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Balls Up over Labour document

Michael Crick | 14:18 UK time, Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Peter Hain has published a document today suggesting ways in which the Labour Party might beef up its structure.

His report states:"We had some great results in 2010, and deprived the Tories of an overall majority, against all the odds. What can we learn from new methods of community or political organising in places like Edgbaston, Gedling, Barking and Morely & Outwood, where Labour candidates over-performed compared with the national swing against us?"

"Over-performed compared with the national swing"?

In Edgbaston, fair enough. Gisela Stuart performed exceptionally there, with a swing against Labour of just 1.3 per cent. In Gedling, Vernon Coaker did remarkably too (suffering a swing of only 2.9%).

And Margaret Hodge hammered the BNP in Barking.

But Morley and Outwood, where Ed Balls is the MP? I think not.

Mr Balls almost lost the seat, and Labour suffered an adverse swing of 9.3 per cent, almost twice the national average of 5 per cent. Indeed, if Labour had suffered a 9.3 per cent swing across the country then David Cameron would be governing on his own right now with a handsome majority.

I wonder how Morley and Outwood crept into Mr Hain's list of over-performers? Don't get me wrong - I'm not accusing Mr Balls of adding his constituency surreptitiously.

If he had, he surely wouldn't have mis-spelt Morley!


  • Comment number 1.

    Typical Labour mis-speak. Self delusional...

  • Comment number 2.

    Well, he did 'outperform', just in the wrong direction. Nothing unusual about that.

  • Comment number 3.

    Didn't he dig a hole and fall in, regarding a think-tank that had funds but no thoughts? But he was soon back - that's the Westminser Ethos.

  • Comment number 4.

    'Mr Balls almost lost the seat, and Labour suffered an adverse swing of 9.3 per cent, almost twice the national average of 5 per cent.'


    At risk of rehashing #2 ;), maybe to some mindsets that could be viewed as overperforming indeed.

    Between what the public is getting in recent speeches and published efforts such as this, might there be a case for Labour's top brass to campaign via the medium of mime?

    Though, Silent Movie's Marcel Marceau might have had a word for it.

  • Comment number 5.

    Morley and Outwood was a new seat for 2010 to replace Morley and Rothwell, so I'm not sure how valid your 9.3% swing is - most people expected the new boundaries to result in a large Conservative swing even without the national swing.

    The result was actually a great example of how a well-organised community campaign can overcome a party wielding huge amounts of cash and high-profile names, which I suspect was Peter Hain's point, even if he did over-egg it a bit...

  • Comment number 6.

    Classic Hain - he has fluffed his way through question time so many times now, it has become patently obvious that he is a complete fool, and as we know, MPs aren't really that bothered with the accuracy of their "facts".

  • Comment number 7.


    * If I decode the Blogdog will have me.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 8.

    Isnt all off the above a mute point talking of 'swings' etc. The election clock and the measuring sticks we use will be re-set assuming AV gets voted in.

    Speaking of which I was very surprised to see the odds of a 'yes to AV' vote are 11/10...a ''no' vote is favourite at 4 to 6 on. Am I missing something here or is that the betting bargain of the decade? I was expecting a 'yes' vote to be a clear 'not worth betting on' 1/10 favourite or something.

    Labour support it, lib dems support it , every green and BNP etc etc will support it, anything that smells like change will be pounced upon surely by the electorate who can be bothered to vote..those who would prefer no AV probably wont get off their backsides anyway such is the disillusionment with all that is politics.

    So why is a 'no' vote favourite?

    Any ideas anyone before I 'invest' some money in this intellectual position. Unfortunately unlike bankers I dont get to gamble with other peoples money without them knowing so your opinions are greatly appreciated.

  • Comment number 9.


    Aside from my belief (aired on the other thread, linked below) that AV and its discussion is not rational (while FPTP is just a mockery) I suggest that in the punter mind: FPTP is 'more of the same' and AV is 'anything for a change'. Are we not looking for change, in the fairness-space going forward?

  • Comment number 10.

    True that Morley and Outwood was a high swing compared with the national swing, but compared with its constituency neighbours, the Labour vote fell less in Morley and Outwood than in Elmet and Rothwell, Leeds Central, Leeds West, and Pontefract and Castleford. So in its local context it was a good result, albeit that this was largely due to a very weak Conservative candidate running a poor campaign.

  • Comment number 11.

    bet your life if the Tories want will be bad for the rest of us, if the Yes vote win you could have Nick Clegg forever, imagine that? Like that bird in the south Atlantic flying around for ever, never stopping and always looking at you, staring at you....'my name is Nick and everyone used to agree with me' but they all hate me now...only you will never get rid of deal with it and my mates are the Tories so deal with that too....

  • Comment number 12.

  • Comment number 13.

    the bird was an albatross, always wandering around, no particular place to go...


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