Bradford result

by Chris Bertram on June 11, 2004

My friend Alan Carling, “whose campaign”: I “blogged about”: a few days ago, managed to secure “342 votes in Bradford’s Heaton ward”: . I hope his campaign has more impact on local debate than it had on votes, since “elsewhere in Bradford”: the extreme right-wing BNP had four councillors elected. Generally, the local elections look like “a disaster for Tony Blair”: (I ended up voting LD in the Euros) and I imagine that nervous backbenchers are sharpening their knives already.



Doug Muir 06.11.04 at 7:45 pm

The drift of Labor’s left towards the LD in this election is indeed fascinating. It’s like watching the formerly faithful husband buy that first lap dance. He knows it’s wrong, but it feels /so right/…

I’m wondering. Assume Blair doesn’t quit. Assume further that there are no major policy swerves in the next 9-12 months. And a general election next, let’s say, May.

How many once-loyal Labour supporters would vote Lib Dem? On the other hand, how many of you will grit your teeth and stay with Labour, no matter how much it hurts?

Doug M.


Chris Bertram 06.11.04 at 8:01 pm

Well I, for one, would never vote LD in a “real” election. This is an opportunity to send a signal to Labour to get their act together.

I nearly didn’t vote LD, btw. Despite my fixed intentions my motor reflexes kicked in and I put an X next to Labour. I was about to put the paper into the box when I unfolded it to check what I had done (some bit of my mind said “check”). I had to go to see an election official to get a new one.


harry 06.11.04 at 8:04 pm

I totally disagree with you doug. The right thing to do when voting is to use your vote in the way that you think will, in the circumstances, produce the best outcome. In many constituencies this is LD because Labour doesn’t stand a chance. In many others it is LD because the LD candidate is to the left of the Labour candidate, or because giving Labour a bloody nose (without benefitting the Tories) is a good thing. Some people think that bloodying Labour will bring Brown into the leadership, which would be a good thing — I’m not so sure either that it would have that effect or be a good thing. But, anyway, the point is that Party fidelity is immoral, whereas marital indfidelity is immoral, so the analogy doesn’t hold.


Liz 06.11.04 at 8:05 pm

I did the same – LibDem in the Euros. And as for the general, with Blair at the helm I just don’t think I can bring myself to vote Labour this time. If they pulled the old switcheroo with Brown though I might feel differently.


Bob 06.11.04 at 9:09 pm

I couldn’t bring myself to vote LD in the Euros. What would we say of the directors of a major multinational company where the company auditors refused to endorse the company accounts for nine years in succession?

“The [UK’s] National Audit Office has vowed to increase its scrutiny of EU spending after Europe’s own financial watchdog failed to approve euro accounts.

“The NAO stressed that problems in the management of the EU’s funds were a matter of concern, especially in view of worries over enlargement costs.

“Its head Sir John Bourn said it was hard to tell if matters were improving.

“The EU’s Court of Auditors failed to approve the EU’s accounts in November for the NINTH year in a row.” – from:

And try this on Euro sleaze:

Beats me how the LDs can be so enthusiastic about ever closer integration in Europe until the sleaze has been sorted out and the Commission gets the accounts audited. The Euro has hardly been a success story with the Eurozone having higher rates of both inflation and unemployment compared with Britain.


Giles 06.11.04 at 11:24 pm

You have to think that these postings illustrate a problem in UK politics – traditional labor voters are voting LD to try to send a message to their leaders, traditional Conservative voters are voting UKIP to send a message to theirs.

Why – because both parties are gunning for the central ground. On the one hand it neither leadership listens to their traditional supporters, they may eventualy lose them. On the other hand, if they do, while the other party doesnt, they concede the middle ground.

Be intersting to see who blinks first – neither I suspect since everyone seems to be promising to return to the folds in the general election once they’ve cast their protest vote – meaing that the leaders have no interest in listening to them.

But in the long term this could kill both parties and lead to the end of cntrist politics.

spell the death knell of centrist


Max 06.12.04 at 12:58 am

This was my first time voting and I voted Labour across the board. I’ve even toyed with joining the Labour Party. I know that sounds quite brash, but surely my local party would benefit from 10 or so go-getting young men joining up?


Cryptic Ned 06.12.04 at 1:44 am

How can the “total number of votes received” be 140% of the “total electorate entitled to vote”?


Chris Bertram 06.12.04 at 7:05 am

I think because there were three council seats up for grabs, so each elector was entitled to vote three times.


Martin 06.12.04 at 11:37 am

This is depressing. I hadn’t realised the BNP had gained any councillors, let alone four, because the BBC euphemistically refer to them as “Others”.

I voted LD but as usual Bingley was solid Blue.

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