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Labour Retains Hartlepool

Well, Labour did manage to retain Hartlepool yesterday, but the Lib Debs slashed Labours majority from 14,571 to only 2,033 with a 19% swing in voting. It's a shame the LibDems didn't take the seat but it's still a very positive result at the end of the day showing a massive boost in support to them.

Despite the drop in Labour votes it was the Conservatives who were the real losers. As predicted they did get beaten into fourth place (they came second at the last election) with UKIP polling 3,193 to the Conservatives 3,044. It's also the first time that The Conseravtives have EVER fallen from second to fourth place in the party's history.

So whilst Labour can take confidence they didn't loose the seat, the LibDems can take confidence that they push Labour to the limit and received a 19% swing towards them, UKIP can realistically claim they might grab a seat or two at the next Election it looks like doom and gloom for the Conservatives ahead of their party conference next week.

Shame.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
adders
Oct. 1st, 2004 02:45 am (UTC)
You'll excuse me if I remain cynical about the LibDems' chances of truly becoming the second party. I remember almost identical things being said about centre parties and the possible annihilation of Labour, back when (Old) Labour looked utterly unelectable. These things are cyclical.
angusabranson
Oct. 1st, 2004 03:33 am (UTC)
Personally I think the LibDems becoming the second party is still a number of years away. I do think the next election will end up seeing a much larger LibDem presence in Parliament and 'possibly' the need for Labour to bring them on board during some crucial votes. The Conservatives will still remain the largest traditional Right-wing party but we will see UKIP pick up a lot of votes and possibly actually win a seat or two around the place.

Labour, in their old format, where unelectable. That's why they adopted some more central/right-wing views, had a face lift to become a seemingly much younger and dynamic party and took power from the Conservatives. Basically it's a centre-right 'lite' Conservatism that after the Thatcher years people could embrace and feel good in themselves for doing so. The Conservatives ended up in a position where they couldn't win another term however hard they tried. Labour isn't there yet - but if they continue to be distrusted and taking unpopular decisions against public opinion and refuse to admit they're wrong it will only be a matter of time. The next election will see a Labour government of some description, but with a much reduced majority.

The biggest threat is disillusionment with politics and politicians and a low voter turnout. That is something that everyone (government, journalists, celebrities, the man on the street) will have to work to make sure doesn't happen. People have died fighting for a voice and no one should take their vote lightly.
adders
Oct. 1st, 2004 04:01 am (UTC)
As an aside, the biggest issue that the LibDems have is that neither of the other parties take them seriously, so the public don't.

Labour doesn't want anyone to tale the LibDems seriously right now, because they're a bigger threat than the Tories. The Tories don't want to be supplanted as the Opposition, so they won't either.

They're trapped by a conspiracy of the other two...

Still, they were once the second party with the Tories before Labour came along. Maybe they will be again.

The rot with politicians started with the Major government, I suspect. Whatever feelings you had about Thatcher, you couldn't argue that she wasn't acting out of her beliefs. And at least she sacked disgraced ministers. From Major onwards, the political divisions may have lessened, but so too has the respect of politicians for the political process.
gypseymission
Oct. 1st, 2004 08:19 pm (UTC)
Yes I found that interesting as well. I watched the result come in and thought bloody hell the Tories really are shagged, and then chuckled to myself. I was a bit alarmed though by the acceptance speech given by the new labour MP for Hartlepool. Maybe Im just going soft in my old age but I didn't think that it was appropriate to go Tory bashing from the podium once you have been selected. I would have thought it was a time for humility as you ascend to the office you have been elected to serve.

To my mind it was a cheap shot, and it obviously got the crowd going with whistles and jeers alongside the raucous applause. I hate to say it but I am starting to see the same arrogance creeping into the labour party as was very evident in the conservative party towards the end of their tenure. There really is no room in my view for that kind of arrogance in politics. There again it was Madelson’s old seat so maybe they don’t mind whether their politician is credible.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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