Friday, January 14, 2011

Labour hold Oldham in by-election.

OLDHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 14:  Labour candidat...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeSome strange figures from yesterday's Oldham East by-election.  This by-election was triggered not by a Labour MP being sent to prison for thieving, but by a Labour MP telling lies about his opponents during the General Election.

Labour held the seat and increased their turn out from 14,186 in 2010 to 14, 718 yesterday.  So a rather meagre total of 532 extra people cast their votes for Labour, and yet Labour leader Ed Miliband is dancing around as if he'd won the main election.  Many people, myself included, had expected the Lib-Dem vote to crumble but whilst they did lose just under 3,000 votes they polled a respectable 11,160. The Conservatives had a terrible night, their votes dropping from 11,773 last year to 4,481 yesterday.

What happened to all those extra votes if Labour couldn't grab them then ? Well, they stayed away, the turn out at the General Election was 61%, yesterday only 48% of the electorate bothered to vote.  Mr Miliband may be crowing about Debbie Abrahams win, but a less than half share of a less than half turn out isn't exactly fantastic.  Well, if you can't be bothered to vote, you'll get the MP's you deserve.
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