Posts Tagged ‘police commissioner elections’

Results this week show middle England is moving away from David Cameron

17/11/2012, 03:23:52 PM

by Michael Dugher

Yesterday’s Corby by-election victory for Andy Sawford was a significant result for Labour. It went well beyond our expectations, with a swing of 12.7 per cent from the Tories, which if repeated across the county in a general election would see a Labour majority of well over 100.

Corby is important as it is a key middle England seat and the result shows that people in the heart of Britain are putting their trust in Labour once again.  The Corby constituency is a microcosm of the country – with Corby itself, alongside small market towns and chocolate box villages.  Since its creation in 1983, Corby has been held and won by the party that has formed the government.  Labour won it from the Tories in 1997 and the Tories gained it in 2010.

Andy Sawford fought a one nation campaign, reaching out right across the constituency, persuading those who did not vote for us in 2010 to put their trust in Labour once again. That is exactly what Ed Miliband and one nation Labour is about – standing up for working families who are having their budgets squeezed, for young people who are out of work, and for those who are being ignored by a Tory-led government that thinks the priority now is to cut taxes for millionaires.

The government has tried to spin away the result as just people venting their anger at Louise Mensch for quitting half way through her term.  But that’s not what people were saying on the doorstep.  When I was out campaigning during the by-election, most people I spoke to hadn’t even heard of Louise Mensch.  But they had heard of David Cameron.  And they were angry with a government that is cutting taxes for millionaires while families across the constituency are feeling their incomes squeezed.


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Are Britons more comfortable with bureaucracy than democracy?

16/11/2012, 04:59:03 PM

by Kevin Meagher

The people have spoken.

Well some of us have. As the results from the police and crime commissioner elections trickle in, it will be a blessed relief if as many as one in five of us actually voted.

Of course some people were not just apathetic about the idea, but determinedly hostile; visiting the polling booth in high dudgeon – simply to spoil their ballot paper.

Here was a chance, as I argued yesterday, to bring some much needed accountability about how a vital public service is run. Might be a bit boring, or possibly abstract for some, but the hostility to the idea leaves me baffled.

Of course it’s not just the police commissioners. The dismal 18 per cent turnout in last night’s Manchester Central by-election reflects the same malaise at the heart of our politics. It is reckoned to be the lowest turnout in a parliamentary election since 1942, when just 8.5 per cent voted in Poplar South, (although I suspect the not insignificant combination of world war two and the blitz may have had some bearing then).

Even in Corby, scene of this afternoon’s significant Labour win by Andy Sawford, just 45 per cent voted. And that’s after a small rainforest’s worth of election leaflets and direct mails were shovelled through voters’ letterboxes.

It seems the old saying that ‘we get the politicians we deserve’ has never been truer. For a nation of inveterate moaners about how we are led we seem to readily pass up the chance to do anything about it.


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