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Oldham East by-election: Your reaction

09:07 UK time, Friday, 14 January 2011

Labour have comfortably won the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election with a majority of more than 3,500. What does this mean for the future of the coalition?

The Conservatives' vote fell by more than 7,000 as they came a distant third with a 12.8% share.

Labour, with a 42.1% share of the vote, said the result - a boost for party leader Ed Miliband - was a "wake-up call" for the coalition.

Nick Clegg said he was pleased with the Lib Dem performance - their share of the vote was up 0.3% on May's result.

Are the results significant? Will this be a "wake-up call" for the coalition? Are the results a boost for Ed Miliband?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 11

  • Comment number 1.

    Opposition wins election. Surprise surprise.

    Nice to see the LibDems suffering though.

  • Comment number 2.

    This By_election, is nothing short of the manipulation of the Electorate to give the desired result

  • Comment number 3.

    Not really a surprising result bearing in mind that the current administration is having to undertake some particularly hard unpopular measures to try and redress the damage Labour did to the economy. The disaffected LibDems voted Labour and the Tories voted LibDem.

  • Comment number 4.

    Just going to do a quick check on unemployment rates and immigration in that area, I feel I am going to come back unsurprised with the amount of people on benefits and who want to stay on benefits living in that area and then it may become clear why labour won that way.

  • Comment number 5.

    Not much of a honeymoon period for the coalition then!!

    The reasons are extremely simple. People can clearly see that their standard of living is falling, whilst a few are making millions but creating no wealth for the country, or providing any decent jobs. It is obvious that the Government has no power over any industry - neither the banks, nor energy suppliers, the railways, the supermarkets.

    The government have to be seen to be in control of the destiny of the UK. Not a bunch of failed business men and foreign media moguls.

  • Comment number 6.

    Well done Labour. The fightback starts here.

  • Comment number 7.

    I'd have been amazed if Labour hadn't won so NO this isn't significant at all.

    The only thing I find astonishing is that despite the huge damage Labour did to the economy there really are people that will still vote for them.

  • Comment number 8.

    Well done the people of Oldham. The Lib Dems lost the seat despite the support from their own party, the judiciary, Cameron and the coalition leaders, and certain elements within the BBC. The result reveals that despite a low turnout people made their own minds up. Here is a message to the political class: there is still an independent streak within the people, do not treat them with contempt.

    Who was the best candidate? Definately the Conservative who couragiously claimed responsibility for defeat, despite the political incompetence of his party leader whose strategy was to blame. Good man. I hope you make it to Westminster soon. You have my vote.

  • Comment number 9.

    BBC, your wording is veery telling, trying to create a debate out of nothing.

    Labour did not "win" the seat, they retained it. Their majority was increased, yes, but this is not unusual.

    Overall it appears to be a safe Labour seat that has gone to a Labour candidate - no story. The increased margin? Well, with the actions being taken by the coalition to rebalance our debt I don't see anything exceptional.

  • Comment number 10.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
    Hey there’s a song in there somewhere

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm not surprised, people have been seesawing between the two major parties all over for years.

    The problem is, rather than having principles and sticking by them, people tend to just vote for the party they think will give them the most direct benefit rather than considering the country as a whole. And since it is very easy for the party not in power to point out all the downfalls of the party that is currently in power, we get this constant changeover and nothing ever really improves.

    Humans are, unfortunately, selfish and fickle.

  • Comment number 12.

    Some result, holding a safe seat against a an unpopular governing party, its nearly news.

  • Comment number 13.

    I can't see this changing the direction of the coalition.

    The Lib Dems may have benefitted from a drift of Tory voters desperate to try to see Labour pushed in to 2nd Place. The Tories appear to have lost out both to Labour througha veiled attempt to see the Liberal vote hold up and from their reluctance to campaign hard for their candidate.
    In some ways I feel sorry for the Tory candidate as he failed to garner the support of his own party's hierarchy.

    Far more interesting would be an analysis of which core voters went where as turnout was down on the General Election by 13%.

  • Comment number 14.

    Congratulations to the new member.

    It seems that Cameron has done what he could for Clegg, but unsurprisingly it wasn't enough.

    Won't be enough to help Mr Ed from those waiting in the wings.

    Early days yet.

  • Comment number 15.

    Who cares? It's always the same. Why not have some other parties to win just for the change? Is it people don't want another party other than Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives or the big three are manipulating the voters because they are afraid of the uncertainty if other parties won the election?

  • Comment number 16.

    I do not think it is a wake up call. A government engaged on a cuts programme is not going to be popular in spite of the fact that many of us agree that it is necessary. Probably some conservatives switched their vote to lib dem tactically to keep Labour out and some lib dems stayed at home or switched to labour. What it does show is that lib dems and conservatives are separate parties still.

    Mid term by elections do not mean anything and the fact that less than half of all voters turned out should show us that most people do not care which politician got the seat.

  • Comment number 17.

    Let us see if this Labour MP can abide by the established rules and not be criminal in behaviour as the previous one was proved to be.

  • Comment number 18.

    Will this be a "wake-up call" for the coalition? Are the results a boost for Ed Miliband?

    No, & no.

    Labour said the result - a boost for party leader Ed Miliband - was a "wake-up call" for the coalition.

    REALITY - Pretentious LIES - Ed the Duck Milibands popularity is much lower than the Labour Party in general.

    Labour partys share of the vote increased from 31.9% to 42%, but this was based upon a REDUCED voter turnout, down from 61% at electon to 48% now.

    IF ANYTHING, THIS FACTUALLY PROVES THAT MORE PEOPLE ARE DISCUSTED & DISTRUSTFUL OF POLITICIANS & POLITICS WHICH IS WHY SO MANY FAILED TO VOTE.

    To attempt to make such glee out of this election when LESS than 50% of electors voted, just shows even more, just how much politicians are OUT OF TOUCH WITH BASIC & HONEST REALITY.

    With such a low showing, basically NOT even the Labour winner has the MORAL RIGHT to represent the people of this constituency or speak upon their behalf as literally around 70% DID NOT VOTE FOR THE LABOUR CANDIDATE, so Labour,WIPE THE UGLY POLITICAL SMUGNESS FROM YOUR FACE, YOU REPRESENT NOTHING OF REAL OR FACTUAL SUBSTANCE.

  • Comment number 19.

    Pretty much the vote everybody was expecting.

  • Comment number 20.

    Obviously the people of Oldham East & Saddleworth rely on benefits & "free" services that they don't have to pay for. Not surprising really.

  • Comment number 21.

    Labours victory is not a reflection of their popularity, rather the coalitions UNpopularity. Just as it was for Labour in the last election, it just goes to show that politics never changes, the politicians really need to grow up.

  • Comment number 22.

    A surprise that Labour retained a seat in a by-election? Not really. By-elections generally tend to favour the opposition so this is probably what everyone expected.

  • Comment number 23.

    Voter tactics, perhaps. I believe there will be another opportunity just around the corner, on all accounts another safe seat but then this time voters have the opportunity to speak for us all in relation to those caught and for those that allegedley got away, for having ones hand caught in the till!

  • Comment number 24.

    ROUND AND ROUND the public go, nothing will ever change for the better whilst we go round and round again to the same old party politics.

    They all say the same we'll listen then at the end of any interview they all come out with "what the people really want to know" followed by BLAH BLAH BLAH you'll have it my way.

  • Comment number 25.

    People who have made the career choice to avoid individual responsibility and live off state benefits inevitably vote Labour. No surprise! The terrifying statistic is that in 1969 5% of the adult population claimed benefits of some kind from the state. In 2009 the figure had risen to 27%. That tells us what Britain has become. Enough said.

  • Comment number 26.

    I agree with Nick Robinson's assessment that we can't draw any conclusions on why there was an apparent swing from Tory to Labour, as we don't know what the individual resons were people for voting the way they did.
    People may assume there was a direct swing from Tory to Labour, but equally there may have been a swing from Tory to Lib-Dem combined with an equal swing from Lib-Dem to Labour. There are countless other combinations that would explain the results, so unless we survey a statistically valid sample of the electorate, there is a very good chance that any conclusion we draw is going to be wrong.

    However this kind of conclusion does not sell newspapers, and the level of research involved is unpalletable to most journalists and spin doctirs so I will play the game and offer three conclusions:
    Labour - There was a big swing to the Lib Dems from the Tories because of the cuts and a subsequent swing from Lib Dems to us becuase of tuition fees. Also everyone thinks Ed Milliband is great.
    Lib Dem - There was a big swing to Labour from the Tories becuase the cuts are all their fault. We held our ground becuase people respect the tough decisions Nick Clegg has made to improve the economy.
    Tories - We give ourselves A++ for effort and came an excellent third which is a fantastic result in a Labour stronghold.

  • Comment number 27.

    so the enemy within is still alive and well in oldham east,

  • Comment number 28.

    not a big surprize as it was a labour safe seat

  • Comment number 29.

    So, Labour have won an election with a percentage of around 21.1% of total constituency electoral vote.

    This ONLY PROVES ONE relevent fact, a fact I am sure the main three political partys will NOT concern themselves with, and that is the fact that people in this country are just so distasteful of our democracy and its biased pretences and deviousness that they just cannot be bothered in voting.

    To be heard or to MAKE a difference in this country, you are better off taking to the streets, which I am sure may will over the coming months.

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm more concerned about the 10,000 people who didn't vote this time round. Is this more evidence of voters disillusionment with politics?

  • Comment number 31.

    6. At 09:42am on 14 Jan 2011, James Daly wrote:
    Well done Labour. The fightback starts here.

    Who can fight with the opposition? it is insane to even think of this. you may just try though..and a trial for a fight is usually mistaken with freedom.

  • Comment number 32.

    Oh what a surprise!!

    As soon as all the scroungers living off the state are told to go out and work, students are told they will actually have to pay for their degree instead of making taxpayers pay for their higher education for which they will get a very well paid job.

    They all start voting labour as soon as they dont like what they hear. WAKE UP the country is broke! Labour was like a spoilt teenager with a credit card for 13 years and now the government is acting like the parent to clean up the mess!!

  • Comment number 33.

    I feel that this result, however arrived at marks the start of a slow, insidious erosion of the coalition governm,ent, that will increase in momentum and ultimately be their downfall !

    Unless there is a clearly visible - credible and achievable plan developed to Put The Nation Back To Work / To stop IMMEDIATELY by Law if necessary the payment of Gross and Ridiculous £ Multi-Million Salaries that can never, ever be justified, the the Coalition will fail for certain.

    The RESPECT is being drained from the Electorate, by clowns who live in a world of delusion and fantasy - WHEN WILL " MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN 2 rise from the ashes ??

    For Goodness Sake - Come Back Down to Earth - Create Jobs - Develop Industries - Get Away From Europe before it's to late !!!

  • Comment number 34.

    It was barely a surprise that Labour HOLD this seat, rather than win it.

    Turnout disappointingly low.

    Nasty government making cuts and raising VAT - Labour as lead opposition increase majority

    Story over..... barely a story really

  • Comment number 35.

    It's no great surprise. It's a Labour stronghold. They won in the General - by a small margin - and have increased it this time. The result is an indication that those who voted tactically last time to try to oust labour have voted tactically again to ensure they retain the seat. Bit of a non-result really.
    We have a by-election here in Solihull next Thursday. The ward is a Lib-Dem stronghold. The result will be far more interesting...

  • Comment number 36.

    Fantastic, wonderful.
    I think the BBC will run an election special three part glorification, sorry, summary of this (obviously with only balanced reporting in mind.....)
    Five years time it will be interesting to see what the result will be when the deficit is under control, we have sold the banks back to the market (with a profit) and taxes, etc will be lowered to acceptable levels.
    Labour are where they should be, a party of OPPOSTION, they should never GOVERN again.

  • Comment number 37.

    11. At 09:48am on 14 Jan 2011, makar wrote:
    I'm not surprised, people have been seesawing between the two major parties all over for years.

    The problem is, rather than having principles and sticking by them, people tend to just vote for the party they think will give them the most direct benefit rather than considering the country as a whole. And since it is very easy for the party not in power to point out all the downfalls of the party that is currently in power, we get this constant changeover and nothing ever really improves.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Very true, but not being affiliated to any political party makes us less blinkered and can see the salient points of a debate, rather than stick to age old political dogma


  • Comment number 38.

    Firstly who seat was it ?
    Secondly why was there a other election required?

    Answers Labour seat re run required because of the way tLabour conducted the first vote !!!
    How important is Oldham ?,has it effected the states of the parties at westminister?

    Nope... the Only thing that it does rshow ia that the people of Oldham . wish not to share the burden the recovery ... Business will have noted that when it comes to job creation ..

  • Comment number 39.

    Labour won the by-election but it's interesting to note that the combined votes for the coalition parties is actually greater than Labour's votes.

  • Comment number 40.

    Short memories up North.
    The Conservatives said prior to the General Election that hard decisions had to be made due to Labours useless governing of the UK.
    We are all in it and have to take the knocks. Don`t they want a prosperous UK with some standing in the world?
    Obviously not. I am disabled and not earning but am prepared to put up with increased prices because that is the price we `all` have to pay.
    Yes I voted Conservative in the election!!! No I am not a rich upper class chinless wonder. I am realistic as to what has to be done.
    Wake up, up there.

  • Comment number 41.

    Well Done Labour an increase in the majority.

    Remember the cuts are still to come - we need more by-elections

    Was it a surprise Labour won - no

    Was it a surprise the Conservative vote more or less halved - Yes

    Which is why I am so pleased.

  • Comment number 42.

    Oldham East by-election: Your reaction

    My reaction? Is surprise, surprise! The oppposition retain (they didn't win) a seat during a time when the government are taking very unpopular measures.

    The political pundits appear to think that the Conservatives weren't putting any effort into the campaign anyway, preferring to give the LibDems a virtual freebie - just in case an embarassingly large defeat cause a wedge to be driven between Cameron and Clegg which would apparently end the coalition.

  • Comment number 43.

    8. At 09:43am on 14 Jan 2011, Dr Llareggub wrote:
    Well done the people of Oldham. The Lib Dems lost the seat despite the support from their own party, the judiciary, Cameron and the coalition leaders, and certain elements within the BBC. The result reveals that despite a low turnout people made their own minds up. Here is a message to the political class: there is still an independent streak within the people, do not treat them with contempt.

    Who was the best candidate? Definately the Conservative who couragiously claimed responsibility for defeat, despite the political incompetence of his party leader whose strategy was to blame. Good man. I hope you make it to Westminster soon. You have my vote.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Erm - actually it was Labour seat. The Lib Dems increased their votes by 0.3%. It was the Tories who really lost out. So stop bashing the LibDems until you have your facts right.

  • Comment number 44.

    it is the wellfare attacks that have undermined the coalition.the speed is the thing that he as got wrong,wellfare effects millions of people in this country in all areas and in all walks of life.the system should have been improved at a slower rate,the emphasis falling on new claimants at a gradual rate of change to allow people to adapt at a pace that was seen to be fair and humane,resulting in the desired effect acomplished with the whole country behind them.if he as any political nous he will look again and adjust accordingly.all three main partys talk of cuts but the one that effects most people is wellfare ,the first ones to solve this problem in a more compassionate way will win the next election.there is not much differance between "NEW"labour and the tories
    that is why a lot of people turned to the libdems and are now in some sort of political limbo,if george as the political brain to grasp the nettle and reases is wellfare policy,no one can be certain of the outcome at the next election,this is comming from someone with leftwing leanings.its up to them.....

  • Comment number 45.

    28. At 10:09am on 14 Jan 2011, braxious wrote:

    not a big surprize as it was a labour safe seat

    = = = = == =

    The previous Labour majority was just 130 - not a safe seat at all.

    The Labour majority is now around 3,300 votes - NOW it may be a safe Labour seat.

  • Comment number 46.

    This just shows how much the everyday public cannot trust politics, it does not represent the public wants labour or anybody else. When working I spent a lot of time studying several types of research, sadly from a quantative approach, all it says, is how they think at that moment, hence 1 good day will give a different result.

    Whilst parties continue to squabble about power, and spend less time with true democratic style thinking of policies that will represent the whole of society, and not a noisy few, they want to listen to.

  • Comment number 47.

    The leaders of the Labour party,Unison,must be so delighted.

  • Comment number 48.

    11. At 09:48am on 14 Jan 2011, makar wrote:
    I'm not surprised, people have been seesawing between the two major parties all over for years.

    The problem is, rather than having principles and sticking by them, people tend to just vote for the party they think will give them the most direct benefit rather than considering the country as a whole. And since it is very easy for the party not in power to point out all the downfalls of the party that is currently in power, we get this constant changeover and nothing ever really improves.

    = = = = = = =

    Hardly a constant change over at all

    Conservative - 18 year continually in power

    Then Labour - 13 years continually in power

    That is over seven or so elections

  • Comment number 49.

    Yaaaawwwwwwwwnnnnnnn....... a by election result especially this early in the current administration . Experience tends to suggest it means nothing. Status Quo maintained nothing better to discuss again?

  • Comment number 50.

    How short our memories are.

    Turkeys voting for Christmas.

  • Comment number 51.

    Fairly predictable changes from the general election result.

    The then Labour voters are disillusioned with their party on two counts: The last candidate they put up, Woolas, is a proven cheat. Other Labour MP's are proven crooks. Most Labour voters decided to stay at home.

    The then LibDem voters are even more disillusioned with their party on two counts. For forming a Coalition with their traditional enemy, and for breaking every election promise they made. Most of them voted for Labour.

    As for the Tory voters, (never the sharpest tool in the box), amazingly half of them thought the LibDems were still popular and voted for them tactically! The other half are the genetically challenged "I always vote Tory" set. That accounted for the Tory vote.

    UKIP and the BNP, as was demonstrated so clearly at the last general election, when the Lisbon Treaty and immigration should have worked in their favour, are not now even a serious protest vote option.

    Then there was the English Democrats. What does it say about the demand for an English Parliament, when the party offering it could not beat The Monster Raving Loony Party?

  • Comment number 52.

    No real surprise from me either.
    I see no future for this coalition government - mind you, the term 'coalition' is debatable because from where I am sitting I see only the Conservatives calling all the shots.
    These cuts are already hurting people and they are going to go on hurting for quite a while.
    I'm an 'opposition voter', I never stick to one party. My election vote goes against whoever is in power because one politician is as bad as the next.

  • Comment number 53.

    What on earth were the good people of Oldham thinking? Have they all forgotten the disastrous tenure of the former labour leader who pushed the nation to the edge of bankruptcy? Its thanks to labour that we are still borrowing billions of pounds each month, the interest on which is money which can no longer be spent on improving the country and the lives of everyone in it.
    Its one thing voting labour 'because you have always voted labour' but its really time to do a bit of thinking about the mess we are in and who's fault it is.

  • Comment number 54.

    39. At 10:18am on 14 Jan 2011, Ian wrote:

    Labour won the by-election but it's interesting to note that the combined votes for the coalition parties is actually greater than Labour's votes.

    = = = = = = =

    I think you'll find that has been the case for many other seats - But as we use the " first past the post" system and so it is not significant

  • Comment number 55.

    18. At 09:59am on 14 Jan 2011, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    Will this be a "wake-up call" for the coalition? Are the results a boost for Ed Miliband?

    No, & no.

    Labour said the result - a boost for party leader Ed Miliband - was a "wake-up call" for the coalition.

    REALITY - Pretentious LIES - Ed the Duck Milibands popularity is much lower than the Labour Party in general.

    Labour partys share of the vote increased from 31.9% to 42%, but this was based upon a REDUCED voter turnout, down from 61% at electon to 48% now.

    With such a low showing, basically NOT even the Labour winner has the MORAL RIGHT to represent the people of this constituency or speak upon their behalf as literally around 70% DID NOT VOTE FOR THE LABOUR CANDIDATE, so Labour,WIPE THE UGLY POLITICAL SMUGNESS FROM YOUR FACE, YOU REPRESENT NOTHING OF REAL OR FACTUAL SUBSTANCE.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Actually it is even less than 70% voting against, as your figures demonstrate.

    From May 2010, Labour had 31.9% of the vote from a 61% turnout.
    This means that 0.319 * 0.61 = 0.19459, so in the May 2010 election 19.5% of the voting population of the constituency voted for Labour.

    From this election, Labour had 42% of the vote from a 48% turnout.
    This means that 0.42 * 0.48 = 0.2016, so in this election 20.2% of the voting population in the constituency voted for Labour.

    So all in all, Labour saw in increase in support of 0.7%, which is hardly a landslide victory.

    A look at the overall figures also interesting,

    Labour took 14,718 votes this time and 14,186 votes in May 2010. If we assume that the same people voted Labour both times, the additional 532 people who voted Labour this time are the 0.7% of the voting population mentioned above.

    If 532 people are 0.7% of the voting populous here, then this means the total number of registered voters in Oldham is 76,000.

    This means that for this election:
    Votes for Labour = 14,718
    Votes not for Labour = 61,282

    So now if we look at this as a fraction of the total voting population, 14,718 / 76,000 = 19.3%.

    In reality, the voting proportionality has not changed.

    Again, this is no real victory. I suspect the members of society who vote Labour no matter what have simply been consistent.

  • Comment number 56.

    Anticipated. Labour making political points for their own self interest. It really amazes me the number of posts which seem to think that the Condems are out there to inflict misery on us all out of some sadistic act against the public. The debts accumulated by Labour set this country on the road to bankruptcy. Imagine the impact of escalating interest rates, hyper-inflation, civil servant pensions.....gone, state benefits......gone.
    I hope the lunatic lefties get some common sence over the next 4 years.

  • Comment number 57.

    It means absolutely nothing for the future of the coalition. As was explained patiently by a number of people to BBC Breakfast this morning, it's always been a safe Labour seat, and if it HAD gone any other way, it would have defied every expectation and historical voting patterns since WW2.

    But that didn't stop the BBC sensationalising claims that it's some kind of major defeat for the coalition. I thought you were supposed to be unbiased?

  • Comment number 58.

    //11. At 09:48am on 14 Jan 2011, makar wrote:
    I'm not surprised, people have been seesawing between the two major parties all over for years.

    The problem is, rather than having principles and sticking by them, people tend to just vote for the party they think will give them the most direct benefit rather than considering the country as a whole. And since it is very easy for the party not in power to point out all the downfalls of the party that is currently in power, we get this constant changeover and nothing ever really improves.

    Humans are, unfortunately, selfish and fickle.//

    True.

    Especially politicians.

    The problem for the UK electorate is that our politically parties, and a lot of the media commenting on them, in effect, the political class, is out of touch with popular opinion.

    The political class is, by and large

    - pro big business
    - pro EU
    - pro immigration.

    The British population - in common with a lot of people in the EU, is rather less keen on those things.

    But in the UK, who can people really vote for? Which party or parties are actually in touch with the electorate?

  • Comment number 59.

    Ok, so the numbers have jumbled around a bit, but it's still the same result as it was in May. Only this time there wasn't a bent labour candidate throwing sand into someones eyes.

    So today has the same outcome of May
    -Labour still came out on top.
    -LibDem came in second
    -Cons came in third

    The only real victory here today is Cons have norrowed their trail behind LibDem.

  • Comment number 60.

    Is an inevitable result really news? Is it really worthy of a debate or are we just stirring up the "Looney Left" & "Rabid Right" for yet another fun & entertaining war of words that ultimately gets us nowhere? (other than amused at just how ANGRY people can get about a blog board)
    Labour reatain a safe Labour seat is hardly an exciting headline so why not throw the cat amoung the pigeons with a few inflammatory statements then sit back & watch the fireworks! Bored of reading the "left Vs right in the US" debate over on the Tucson shootings page, have the mods decided to start their very own "Left Vs Right in the UK" debate here? Naughty auntie beeb!
    Just to clear it up.
    ALL politicians are liars & crooks, you couldn't fit a rizla between them. They do not give a crap about you, your job or your family. They would steal sweets from your child & give them to Robert Mugabe if it would get them a bit more power. Do not let them fool you.

    This Bill Hicks quote is about US politics but it applies to all of them, everywhere.
    "I’ll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. “I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.” “I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.” “Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding out both puppets!” “Shut up! Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control. Here’s Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid. By the way, keep drinking beer, you morons.” (edited for language ;) )

  • Comment number 61.

    25. At 10:07am on 14 Jan 2011, EnglishTeaparty wrote:

    People who have made the career choice to avoid individual responsibility and live off state benefits inevitably vote Labour. No surprise! The terrifying statistic is that in 1969 5% of the adult population claimed benefits of some kind from the state. In 2009 the figure had risen to 27%. That tells us what Britain has become. Enough said.

    If you bothered to check the largest number of people receiving benefits are families with possibly both parents working. The other large group are old age pensioners some of whom are multi-millionaires.
    With the tactics of the coalition to hit the lowest paid hard it would have been surprising if the election result had been different.

  • Comment number 62.

    Actually revise my last comment, was half asleep, I meant victory to labour to taking seats from cons.

  • Comment number 63.

    Labour want us to believe the coalition was not elected. Presumably,
    if the Lib Dems had gone in with Labour that would have been OK, even though the Tories got more than 2.1 million more votes than Labour.
    Now, in Oldham of all places, Labour gets gets 14718 votes and the coalition 15641 votes. Some victory!

  • Comment number 64.

    I knew the country should never have put the Tories in, thankfully a few bloggers pointed out how unready Cameron and Osbourne were and we got saved from evil by the liberal jellyfish coalition. I can't see the young voters ever voting for them again

  • Comment number 65.

    4. At 09:42am on 14 Jan 2011, Bauer wrote:
    I totally agree spot on !

    and

    39. At 10:18am on 14 Jan 2011, Ian wrote:

    Very interesting point, perhaps the combined should rule locally as well !

  • Comment number 66.

    Against the backdrop of Coalition politics and budget cuts (which would also have happened if Labour had won) the surprise is that Labour has such a small majority. One would have expected them to romp home on a tidal wave of reaction against preceived cutbacks. Instead, they limp home and if the race had continued another week or so were under the threat of losing. All this says is that Labour has not yet regained credibility and Ed Miliband is seen as a nonentity in the Party and Country.

  • Comment number 67.

    Just goes to show that if Labour had dumped Gordon Brown we wouldn't have Lord Snooty and Trigger and their multimillionaire old etonian chums at the helm.

    Loyalty to leadership is over rated a factor Lib Dems should remember

  • Comment number 68.

    In the real world outside the Westminster media bubble and political hype, The conservatives are hated, as is cameron. Clegg is despised for selling out his employers/voters to gain power, Something that will hopefully cost him his career.

    There is absolutely no way that the conservatives will win the next election failing an intervention where they lock up all the alternative candidates.

  • Comment number 69.

    What a country,we only care about money.We forget the killing of women and children by british troops in iraq and their torture of a hotelier.Sent there by tony blair, telling lies to parliment.Rendition flights to scotland and MI5 agents implicit in torture.
    The old gentleman who shouted rubbish at a labour conference,evicted and threatened with anti terror laws brought in by a labour goverment.No more boom and bust,no regulation of banks and the introduction of bad borrowing to pay for new schools and hospitals were patients are denied the latest drugs.Mp`s stealing from the tax payer to a labour mp whipping up racial hate in his campaign to get into parliment.What we want is money while the pakistan floods continues to take lives.All the other disasters around the world.We want money.We want another labour goverment that did`nt work in the past and they never work.I`m more amazed that hazel blears was re-elected,in a labour town people would vote a cardboard cut out to parliment.Is that oldham?

  • Comment number 70.

    54. At 10:33am on 14 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:
    39. At 10:18am on 14 Jan 2011, Ian wrote:

    Labour won the by-election but it's interesting to note that the combined votes for the coalition parties is actually greater than Labour's votes.

    = = = = = = =

    I think you'll find that has been the case for many other seats - But as we use the " first past the post" system and so it is not significant
    ===============================================
    It's significant because when the coalition was formed, there was some discussion about strategy for by-elections i.e. a joint candidate etc. Whether 'traditional' Lib Dem and Conservative voters would all have voted for a unified candidate is debateable but the fact that the combined vote was higher than Labour's does have some significance in thw context of a coalition government

  • Comment number 71.

    I think the result was pretty much what was expected, although i suspect the conservatives didn`t go out of their way to fight this seat. It would appear they believe propping up the lib dems and thus Nick Clegg and the coalition is more important than making a genuine effort to take this seat and the grass roots conservatives i suspect will be a tad miffed today as a result.

  • Comment number 72.

    Labour won the by-election but it's interesting to note that the combined votes for the coalition parties is actually greater than Labour's votes.

    = = = = = = =

    I think you'll find that has been the case for many other seats - But as we use the " first past the post" system and so it is not significant
    ---------------
    The combined vote for Labour and the Lib Dems was more than that for the Tories at the General Election didn't stop Trigger and his Orange Book NeoCons selling out to the Conservatives though did it?

  • Comment number 73.

    Are the results significant? No
    Will this be a "wake-up call" for the coalition? No
    Are the results a boost for Ed Miliband? No

    What a surprise the result of this by-election was!! It only takes the majority (and share of the vote) to where it was between 1997 and 2005! It is obvious the Conservatives were always going to have a low-key campaign and for a so-called 'unpopular' Government I would have expected the majority and Labour share of the vote to have been much higher!

  • Comment number 74.

    As a lifelong Labour supporter but now jaundiced abstainee I should be pleased. Although the ideals of the Labour Party are right, the modern party is a shadow of what Labour is about and I don't mean extreme left wing aspiations, I support democratric socialism, not state socialism. Labour in recent years have been a centralist party and for want of better words created a Nanny State which IMO is of no benefit. The recent drip drip of draconian curtailment of freedoms under Labour and the drift to puritainism has totally alienated me. I am neither pleased or disappointed by the By-Election result. I do not want to see the return of Labours' "Nanny State" policies and crippling censorship, akin to Soviet Russia.

  • Comment number 75.

    Great bit of news for once. Well done Debbie and all the activists in the party. I'm proud to be a member

  • Comment number 76.

    Fewer than 70% of those eligible to vote in this election were registered voters.
    Only 48% of those registered voters turned up to vote.
    Only 42% of those who voted cast their vote for Labour.

    That gives Labour the support of fewer than 15% of those people who are eligible to register to vote in this constituency.

    Politicians 1 - 0 People

  • Comment number 77.

    I am frankly shocked and dismayed about some of the comments on here about the sick, unemployed and work shy rushing out to vote Labour.
    If you assume anything it makes an ASS out of U and ME!
    Where are you statistical analyses of voters’ employment status?
    How do you know how many voters were on the sick?

    For all you know it may have been these people who didn't go out in the rain to vote.

    The Tories lost far more votes than any other party despite the low turnout.
    Only 13% less voters turned out at this election, the Tory vote dropped from 11,773 to 4,481.
    Where did the other 7292 Tory voters go??
    Did those 7292 vote Labour or stay at home due to the feeling that their protest vote in January was leading the country to disaster and to personal financial loss due to VAT and NI increases?
    9550 less people voted this time than last.
    Biggest losers? The Tories, probably through a combination of attempting to gerrymander the Liberal vote, poor national policies for the working majority and ineffective campaign support from Conservative Central Office.

  • Comment number 78.

    "People who have made the career choice to avoid individual responsibility and live off state benefits inevitably vote Labour. No surprise! The terrifying statistic is that in 1969 5% of the adult population claimed benefits of some kind from the state. In 2009 the figure had risen to 27%. That tells us what Britain has become. Enough said."

    In 1969 there was practically full employment - people did not need to rely on state benefits. The massive off shoring of jobs had not taken place then. Britain was a much fairer society in the 1960s.

  • Comment number 79.

    What on earth were the good people of Oldham thinking? Have they all forgotten the disastrous tenure of the former labour leader who pushed the nation to the edge of bankruptcy? Its thanks to labour that we are still borrowing billions of pounds each month, the interest on which is money which can no longer be spent on improving the country and the lives of everyone in it.
    Its one thing voting labour 'because you have always voted labour' but its really time to do a bit of thinking about the mess we are in and who's fault it is
    ---
    Perhaps they understand that until 2007 the UK had one of the lowest National Debt levels in the G20, significantly lower incidentally than in 1997, it was only the gross incompetence of multi millionaire city bookies that changed this situation, or would you have it that despite the fact that it was an international financial crisis everywhere else in the World in the UK it was all Labour's fault.

    The condemned government can repeat this particular canard as often as it likes but a lie is still a lie and the good people of Oldham have had the nounce to realise it.

  • Comment number 80.

    45. At 10:24am on 14 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:
    28. At 10:09am on 14 Jan 2011, braxious wrote:

    not a big surprize as it was a labour safe seat

    = = = = == =

    The previous Labour majority was just 130 - not a safe seat at all.

    The Labour majority is now around 3,300 votes - NOW it may be a safe Labour seat.


    ======================================

    It WAS a Labour safe seat until they SMASHED up the economy and via their legal powers stole £BILLIONS from pensions funds to fund their spending splurge.

    What REAL choice is there in UK politics. NONE
    You either vote for the 3 main partys or one of the has beens on the fringes whos overal policys are rightfully seen as crazy and ultimately severely damaging to our country, even if we may like one or two of their ideas & reasoning etc.

    In the meantime, we are fundamentally left with central politics which knows that it can lie & deceive & pretend & promise until the cows come home and attempt to enforce its OWN idealogical stupidity upon a nation of people in which so few can be bothered to vote for such attroctious distrustful numpty muppet politicians.

    The MUPPET comment above which suggest this is a Labour safe seat must have had contact with a bit of flintstone which has sparked their brain into disfunction.

    Labour ONLY received LESS than 21.1% of the total available vote, so how can it EVER be regarded with ANY positive outcome. FACTUALLY, it cannot.

    If you believe that democracy is well served by a candidate winning an election when 79.9% of constituent voters did NOT vote for this candidate then quite frankly and FACTUALLY your basisic stance on democracy is MUCH MUCH WORSE than Robert Mugabe's.

  • Comment number 81.

    I is happee init, coz theys toriz is sayin' I can't have dat benefit money an that I should work instead init. Jus' coz I was playin footie at the park init! I dint really bother much at school so I'd have to get a minimum wage job, an that's against my human rights init. No what am sayin'? It reediculous man, fo' real.

  • Comment number 82.

    The Labour Party keep saying a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for the Tories. Alright then in this by-election the coalition polled 15,561 votes (44.7%) compared to Labour’s 14,718 (42.1%). Even in what should be a Labour stronghold, with everything going in their favour, they couldn’t secure more votes than the coalition .Over half the electorate stayed at home. Of those entitled to vote only 20.28% bothered to go out and vote for Labour, the principle party of opposition to the coalition. If there had been a ‘none of the above candidate’ they would have won an overwhelming majority. Labour claimed that the Lib Dems vote would melt like snow in late spring. This hasn’t happened, in fact the Lib Dem vote was up on last May.

    Once the electorate get wise to the fact that Milliband the Lesser has nothing substantive to say, and actually opposes most of the necessary public sector reform kick started by Blair, then we’ll see what the electorate think of Labour.

    This result makes it far more likely the coalition will stay the course. The next election won’t be until May 2015 by which time the coalition will have delivered on reducing the deficit and public sector reform. Yes the tory vote collapsed, but in a seat they were never going to win. Between 1979 and 2007 the tory vote collapsed many times in by-elections, only for them to win the subsequent General Election.

    Labour has most to worry about here. Yes a win, but not the massive win you’d expect if the electorate were up in arms about the coalition’s policies.

  • Comment number 83.

    66. At 10:44am on 14 Jan 2011, Niall Firinne wrote:
    Against the backdrop of Coalition politics and budget cuts (which would also have happened if Labour had won) the surprise is that Labour has such a small majority. One would have expected them to romp home on a tidal wave of reaction against preceived cutbacks. Instead, they limp home and if the race had continued another week or so were under the threat of losing. All this says is that Labour has not yet regained credibility and Ed Miliband is seen as a nonentity in the Party and Country.

    -----------

    A lame argument given that Labour increased its majority.

    Still, spin it enough and some may be taken in.

  • Comment number 84.

    Does it matter?......all of them are Tories flying under flags of convenience.

  • Comment number 85.

    Intense apathy. Everybody claimed they won and everybody else lost.

    A little surprised Labour didn't get punished more for the behaviour of the previous candidate, and the publicity over fraudulent expenses claims - or perhaps they did?

  • Comment number 86.

    55. At 10:34am on 14 Jan 2011, The New Doctor wrote:
    18. At 09:59am on 14 Jan 2011, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    Will this be a "wake-up call" for the coalition? Are the results a boost for Ed Miliband?

    No, & no.

    Labour said the result - a boost for party leader Ed Miliband - was a "wake-up call" for the coalition.

    REALITY - Pretentious LIES - Ed the Duck Milibands popularity is much lower than the Labour Party in general.

    Labour partys share of the vote increased from 31.9% to 42%, but this was based upon a REDUCED voter turnout, down from 61% at electon to 48% now.

    With such a low showing, basically NOT even the Labour winner has the MORAL RIGHT to represent the people of this constituency or speak upon their behalf as literally around 70% DID NOT VOTE FOR THE LABOUR CANDIDATE, so Labour,WIPE THE UGLY POLITICAL SMUGNESS FROM YOUR FACE, YOU REPRESENT NOTHING OF REAL OR FACTUAL SUBSTANCE.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Actually it is even less than 70% voting against, as your figures demonstrate.

    From May 2010, Labour had 31.9% of the vote from a 61% turnout.
    This means that 0.319 * 0.61 = 0.19459, so in the May 2010 election 19.5% of the voting population of the constituency voted for Labour.

    From this election, Labour had 42% of the vote from a 48% turnout.
    This means that 0.42 * 0.48 = 0.2016, so in this election 20.2% of the voting population in the constituency voted for Labour.

    So all in all, Labour saw in increase in support of 0.7%, which is hardly a landslide victory.

    A look at the overall figures also interesting,

    Labour took 14,718 votes this time and 14,186 votes in May 2010. If we assume that the same people voted Labour both times, the additional 532 people who voted Labour this time are the 0.7% of the voting population mentioned above.

    If 532 people are 0.7% of the voting populous here, then this means the total number of registered voters in Oldham is 76,000.

    This means that for this election:
    Votes for Labour = 14,718
    Votes not for Labour = 61,282

    So now if we look at this as a fraction of the total voting population, 14,718 / 76,000 = 19.3%.

    In reality, the voting proportionality has not changed.

    Again, this is no real victory. I suspect the members of society who vote Labour no matter what have simply been consistent.



    -----------------
    Wow someone got a calculator for Christmas.

    Using a bit of mental maths on this basis vote for Tories out of potential votes 6% not voting Tories 94%!

  • Comment number 87.

    48% turnout just about says it all.
    The politicians just don't get it do they?

  • Comment number 88.

    I do wish people would stop trotting out the hoary old cliche that Labour is somehow responsible for the mess the bankers created worldwide. The bankers mugged us, and blaming Labour for that is like blaming the police for being mugged when they were out watching supposedly more dangerous streets.

    So far this coalition has benefited from the glow of economic recovery caused by Labour's policies; their only response has been Thatcherite slash and burn, and the pain of that has barely begun to be felt.

    Now the constituents of Oldham have seen through the barrage of BS and told the ConDems in no uncertain terms what they think of them. The Cons have been soundly thrashed, the Libs needen't be complacent because all they have done is pick up some fallout from the Tories, while those who left the Libs in disgust at their broken promises have defected to labour.

    Now we can only pray that the Libs will come to their senses and stop supporting this minority undemocratic Tory government before they do irreparable harm to the country.

  • Comment number 89.

    63. At 10:41am on 14 Jan 2011, Bill wrote:
    Labour want us to believe the coalition was not elected. Presumably,
    if the Lib Dems had gone in with Labour that would have been OK, even though the Tories got more than 2.1 million more votes than Labour.
    Now, in Oldham of all places, Labour gets gets 14718 votes and the coalition 15641 votes. Some victory!

    ======================================================================

    but there wasn't a coalition candidate there was a Tory and Lib Dem candidate. Would Tory & LibDem voters have voted coalition? Now that would have been an eye opener.Seems the coalition dont believe in the coalition that much.
    I have no loyalties either way!

  • Comment number 90.

    I'm pleased for Ed Miliband and Labour, but I feel it's too early to start celebrating, or predicting a return to a Labour Government just yet. Ed Miliband still needs to stamp his authority and identity on the leadership of the Labour Party presenting a clear, unambigious definition of exactly who the Labour Party represents and detailing, without spin or deceit, their policies and principles. The sooner Ed Miliband does this then the sooner we can look to ousting 'call me Dave' and his coterie of well-heeled charlatans.

  • Comment number 91.

    Not really a great surprise I'm obviously pleased to see that at least some people are begining to realise how stupid they were to let this bunch of incompetents into office but unfortunately the damage is done now and by-elections are not that important.

    I'm still not too pleased with Milliband being the leader of Labour but the best thing I can say is that he is a million times better than either of the two muppets that are presently ruining the country.

    The Tories have already proved that they have not changed since they were last in power apart from getting worse because at least Major was a decent enough bloke(well, for a Tory)Cameron is just an incompetent lying upper class twit who has nothing to offer other than stupid sound bites.
    His government have been in nearly nine months and are systematically destroying the country and it's people (unless you are one of the mega rich)

    Clegg is proving to be what I always thought he was an incompetent loud mouth who when given the chance to put into practice what he had been preaching would fall way short and would end up running around like a headless chicken.

  • Comment number 92.

    I have just read Baroness Warsi's comments on the oldham by-election and those of other conservatives and would say that they are in a complete state of denial, They proport to believe that national issues did not play a part in their defeat.

    I have a news flash for you.

    Yes it was, when i set off to the polling station, i consider who has made me financially worse off and the reasons that they have given for these policies and weigh up wether it is a true reflection of the facts. Clearly as a person who can do math, I would not believe a single word that came out of the conservative lips. Since taking office they have done nothing but lie, spin, decieve and misrepresent the true facts of the economy and the way to resolve a Conservative created financial bubble bursting and have the cheek at the same time to accuse labour of not doing anything about it like re instating the legislation that regulated the banks that the conservatives under major swept aside. At the same time as doing this they have also attempted to gloss over the facts that the designs of the policies like increasing VAT increases the cost of EVERYTHING even VAT free goods need to be TRANSPORTED to the SHOPS, Yes even a retailer that only sells childrens clothing will have to increase prices to adjust for increased distribution cost, and as anyone who has ran a business will tell you increasing the costs to business means less funds available for expansion and growth of that business. Being beholden to the banks is stupid they do not CREATE ANYTHING OTHER THAN DEBT ALL MONEY IS DEBT .

    We do not need an end to the condems or labour or libs etc. the reason the bnp and minority parties are increasing their share is simple we need an end to the elitist career politicians who see themselves in a position ABOVE their employer.

  • Comment number 93.

    I listened to the deputy leader of the LibDems and the Conservative mouthpiece on Today this morning. What a pair. Hughes trying to take over the mantle of Duncan Smith and what's-her-name pretending that the Conservates hadn't quietly ensured that a proportion of their vote went to the LibDems to ensure that the headlines didn't talk about a drubbing.

    I'm also glad that the whingeing, mithering LibDem candidate got his just desserts.

  • Comment number 94.

    Shock Horror! A labour candidate wins what was always a safe labour seat.

    What is interesting is that the Lib-dums have managed to retain a sizeable vote.

    What is even more interesting is that the voting for the 'minor' parties is almost unchanged. I was expecting more of a protest vote....

    So apart from the tories staying at home in a seat they were never going to win, there is no real story to justify the BBC's blanket coverage.

  • Comment number 95.

    7. At 09:43am on 14 Jan 2011, Wee-Scamp wrote:
    "The only thing I find astonishing is that despite the huge damage Labour did to the economy there really are people that will still vote for them."

    Because most people realise that it wasn't Labour that damaged the economy; it was irresponsible lending by banks in an industry de-regulated by the Tories. We HAD to bale out the banks (as did EVERY government, including the US) otherwise it would have been a total disaster. And now the Tories are jeopardising the recovery by taking money OUT of the economy.

  • Comment number 96.

    It is interesting to note people are happy to vote for a party whose only policy is to slam everything the government is doing.

  • Comment number 97.

    There's no one in any of the three main parties of any substance, there's a vacuum in British politics waiting to be filled. The bi-election at Oldham was just another ritualistic event to elect another person that will promise the earth and deliver nothing. Unless politicians start listening to the people and deliver what the people want, the vacuum that exists could well be filled by a Hitler or worse. Watching all the politicians mingling with their cronies oozing bucket loads of self gratification because they won (labour that is) just emphasises their inadequacies. The same old retoric about what they will do given the chance of power again, I want to cry. The leader that Britain needs is out there somewhere, come on out, show your hand, our country needs you.

  • Comment number 98.

    72. At 10:48am on 14 Jan 2011, steve wrote:

    The combined vote for Labour and the Lib Dems was more than that for the Tories at the General Election didn't stop Trigger and his Orange Book NeoCons selling out to the Conservatives though did it?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Isn't that because, at national level, it's the total number of seats each party wins that is relevant, rather than the total number of votes?

  • Comment number 99.

    79. At 10:54am on 14 Jan 2011, steve wrote:
    What on earth were the good people of Oldham thinking? Have they all forgotten the disastrous tenure of the former labour leader who pushed the nation to the edge of bankruptcy? Its thanks to labour that we are still borrowing billions of pounds each month, the interest on which is money which can no longer be spent on improving the country and the lives of everyone in it.
    Its one thing voting labour 'because you have always voted labour' but its really time to do a bit of thinking about the mess we are in and who's fault it is
    ---
    Perhaps they understand that until 2007 the UK had one of the lowest National Debt levels in the G20, significantly lower incidentally than in 1997, it was only the gross incompetence of multi millionaire city bookies that changed this situation, or would you have it that despite the fact that it was an international financial crisis everywhere else in the World in the UK it was all Labour's fault.

    The condemned government can repeat this particular canard as often as it likes but a lie is still a lie and the good people of Oldham have had the nounce to realise it.
    ========================================================
    Well, about 15% of the good people of Oldham. And how many of those were thinking about the national debt levels in the G20 in 2007 yesterday?

  • Comment number 100.

    The same old three, there will never be any positive change untill the con-lab-lib brigade are frightened out of their wits by sufficient BNP; Raving Lunies; left wing socialists and EDL seats are taken!!

 

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