The real Wythenshawe election result

Party politics is a tribal business and it was no surprise this morning to see my tribe had won the Wythenshawe and Sale East By Election in a landslide. The results were as follows:

Makes no Difference so Not Bothered   –   61,034  (71.8%)
Labour   –   13,261  (15.6%)
UKIP   –   4,301  (5.1%)
Conservative   –   3,479  (4.1%)
Lib Dem   –   1,176  (1.4%)
Green   –   748  (0.9%)
BNP   –   708  (0.8%)
Monster Raving Loony   –   288  (0.3%)

We will get to the implications for democracy in just a moment.  So what does this mean for the parties?

Labour said they knocked on every door in the constituency, yet even with the abuse-enabling postal vote they were unable to motivate even 16 in every 100 voters to make a positive vote for them.  This was always a win and from the moment he was appointed, Mike Kane could have used his candidacy as collateral for long term borrowing and planned a new, well funded lifestyle with plenty of holiday time and boondoggles to cherry pick from.

UKIP as ever talked a great game but even before the declaration, Paul Nuttall was moaning about a postal vote stitch up and the inability of a party to build momentum during a campaign. This is fatuous nonsense.  This is not the 1960s where voters had a range of policies to choose from on the big issues that matter, and therefore wait to be persuaded by powerful arguments before choosing who to vote for.  With the EU running almost all the major portfolios, parties have little scope to change anything of substance and even less therefore to offer voters.  Swing votes are increasingly cast on the basis of economic self interest, be that a desire for lower taxation and efficient services, or the preservation of benefits and welfare payments, in constituencies that are marginals between Labour and the Conservatives.

I said to friends before the election that anything less than 5,000 votes in this election would represent a failure for UKIP, as their vote would turn out even while others stay at home. Even as a dustbin for protest votes and with substantial media coverage over recent months, UKIP only managed to enthuse 5% of Wythenshawe’s voters to come out and support them in rejection of the other parties.  This does not indicate any sense of a breakthrough. It shows the limitations of UKIP’s appeal and it represents a bad result for the party in the current political climate.

They will do better in some other constituencies where a vote for UKIP can inflict a bloody nose on another party in a close race, or where the election is meaningless, such as the European elections.  But for all the noise of UKIP fanatics on comment threads, in the real world voters are not flocking to the party in the way its vocal followers imagine.  On this showing, second place in the Euro elections seems more likely now.

Conservative election managers were expecting a pounding and they rightly got one.  Their vote collapsed with it being obvious Labour would win easily.  Tory campaigns have been hit hard by the loss of supporters, particularly since Cameron became leader and turned the party into the new age Social Democrats, then rejected the option of forming a minority government and calling another snap election to secure the extra seats they needed for a majority – instead getting into bed with the Limp Dums in order to give Cameron the cover he wanted to dump much Conservative policy.  The party is finished in the northern urban areas.  It has nothing to offer that differs from Labour and its own efforts to maintain a client state in years past is coming back to bite it hard now finances necessitate welfare to be reined in.

Fib Dim supporters repeatedly rejected suggestions they would lose their deposit here, but they did, then promptly went into a self imposed media blackout.  Previously the party of all things to all men, now they are nothing to almost everyone.  The party will now write off the Euro elections and prepare to see its MEP tally slashed to almost nil.  All attention will turn to a ‘hold what we can’ strategy for 2015, where what remains of the Lib Dem activist base will be drafted in to selected constituencies where they have MPs for the most bitter and nasty election campaigns we will have ever seen in a desperate battle to retain most of their seats.  If any party is devoting more time to party maintenance than anything else, it is Clegg’s declining rump.  They have nothing to offer and most voters now treat them with the contempt they have long deserved.

Green / BNP can be lumped together as two cheeks of the same authoritarian arse.  While one seeks to undermine and reverse the progress made over decades in our industrialised and open country through damaging and regressive eco-loony policies, the other seeks to undermine and reverse the progress made over decades to build a more inclusive society through racism and identity politics.  Neither party is credible.  Neither party appeals to anyone outside a limited number of angry and hate fuelled drones who want to ‘purify’ this country through ecological and traditional fascism respectively.  Thankfully here they made up little more than 1% of eligible voters, but even that was too many.

Monster Raving Loony entertainment is always a fixture in By Elections and in addition to those who treated the election as a farce and stayed away, another 288 made an effort to come out and treat the party political process with a bit of extra contempt by voting for those upholding Sutch’s legacy.

So what does this mean for democracy?

We still don’t have it.  We have an electoral process, but that’s all.  Mike Kane will settle his backside onto the green benches, but will now answer to Labour whips in Parliament, vote as he is told and parrot prepared lines to take.  He will go through the motions of being a lawmaker, but ultimately change absolutely nothing for the residents of Wythenshawe and Sale East.

In 2015 he will stand again and will win again.  More people will be motivated to turn out and vote just to ensure the hated Tories do not sneak in by some fluke of electoral happenstance.  The Tories will regain second place as many of their stay away voters from this campaign come out in forlorn effort to stop Ed Miliband becoming Prime Minister.  UKIP back will likely slide back into third as the enthusiastic support they have has already turned out and few others will jump into their camp at the General Election, so they will be overtaken by Conservatives who will turn out after getting in a lather as a result of the General Election hype.

All in all, after great expense and column acres of discussion, analysis and interpretation, nothing of substance will change.  Voters will be no more empowered and have no more control or ability to change things through the system than they had before.  People power will remain a soothing catchphrase.  Slowly though, more people will reject the process and increase the number of those who could be tempted to look at a radical alternative to what masquerades as democracy today.

17 Responses to “The real Wythenshawe election result”

  1. 1 Sage Vals 14/02/2014 at 11:09 am

    Great analysis. Especially liked the Green/BNP bit!

  2. 2 Derek Buxton 14/02/2014 at 11:13 am

    Very good and very true. We have no democracy and with the current lunacy abounding, we never will have. The winner is, as you rightly say, “did not vote, cannot influence anything so why bother”.

  3. 3 Richard North 14/02/2014 at 11:13 am

    This is bald men fighting over a comb territory. With more than 80 percent of the electorate failing to vote for the winner, the electoral process is dead.

  4. 4 John Muir 14/02/2014 at 12:32 pm

    The ‘radical alternative’ is increasingly interesting, as current weather turbulence remind us of the part it played in 17th century political turbulence..

    there’s an intriguing comparison to be made between Charles 1’s 17th century Stuart Government and David Cameron’s 21st century Coalition Government, between Charles’s divine right of kings and Cameron’s profane right of politicians, between court favourites like the Duke of Buckingham and quangocrats like ‘Lord’ Chris Smith, between episcopacy and plutocracy, between Ship Money and Council Tax, between the Scottish Covenanters and the Scottish National Party, between the Star Chamber and the Magistrates Court, between the Puritans and the Evangelical Christians, between the rising middle class and the ‘squeezed middle’, between bankrupt exchequers and foreign policy follies and … bankrupt exchequers and foreign policy follies.

    Whether the ‘men in grey suits’ will feel as turbulent as Cromwell’s roundheads and obliged to take Cameron to the 21st century’s equivalent of an executioner’s beheading remains to be seen.

    Should they be so inclined they should forget a scaffold in front of Banqueting House… it needs to be water-boarding in front of a Walmart store.

  5. 5 Pogle's Woodsman 14/02/2014 at 2:19 pm

    It’s ironic that it’s the LibDems themselves who look to be the main changers of the Political landscape in their collective self-immolation. The campaign went quiet for all parties at the final week milestone due to the weather so denuded of any real publicity or analysis, the usual habit would be for voters to dump their protest vote on the party of Clegg.

    If he does as badly as is expected in May, Clegg’s not even comforted by being able to pick up the pieces since it’s unlikely Rennard will be back in the strategic driving seat – apparently a period of ‘mediation’ has been agreed to start today, but I don’t see any chance there will be any shaking of hands and making up.

    It was only a year ago that the pitiful John Major was proposing a permanent Conservative\LibDem alliance and yet with all the political ammunition lying around the arena easy at hand, Farage still can’t score a single permanent effective point…..

  6. 6 Autonomous Mind 14/02/2014 at 2:34 pm

    No doubt, Woodsman, someone will be along soon to tell us the reason why Farage has not yet scored a permanent effective point is because he has a cunning strategy that will reveal itself in the months ahead and now is not the right time. Scoring points now would likely result in too much detail and undermine Farage’s charismatic ‘cheeky chappie’ ability to connect with people. Being mere mortals, we are not permitted to have more information about this. We just have to take it on trust that he is a man with a plan…

  7. 7 Richard North 14/02/2014 at 3:05 pm

    This is totally unfair. Mr Farage, blessed be his name, has a stunning plan for winning the 2050 general election. All it needs is for UKIP to abandon all opposition to the European Union, in the manner of the Labour Party getting rid of that awkward “Clause 4” obligation.

  8. 8 avoncliffnorthmill 14/02/2014 at 3:23 pm

    In the meantime the alliance of The Dark Lord and The Jazz buff should be something that’s common knowledge – that’s for sure.

  9. 9 angela ellis-jones 15/02/2014 at 2:13 pm

    An excellent analysis of the bankruptcy of ‘democracy ‘ in modern Britain.,but I take issue with ‘reverse the progress made to build a more inclusive society through racism and identity politics’

    Progress?This is the politics of divide and rule,emphasising what separates us,rather than what unites us. I would like to see the whole ‘Equality and Diversity’ agenda dumped in the North Sea. I’ve never had any sympathy with the BNP,but there’s nothing in the marxist ‘E&D’ obsession that any conservative could support!

  10. 10 Barry 16/02/2014 at 8:17 pm

    The BNP isn’t ‘fascist’. The BNP is a nationalist party and as such is merely trying to protect our homeland from GENOCIDAL levels of immigration. It is nothing the Israeli or Japanese government wouldn’t do. I’m not expecting this to be published though as freedom of speech doesn’t really exist in Britain.

  11. 11 Autonomous Mind 17/02/2014 at 2:44 pm

    Well, it seems you have got it wrong on all counts really.

    The BNP is a national socialist party, with officers drawn from booted thugs and race baiters often with criminal records. Your party is wedded to state ownership and authoritarian government, coupled with a pathological intolerance of non whites and Jews.

    Perhaps you’re right. It’s more Nazi than Fascist. Thankfully it is now falling apart.

  12. 12 Barry 19/02/2014 at 6:14 pm

    And you are a typical traitor to your country. The BNP isn’t wedded to state ownership. It wants to see a more mixed economy ie one that produces prosperity for the greatest number of people unlike the one at present which Tories and the so-called ‘alternative’ UKIP support. The BNP isn’t intolerant of non-whites at all. It just wants to end any further non-white immigration as our national identity is being destroyed. Would you call Japan a ‘racist’ country for not allowing non-Jap immigration or Israel ‘anti-gentile’ for not allowing non-Jewish migration? I suspect you would. Still, what should I expect from a liberatarian, globalist traitor.

  13. 13 Barry 19/02/2014 at 6:19 pm

    The BNP approves of the kind of economic model Japan operates ie a paternalist one that ensures that free enterprise works in the national interest and not the globalist free for all we have here which has denuded us of a British-owned industrial base with all the implications that has for creating mass unemployment. Still, as a typical selfish and unfeeling libertarian, globalist Tory/UKIPPER you wouldn’t care about that, would you?

  14. 14 Autonomous Mind 19/02/2014 at 7:20 pm

    Barry, I say this will all due respect, you are a BNP nut so just fuck off.

  15. 15 Barry 19/02/2014 at 9:29 pm

    Nice! I should have expected no different from a typical ‘libertarian’ Tory/UKIPPer who obviously is unable to debate in a rational manner. It’s pretty pathetic to have to resort to swear words which even a lot of teenagers eventually grow out of.

  16. 16 Autonomous Mind 20/02/2014 at 6:03 am

    Debate in a rational manner?

    “selfish and unfeeling libertarian”
    “a typical traitor to your country”
    “a liberatarian, globalist traitor”

    Go back down the racist sewer you sadly emerged from.

  17. 17 Sam 15/03/2014 at 8:51 pm

    Im from Wythenshawe and I 100% agree with barry us white British are loosing our identity and becoming 2nd class citizens in our own country. .. liberal lefties are traitors who dont deserve to walk the soil of British land just as much as the millions of immigrants flooding our cities and leeching our welfare and social housing. .its a disgrace!!

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