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Barnsley Central and 6th place for the Lib Dems. Ugly but it was only a one-night stand type of ugly.

So in one of the biggest stunners in recent political history, Labour managed to defy all the odds and re-gain Barnsley Central from an Independent last night. Oh I’m just hearing through the voices in my head that I may have over-egged that opening sentence a wee bit.

Labour winning (oh Charlie Sheen – whenever I see the word winning now I chuckle) in what is about as safe a seat as you get was never going to be the story. If the Lib Dem vote collapsed then it would surely signal panic and the end of the world as we knew it. The coalition would fall and David Cameron would be seeing the Queen today to dissolve parliament and set a General Election that would sweep Ed Miliband into #10 and Labour back into power.

Well the Lib Dem vote collapsed beyond what anyone really thought. It was on the face of it a shockingly awful result for the party and shows clearly that people are not happy with the party. Placing them behind an independent though as well as UKIP and BNP will have created waves that will have rocked the boat internally. However look a bit deeper into the result and the history of by-elections and you’ll see that these are times for the protest vote and the Lib Dems on this occasion were the obvious protest vote party – but not in the right way.

The party were never going to win here and they knew it. The Conservatives knew they weren’t going to win either. So did either party really put up any sort of realistic campaign? No they quite simply left it to Labour and the fringe parties to battle it out on the doorstep and in the local media.

Can you look too deeply into a result where no fight was put up? I’m not sure you can. The result on the face of it is only good for UKIP. They rose from 4.7% and a distant 5th last May to a 12.2% vote share and a pretty solid 2nd place just ten months later. That isn’t too shabby at all.

Yet again though can you really look too deeply at this and extrapolate these results over the country and what might happen in 2015? No you can’t whatever anyone tries to tell you. General Elections are fought on both a national and local level but by-elections are fought solely on the local level. No real TV time is given in a by-election certainly when it happens to be in an extremely safe seat.

In summary this was not a pretty night for the Lib Dems at all. It was about as pretty as a pavement outside a kebab joint in the early hours of a Sunday morning. It will look bad for today but when next week rolls around this result will be forgotten and not brought up by anyone again as it has no relevance (well except for Nigel Farage – he’ll prattle on about it for years but still – he’s an idiot). It must be said that long-term the result in Barnsley Central will have very little to no effect on the future of the party or the coalition government.

To say anything different would be inaccurate and even worse than that – it would be lazy.

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10 Comments

  1. Cat Cat

    “For the record I am a member of no party although it is clear which way I lean. So when you ask ‘Did you actually read your own manifesto?’ unless I myself wrote a manifesto for my own party then I cannot answer.”

    You say your leaning is clear yet don’t want to defend the manifesto which you leant towards?

    “As for VAT going up that was never ruled out, remember Vince Cable clearly saying so on QT before the election.”

    LOL! So why did Clegg, Kennedy and that other bloke stand in front of a VAT bombshell?

    “Decifit Reduction policy did change around the time that Greece collapsed which isn’t a shock.”

    Greece was collapsing well before 10 May, Cleggy even said he wanted faster deficit reduction before the election campaign even started but didn’t tell anyone; the greek defence is pathetic.

    ” As for the others you do understand what a coalition government is right? ”

    There is a difference between outright lies and compromise. On nuclear power your leaning’s position was that is was “a tried, tested and failed technology.”, on youth unemployment it was a scandal before the election now it is a necessity. I forgot a couple as well, on education that liar Sarah Teather was unrelenting in her attacks on Academy schools and Gove’s free school bullshit – she can’t get enough of them now. And on health there was a real cracker, you even managed to break a pledge actually in the coalition agreement “No re-organisation of the NHS”!!!

    And you didn’t address my first one – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTLR8R9JXz4
    How do you explain that?

  2. Cat Cat

    “one pledge the Lib Dems have famously broken can you all the other ones we have broken? Not sure I can recall much else…”

    LOL! So your defence is basically “Oh it was only one pledge…”, even a tribally blinkered cheerleader such as yourself must admit it was a pretty huge pledge to break, one which you’ve made a living out of for the previous decade.

    Obviously all your doublethink has addled your memory, what about “its time for promises to be kept”, VAT, deficit reduction, Future jobs fund/young person job guarantee scheme, nuclear energy and no forgetting the most important one – PR! AV is a miserable compromise, don’t you know.

    Did you actually read your own manifesto?

    • For the record I am a member of no party although it is clear which way I lean. So when you ask ‘Did you actually read your own manifesto?’ unless I myself wrote a manifesto for my own party then I cannot answer.

      My defence was never ‘it was only one pledge’ as you made the assertation that they had broken more so I asked which other ones they had. As for VAT going up that was never ruled out, remember Vince Cable clearly saying so on QT before the election. Decifit Reduction policy did change around the time that Greece collapsed which isn’t a shock. As for the others you do understand what a coalition government is right? It means you don’t get everything you put in your manifesto as you are sharing givernment with another party and if some policies do not line up the same then clearly one party will not get exactly what they would want in an ideal world. This has happened for both the Tories and Lib Dems in this government like in every single coalition in the world.

  3. Neil Craig Neil Craig

    Well you stand by your “idiot” remark if you wish. – “having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25”.

    Personally I will just stick to saying that the Pseudoliberals are one and all lying, murdering, child raping, genocidal, organlegging Nazi war criminals. – something obviously infinitely more provable than your claim.

    As regards lies did the party not make a manifesto promise to support a referendum on the constitreaty and, when they broke it, not make another for a referendum on the EU which they also broke? If the public feel UKIP is infinitely more trustworthy than the Psuedoliberals are they wrong?

    • Nigel Farage says his party is the real opposition now in this country. His party has zero MPs and a tony proportion of the vote. I think the Labour Party have a better claim to that role don’t you? Surely thinking such a thing is idiotic and therefore the person who sprouted such a thing is an idiot? Unless of course you think that UKIP are now the real party of opposition across the UK…

      Yeah.

      Do the public think that or are you just extrapolating one by-election result across the whole country because the Polls seem to be saying that the Lib Dems nationally are still just a tad higher than UKIP…

      • Neil Craig Neil Craig

        Keep watching that tad.

        It is difficult to accuse Labour of providing real opposition when they have no coherent financial policy & when they entirely agree with you on europhilia, catastrophic warming eco-fascism and destroying most of our power supply to keep us in endless recession.

  4. No-one dismissed Oldham East & Saddleworth as a non-event. The party fought hard there and lost. Disappointing but considering the timing of the by-election it wasn’t a stunner that we lost but they didn’t lose badly.

    Away from the one pledge the Lib Dems have famously broken can you all the other ones we have broken? Not sure I can recall much else…

  5. Cat Cat

    The Barnsley result for the libdems is like a kebab in the early hours of Sunday morning that has been infected with hepatitis A when the chef cut his finger and dripped blood in the chilli source. You don’t realise you’re infected, you dismiss the symptoms a few weeks later as a cold until your eyes go yellow and your liver swells. Before you know it you’ve lost the AV ref and are waiting for a leader transplant to save you from wipe out.

    This is the second byelection you guys have dismissed as a non-event, when are you going to realise you can’t go and break every promise or pledge you made before the election without suffering.

  6. Neil Craig Neil Craig

    Incisive political comment there. The party that rocketed to 2nd place are “idiots”. Presumably thenthe electorate are too.But what more would you expect from the arrogant fascists of the Pseudoliberal party?

    • I called Nigel Farage an idiot. Not the party. I did this because mainly he is one and secondly anyone who claims that they are now the ‘true opposition’ after that by-election is an idiot.

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