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Saturday, December 01, 2012


the recent by-election has been trumpeted as a victory for the labour party. which is a bit odd as they were the sitting party in all three seats. if they couldn't ensure they stayed in those seats then there would have been something drastically wrong with them.

as it turned out labour could be smug.

the conservatives and the liberal democrats both had to fall back on the 'mid-term by election' excuse for their poor performances. for the liberals this is new ground for them as they would normally be the ones getting victories at by-elections, problem for them now is that they are a party in power and that means they are being held to account not only for what they say, but also for what they do.
(the one thing they are being crucified over is the broken promise of no tuition fees increase, even though the terms of the loans are more generous than previous the government has been hit by the fact that pretty much every university hiked up their prices as much as they possibly could. oh dear, who would have thought it?)

ukip appeared to be the party that did the best out of the night, yet for all that the best they did was come second. it is doubtful that this is going to happen to them when it really matters. pretty much in the same way that the british national party is described as a threat to parliamentary democracy every time there is a general election and every time the votes are counted they are nowhere, i suspect that the same will happen with ukip. come the big day they will revert to being a fringe party.

one of the big losers of the night were gorgeous george galloway's party, respect. nowhere did they even come close to repeating his success in bradford west, and no matter what they say on their site ("respect is increasingly well placed to be the credible progressive left alternative when labour comes back into government") it is hard to see them getting much success anywhere that 3g isn't standing.
(and it wouldn't surprise me if george and his team decided that the best way forward for him and respect would be for him to stand as mayor of london when boris makes his move to become the leader of the conservatives).

the main result of the by elections was to leave some of us with hope that at the general election we might just avoid seeing an outright conservative victory.
well it is better than nothing.

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