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Early results

Well, given the hopes expressed in my last post, I can't complain too much about the results as they stand this morning: Labour 351, Conservative 192 and LibDem 59 at the time of writing.

This basically meets all my criteria for happiness: Labour have had a kick in the teeth, but not to the extent that the Tories have actually got in, while the LibDems have increased their majority. My only complaint is that more of Labour's lost seats didn't go to the LibDems instead of the Tories. But it still constitutes a good consolidation of their existing position: hell, I remember the days when they had all of 18 MPs, and were proud of it. It's also nice to see a) that their share of the vote overall is now standing at around 23% and b) that many of the places where they made really significant gains have large student populations. This latter means that young, and in most cases presumably first-time, voters are choosing the LibDems, which as those people filter up through the population pyramid should mean a steadily increasing share in the vote overall.

Naturally, all three sides are claiming it as a victory: Labour on the grounds that they won a third term at all, and the other two on the grounds that they increased their holdings. I think Michael Howard has every right to expect his party to keep him on after this, and I'm certain Charles Kennedy is safe. So the most interesting question now is whether Tony-boy will jump or get pushed before the next election.

I'm also very pleased to see three independent candidates winning their seats - apparently the largest number since 1945. We have George Galloway for the anti-Iraq War "Respect" party in Bethnal Green and Bow, Dr. Richard Taylor kept Wyre Forest, which he originally won in 2001 on his "Save Kidderminster Hospital" ticket and Peter Law, a Labour rebel who left the party due to his opposition to all-woman candidate short-lists, has won Blaenau Gwent from the official Labour candidate. I realise that the party system allows effective governments to be formed, but it's always nice to see that it isn't 100% dominant.

In other news, splorfle, splorfle, Mr. Kilroy-Silk, but I do wish more BNP candidates were losing their deposits... :-(

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
kantti
May. 6th, 2005 07:41 am (UTC)
I wonder if the students are voting on the tuition fees issue, rather than as a life-long-choice thing. If you believe the theory that people are more left wing in their youth and more right wing as they get older, today's mobilised libdem voters could be tomorrow's mobilised conservative voters.

Which is still better, of course, than today's apathetic-sofa-libdems turning into tomorrow's mobilised conservative voters.
strange_complex
May. 6th, 2005 10:05 am (UTC)
Yes, the tuition fees is bound to be one of the major factors. But it gives them a taste of voting for the LibDems, and the idea that it's a viable option. Also, it's definitely better than finding out e.g. that the main bedrock of LibDem support was in places where people go to retire!
sandwell
May. 13th, 2005 12:06 pm (UTC)
Ah ... like Southport, my old constituency ... the suburb I used to live in (Ainsdale) had more retirement homes than pubs ... has a LibDem MP (who used to be a teacher at my school) ...

But yes it is good, it's good to be able to see them *fighting* for seats. And the nature of these seats is very varied ... Cardiff Central (15,000 students) was seen as a foregone conclusion. But neighbouring constituencies near where I live also went LibDem; Birmingham Yardley (Labour magrinal) and Solihull (solid Tory), proving that LibDems are the only truly nationwide party, in effect - who else can push for both rolling country seats *and* city heartlands!
poliphilo
May. 6th, 2005 09:16 am (UTC)
I'd forgotten all about Kilroy-Silk. Lets hope this is the last we hear of him.
strange_complex
May. 6th, 2005 10:11 am (UTC)
With luck! His careers in both show-business and politics are now in tatters. What's left to do - get a local radio show and write a book entitled Bouncing Back? ;)
poliphilo
May. 6th, 2005 12:42 pm (UTC)
I wonder if Radio Norwich has any vacancies.
meerium
May. 6th, 2005 09:31 am (UTC)
"splorfle, splorfle, Mr Kilroy-Silk"

best. response. ever. to mr kilroy-silk, i think you'll find!

i was clapping my hands with glee when peter law and richard taylor won their respective seats. i'm all for greater representation of women in parliament, but all women short-lists feel totally contrived and somehow patronising.
strange_complex
May. 6th, 2005 10:11 am (UTC)
Thanks! He brings it on himself...
captainlucy
May. 6th, 2005 09:59 am (UTC)
Oh well, at least a good few BNP have lost their deposits:
After 474 declared results, there are scores of lost deposits. Among them the Greens have so far lost 129 at a cost of £64,500; the BNP 70, costing £35,000; Scottish Socialist Party 55 at a cost of £27,500, and UKIP 337 at a cost of £168,500.
strange_complex
May. 6th, 2005 10:09 am (UTC)
Yes, it's good that they lost a fair number. But I'd still like to see them losing more, and, say, the Greens losing less. The figures for those two seem very much the wrong way round to me. And I extend my 'splorfle, splorfle' to UKIP now I've seen that!
ladyguinevere83
May. 6th, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
I expected Labour to win a third term, so I suppose the result was okay. Though I am really miffed that my own seat went back to Labour having been Lib Dem for about a year.

Just to add, I heard on the radio on the way home that Michael Howard is resigning as PM.... don't know anymore than that though.
ladyguinevere83
May. 6th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
Forgot to mention that my constituency is counted as a Labout hold anyway, because it only went Lib Dem in the by-election :(

And as a young Lib Dem voter (for the second time - I was 18 at the last election), I think I will be sticking with them for a few years yet, though further into the future I can't really say.
strange_complex
May. 6th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
I think that's pretty much where I stand, too. For the forseeable future, assuming they carry on pretty much as they are, they'll continue to seem like the best option to me.

Apparently they have 62 seats now - not as many as I'd have liked them to win, but still a step in the right direction.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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