Sedgefield and Southall - the results

Having been away (see below), Hunter was not in a position to comment on the two by-elections. So here goes...

Both were disappointing - to put it mildly. In Southall, we should have been first or second. And in Sedgefield, second. Both results were good for Labour. It was wrong to write off Broon and CCHQ must be changing strategies as we speak.

Sedgefield was - and remains - a very safe Labour seat. It is one of those seats where the real fight is for second place and, credit where credit's due, the Lib Dems were the winners.

In Southall, though, it was a disaster for Ming Campbell's Lib Dems. Their vote was up by only 3% (just 2% more than the Conservatives) and Ming is the first Lib Dem Leader in 17 years to fail to win a by-election in a seat held by the governing party where they were in 2nd place!

What about the Conservatives? In Sedgefield, we ran a skeleton campaign. Not a single professional from CCHQ was dispatched there - and to stay throughout the campaign. A shame, really.

In Southall, our campaign was much better than those of previous elections. But it was still amateurish. We tried to copy the Lib Dems but CCHQ people, who are highly paid, simply don't get it. You don't have to be Einstein to get decent results. We need to focus on local issues and out-deliver the Lib Dems. And you can't beat the personal touch!

Make no mistake: if Tony Lit had not been our candidate, our vote would have fallen to under 15%. He should be congratulated for his efforts and, I for one, hope he stands there again. Our vote not only held up, it increased, albeit slightly. Southall was Labour in 1979, 83 and 87, so it's not an area sympathetic towards Conservatives.

That said, every seat should be worked hard and we should work to win. But the results were disappointing. At least we held on to a council seat in next-door Ealing North with an increased majority over the Lib Dems and five Labour councillors joined us during the campaign. You can win 'em all, but some would be nice...


Norfolk Blogger said...

A good attempt at some gloss, but at the end of the day, and I hope you will excuse my crudity here, "you can't polish shit".

Glad to see you posting again though and I pleased you got a break and didn't get stuck in floods.

DP South said...

Love the use of 'should'! It shows how out of touch these opinions are, although if you ever do wake up you might find out how misplaced your alliegences are - especially considering the definite interest you show. Good luck.