Friday, 4 December 2015

I told 'em - Oldham

Actually I didn't. Anyone who can't remember the source of the title, it's explained here.  As for yesterday's Labour by-election victory, it is unwise to base much on a single result, but anyone is bound to wonder, at least momentarily, if Jeremy Corbyn has a point.:

Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour’s decisive byelection victory in Oldham is proof that his party is a broad church with deep-rooted support across the country.

Certainly Labour support is very deep-rooted, we already know that. Whether an oddball political poseur such as Jeremy can mobilise and benefit from it remains to be seen, but I doubt it. We also have this reaction from politicalbetting.

The default assumption when parties talk about “internal polling” should be that they are lying

A cynic might add that it's the default position when parties say anything at all about any subject under the sun but that's another issue. The main issue is whether or not Jeremy is rather more popular with voters than he is with the media or his MPs.

Too early to tell but probably not in spite of the Oldham result. For example, recent polling does not suggest that he is seen as economically competent. Perhaps Oldham had a good candidate in Jim McMahon who comes across as personable and capable, in which case the result may not be so good for Jeremy after all. Personable and capable are not really what he wants on the benches behind his back.


Demetrius said...

A 40% turnout, as a bye-election it could have been a lot worse. But who did vote and who did not? There are a lot of ifs and buts there. Farage did not come up to the mark but UKIP still did a lot better that the Tories? Wasn't Churchill once MP for Oldham? It is still all to play for.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - a surprisingly low turnout I thought.

Woodsy42 said...

The turnout among the overall population must have been well under 40%. Just pretend only Labour and UKIP fought it - forget the rest - so approimately:
Around 25% of the electorate in that ward are "Asian", and we can assume that most of them voted via postal vote and nearly all voted for Labour as directed by their religious leaders.
That means 25% of the overall electorate block voted Labour. But total turnout was only 40% - so only 15% of votes came from voters in person. Yet the potential voters-in-person comprise 75% of the elctorate so it means only 20% of them went to the polling stations and voted in person. (20% of 75% is 15%, plus the "Asian" 25% = 40%)
If all the voters-in-person were equally divided between Lab amd UKIP that would have given Labour 25% + 7% and UKIP 7% of the total electoral roll.
That would have given Labour a massive win of 4 votes to every one UKIP vote.
However the result was under 3 to 1 so UKIP actualy won the votes polled at polling stations by a large margin.
I'll leave you to check my logic & maths, it's been a long day.

A K Haart said...

Woodsy - I think you are making a number of assumptions, but it would be interesting to know if the postal and personal votes differed significantly. To my mind postal voting should go.

wiggiatlarge said...

There seems no desire to get rid of postal voting despite repeated reports of "irregularities", why is this, the electoral commision and govt depts police failed miserably with Tower Hamlets despite trying to claim they were responsible for bringing the council to book, it was a private prosecution that proved the downfall of them.

Why was this ? Andrew Gilligans report in the Telegraph and sundry others gave more than enough proof of what was going and the polling farce was well covered.

Tom Watson has called UKIPs charge of Oldhams dodgy bloc posting "sour grapes", UKIP would not have won anyway so why would any politician stand up for what is increasingly as a system not fit for purpose and circumvents any of our standards of democracy as they stood before postal voting, surely community cohesion is not being put before the rule of law for convenience sake, no it couldn't happen surely some mishtake.

Woodsy42 said...

Of course AKH - I am making both assumptions and wild simplifications. But I read that UKIPs anger was aroused because virtually all the postal votes were for Labour, so that's not an unwarranted assumption. And the 'Asian' gent who was interviewed on TV about his voting intention and replied that he didn't know because he hadn't been told yet - that gives a clue.
So I still think my direction of discussion is right. A small proportion of 'ordinary' voters went to the polling stations and UKIP won their vote while most 'Asian' voters voted Labour and overwhelmed the 'native' vote.
That is a very worying prospect for democracy and for social cohesion - and means Corbyn can't take that vote as showing any meaningful support from the northern working class traditional british voter.

A K Haart said...

Wiggia and Woodsy - I have no doubt that there are numerous irregularities but what puzzles me is why the system isn't simply knocked on the head. If it favours Labour then why don't the Tories ditch it or at least make it a high profile issue?