General election comments

I’d like to thank the Scottish Labour Party, the Lib Dems and Reform for delivering a massive Labour majority on such a small share of the vote.

Voters in Scotland switched from SNP to Labour, voters in the southwest and elsewhere switched from Con to LibDem, voters all over the place switched from Con to Reform.  Labour, I think, have a smaller share of the vote today than they did in 2017 when Corbyn was leader and came close to winning against Theresa May. Reform have four MPs but they had a massive impact on the election result.

I have a Labour MP. Hooray! It must have been all those leaflets I delivered. But no, it’s because the right wing vote was split between the former MP, Tom Pursglove and Reform. If you added Con and Reform votes they would just have topped the Labour vote.  Thank you Nigel Farage.

That picture is repeated across England and had a massive impact on the result.  Forgive me for putting it in this entirely partisan way, but voters fled an appalling Con party and flocked to an even more appalling Reform party letting Labour win lots of seats.

To be fair to the Lib Dems, they benefitted a bit from this too, but they actually won many of their seats by being Lib Dems (and not Tories, and not SNP).

In Northants, before the recent Wellingborough by election, all seven seats were Con. This morning, Daventry and South Northants remain Con and the other five seats are Labour.

Wales has no Con MPs (which does mean bye bye! Simon Hart – ex CEO of Countryside Alliance. Isn’t GWCT looking for a CEO?).

Northern Ireland is Northern Ireland.

Hooray that the Greens won four seats.

Labour lost a few seats to Independents because of their reaction to events in the Middle East.

George Galloway has gone, but not forgotten, and he’ll be back.

Some individual results of interest or note:

  • Truss loses seat to Labour – another example of the right wing vote being split between Con, Reform and in this case an Independent too. Labour didn’t really win the seat (but good luck to the new MP all the same!).
  • Bill Wiggin, Con loses to Green in North Herefordshire – I know the pro-shooting Mr Wiggin and I’d happily go out for a few beers with him, and a good-tempered disagreement about politics, shooting and several other things, but this is another case of Reform taking votes from Con but in this seat the Greens fought a very good campaign and had laid the ground for being the party that benefitted.
  • Greens hold Brighton Pavilion – hooray!
  • Greens also win Bristol Central and Waveney Valley – hooray!
  • Therese Coffey loses to Labour – hooray!
  • Calder Valley is a Labour gain – hooray!

The grouse moors of North Yorkshire are still Con strongholds but the grouse moors of Northumberland, Durham, South and West Yorkshire and Derbyshire are now Labour seats.

It’s quite a while since I woke up to an election result that made me happy but two thoughts on that:

  • Boris won a huge majority in 2019 – that has all gone and in an amazing turnaround Labour now has an even bigger majority.  That majority can’t be taken for granted – to hold power in the next general election Labour must do great things (not being Liz Truss won’t be enough).
  • My happiness on the result is tinged with concern that Labour might not be much different or much better than the Conservatives. Labour – prove me wrong, please!

And in other news, there is an election looming in the USA, where Trump is odds-on to win but amazingly, the second favourite in the betting is vice-pres Kamala Harris at 5/1 with the incumbent Biden at 9/1. I don’t know enough about how the American system works but the Democrats are going to have to dump Biden (ie persuade him to step down) to stand any chance of winning. Michelle Obama is only 23/1 to be next President and Gavin Newsom 24/1 and Gretchen Whitmer 32/1.  Extraordinary!




6 Replies to “General election comments”

  1. Bully for you. I on the other hand am totally depressed. We are now governed by a largely urban party and politicians in an election that, once again, fails to represent the country. Look at the turn out. Minimal. Look at the voting percentage. Unbalanced.
    Tories were rubbish, Greens holier-than-thou, Reform repellent, Lib Dem a possibility and Labour tax and spend with impunity. Every one of them a self-serving egotist masquerading behind a facade of public good.I despair. And so should you. The vote for many was one for the least worst. But it least I don’t live in America.

    1. For nearly 150 years our parties have been largely urban in outlook because the vast majority of folk are urban. Yes Labour may be more urban but I for one am glad to be rid of a corrupt, venal and incompetent government that took their view of the countryside from the Countryside Arelairs ( because they are) and the NFU neither representative or other than Luddite in outlook. Voting under ANY system will be unbalanced and a more balanced system will give us weaker government by coalition. We agree at least on Reform, racist right wing delusionists with a crook for leader. Labour is no more tax and spend than the Tories although the really rich and very rich have NEVER paid their fair share, I look forward to them doing so. We may all be disappointed but there is some hope it will get better for the whole country, they cannot surely be worse. Yes at least we aren’t living in the shit show that is US politics .

  2. I know that your a Labour man Mark and you do touch on this but is there anything you see from Labour that makes you feel good about natures prospects under them? I’m terrified. Growth growth growth, planning reform, “grey belt”. I don’t see nature recovery having a chance. Biodiversity net gain will be gone before it’s had a chance to deliver anything, this will cut the legs out from under local nature recovery strategies and I suspect that farming subsidies will be cut (not a bad thing if it is the right subsidies). As an environmentalist I had two choices this election, Lib Dem and Green who combined in my rural constituency managed less than 10% of the vote.

  3. “If you added Con and Reform votes they would just have topped the Labour vote.”

    There’s a fair few constituencies showing the same pattern.

    However, if I do the math on where I am the Labour vote out-stripped the combined 2nd & 3rd place votes (Con & Reform respectively). In this case, I don’t have to thank Nige.

    A friend out in the Peak District was rather shocked when his constituency turned red. Corbyn retained his seat (as an Inde) with over 49% of the vote.

  4. Starmer is likely to be cautious – judging by how he has behaved up until now. He knows the underlying maths and has already seen how readily traditional Labour heartlands will abandon the party for right wing populists so I fear he will constantly be looking over his shoulder to keep potential switchers-to-Reform happy. I hope this does not mean he ends up doing little of significance . He may find that he is out at the next election anyway (I don’t know how likely this is but it is certainly possible based on what we have seen over recent election swings) so it would be a criminal waste of an opportunity if he ended up doing nothing for fear of frightening the electorate.

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