Sunday, 8 July 2012

What Really Happened?


The dust has settled and the result has had time to bed in. So what happened?

While majority opinion seems to be that UKIP cost the Conservatives the by-election, I disagree. UKIP polled about the same as they did last year. UKIP campaigned fully pushing for greater numbers and simply got out the vote from last year. That argument doesn’t really make sense when you look at what happened during the election. For all their electoral threat, they treaded water.

The real reason for the Conservatives performing so badly is far more simple and striking than the UKIP argument. The Tory vote simply didn’t come out and vote, and halved. 

With the cuts over the past two years cutting in deep and more to come, there’s little justification to vote for it. The argument that it was Labour’s fault we have a national debt this big to pay doesn’t work when Labour’s own narrative of dodgy bankers and unfair cuts eating into the NHS and social security sticks far better in the public mind. National news in the run up to the ballot talking about welfare changes and Defence cuts along with the LIBOR-fixing scandal and continuing problems with banks making life unbearable for the public destroys any support a local Party might normally have called upon.

This is not to pass the buck to the Government and ignore responsibility for the result. I didn’t give the Tory voters a good enough reason to come out and vote and the only person to blame for that is me. Fact is, I let the Party down.

Adding Independents Ken Gregory and Sandy Ezekiel to the Conservatives and Harrison to Labour, Labour now have 26 Cllrs to Conservatives 25. TIG hold 3 seats and the Independent Group 2. With 28 needed to break even, Labour still relies on TIG support to get its way. Given Worrow brags about having Clive Hart in his pocket, don’t expect this Alliance to end any time soon. 

19 comments:

Tom Clarke said...

Fair analysis, James, and pleased to see you accept your share of the blame, although I think with the government's performance you were on a hiding to nothing. Belonging to a congregation and a regimental association, I can assure you that gay marriage with one and defence cuts with the other have caused a lot of traditional support to go cold.
They are not voting Labour, or UKIP for that matter, but just not voting at all.

All very worrying for the future and no sign yet that DC is moving. Perhaps the mistake was made when he was chosen as leader for, for my money, David Davis still talk a lot more proper Tory sense. Too late probably for him now, but, short of a real character like Boris stepping forward, I reckon its back to Labour, Balls and all, next time.

Be afraid, be very afraid, but don't blame anyone other than ourselves. We chose Cameron like we chose Worrow locally and just how wrong can you be.

Anonymous said...

Percentage wise UKIP did take the Tory vote.

2011
Tory 45%
Labour 31%
Ind 17%
UKIP 6%

2012
Tory 24%
labour 31%
Ind 20%
UKIP 19%
others 5%

Tom Clarke said...

Percentage is quite meaningless in this context for, if the overall turnout is down yet you retain your vote, it is inevitable your percentage share will increase. Similarly, if the Tories polled less votes than previously then their percentage share will go down.

It hardly matters though for the Conservatives need to consider why they could not get their vote out and why, if applicable, some former supporters gave their votes elsewhere.

All this UKIP crowing about taking Tory votes will only lead to more Labour victories if such is the case. Not really something to be proud of, especially for UKIP who must appreciate that Labour are much more likely to give in to the EU than Conservatives.

Anonymous said...

You will also find that a number of normal Tory voters are disgusted at the antics of the North Thanet Conservative Party over the past few years. With Ezekial and Latchford in trouble with standards due to their behaviour; Ruffell, Cameron, Gregory and Ezekial in trouble with the police, and a general lack of any help from the Tory Councillors in Westgate, it's a surprise that anyone voted for the party.

That together with a lack of interest from the remaining Tory Councillor, still upset that his wife was not selected, and you were on a hiding to nothing I'm afraid.

Mike said...

Your analysis fails to understand the dynamics of multi-member wards. You say UKIP barely trod water - but you have to remember that last year people had 3 votes - many main party supporters gave two votes to their normal party and gave their third vote to UKIP. Normally when there is a subsequent byelection, the third party vote collapses. This didn't happen in Westgate. UKIP not only held the vote they got last year - meaning that those who voted UKIP and another party last year dropped their usual party to stick with UKIP - but actually gained voters when all other parties dropped them. If you want to blind yourselves with the false comfort of UKIP treading water, then go for it...

Mike said...

Tom - can you provide a real source for 'all this UKIP crowing'? We're not interested in just taking Tory votes - we seek and get support from across the political spectrum, and also from those otherwise disenfranchised by the old parties.

Why would we want just Tory votes? The Tories haven't won a decent election mandate on Tory votes themselves since 1987! Put bluntly - you ain't a big enough party to try to emulate - we want to be better than that x

Anonymous said...

Worrow does not brag about having Clive in his pocket, far from it.. maybe its that attitude that lost you the election.

Anonymous said...

We need make sure that future candidates are against the human rights act and don't agree with Cameron.

Tom Clarke said...

Probably the reason the Conservatives have not won an general election in years is because they have forgotten how to be Tories. All this hoody hugging and feely touchy nonsense has simply alientated a great swathe of normally Tory voting people.

As for, Mike, I would be delighted if UKIP could win an election for I regard almost anything, Lib/Dems excluded, to be better than Labour. I just do not think you have a cat in hells chance on current limited policies. Take away the Farage factor, which is on a par with the Boris one in London, and there is not much left.

By the way, how could any real party entertain Kilroy Silk, even briefly.

Anonymous said...

Tom, a bit of a silly game to highlight Kilroy Silk, the tory party and all the others have at some time entertained people of poor character including Thanet's own lying jail bird Jonathan Aitken.

Tom Clarke said...

Jonathan Aitken was OK for years and once regarded as a potential leader. He then did something stupid, like humans do, and paid the price.

Kilroy Silk was an obvious wally even before taken on as leader, in place of Nigel Farage would you believe, having also already fallen out with the Labour party and been booted off TV for his views. That was a self inflicted wound by UKIP.

Anonymous said...

No need to blame yourself, James. What help did you get from the sitting westgate tory councillor and other tories? B****r all?

Tom Clarke said...

10:10

Presumably as a Tory insider you know that for a fact. What, you're not a Tory insider, then just how do you know that no other Tories turned out to help James.

Let me guess, you are actually a rather nasty little turncoat up to his usual tricks of trying to make trouble in the ranks. Well, whatever flies your kite!

Anonymous said...

Tom, What Aitken did was not just silly it was criminal and he even tried to get his wife and daughter to lie for him in court. But maybe you were refering to him later supporting UKIP as being silly.

Tom Clarke said...

Actually, I said stupid, not silly, and there are degrees of criminal behaviour. His crime was not exactly murder, rape, arson or armed robbery.

Anyway my point was that he fell from grace after years of reasonable performance. UKIP must have known Kilroy was an egotistic wally before they took him on as leader. That is silly.

Anonymous said...

So violating ministerial rules and committing perjury is ok by you Tom. I take it you dont mind if local councillors and officers are on the take as well. They would just have been a bit stupid.
I tend to believe that people that are willing to cheat on the rest of us are not stupid but are greedy, calculating and think they are beyond the law.

Tom Clarke said...

No it is not OK and he was duly, tried, convicted and punished.

Of course I mind if people are on the take because I pay income and council taxes. However, what this debate started about was the wisdom of appointing Kilroy Silk, but you have reduced it to a tit for tat exchange of names. If you want to be that idiotic how about I list the Labour MPs who went to prison for expenses fiddling.

Unfortunately in society it would seem that when certain people get the opportunity to dip their snouts in the trough, they promptly take it. They are not unique to one party and should be hunted down and hounded out of office. Too frequently that does not happen and the likes of you and I finish trading the names of the ones who were caught. How many got away with it?

Anonymous said...

Kilroy was NEVER leader of UKIP - it was his failure to be made leader that caused him to quit... please try and get some facts right...

Tom Clarke said...

My mistake, UKIP put him up as a candidate for the European elections and he was duly elected as a UKIP MEP. He was still an egotistic wally.