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A massive swing

Nick Robinson | 14:09 UK time, Friday, 24 July 2009

A massive 16.5 swing, not far short of what they got in Crewe and Nantwich, will allow the Conservatives to say that this is much better than the results I alluded to in my earlier post.

Labour, on the other hand, will point out that the swing originated largely from a collapse in their vote (-27%) and much less by an increase in the Tory vote (just 6.5%).

The truth is that Mr Cameron has done more than enough to look on course for an election victory and Labour has done badly enough to fear that one is inevitable.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    The light at the end of the tunnel is well and truly in sight!

  • Comment number 2.

    There there. That didn't hurt much, did it Nick?

  • Comment number 3.

    Sour grapes from those "explaining" the Labour's ducking on tv.

    No amount of intellectualising and pontificating will get Labour to win the General, especially after this result in Norwich.

    The man and woman in the street have spoken - and will continue to speak. Listen, Gordon. Take direction Gordon from the people.

    LISTEN, learn the lesson, and move off the world's and our stage.

  • Comment number 4.

    Well done Nick. At long last, Reason triumps over Sentiment.

  • Comment number 5.

    Unsurprising swing.
    Roundabouts when better days?
    My guess: not next term.

  • Comment number 6.

    "Labour, on the other hand, will point out that the swing originated largely from a collapse in their vote (-27%) and much less by an increase in the Tory vote (just 6.5%)."

    ===

    Yes, well done Labour. Trying to spin it by saying "we lost because we were rubbish, not because the Tories were good".

    In denial right to the bitter end.

  • Comment number 7.

    Nick, I really want to believe that that wasn't said through gritted teeth.

  • Comment number 8.

    Brown is hated by the people.

    Brown's ego has for years been destroying the Labour party from within. When are Labour going to get rid of him?

  • Comment number 9.

    No-one can spin this as anything other than a very good result for the Tories and a terrible one for Labour and the Lib Dems. Not much better for the Greens either.

    I'm not a betting man but if I was I'd be piling money on the General Election being delayed till (almost) the last possible moment. It's now the only way Gordon Brown can maximise his tenure in 10 Downing Street.

    Labour must now plan for 5 years in opposition...

  • Comment number 10.

    Will BBC jobs be in the gift of The Conservatives as they have been under Labour? I do hope so. What a stunning result in Norwich. Is democracy about to return to our shores?

  • Comment number 11.

    "Labour, on the other hand, will point out that the swing originated largely from a collapse in their vote (-27%) and much less by an increase in the Tory vote (just 6.5%)."

    It's a by-election. It attracted all sorts of oddballs and weirdos on a low turnout, so all the major parties were likely to lose a few votes here or there. You can't really spin a loss on this scale as anything but bad news for Labour, though. The Tories got nearly half of all votes and more than twice Labour's vote in a seat which, while historically fairly marginal, had been solidly Labour since 1997.

    I had been expecting a solid if unspectacular Tory win, followed by a real struggle to hold it at the GE, but this result pretty much makes it safe Blue territory, with the rest fighting for second.

  • Comment number 12.

    I wonder if the jellyspines pretending to the throne of Labour regret not taking up the knife before. There was a chance of Labour maintaining its dignity in defeat at the next election (or even a possible victory in the bottled election)...but that disappeared over the horizon a long time ago. The only question now is "Who gets the Portillo treatment?"

  • Comment number 13.

    Nick, people will now be saying "How outrageously biased to the Tories you are." This is of course as stupid as the other taunts. Good blogs always create comment and response. Yours do, so keep up the great work.

    Roll on the day when we can vote for a fresh 5 year mandate. I fear it will take a long time and it will all become rather nasty.

  • Comment number 14.

    " Yes, well done Labour. Trying to spin it by saying "we lost because we were rubbish, not because the Tories were good".

    In denial right to the bitter end."

    Yellow - remember that lesson we had a while back about the difference between fact and opinion? Well your quotation refers to Nick's opinion on what Labour may or may not say. It's not a fact. They haven't said it yet. Please calm yourself. It may never happen.

  • Comment number 15.

    You have to laugh, good old Gordon (Its not my fault) blames everything else as to why Labour lost, Gordon you see the reason every time you look in the mirror. He should do himself and above anything else the Labour party a favour and go, opposition is calling.........

  • Comment number 16.

    No, "I told you so " then Nick"? On the BBC , just after the declaration, a lady reporter was giving her views at the same time as I understand that the Labour Agent was reading a speech, apparantly from the sick Labour candidate. Net result, I could not properly hear either.

    Nick, I think that you should go and have a lie down in a darkened room, you may just recover in time for the next Bye or General Election.

    A poor excuse, 'The Tories did not gain much, it was Labour losses' surely you can do better than that?

  • Comment number 17.

    Nick,

    Typing that must have felt like the keyboard was on fire and burning your finger nails. However, at least you've been gracious in defeat.

    I presume its back to Labour HQ to work out the next nit-pick attack on the Tories?


  • Comment number 18.

    Oh dear Nick! You presented your version of the facts and I suppose that's as close as we are going to get!

    However, might it just be possible that the people of Norwich who voted actually like Cameron?

    I'm still not sure about the Tories, but I suppose if Brown was doing a good job, the result may have been a lot closer....

  • Comment number 19.

    Nick, how is the humble pie tasting?

  • Comment number 20.

    "" Yes, well done Labour. Trying to spin it by saying "we lost because we were rubbish, not because the Tories were good".

    In denial right to the bitter end."

    Yellow - remember that lesson we had a while back about the difference between fact and opinion? Well your quotation refers to Nick's opinion on what Labour may or may not say. It's not a fact. They haven't said it yet. Please calm yourself. It may never happen."


    Sorry LATT #14. I am afraid Sagamix the Red Defender said just that. He may be right but it is a damn poor excuse for being trounced royally.

  • Comment number 21.

    6. At 2:30pm on 24 Jul 2009, yellowbelly1959 wrote:

    Yes, well done Labour. Trying to spin it by saying "we lost because we were rubbish, not because the Tories were good".

    In denial right to the bitter end.

    - The Tories were good?

    Its just a case of getting fed up with one load and giving the other lot of rubbish a go. And in a few years we will no doubt decide its time to bring the old rubbish back in again...

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm this has more to do with people wanting Labour out than people wanting Cameron's blue labour in.

    IMO what we really need is some radical change and the best option for that is some recognition and representation for England via an English Parliament.

    It's about time English taxes were spent in England.

  • Comment number 23.

    Nick,

    So its Mr Cameron now, what happened to Dave ?

  • Comment number 24.

    No need to apologise Nick

    Maybe the electorate is just fed up of spin, and we'd like people like you to actually pull up the politiciatians and make sure they are held accountable

  • Comment number 25.

    Another spectacular self inflicted and un-necessary New Labour Gordon Brown inspired own goal.

    Perhaps Gordon Brown should have followed his own advice :

    "This is no time for a Norwich"

  • Comment number 26.

    Every election - bye-election, council election, euro election - delivers the same result, which is a collapse in the Labour vote.

    The fact is that the party is discredited, and its leader is despised.

    If only we didn't have to wait till next summer, but that's Brown and Labour for you - 'sod the public, let's cling on for as long as we can'.

    Contemptible.

  • Comment number 27.

    Despite the somewhat trite comments I detect that the inhabitants of the Westminster media village are accepting that there is more to this result than a reaction to the MPs expenses saga.

    "Oh, where are the miracles when one most needs them?", I can hear Gordon thinking as he wanders, lonely as a cloud, around the Lake District hoping to espy a host of daffodils.

  • Comment number 28.

    Well Nick, looks like the soapbox and rolled up sleeves worked for "Dave" then!

    What must "Jimmy" be thinking as he prepares to go on his holidays, and leaves both his Deputy Prime Ministers squabbling over who is really in charge?

  • Comment number 29.

    Labour would be right to point to the collapse in their vote, now instead of spinning as to the collapses cause they need to wake up and realize the problem is Gordon Brown.

    The Tories aren't even trying very hard, they know they don't have to as Brown represents their most potent weapon; while he's Labour leader, he's guaranteed to give the Tories the swing they need.

    The Tories expected a majority of 1000-2000, and the Brown-effect managed to more triple that. Labour have had more than one opportunity to get rid, and unless they plan to be obliterated in the General Election they need to get rid of Brown ASAP.

  • Comment number 30.

    14. At 2:41pm on 24 Jul 2009, Laughatthetories wrote:
    " Yes, well done Labour. Trying to spin it by saying "we lost because we were rubbish, not because the Tories were good".

    In denial right to the bitter end."

    Yellow - remember that lesson we had a while back about the difference between fact and opinion? Well your quotation refers to Nick's opinion on what Labour may or may not say. It's not a fact. They haven't said it yet. Please calm yourself. It may never happen.

    ===

    It already has, laugh! "Jimmy" has just said " I don't think any party can take a great deal of cheer from this, the Conservative vote went down..."

    As I said, in denial to the bitter end!

    "Gordon Brown said it was "clearly a disappointing result" for Labour but people should consider what was happening in the constituency.
    "The voters were clearly torn between their anger and dismay at what's been happening with MPs' expenses, something we have been trying to clean up and at the same time support for the former MP, the Labour MP Ian Gibson, who was very popular.
    "I don't think any party can take a great deal of cheer from this, the Conservative vote went down, the Liberal vote when down - only the fringe parties saw their votes going up."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8166398.stm

  • Comment number 31.

    "The truth is that Mr Cameron has done more than enough to look on course for an election victory and Labour has done badly enough to fear that one is inevitable. "

    Well, one shall prepare for the dark ages just as the previous generation prepared for such times leading up to May 3rd 1979.

    :-(

  • Comment number 32.

    You see?

    That wasn't so hard was it Nick.

    You CAN be objective when you have to be. :o)

  • Comment number 33.

    I find it astonishing just how low the turnout was. With all that's been happening in politics lately, why on earth do so many people not seem to care which party is in power?

    I'm pleased that Labour lost, as they are proving to be disastrous for the country. However, I'm not pleased that the Tories won, as I'm not naive enough to think for a minute that they'll do any better.

    Just think what might have happened if all the people who didn't vote turned up and voted for one of the smaller parties?

  • Comment number 34.

    It's good to see the Iraqi Information Minister is still safely ensconsed in Labour Party HQ drafting their positions for them. I had worried that in this time of economic hardship that his job may be at risk, but it seems they use now him more than ever.
    "The Tories got less votes this time than last time so they can't claim this is a victory"? Seriously, is that the best line they have? Voter turnout was down 27% on the last election. For them to have not lost a single vote, they'd have had to poll at some 45% of the vote share this time round - or, put another way, 16.5% is too puny a swing for the Tories to claim victory; they needed something closer to 20% Do they really think that we the public are that stupid that we won't see through that?
    What Labour need to be doing is pushing the softness of the Tory/Labour movements. How much of that 6% gain will hold up come the General? How much of their almost 30% loss will remain? I suspect that the fact that they are grasping at threads that would make a straw look positively obese means that the numbers are not as soft as they need them to be.

  • Comment number 35.

    There there Nick, there may just be a job in the Guardian after the next election, then again, without the support of Labour advertising may be not. I here Labour are offering training courses for anybody out of work for a year. If you quit now you will qualify for one when the Tories win the GE. You would make a good bin man.

  • Comment number 36.

    2 wrongs dont make a right ; the people of Norwich will have felt the same as most at the expenses revealations. That didnt mean that it was a fait acompli that deselecting their member would then: 'make the gov ern ment look strong and tough and brave and honest' ( say it in a sing song up and down. Im sure the cabinet and wonks did)

  • Comment number 37.

    What's happened Mr Robinson? Has Peter Mandelson removed the electrodes from your testicles?

  • Comment number 38.

    Good grief. Time for change going on - on my radio. Mr Cameron. He accuses the Government of peddling untruths? lol

    And the European Elections results.

    And half the story still, Nicholas.

    What are we waiting for now?

    So can I misbehave with your threads text? Censor it if you will. I expect that nowadays from a BBC who do not know whose side it is own. Its listeners or vested interest.

    Subject: a massive swing nicholas robinson
    Anagram: Novel Inns Wigs ass - Harmonica's bio

    Need I say MOOR?

  • Comment number 39.

    Brown = 'Sunny Jim' Callaghan. Crisis what crisis?

    Another ex-chancellor with no rapport whatsoever with voters.

    The political cowardice of cabinet ministers will lead to devestating defeat for Zanu-NuLabour at the next election. What are they afraid of? Brown has no credibiltity, no popularity, no patronage to dispense, or deny, his threats hardly matter any more. HE IS A LOSER.

    Yet still they just can't bring themselves to do the necessary - they deserve the oblivion thats in store for them.

  • Comment number 40.

    out of the frying pan into the fire is what we the voters have to suffer from parliment as a whole, no matter what every thing is decided by party bosses so untill we destroy the parties hold on government nothing will change.
    neu-labour is the tory party in all ways bar the name.
    the tory party has run itself ragged trying to counter itself.
    no party is worthy of running the country and should bow out before every one realizes they are basicly self interested.

  • Comment number 41.

    35. The_Butcher_007 wrote:
    "There there Nick, ......" etc

    I think that is out of order, are you really such a sad specimen that you have nothing better to say?

  • Comment number 42.

    I decided to play the dangerous game of extrapolation. Shouldn't be done, of course, but you can bet the political parties are so I thought I'd give it a go.

    At the GE it is reasonable to assume that the smaller candiates will lose support. Lets assume that 2,000 of the 4,000 UKIP voters turn to the Tories and that 2,000 of the 3,000 Green votes become Labour ones. Lets also assume that the vast majority of the independant vote disappears - spread evenly across the parties (1,000 extra votes to Conservatives and Labour). That would leave the Tories with 48% of the vote and Labour with 27%. On a 61% turnout (as per 2005) that would give the Conservatives a majority of 9,700.

    Its interesting that the Lib Dems didn't pick up any protest vote at this bye-election.

  • Comment number 43.

    Yes, Nick.

    It is terribly bad for the Tories that Labour's vote collapsed by 26% this time as against 18% in Crewe & Natwich.

    Things just go from bad to worse for them, don't they?

  • Comment number 44.

    Another big defeat for Labour and usual tired cliche from Brown that he is "getting on with the job"

    When is the overwhelming truth going to penetrate his thick skull? The British don't don't want him to get on with the job. They want him to get lost.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    It does not matter who wins if the incoming MP follows the imprudent example of her predecessor. It only matters if the new MP is going to do something to make Parliament a better, fairer and cheaper place for taxpayers.If another cheating MP gets, in we will all be losers. Only time will tell.

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    #8 Brown's ego has for years been destroying the Labour party from within. When are Labour going to get rid of him?


    The Labour Party can't/won't get rid of Brown now. Why? most of the people who worked hard put put Labour into power became so disgusted about the results that they voted with their feet and left. Party membership has slumped since 1997 - and many of the remaining rump are anything but enthusiastic.

    It's not just Brown's ego. Blair's ego was just as bad or worse: he started the rot with his contempt for both the voters and erstwhile party members.

    I can't see a new leader doing any better. To my mind the potential replacements are political dinosaurs fighting over the rotting corpse of a defunct party. The General Election will bury it, and then British politics can move on.

    I personally would vote for any party leader who promised to go to the funerals of British servicemen killed in action and NOT to the "nuptuals" of News International Executives.

  • Comment number 49.

    Come on Nick - give credit where it is due -

    The fact that NuLab even won this seat in the Euro elections speaks volumes for the massive kicking took today -

  • Comment number 50.

    change of government in Australia, then US of A and finally New Zealand - a sign perhaps!

    Labour is doomed! There's no doubt about that.

    Keep up the good work Nick. Your blog makes a refreshing change from Mr. Webb's Obama love-in.

  • Comment number 51.

    In all fairness, thank you for fairly and squarely eating your words.

    I still think getting any implicit acknowledgment from the BBC that the Conservatives are NOT a bunch of baby-eating aliens is like getting blood out of a stone. The left is too readily taken at its own word, especially the word "progressive", when the nature of progress should be one of the things the BBC debates, rather than assumes.

    Equally insidious, in my view, is the attempt (puerile in the extreme, as we saw in Nick's previous blog entry) to "guide the [sc. idiot] public through the jungle of spin". That just means joining in with the spin. Report the facts and discuss the issues. Spending most of the time discussing the way in which the facts and issues are being avoided is just overcomplicating things ... which many might say the BBC has learned to excel at, because it makes it seem more important than it is.

  • Comment number 52.

    Total denial from Grodon Brown and Harriet Harman as well as all the newlabour apologists on these posts.

    An appalling turnout says Harriet - but that appplies to all aprties not just newlabour.

    Unprecedented circumstances, bleats Gordon Brown - but that applies to all parties not just newlabour.

    Whatever next?

    It was the year of the Ox? Applies to all parties. It was a Thursday? Yep, same as the other parties.

    When are Harriet and Gordon going to unsderstand nobody wants them to run the country?

    Nobody wants even more taxation; nobody wants mroe and more waste in the public sector. No-one wants all this debt.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 53.

    From Brown at his press conference on Wednesday ....
    "1228: Brown says that he hopes voters in Norwich and Glasgow by-elections will recognise which party has the best policies for the recession."

    They have recognised that that party is not Labour.


  • Comment number 54.

    Remember this wasn't even the by-election that really scared "labour", thats still to come in glasgow. :-)

    There's nothing sadder than watching a government on life support, if you thought corruption was endemic now just wait till they realise they'll be out in the cold anyway.

    In a proper democracy there would be some way to pull the plug on this sort of self-serving, fill-your-boots government.

    If people can get out of jail if they prove, essentially, they don't belong there surely we can punt people from government for the same thing?

    Whats the point of having accountablity when these people are invincible for another year?

    If any "labour" members are reading this please, please, please do whats best for the counrty, not whats best for yourselves. It might be tempting to hang on till May and get all those juicy expenses but this is not a private company you are deliberatley screwing over, its 4 entire nations and 60 million people.

  • Comment number 55.

    OK. A by-election out of the way. Fairly predictable outcome.

    I still can't find a parliamentary procedure that says (as Brown stated in his press conference) that there is somehow a different set of rules surrounding by-elections if a Speaker resigns than if an "ordinary" MP resigns. Both are essentially MPs and are obliged to apply for the Chiltern Hundreds (accepting some other publicly-paid post) in order to leave parliament. Both left constituents who deserve representation in the House. But I can't find any constitutional differences.

    So why did Brown say there was something "special" about calling a by-election to replace the discredited Speaker?

    Any ideas Nick?

    (BTW: Looks like the economy is still going down the pan. I'm surprised that Brown got into such a mess by denying "spending cuts". The logical thing would have been to say that, with economic activity in freefall, planned spending would be higher as a percentage of GDP!!!!

    I'm still waiting for another goon to say that child-poverty has been cut again, because in relative terms (with so many private employees losing jobs or taking pay-cuts, therefore average income is declining) those dependent on state benefits look better off now than before.

    Where are the creative spin-doctors when you need them?)

  • Comment number 56.

    At least the labour excuse has changed from "we will learn from this" - have they finally learnt that the nation has had enough of them!

  • Comment number 57.

    I thought Gordon Brown was in denial but listening to him after the Norwich result it's much worse than that.
    If as Brown says there were underlying factors, then why not have the by election for Michael Martin's seat very soon, and not wait until November. Is Brown brave enough to do more than just spin.

  • Comment number 58.

    Gibson's fate in Norwich should have been left to the local party. Party members and the public are sick of being treated with contempt by the PM and government. We are NOT all stupid.

    Referring to a previous controversy on this blog. I am disgusted by ALL political leaders who toady to Rupert Murdoch. Why was there so much spotlight on Cameron's assistant, and almost none on the nauseating relationship between New Labour and News International?

    Why did Gordon Brown find it necessary to attend Rebekah Wade's most recent wedding? Does he admire her example against domestic violence?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4408746.stm

    To me this toadying is a form of treason. We are conditioned to see our enemies in foreign states or religions, but in my view Murdoch's organisation is as much an enemy of the British people as Al Qaeda. It has been undermining our culture and political institutions for decades. When are our politicians going to have the guts to stand up to it?

  • Comment number 59.

    I seem to detect sour grapes amongst the Tories blogging today? Weird. Lighten up, you won.
    I dread to think what you'll be like when Labour lose the next election to you (Just like you lost to them in '97, in fact!)

    Oh and oldrightie:
    'Will BBC jobs be in the gift of The Conservatives as they have been under Labour? I do hope so. What a stunning result in Norwich. Is democracy about to return to our shores?'
    Don't you think that this has been part of the BBC's problem? Their independence has been attacked by the present government and you want the Conservative party (if/when elected) to take over where New Labour left off? Can't you see the gulf between your wish for a return to 'democracy' and a goverment controlled media. Typically muddled conservative 'thinking'!

  • Comment number 60.

    31. At 3:16pm on 24 Jul 2009, enigmajx wrote:
    "The truth is that Mr Cameron has done more than enough to look on course for an election victory and Labour has done badly enough to fear that one is inevitable. "

    Well, one shall prepare for the dark ages just as the previous generation prepared for such times leading up to May 3rd 1979.

    :-(

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    May 3rd 1979 was the end of another disastrous Labour run of office.
    Remember that Labour have destroyed the economy ever time they have gained power.

    This is just an historical fact.

    Labour is now bringing forward spending (carrying out a scorched earth policy)

    So that the Tory's will get the blame again for the pain caused by Labour but administered by the Tories.

    But I think even this is wrong now. I think people will always now remeber that Laboour gives the British economy cancer and the Tories have to administer Chemo.

    I hope there is one Labour MP after the GE one G Brown who will be the laughing stock we all know he is.

  • Comment number 61.

    Unfortunately this was such a bad result for New Labour that they will now be Superglueing their fingertips to cling on just a little bit longer....

  • Comment number 62.

    I just watched an 'interview' by a BBC question reader-outer with Ms. Harman.

    In the course of about 3 minutes, the only thing I recall was her saying the Conservatives were saying the election was in the bag, and hence were very arrogant.

    If that is indeed what is being said then the latter is close to true, though I'd say cocky would be a more accurate, yet still foolish response, all things considered.

    Thing is, is that really what 'they' have been saying? Or is it the last desperate gasp of spin this mouldy government is figuring might save them? If so, might one hope our £92k+ market rate talents reading the teleprompter might be moved to ask their interviewees to substantiate their claims, rather than providing a mute national pulpit for them, especially if inaccurate?

  • Comment number 63.

    It matters not the least what anyone spins about this the result is a total Labour melt down and the end is in sight. What started out with such hope in 1997 is about to end in ignominy and it is the result of one man's attempt to completely socially engineer a new form of United Kingdom. The Prime Minister is solely responsible for all of this and I do not need to recount the litany of his failures; others do that on this blog regularly and with some feeling. I have one major issue and it concerns the prospects for the young today.

    We do need to question the value for money we have gained out of the massive investments in schools. I cannot see a bight new educated youth emerging from our schools moving on to the so-called top jobs. They are simply not being equipped to do it. I wonder what Mr and Mrs Balls have in mind next July? Perhaps creating a City Academy in their own image to teach their values to those who want to listen? I would not put it past them.

  • Comment number 64.

  • Bye,bye Mr Brun. It wasn't nice knowing you.
  • Comment number 65.

    robin jd @ 52

    Call an election

    Robin, have you never heard of Deferred Gratification? ... separates the Men from the boys, so I'm told

  • Comment number 66.

    Nick, you said that the conservative vote had increase; Brown said that it went down. Which one is right?!

  • Comment number 67.

    Does Gordon Brown think we voters, or maybe the press reporters through whom he gives out his statements (sorry Nick), are thick?

    He is reported as saying (I assume without an ironic tone): "I don't think any party can take a great deal of cheer from this, the Conservative vote went down, the Liberal vote when down - only the fringe parties saw their votes going up."

    Whilst his words are puposefully not false, they belie the simple maths that the Labour vote went down by a staggering 238%,Lib Dems by 59% and Conservatives by 15% - against a reported downturn in votes cast of 15.33%. Although on a small scale, 'Others' were up 654%, UKIP 263% and Greens 168%.

    A classic under-statement from the man that has been responsible for our economy for the past 12 years. It has been noted!

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 70.

    cameron looks so fresh faced and the tory winner in norwich looks so young, in stark relationship to an old looking washed up brown,who even when he was younger looked old and washed up.good luck to the conservatives anything is better than this shower, and im a labour man!!!!!

  • Comment number 71.

    I think that this is actually the worst possible result for Labour. Sure, the Tories haven't done particularly well as the main opposition party at a time when we have a God-awful and unpopular Government in power.

    However, as one or two other contributors have mentioned, the Labour vote is collpasing apparently everywhere with the possible exception of the North East. Labour don't seem to be able to win in Scotland (Glenrothes being the exception albeit I have my 'doubts' they actually won there!). They lost a lot of ground in Wales in the recent Euro and council elections. They have been annhilated in the South and South West and have lost the mayoral seat in London.

    It would seem to me that the current political climate says 'anyone but Labour'. If that's true, 100 seats maybe beyond their reach come the next election. Oh, that's if Gordon, errr... sorry, Peter, let's us have one!

  • Comment number 72.

    It is clear that a new strategy has emerged from this Government and its apologists.

    With annihilation looming all they can do now is to suggest that BOTH main parties are flawed in the hope that this will split votes between the minor ones..thus reducing the impact on Labour.

    Browns Last Stand??

  • Comment number 73.

    #69 if brown had any bottle or 1 ounce of interest in the young people of the uk, he would call and election now,hes finished(not that he ever begun) hes ,without doubt the worst pm in my lifetime and probobly in anybody elses lifetime.brownwatch 311 days(max)

  • Comment number 74.

    #59 "oldrightie:
    'Will BBC jobs be in the gift of The Conservatives as they have been under Labour? I do hope so. What a stunning result in Norwich. Is democracy about to return to our shores?'
    Don't you think that this has been part of the BBC's problem? Their independence has been attacked by the present government and you want the Conservative party (if/when elected) to take over where New Labour left off? Can't you see the gulf between your wish for a return to 'democracy' and a goverment controlled media."


    I totally agree. We need an independent BBC which does not let itself be bullied by ANY government.

    Perhaps we could have elected nonpolitical trustees who are prepared to take an oath to defend the BBC's independence and impartiality.

  • Comment number 75.

    To #66, the answer is of course, that both are right!!

    The actual number of Tory votes fell between 2005 and yesterday (approx 2000) but their percentage share of the vote went up by some 6%.

    Hope that helps.

  • Comment number 76.

    "mediajunkie09 wrote:
    Nick, you said that the conservative vote had increase; Brown said that it went down. Which one is right?!"

    Percentage wise the Conservative vote went up, however actually number of votes for the Conservatives went down.

    Percentage of the vote is a better indicator - just think that if only 10,000 people voted and they all voted for the Conservative candidate Brown could still say that the Tory vote went down!

  • Comment number 77.

    interesting you used the 16.5% swing figure here, i was listening to radio 4's coverage at lunchtime and for some reason the reporter insisted it was a 6.5% swing on a number of occasions, ignored the correction from the tory person he was speaking to, and then the labour voice (harman? can't remember) used the 6.5 figure without challenge. very strange.

    still, mustn't grumble eh?

  • Comment number 78.

    #66 Nick, you said that the conservative vote had increase; Brown said that it went down. Which one is right?!


    As a rule of thumb, if there are two views on what has happened/is happening and one comes from "Labour" and the other comes from any of the other 5.9999 billion people on earth the latter is right.

    See Iraq having WMD's, Dr. David Kelly "committing suicide", the firefighters "demanding 40%" and Gordon Brown being "the right man for the job" for further details.

  • Comment number 79.

    What now for the LibDems?
    This should have been a perfect opportunity for them to nudge Labour into third, particularly after the Gibson decision and it being a by-election. Almost pipped by UKIP, what are their prospects in the GE? Should Cable replace Clegg? This two party duopoly has to be challenged and the present post expenses climate should provide that opportunity.
    Is there too much flip-flopping on policy? Or is it a perception thing, not given enough weight in the media, too small to be taken seriously?
    Are there any LibDems on here who care to give us their thoughts?

  • Comment number 80.

    Since they all took part in the creation of the financial schemes and failed to protect the public or national interest I would recommend that all new people be elected and let the public declare a new era of accountability.......would vote for anyone anywhere willing to pursue criminal charges against the banks. Until things change..nothing is going to change.

  • Comment number 81.

    #66

    Both are actually correct, it just depends on which figures you compare.

    Brown is using actual number of votes cast and Nick is using % share of the votes cast.

    Actual votes cast the Conservatives polled fewer this time, 13,000 odd vs 15,000 odd at the last GE. You would expect El Gordo to have amnesia and forget to mention his candidate only polled 6000 odd votes compared to the 21000 odd Dr Gibson got at the general election (yes Gordo has misplaced more votes than the winner actually recieved).

    In percentage terms the Tories got 39% vs 33% (i.e. share increased) whilst Labour managed 18% vs 44%.

    This selective use of numbers and statistics is the modus operandi of modern politics and what makes much of what passes for 'debate' in parliament so meaningless aas they never explain the baseline or reference point they are using and interchange % and actual numbers at will in the name of spin.

    For example call me Dave commented that Labour only recieved 1 in 9 votes in Norwich North, it must have slipped his mind to point out that his candidate only received 2 in 9 by the same calculation.

    All politicians are at it and to have one or the other try to claim some sort of moral highground on honesty is laughable. They just cannot help themselves.

  • Comment number 82.

    "The magnitude of this defeat shows that this was more than just a protest vote and it was more than simply a reaction to the expenses crises - that excuse did not wash after June 4 and it will not wash this time."
    "Indeed, this was more than a response to the apparently unjust deselection of Ian Gibson. He, too, would have lost."
    "No, a swing of this proportion - not unlike the one to Labour in the Wirral in 1997 - is a sign of embedded culture change. It shows that the country is ready and willing - if not craving - to vote for a Tory government in substantial numbers."

    Alex Smith, Labourlist editor

    I think "craving" is laying it on a bit thick, but at least there are some genuine Labour supporters accepting the harsh realities.

  • Comment number 83.

    "The truth is that Mr Cameron has done more than enough to look on course for an election victory and Labour has done badly enough to fear that one is inevitable."

    The remarkable thing is that you still manage to sound surprised by such a conclusion. This has been clear since at least Crewe & Nantwich last year. All the forlorn bleatings that Cameron hasn't yet "sealed the deal" with the electorate has been just so irrelevant for months. Months when, if they had really set their mind to it, maybe, just maybe, the Labour Party could have done something about it.

    Even now, there are those suggesting that there is still time to change leader, change course and change destiny. If it wasn't so pathetic it would be funny.

    People no longer care if Cameron is the real thing, or just vaguely competent. He's not Brown, the Tories aren't Labour and that is all they care about now.

  • Comment number 84.

    The reason for the swing is irrelevant. It's all very well to point out that it has been derived from a collapse in the Labour vote, hardly surprising though is it? Who in their right mind still thinks they are fit to run the country? I wouldn't trust anyone associated with Labour to run my bath!

    The only shocking thing in these results is the numer of people who still actually voted Labour. How bad does this government have to get for their core vote to wake up and smell the coffee?!!

  • Comment number 85.

    If you classed the Labour party as an injured animal you'd be taking it to the vets now for that last final injection. When you listen to Gordon (dont blame me) Brown you really have to wonder about his grip on reality.

  • Comment number 86.

    #84 Why would you be surprised. There is a very sizeable proportion of the population who no matter how much worse another Labour government would make things know that a Tory one would make it even worse for them personally.

  • Comment number 87.

    So what is Labour going to do now?

    Soldier on: ignoring the dreadful reality of the economy, ignoring the war in Afghanistan, ignoring the government defecit and now ignoring the collapse in its vote?

    Or will the party finally see sense, unload the Prime Minister and begin to adopt policies that will get the economy moving, provide more than sufficient equipment and political leadership for our army, start cutting the coat of the British state to fit its significantly reduced income and try to rebuild its reputation on the doorstep?

    The choice belongs to Labour. If the plan is to soldier on then the party will have to accept the dire possibility that it will face the consequence of electoral annihilation rather then just an electoral defeat.

    This is the big gamble that faces the Labour Party. Either they commit the ultimate act of disloyalty and seek to save the party or does their ship go down with all hands?

    They might think that once they have been defeated and there is a cruel Tory administration slashing and burning public services that they will be able to rebuild support to come back at the election after next. This is just wishful thinking as the next government will have to be in power for ten years at least to undo the grief this one has caused.

    Also against the political backdrop the recession continues and it might get even harsher. Unemployment will certainly rise with some estimates that it will reach 3.2 million by 2010. Not a good record for a Labour government; is it?

    My suggestion to Labour is to dump Gordon Brown and his coterie and put in place a provisional administration to dress up the windows a bit so that we can get a hung parliament and a national government after the next election. Fail to do that and Labour sinks, possibly forever.

    I am not a Labour voter and I am not a Labour supporter. I have disliked Gordon Brown ever since he wrecked my pension, but even I can see the choice Labour faces. The big question tonight is can Labour see that, or are they as foolish as their current leader.

  • Comment number 88.

    @86 Neil you are entirely right, I think we all know who those people are, lets see if I can say without being moderated shall we?

    There's the millions of extra public sector pen pushers who add no value whatsoever but were employed to make Labour look like they 'help' unemployment (now everyone can see they do help unemployment, but by creating it).

    Then there are the benefit dependant chav class whose only aspiration is to breed. They have been failed miserably by a lowest common denominator education and an absurd system that means that honest work is an income reduction compared to bludging.

    I dont know if all the illegal immegrants get a vote, but given Labours postal vote shennanigans I wouldn't be surprised!

  • Comment number 89.

    OK. By-election over. Could we hope for a blog posting about something a bit more real?

    Recession continues. Biggest 12-month drop in GDP out-turn since 1955.

    Against which, what can we expect as MPs slope off for months of R&R?
    Please God, not a constant stream of ministers popping up with ground-breaking new "initiatives".

    I've yet to see a BBC analysis of the initiatives announced, the targets set, the actual (vs planned) costs, the reality of delivery, since 1997.

    It just ain't what you say - it's the way that you DO it... that's what gets results. Delivery under this administration is so poor that we could have simply filled the House of Commons with a bunch of plasticene models and still reached the current state of national bankruptcy.

    Much cheaper, too.

  • Comment number 90.

    Did you see Gordon's attempt at smiling through his post result interview at the NHS? Think he practices by biting into a lemon.

    If this does not give the cabinet sufficient cause for a revolt nothing will. Hoon on QT showed himself to be spineless. Me thinks they are all as bad as eachother.

    Have said this so many times. We need to take to the streets.

  • Comment number 91.

    I have been censored for protesting about the banning of another blogger, Alexander Curzon. Apparently, It was "off topic".

    Mr Robinson, I am VERY disappointed in you.!

    Control freakery by this government is one of the reasons it is hated - especially by ex-Labour members like myself. Treating people like idiots is another. The Norwich byelection shows that the government is finished. I don't want the BBC dragged down with it!

    more in sorrow than in anger,

    Sasha

    PS there are off-topic pro Curzon comments on Pesto's blog too, eg #123. Are you going to have them all removed too? How Orwellian.

  • Comment number 92.

    missing in action - nick robinson!

    after blogging his opinion, when the 6pm news bulletin proclaims a large conservative victory, not a sight nor sound of our intrepid reporter, who himself claims to represent "everything thats happening around UK politics"

    are you doing a "gordon brown" nick?

  • Comment number 93.

    What are the chance that somewhere, in his secret place, Gordon realises that HE is the problem? - well him and the legacy left by Blair (at least blair had the public trust to begin with before he lost it so spectacularly).

    I just can't work out why he's staying on, his positions untenable,he's sidelined just about every major bit of legislation that was planned for this year, his own own cabinet can't be trusted and the growing perception amongst the public is that its Mandelson who's actually running things.

    Why is he so determined to spend the next 11 months watching everything disintergrate around him? surely he can't think the country will thank him for it.

  • Comment number 94.

    I'm not very keen on the full range of personalities in any of the major political parties.

    It doesn't really matter whether it will be a Labour, Tory, LibDem or other party that is in power from 2010. Any of them will be saddled with massive national debt. There's no more money. We have been "borrowing" our children's possible future money - and even the potential money from grandkids. Where has it gone?

    12 years into a New Labour Project, Milburn says there are problems with poorer people not breaking through into professions. For goodness sake. Children are capable of learning all sorts of stuff. But if you tell them that it's not what they learn that's important, but the way they respond to rediculous exams meddled with by politicians, how in the name of common sense can you imagine anybody achieving anything worthwhile?

    This garbage about a target of 50percent of school leavers going into higher education institutions was always absurd. It's what you do for the young (4-9 year olds) that counts. If they want to follow a more academic route, once they have basic literacy and numeracy, that's fine. If they want to follow other options, even better.

    Ross Brawn was an apprentice, but a fantastic engineering talent. Bill Gates was a drop-out. Please don't say we need ever more Blairs,Browns, Milibands, Purnells, Burnhams, etc, etc, etc ad nauseum. I'd prefer people who can DO things - and prove it - rather than a huge bunch of people who think they can possibly imagine what it could potentially be like to touch a machine, or turn a sod and grow something, or put their nuts on the line to invent or sell something, or whatever...


  • Comment number 95.

    Bang @ 83

    People no longer care if Cameron is the real thing, or just vaguely competent. He's not Brown, the Tories aren't Labour and that is all they care about now

    I agree and it's a bad/sad situation, isn't it? - nothing like 97 when there was real support for New Labour - but things are still (potentially) very volatile ... massive cynicism, low turnouts, no clown love ... and what I'm advising tonight is to ditch Gordon, pick someone (preferably a woman) who we can all warm to, and then ... well then, roll the dice and see what happens

  • Comment number 96.

    Now that we've all (lefty trolls & apologists apart) finished celebrating for now can someone answer a question for me?

    If we can do without the government for a 3 month holiday then what possible use are they? If I had a holiday for more then 2 weeks then things would start to fall apart, the fact that they can be absent for so long a period shows their actual value....

    This implies that the "do nothing" Tories have had the right aidea all along! On balance I guess we should just be glad that the country has a holiday from incompetent meddling.

  • Comment number 97.

    95. At 6:36pm on 24 Jul 2009, sagamix wrote:
    Bang @ 83

    People no longer care if Cameron is the real thing, or just vaguely competent. He's not Brown, the Tories aren't Labour and that is all they care about now

    I agree and it's a bad/sad situation, isn't it? - nothing like 97 when there was real support for New Labour - but things are still (potentially) very volatile ... massive cynicism, low turnouts, no clown love ... and what I'm advising tonight is to ditch Gordon, pick someone (preferably a woman) who we can all warm to, and then ... well then, roll the dice and see what happens

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I presume the women you have in mind is H ..... Don't think anyone will " warm " to her poppet

  • Comment number 98.

    Dear I_Despise_Labour at #96,

    When here, I tend just to watch these (sort of) debates with gentle amusement, but sometimes the points get a bit too silly.

    Anyway - Parliament is on holiday. The government is not.

  • Comment number 99.

    the labour spin machine is in overdrive , now they are spinning like mad in the by election for Glasgow, that they have put off until Westminster returns from it summer beano. Much like Labour have its journalists in its pocket in England, they are spinning like mad in Scotland too. You would all be question the press if they were so anti matters that concerned England, yet the Scottish press are primed and briefed to do this up in Scotland.

    These are the descendants of the people who took the Kings silver and land ( ok I might have exaggerated that bit) but anything that Labour did up here before was lauded and much slapping of backs and sipping of wine was done, now the SNP run the show with little leeway everything they do is attacked.
    Now I am all for fair reporting and criticism but to say that the dog is being wagged is an understatement.

    The prime reason being that Labour need the Central belt vote to get in power in Westminster, and they will use all the usual tricks and have been doing so for more than 50 years.

    Given that the tories are not all that popular for obvious reasons then they central belt are fed the line "if you don't vote for us they will get in"

    The libs for reasons I can't explain will never win the General election presumably squeezed out by the two big parties, they will get the odd council, which leaves the SNP which Labour will never want to get the free unbiased vote in Scotland.

    Stories of England pay for the Scots, are fed to the press on a regular basis by the Tories and Labour to gain the votes, because once they are in they really couldn't give a monkeys about anything more than London and their seat.

    This is something we see with all big organisations like the main telephone operator in this country, like the biggest supermarket operator . the big car manufacturer they are so big they little guy doesnt matter, they have more PR than we could ever hope to get , because someone somewhere is making money out of it.

    So if we want proper change, not just the other crowd to get in and not do anything, then either vote none of the above and vote for the independent candidate or everyone get together and fix the vote so that it is a hung parliament and then make their mandate to sack almost all of them, freeze and suspend their pensions, their wages etc and get them to scrap the banks and start again.

    People will think "oh no I cant do that and reach for their usual party much like a person on a diet reaches for their comfort food bar of chocolate" problem is they think they have or will get change, but they will still get fat.

    Next they will need a gastric band to cure their diet, and that diet will do them good in the long run although its a drastic measure , so encourage everyone to take the drastic measure "none of the above" vote independent, put yourself forward then you will see real change, not just a different flavour of chocolate bar.


  • Comment number 100.

    it has been reported that over 8,000 postal votes were cast in the norwich by election...if this is so, it accounts for over 20% of votes cast...Can anyone confirm the figure and is this normal or should some sharp minded political editor investigate....?

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