Friday, 21 October 2016

By The By

The Labour vote held up at Witney, while the Conservative vote haemorrhaged to the Lib Dems.

Although it is notable that the Lib Dems still did not win the seat. Time was when, at a by-election, they very well might have done.

Still, so much for the collapse of Labour in Middle England.

This week's council by-election results also bear no resemblance to the opinion polls.

But the real story of Witney was that, right there is rural Oxfordshire, UKIP came fifth behind the Greens.

UKIP's last Leader was elected with all of 8,451 votes. After this, that tiny party really does now need to call it a day.

Yet its ludicrous overexposure continues, with spots both on Question Time and on This Week last night.

Shown, in one case live, after more people in Vicar of Dibley country had voted for the brother of Bernie Sanders than had voted for UKIP.

Ken Loach will be on Question Time next week. Will that mean someone from the Left on Andrew Neil's sofa? What do you think?

Meanwhile, bearing in mind that turnout is bound to drop significantly if one or other of Labour and the Conservatives does not contest a mainland seat, the thumping Labour win over all comers at Batley and Spen ought finally to put to bed the myth of the Far Right's appeal in "the Northern Labour heartlands".

In a straight fight with Labour in West Yorkshire, in a constituency that voted Leave, the Far Right could not even manage 15 per cent of the vote.

All in all, they do not like it anywhere.

The broadly pro-Trump and staunchly pro-Brexit Question Time audience in Hartlepool was extremely hostile to the idea of dental checks for purported child refugees.

Of course, those boys do not look too old to be teenagers to an audience not drawn from the world of the unlined faces of the latter-day Mosleys and Astors.

This week's headlines, in newspapers that are probably not read by the Prime Minister and which are certainly not read by the Leader of the Opposition, would have had "Hillsborough" written all over them.

If anyone who mattered still cared in the slightest what those newspapers said about anything. But no such person does.


  1. They got 4 million votes at the GE in May 2015 and won the MEP election. This is hardly overexposure, even if I don't like them one bit.