy Sawford and Tom Pursglove.  This time around the recent incumbent, Mr Pursglove is facing Beth Miller and other candidates.

I don’t know much about Ms Miller, and the stack of leaflets I am expecting to arrive at home haven’t yet got to me. I wonder whether Jeremy Corbyn’s face will be on the leaflets (I’m guessing not). I wonder whether the environment will be mentioned (I’m guessing not).  I wonder whether the leaflet will inspire me (I guess not).  I wonder whether I will get the MP I want (I guess not).

But I am going to deliver leaflets and cast my vote because that’s what I can do. And people elsewhere in the world, and elsewhere in history, would die, and have died, for the chance to vote.

‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ and whereas Mr Pursglove is not evil he is pretty much the type of pro-Brexit, climate change-complacent MP that I really don’t want to represent me because he doesn’t represent me. And so I’ll do my best to help get a Labour MP.

East Northants country

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12 Comments

  1. murray marr says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/09/labour-expels-south-west-surrey-members-attempt-unseat-jeremy-hunt
    Agree and good luck. But also politics is the art of the possible. Why on earth is Labour HQ expelling these good people?
    In my next door constituency we (Lab, Lib Dems and Greens etc) are campaigning to replace Jeremy Hunt with a valiant champion of the NHS: Louise Irvine, NATIONAL HEALTH ACTION PARTY Drhttps://nhap.org/
    She is the hero of the Save Lewisham H. campaign.
    We can all help to do this. Please donate if you can -- or even get here and leaflet.
    If we can't save the NHS then this country is capable of SFA.

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  2. jbc says:

    I've never lived in a constituency where my vote had the slightest chance of influencing the outcome. The curse of 1st past the post. I do always vote, but in my constituencies, under 1st past the post, the result has always been as pre-ordained as the election in Pyongyang.

    I really object to the way non voters are characterised as "not bothering" to vote, as if it's their fault. Give us a system where most votes count, and more people will vote.

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    • Ernest Moss says:

      I agree.

      Although AV wouldn't have been my first choice to replace FPTP (AV+ would be), AV is a markedly better voting system, and I have nothing but contempt for those 100 or so Labour MP's, Emily Thornberry amongst them, who decided that the narrow interests of the Labour Party, and giving Nick Clegg a bloody nose, was more important than democracy. Had they campaigned for AV then I'm sure the result would have been much closer, and the prospect of PR being introduced at some time in the future much more likely.

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      • jbc says:

        Karma. The failure of the Labour Party to support a more proportional voting system turns out to have been a huge strategic blunder.

        They complacently assumed that 1st past the post would lead to them and the Tories successful excluding everyone else and taking turns in power. But once Labour drops below a critical threshold, as it seems about to do now, 1st past the post will exclude them, too. Just as it excluded the once all powerful Liberal Party in the 1920s. The Liberals have never recovered and I suspect that Labour won't either; we'll have a one party Tory state for a generation or more. They'll have repeated guaranteed huge majorities despite never getting 50% of the vote.

        Nice one Ed - your legacy is almost as catastrophic as Cameron's.

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    • Filbert Cobb says:

      Well said, Sir. As far as I can remember I have never had a candidate for whom to vote, as I will not act dishonestly by voting for the least worst, so I find myself disenfranchised. I voted for Don Foster once, to help prevent Chris Patten winning: I told him so when I met him. I actually met him twice, and strangely enough I was underneath a Vauxhall Cavalier both times, and I only spoke to his feet. More recently I did remark to Dearly Beloved that candidates don't call here because they are not aware of our address but she thought they were well aware of me and that was why they didn't call.

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  3. nimby says:

    Where I live we receive no election literature unless any of the candidates pay Royal Mail to deliver them. Why, we are rural and I suspect most of the candidates (a) aren't aware of us (b) don't think our votes matter because its a foregone conclusion (as Jbc comments above).

    Like rural broadband role out, empty promises designed by spin merchants. Democracy, marginally better than third world? Will it change, I could dream but let's face it none of the usual candidates would want it to, why would they as it suits their purpose?

    I will drive some considerable distance to do my duty but ???

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    • Wendy Birks says:

      Election candidates will be aware of you, they, or at least their agent, have maps of the constituency and copies of the the electoral roll - so they know where every eligible voter lives. It's just that they tend to concentrate their efforts on the more populated areas because its a better use of, what are usually, precious resources (leaflets and people to deliver them). They don't pay the Royal Mail to deliver, they pay for the leaflets. Each GE candidate gets one leaflet delivery for free (paid for by the taxpayer presumably) by the postman/woman, but the leaflet itself is paid for by party political funds. Smaller parties find it difficult to find the money for every constituency so, once again, its a matter of using resources where they are most effective.

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  4. Peter Shearer says:

    I too live in a Tory stronghold where my vote will not count-but I will cast it. Surely the referendum showed that people are far more engaged when their vote matters and we need to act on that. In the meantime, I will do all I can to try and prevent a Tory victory, which I see as a disaster for our environment and wildlife. I also see Corbyn as a far "stronger" leader that Mrs May. She would have crumbled ages ago under the pressure that he has faced!

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  5. Dennis Ames says:

    Peter,what pressure it is so easy to spend tens of billions of pounds while thinking he will never get to be PM.
    It would almost serve him right to get elected and take the country into bankruptcy,does anyone think a bankrupt country would be good for wildlife and the environment.
    I like 90% of his policy's but know way are they affordable,better Labour PMs than him have led us into financial disaster.

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    • Gerald says:

      Richard Murphy over at Tax research UK gives the manifesto a pass. This "story" of unaffordability seems to crop up all the time. The money is already available it just goes to the rich right now, quantitative easing for instance. Read Murphy's book The Joy of Tax or look up Michael Hudson for a take on the financial parasites infesting our economy. I wondered who these "better Labour PMs" were who "have led us into financial disaster" and how "better" was measured, or financial distaster for that matter.

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  6. Dennis Ames says:

    My MP is a Tory in favour of shooters so maybe I will use my vote against him as a protest.

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  7. Jon Reeds says:

    The 2011 referendum on AV really only offered two versions of first-past-the-post and many supporters of electoral reform didn't bother voting. The system proposed could, in certain circumstances, produce results which reflected the will of the electorate even more poorly than the present corrupt and undemocratic system does. I believe that would be the case in landslide years, which this may turn out to be, further exaggerating the winners' representation.
    As to where any individual vote could have an effect under FPP, don't forget the smallest parliamentary majority of recent decades was 3 votes (anything smaller provokes endless recounts). So no individual vote swings any seat, even a marginal. Perhaps if you have a vast family and can get them all to vote the same way...

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