Guido Fawkes points out this morning that LibDem and Tory votes in the Oldham and Saddleworth by-election exceeded Labour’s vote. If Labour’s narrative is going to be that the country is turning away from the “Conservative-led” coalition in disgust then it is hard to see how this first by-election where the “ConDem” coalition has beaten Labour by 923 votes plays to that narrative.
The result was:
Labour 14,718 (42%)
LibDem 11,160 (32%)
Conservative 4,481 (13%)
UKIP 2,029 (5.8%)
BNP 1,560 (4.5%)
Angela Harbutt on the Liberal Vision blog suggests that an AV style system would have seen the LibDems win. I am quite happy to stick with FPTP me.
I am a member of the Tory party, not the coalition party, but still I am content that Labour can’t beat the coalition at a by-election in a safe seat. I have always said that the coalition will go to term. At the end of that term Labour will not come back. In the meantime Labour will win most by-elections, except in the safest of Tory or LibDem seats. Labour will stay ahead in the polls and it will sometimes be a hairy ride for Tories, but in 2015 Labour will get smacked as people have to decide whether they want to be led by grown-ups or rather expensive sentamentalists.