No change in by elections

 

Today we awake to find that Clacton has the same MP with the same views as it had before the by election, and to find that Labour has once again won the Heywood and Middleton seat. It’s a strange “earthquake” that leaves Parliament with the same voting balance on matters Eurosceptic, and one of the same people.

If UKIP had won in Heywood I would have welcomed that. An extra Eurosceptic vote and the replacement of a federalist Labour MP with one who would support a new relationship with the EU and an In/Out referendum would have been welcome. Mr Carswell  will be able to do less as a UKIP Eurosceptic than he could do as a Conservative one, because he will no longer have a voice and vote within a large Parliamentary party. He will need to rebuild some of his links with us Conservative Eurosceptics  if he wants other MPs to back any of his proposals, second any of his motions and help him get some airtime in a Parliament which requires numbers to achieve things.

It will be interesting to see how the Farage/Carswell relationship works. Mr Carswell already sounds at variance with his new Leader over immigration, and sounds as if he fancies being the UKIP leader. In the Commons, of course, Mr Carswell will be the UKIP Leader – and Chief Whip, and spokesman on every topic. It will have the fortunate consequence for him that he will never have to rebel against his own Parliamentary whip, but for Mr Farage it will mean there is now a very independent voice speaking for UKIP who may not be the same as Mr Farage.

On balance I fear last night has slightly weakened the overall Eurosceptic cause.

It was interesting to see how much Lib Dem support has vanished now they are so clearly the most pro EU option available. In Clacton their vote collapsed from 12.9% to 1.4%, and in Heywood from 22.7% to 5%. This too has helped Labour hold a seat for its more moderate pro  EU stance.

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166 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Well UKIP very nearly won in the Heywood and Middleton seat.

    I rather hope that Cameron will now finally do the sums, wake up, smell the coffee and become a real Tory. It seems he would rather throw a second election with his pro EU LibDem light, fake green, high tax policies. The chance of a Tory overall majority in May is now vanishingly small.

    The Libdems and the Greens (having in essence “Cameron & BBC think” policies) received less than 3% of the vote between them. What could be clearer? Can Cameron wake up before the cliff or not? It seems not.

    • APL
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic: “and become a real Tory.”

      No, he is too compromised. Nothing he could do or say would make me in the slightest inclined to believe a word he says.

      • Hope
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Time for Tories to vote for a party with conservative views and values, UKIP. With a result like that in Manchester there are no limits at the next election for the people to change the sleaze at Westminster once and for all.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      While we’re on figures, had 620 more Tories voted UKIP, there would have been another Eurosceptic MP in Parliament. Vote Tory, get Labour…

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        The much repeated vote “UKIK get Labour” and the “Vote Tory we are not quite as bad a Labour” electoral strategy of the current Tories is a complete disaster. They need a positive vision of a fair deal for the English, far lower taxes, far less EU, cheap energy, less government in general and far less EU.

        Cameron’s response to the result today was pathetic.

        • zorro
          Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          I suspect that the Tory party will be wobbling violently very soon as a result of these elections. No Tory MP North of Birmingham can feel safe…… People who don’t want Labour in the North will seriously consider voting UKIP.

          zorro

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 11, 2014 at 7:17 am | Permalink

            Indeed in most Labour seats UKIP is the sensible stop labour vote. The Tories are just pointlessly spitting the vote.

        • Hope
          Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          No predictable, his PR men told him what to say and the people saw through him again. No more trips on the US president’s plane next.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        The Labour majority was in Heywood and Middleton was 617 so you’d actually only need 618 Tories to switch to UKIP.

        You’d need even fewer Labour supporters to switch. Just 309 of them. There’s probably ten times that number who would be staunchly anti-EU and even more who would at least be in favour of settling the issue by supporting the idea of a referendum. Yet, they still voted Labour.

        The way to win them over is to not make the next election a Left/Right issue. There should be one item on the agenda. EU membership. Lets have that referendum. Hopefully vote to leave. And then get back to normal politics as usual.

        • Hope
          Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          If Tories want to be in power in 2015 they now should realise that they need all Tories in the north to have a pact with UKIP and not put up Tory candidates, when they win the seats from Labour they could have a coalition. Tories cannot stop Labour in the North UKIP can.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted October 12, 2014 at 2:20 am | Permalink

            That would probably be self defeating. Labour and Lib Dems would then claim, not without justification, that if UKIP were backed by the Tories then they were, in effect, Tories under another guise.

            Labour and Lib Dems could counter by having their own pact too. There’s very little to separate them politically, and its debatable which of the two is more to the left.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Yes.

        Vote Tory – get Labour !

        I bet the chumps who did are regretting it now.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Cameron is essentially still a popular leader/presenter despite his ratting and say one thing do the opposite. He is unpopular as he has the wrong (essentially LibDem in all but name) policies. Policies of higher taxes 299+, expensive green crap energy, open EU border and pro ever more EU. Amazingly these policies are still supported by just over 400 voters in Clacton.

      Cameron plus democratic fairness for England, far lower taxes, de-ratting on IHT, far less EU, cheap energy, no green crap, selective immigration and far less government, fewer regulations would win easily.

      The only problem is the man’s duff heart and soul and death wish.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        Remember Cameron and his chums won’t stand a chance in Greater Manchester… or anywhere much north of Watford outside the footballer and stockbroker belts….. the Tories would really need decent northern business types in the heart of government to get in up there. They have few business types and none of them northern, to my recollection.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          Joe – So if the Tories know they don’t stand a chance in the North where UKIP can defeat Labour why are they splitting the UKIP vote ?

          Why are they saying “Vote UKIP get Labour” when the reality is that if people vote Tory they get Labour ?

          They’d sooner a Labour government than deliver proper Conservatism or anything like a UKIP agenda.

          At every level they display contempt for their natural supporters.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      JR you say “if UKIP had won in Heywood I would have welcomed that”. Well if those pesky Tories had not spit the vote UKIP would have won in Heywood. A deal is perhaps they only hope of avoiding Miliband.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        There is clearly little point in the Tories standing in seats such as Heywood anyway.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Well I’d like to congratulate the LibDems on getting the same number of votes in Clacton as I got standing as a Tory in a ward of the hard left Lambeth council in the 1980s…..

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 4:52 am | Permalink

        The LibDems are disliked because their policies are disliked (and all wrong) they are pro uncontrolled immigration, pro more EU, anti democracy, pro expensive religious energy, pro ever higher taxes, pro HS2, pro the ECHR – Virtually Cameron’s policies in fact.

  2. Peter Whale
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood you do know that a protest vote is exactly that. It is quite obvious to all outside the Westminster bubble that the Liblabcon will never endorse leaving the political wing of the EU it gives them too much grandstanding and opportunities for living off the tax payer for failed politicians. The protest will continue until change comes for real.

    • Timaction
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      You obviously wrote this before the results were known.
      UKIP is not a protest vote but a party to grow and replace the failed LibLabCon Parties in Westminster who do not represent the people of Britain and particularly the English in the 21st Century. Outside of the Westminster bubble we all know this and are actively discussing it.
      Your collective mass migration/pro EU political union has failed us. We hear every day now about decisions that used to be from our own elected Government that we could remove, replaced by the unelected dictatorship.
      Yesterday alone the EU granted us permission to build a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point whilst hinting they “MAY” allow further restrictions on free movement of people for “new states” beyond current arrangements but not the 485 million who can come here already with the same rights as the English. They asked Spain for explanations around its actions for the control of Ebola.
      This has serious implications that we can all see on a daily basis with Doctors and hospital waiting lists growing, overcrowding everywhere, school choices and sizes, the misery of congestion, building on the greenbelt to accommodate them.
      LibLabCon have inflicted this on us. No apology or explanation but more lies and spin. We don’t have to be in the EU for trade and friendship, ask China, Japan, USA etc. In fact most of the growing and productive nations of the world don’t belong to this failed dictatorship.
      All UKIP has to do is tell the truth whilst the legacy parties have to continue to lie and spin when the truth is before our own eyes. Whilst it is harder to explain to Labour supporters the consequences of their votes, even they are starting to see the consequences and understand (H & M last night!)!

  3. matthu
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    The result from Heywood and Middleton confirms that at least in some constituencies if you go to bed with Tory you wake up with Labour.

    The Heywood result was a lot closer than any polls had predicted.

    Meanwhile David Cameron’s claim that the Conservatives could defeat UKIP in the Clacton by-election is shown to be simply deluded and the idea that UKIP are going away before the GE is farcical.

  4. Mick Anderson
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    You can either see these results through the binary filter of FPTP, or look at the numbers underneath. In practical terms, our patient host is correct – Mr Carswell and some Labour lobby fodder have just been (re)elected. The shape of Parliament has not really changed.

    Mr Carswell may not be able to find automatic support for his new Party (or from his old Party) in Parliament, but he can still join any Tory rebels in votes against EU expansionism. His specific vote has not been lost to the Eurosceptic cause, just to the Conservative Whips, and I doubt they really depended on him anyway!

    I view the result from perspective of a voter who wants to leave the EU. If UKIP can come so close to winning a safe Labour seat, Mr Milliband has to look over his shoulder just as much as Mr Cameron has to. It doesn’t matter that this was a bye-election – a substantial number of people in a Labour stronghold have given their support, however temporarily. It may even mean that a vote cast for UKIP in the safe seat in which I live (no, not in Essex) isn’t wasted. If they can genuinely worry the incumbent I will be delighted.

    UKIP have repeatedly shown that they can come a very strong second to (or even beat) both of the most powerful and well-funded Parties in the Country; I hope their momentum carries through to next year. I suspect that Mr Reckless will only come second to the Conservative Party in a few weeks, and SW1 will nod sagely and tell us that everything is back to normal. I have no flag to carry for UKIP, but I really hope that this is the new normal.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      “In practical terms, our patient host is correct ”

      And in lay terms the patient is sick .

      This bye election exemplifies the gulf between ordinary people and the political class .

      Cameron must be bricking himself that the Govt may have to ration energy this winter or that The Conservative’s housing bubble will not last to the G.E.

      Perhaps the best thing for the country would be for events to go horribly wrong for the Conservatives so that they are utterly destroyed at the next election and forced to rebuild without Cameron or defect to a party which is more in line with the man in the street .

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      I have commented a few times that UKIP are not really a political party like the others as they have no hope of ever getting elected and implementing their policies so John is wrong to comment on them as if they were. They are really a pressure group for a small number of single-issues and they will succeed by influencing and modifying the policies of the main two parties who CAN form a government. The Conservative party have already moved their emphasis a bit in response to UKIP, now Labour are under pressure. When local Labour members in Heywood complain that their leadership won’t “discuss” immigration what they really mean is their leadership won’t change policy on it.

      • Peter Whale
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        The same could have been said for the Libdumbs but they had influence in the government way beyond their dreams. Now because of their lies they are undone.

      • Cliff. Wokingham
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        Roy,

        I can remember people saying similar things about the SNP about Twenty years ago. I am sure the Whigs said similar things when Labour first came into being. The UKIP vote was huge yesterday in Clacton, dispite the drive from the other parties and the state’s broadcaster to rubbish them. I do not think we should rely on UKIP dissappearing anytime soon; The public are too angry with the main parties at the moment and I fear will continue to be so. You can only kick a dog so many times before it turns on you; The public have been kicked and let down too many times and have had enough.

        I believe that the general public want a change and at the moment, UKIP is providing the only hope of that change. I personally would prefer that The Conservative Party provides that change people want but, until we actually have a real Conservative leading the party, we will continue to see coalition after coalition which suits no one.

        We need a brave new Conservative leader who the public trusts who will offer real Conservative policies and compassion. I still feel that, when Mr Cameron became leader over Mr Davis because, at the time, he was the most like Mr Blair, we did the party a grave disservice because, as we elected Mr Cameron, so Mr Blair’s popularity declined greatly.

        I want to see a real Conservative Party again pushing real Conservative policies and values, until then, we will not govern on our own and will end up being handcuffed to the various corpses which are parties who have totally different core beliefs and values to our own.

  5. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Just an outsider’s view: it took UKIP over 20 years to gain 1 seat in the H.o.C. It took the Dutch PVV (founded by the far worse Wilders) only 1 year to gain its first 9 seats (= 6%) in the Dutch parliament. Shouldn’t this inertia lead to some reflection about the UK system?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Proving how the various systems of proprtional representation often allow disproportionate power to be held by fringe parties.
      They lead to coaltions where policies few people voted for become a new manifesto item as one or two elected members from fringe parties force their views through in return for their support of the administration.

      • Peter Stroud
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        But the same can happen with our system: hence the past four years. We wanted boundary changes, but lost that before it began. We also lost real MP recall, though one wonders how many Tories really wanted that. And never forget the surprise, uncosted free school meals fiasco. Then we had to listen to our LibDem partners abuse the Tory Party, and claim credit for every reasonable policy.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        @Edward2: So, which (fringe) party holds disproportionate power in Scotland (which has a form of proportional representation) ?

        • Edward2
          Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

          The snp obviously.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 11, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

            @Edward: look at the % votes for SNP, the largest party, so not really a fringe party within Scotland

          • APL
            Posted October 11, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

            PvL: “SNP, the largest party, so not really a fringe party within Scotland”

            In the last Scottish Parliament election, the turnout was a mere 50 percent, the SNP won 44 percent of those eligible to vote.

            A mandate of 22 percent. That makes them a fringe party, rather like the Tories.

          • APL
            Posted October 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

            “won 44 percent of those eligible to vote.”

            Correction “won 44 percent of those who bothered to vote.

        • James Sutherland
          Posted October 11, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          The Green party, in fact – which, for a while, had a grossly disproportionate influence over what would otherwise have been an SNP minority government. With just 0.2% and 4% in the two halves of the election, giving 2 of the 129 seats, they were able to ram through several legislative things as well as the position of Convener of an important committee.

    • John E
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Perhaps, but by no means all of my reflections would be critical of the UK system. In the end we get the MPs we vote for. If we can’t be bothered to vote or get involved, that is our fault, not the system. And some of us are actually happy with our existing MP.

      It seems our society is becoming more polarised between the winners and losers, with UKIP attracting the loser vote and the LibDems likely to be nearly wiped out. Some of their vote may go to the Greens as the left wing protest vote. The general election next May will be impossible to predict with any certainty.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        @John E: If you live in a ‘safe-seat’ constituency and you don’t vote for the incumbent, how do you get (in the end) the MP you vote for? Mor than half the constituencies are safe-seats, which works out so that a quarter of the UK electorate never get the MP they vote for.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Peter ,

      Neither of the two main parties want to reform the voting system .

      What became apparent in the recent referendum on the voting system was that the third/fourth party , the Lib Dem’s , are only in favour of proportional representation because it would deliver them more seats . Grubby political reasons not moral ones .

      If the Lib Dem’s ever became the first/second party then I have no doubt they would magically lose interest in proportional representation and become in favour of first past the post .

    • Bob
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      @Peter vL
      At least we can agree about that.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Agreed – the British people (well, the English ‘element’ anyway) – are not called ‘sheeple’ for no good reason !

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Peter – The unfairness of the system is deliberate.

      Around 20 years ago a new doctrine broke out from ‘loony left’ councils. Political Correctness. Common sense was banned (literally) The common sense thinking general public effectively disenfranchised and told that they were mad and bigotted.

      We now have police forces closing down police stations while keeping their diversity departments. We have councils telling their residents to do their own road gritting while keeping their green departments. We have a legal system which discriminates against white victims because ‘hate’ crime has been elevated above all others.

      The open borders, free access to health and welfare to those who haven’t contributed, where we’re denied it. Now the completely ineffectual response to Ebola – under a Tory administration.

      The truth is that British people (English in particular) have been very polite and patient throughout all of this. To vote UKIP is a perfectly logical and moderate response (bear in mind that other groups set our cities on fire when they don’t get their way.)

      For doing so we are subject to insult – most notably from leading Tories.

      Dr Redwood may think that UKIP have failed to achieve much but I think they’ve at least managed to get many of our concerns on the political agenda where they were being willfully ignored. Instead of criticising UKIP perhaps it would be better to have a “If you don’t come more to the right we will lose votes” argument with a viable threat – rather than blame UKIP, blame Cameron for not being a Tory.

      People have woken up to the fact that the Tory party have been part of the problem – not the solution. So the numbers for UKIP should improve (though they will struggle in government when officialdom refuses to help implement policy.)

      Despite the BBC’s deliberate selection of aged and uneducated UKIP supporters (to make the party look unfashionable) people like myself intend to vote UKIP in 2015 whereas I stupidly voted Tory (against all wishes) in 2010.

      The Tory Party clearly dislikes me

      I now dislike it

      Why should we support each other ? Am I typical of Tory voters ?

      20 years of slow progress perhaps. Maybe things are going to start to change now.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Just one caveat: As UKIP hasn’t yet had power, it hasn’t yet had the chance (misfortune) to disappoint, the PVV (Wilders) has. Populism hasn’t proven the panacea it seemed in the Netherlands.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

          Peter – I agree with you. They will disappoint. They would find it impossible to impose an democratically mandated agenda. The Left tend to riot when things don’t go their way. The Left tend to obstruct in legal and official capacities and are most adept at it.

          But let’s not forget how disappointing the mainstream parties have been and the economic and constitutional wrecking that they have done.

          The policies which they have pushed through seem insane to many and would certainly be disbelieved by our forefathers.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Peter. You are right. Yes of course it should. The UK is filled with inertia. That is an insiders view too.

    • James Matthews
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      You are right of course Mr Van Leeuwen. FPTP is profoundly and obviously undemocratic and presents a huge barrier to entry to new parties. That is why the established parties are so determined to cling to it.

    • Richard
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      It was a shame that the country did not vote for AV when it could, a system which combines PR with the great benefits of electing a specific MP for each constituency.

      Using the AV process means that each constituency would be selecting the MP to represent them in Parliament who achieves more than 50% of the votes cast, which is certainly more democratic than the current FPTP system.

      • forthurst
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        The Electoral Reform Society does not classify AV as PR.

      • Monty
        Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, but I could do better than your AV system, with a simple spreadsheet to assign parliamentary voting factors to MPs elected under the FPTP system. It would ensure that every election vote would count, regardless of iniquities in the constituency boundaries.

  6. formula57
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Rejoice, rejoice that last night was of no more consequence than having “… slightly weakened the overall Eurosceptic cause”. It makes one wonder why UKIP bothered fielding any candidates at all – but also proves that the Lib Dems should not have bothered.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Deluded soul. Go and lie down in a dark room.

    • Bob
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Grant Shnapps needs to stop act like a recorded message.
      Heywood and Middleton suggests vote Tory get Labour.
      Clacton suggests vote ukip get ukip.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        Indeed and it all suggest an overwhelming electoral support for sensible UKIP/Real Tory Policies that Cameron has denied them. A UKIP deal is the only way to go if we are to avoid Miliband and Balls destroying the economy yet again.

  7. oldtimer
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    On th surface things may look the same but underneath there is change. There will be, I suspect, much much more tactical voting leading to unexpected results. It will make the next GE result more unpredictable. The eurosceptic cause has acquired momentum.

  8. Mondeo Man
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    “It’s a strange “earthquake” that leaves Parliament with the same voting balance on matters Eurosceptic,”

    Luckily the good people of this country don’t do earthquakes.

    If a real Eurosceptic party – in direct competition – doesn’t change Mr Cameron’s approach enough to bring voters back to him then it’s a great indication that they were right to leave in the first place.

    If Labour get in then that’s Mr Cameron’s fault – not ours. And so what anyway ?

    We’re fed up with being treated like second class citizens in our own country.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      “We’re fed up with being treated like second class citizens in our own country.”

      And being treated as equals with just about anyone who turns up isn’t good enough either.

  9. Andyvan
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    We shouldn’t worry whether the eurosceptic cause is strengthened or weakened. The elites want us in the EU and “democracy” is only allowed in order to legitimize their control. If voting changed anything it would be illegal.

  10. JoeSoap
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Indeed, no change, nothing to worry about. You and your leaders’ view that UKIP isn’t a threat is just fine. Miliband also seems to be oblivious to the underlying trend away from the mud-slinging elite. Liblabcon just sail into the sunset in oblivion. Then we might get a government which speaks up for England within Britain, not the EU, stops wasting our money, collects taxes fairly, educates the nation properly for the nation, and doesn’t forget that our state pension cannot just be written off of the State balance sheet, as you seem happy to do:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/11152794/Millions-face-tax-rises-or-derisory-state-pension-report-claims.html

  11. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood – well spun but….

    UKIP are having to overcome the reticence of the MSM as well as the electoral system. The political system and the influence that gives is entrenched in our system so MSM is given to protect the incumbents, even tot he extent of givign the LibDems sympatheitic coverage even though they are patently power hungry sell outs.

    Last night in Clacton after UKIP took 60% of the vote they was scarcely a UKIP voter in the audience at Question Time.. Either the BBC has a left wing bias (possible but I feel unlikely) or UKIP voters are more concerned with how their every day lives are effected by the use of their vote than becoming involved in the political discourse and process.

    Mr Farage wiped the floor with the stand in presenter on BBC breakfast this morning. By answering straight questions with straight answers. Your leader and his clique could learn a thing or two…..

    If UKIP becomes mainstream its popularity will wane and a new protest will arise. Politicians should take note and listen to the majority paying for their largess. Not just the donors, business, EU and the recipients

  12. Old Albion
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Churlish JR. UKIP have their first MP and failed to get their second by 600 votes. You may pretend it makes no difference, but Cameron is a quivering wreck anticipating losing the next General Election. Not because Labour are a huge threat to the Consevatives. But because Tory failure to address the serious problems facing England, in a Conservative way, have left the door open for someone else to do so.
    Donning my Mystic Meg hat, i begin to see another Coalition coming our way Con + …….who is that i see through the mist …………….?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      No. the line is that the leadership are not worried by UKIP. They do not repeat not pose a threat.

    • zorro
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Cameron may be going the way of Kim Jong Un……

      zorro

  13. APL
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    JR: “On balance I fear last night has slightly weakened the overall Eurosceptic cause.”

    The Tories never had a chance in Heywood and Middleton. I don’t know the inclinations of the Conservative candidate in Clacton. In other words, the Tories were never going to win H & M – and by the looks of it UKIP gave Labour a good run for its money.

    So no change.

    But and this is interesting. Clacton shows that a popular MP can survive a transfer of his political ‘affections’.

    Other Conservatives might now consider independent status. That would be a good thing.

  14. Ian wragg
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Well done Ukip. I think the Heywood results much more instructive. Millipede can stop grinning now and start looking over his shoulder. Here in notts miss De Piero has a very slender majority and will probably be unemployed come May
    Times are very interesting.
    From small to acorns etc………..

  15. Alte Fritz
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Is this not mostly a matter of people in England feeling much the same as people in Scotland? They are looking for someone to articulate their disquiet.

  16. DaveM
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    There are conclusions from these by-elections which are fairly easy to draw:

    1. In the SE of England, people are so exasperated with the lack of border control (which they blame on the EU) that they will do anything to get out of the EU. Everyone knows that Ukip is not a sensible option with regards to solid economic policy but Clacton is not a particularly prosperous area and yet the constituents are prepared to take the risk to get their message across.

    2. Traditional Lab voters in the SE will always vote Lab so the Con battle is with Ukip.

    3. Traditional Lab voters in the Lab-controlled North are so desperate with immigration changing their lives, that they are turning to Ukip as the only option for change – let’s face it, they are almost never going to vote Con. It only takes Lab to promise a referendum on the EU and the Lab majority will go back up to 6000 – of course Lab would just lie about that anyway.

    4. LibDems are totally irrelevant.

    So:

    1. Deal with Ukip and give an absolutely gold-plated promise for an in-out EU referendum with no half-baked promises for regaining minor political control which might happen around 2030.

    2. Give guarantees for an English government with more control devolved to local government, allowing traditional Lab voters to choose a Lab candidate for local matters and a more right-wing candidate for international UK matters without feeling like they’ve betrayed their family and local traditions.

    3. Start defying EU rulings on immigration, benefits, and border control, and start shouting louder about how our economy is trumping that of the Eurozone countries. I hate to sound heartless, but the Ebola crisis is a good excuse to start bolstering border controls.

    4. Put all of that onto a very sharp arrow, fire it through the Westminster bubble hard enough to pierce DC’s personal double-reinforced bubble, and hit him between the eyes with it, and the Conservatives might just stand a chance of winning next year.

    OT – did anyone see the BBC News at 10 last night? The only thing missing was a voice at the end saying “That was a party political broadcast by the Labour Party”!! The worst bias I’ve ever seen on the BBC.

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    JR: “No change in by elections”
    Really?I thought the first UKIP MP had been elected in Clacton.
    Your head in the sand attitude exemplifies just why your party is haemorraghing support to UKIP. For several years I have been alerting you to the rise of UKIP. You have constantly and still continue to dismiss it, even when confronted with evidence to prove it – e.g. council seats gained, an outright victory in the EU elections and the first elected MP. In Heywood and Middleton there was a palpable mood of wanting change from the three Westminster parties. You would have welcomed a UKIP victory there for no other reason than it would have been at Labour’s expense so please don’t pretend otherwise.
    You, just like so many of your colleagues, can see no further than the binary challenge between Conservative and Labour. This is motivated not by what is right for the country or the people but what serves your party’s best interest. If you are listening, which I doubt, the public is increasingly recognising this and with UKIP they realise that they now have a genuine alternative to the three parties who think they have a god-given right to seats in Parliament and are contemptuous of any who challenge them.

  18. agricola
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    So who is throwing his toys out of his pram this morning. Having gone on as a party that UKIP are nothing without representation in the H o C you claim no change now they have. A very narrow academic view point. Whether you are Conservative or Labour I suggest you sense the tremor and prepare for the earthquake. For the Lib/Dems it is a black hole.

    Trying to stir up dissention in UKIP over leadership and implying that Douglas will have problems playing on your team is childish playground thinking. It is just the level of behaviour that has put politics into disrepute. It is the level of nonsense that we are all fed up with. Douglas does not need to belong to your club, he is now free to speak out as he and Nigel see it.

    The effect of this election is first upon the population who now realise that their vote can change things unless you are blind to what happened in Heywood. It may well cause members of the H o C to re-think their position with regard to who they wish to represent, and even who has the leadership of their current parties.

    I will continue to vote Conservative because I respect my MP and his views on the EU. In the unlikely event of him doing a Douglas or Mark, I would go with him. The change you choose not to see is that voters will vote for the man rather than the party, and the elected will represent the views of their constituents rather than some party prefect (Whip ).

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      ‘Douglas does not need to belong to your club, he is now free to speak out as he and Nigel see it.’

      And that, agricola, is a very telling point. Just wait until Mr Carswell says things in parliament that a lot of Tory MPs secretly agree with, but are against the party line as laid down by the out-of-touch hierarchy. That should prick their consciences and cause them to question their loyalty – whether to put party before the people who elect them, or the other way around.

      Men of calibre and integrity will experience no such dilemma. They will instantly and instinctively know to take the right course, and with the realisation that they, as well as the electorate, are being perpetually deceived, they will naturally gravitate to another party just as a plant seeks out the light from the darkness.

      Tad

      Reply When he was a Conservative MP Douglas did speak out – as do others of us – whatever the party line might be. I would be surprised if Douglas changed his views much from those he held as a Conservative.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      With any luck UKIP will score at the Scottish elections in 2016 and prove yet again that the far-Left establishment here do not represent all opinion, much as they would like us to believe.

    • Amanda
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Fully agree; you have saved me writing a comment.

  19. Edward2
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I would be interested to find out how many of Labour votes were postal votes.
    Considering a recount gave them a win by a just few hundred votes.
    I read that many thousands of postal votes were seng out.

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Good point. Something else the Tories have stupidly refused to address even though they are fully aware that postal voting fraud is rife, especially in some Labour voting communities.

    • stred
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      It reminded me of the bye election recently won by the Libdems in hampshire, where a few postal votes saved them. The Labour Party is well organised in this regard and can rely on the support of family voting and postal votes being organised to include older or sick members, whose voting intentions may be influenced by party members. The delivery and registration of votes is wide open to bias and even corruption. The result of the general election may depend on contituency size and postal votes, giving the majority of the electorate a government run by the same politicans who caused the initial spending and immigration disasters., while proposing worse policies.

      Reply This hatred of postal votes is bizarre. There is nothing wrong with postal votes properly organised and supervised. Voting in person can also be open to abuse through impersonation.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        Properly organised and supervised, yes.

        At the moment there seems to be a fairly easy way of voting by post given plenty of time to plan. Clearly if you’re going on holiday this makes sense, but so it does if you have more sinister plans. I’d say there should be stronger evidence required for earlier postal votes, such as a doctor’s sick note or presenting yourself in person with id.
        For folk suddenly called away abroad on a business trip (more likely NOT benefit claimants and therefore more likely NOT to be voting Labour) it is tough to secure a postal vote. An inbuilt bias to Labour.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        There were good reasons why secret voting was introduced in 1872, and it cannot be guaranteed with postal voting.

  20. The PrangWizard
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I saw Grant Shapps this morning repeating the old slogan ‘vote UKIP, get Labour’. This has been used for months and presumably the people of Clacton, and Heywood and Middleton heard it more than once or twice in the last few weeks. It doesn’t seem to have had any impact, showing just how people have come to distrust your party and your leader. It seems the support for UKIP is deep-seated, coupled with ‘who cares?’.

    You and your party have done your best to dismiss and demean the party for some time and you are at it again above, but I think you will need to ditch the arrogance, and the pretence that you have not already changed the thrust of some policies in an attempt to re-capture some UKIP voters.

    It is the same with ‘English Votes’ in your leadership. Cameron and his clique are not interested in justice for England, just chasing votes. I am confident you intend to give the absolute minimum which will be unworkable, and of course delayed as much as possible. You have lost my vote because ‘English Votes’ is a cheap solution to a complex problem. No-one should have to serve two masters. Nothing but a true parliament for England will do. You ought to know it if you were true to the principle of democracy and truly wanted the best for England. You must really put England first, not the preservation of the UK; England has been put in second place and taken for granted by your party and the British Elites for far too long.

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      If the Tories had shown any interest at all in addressing the English Question instead of carrying on Labour’s policy of shafting it, they might be looking at a very different picture now. Instead Cameron has been forced into ‘talking’ about EVEL, an insulting sop at that, because of the UKIP threat, not because he gives a stuff about England. It’s all talk. Scotland will get it’s devo max and England will still be denied any form of self governance. We’ll still have the Scots (and Welsh) poking their noses in and voting on matters for England including tax and no doubt the Tories will retreat back into their cosy tax-funded shells and do what they have done best for the last 15 years, utter not one word of protest.

      The Tories have let England down badly and they lost my vote the day they tripled the education apartheid for the one part of their beloved union which ‘were’ willing to vote for them – idiots!

    • scottspeig
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Not only that but is false. Clearly, the Conservative party created the problem in Heywood & Middleton! UKIP were short by 617 votes!! Since the Conservatives only got 3000+ votes, it was “vote Conservative, get Labour”!! (which is a rubbish statement anyway since it is not a given that the Conservative voters would prefer UKIP to Labour)

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      By preserving the UK England is being put first and always will be, contrary to what superficial appearances may suggest. English nationalists seem to be as myopic as their Scottish counterparts.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Correct on all points.

  21. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Dear John–You are in denial on this

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Postscript–Not only that, but you have been uncharacteristically positively snide in your comments about the UKIP leadership. To listen to you there never has been a new or reformed Party ever before but that is far, very far, from the case as you must know. There is not the smallest reason why when a new Party forms its Leader should be the first to get in to Parliament. I cannot believe you think Carswell is acting with the Leadership in mind and that is apart from the fact that for all you know Farage may not even want the Leadership in the Commons. The result in Clacton per Prof Curtice was “stupendous” and per myself the Result in Heywood was even better. It would indeed be best if the Tories just got out of the way North of Birmingham.

  22. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Seems they preferred Corry and perhaps curry to bother with voting (36%) up North. Clacton made an effort for Carswell likely because he helps them (51%), thats what they say…often.

    Shouldn’t think Carswell will be too bothered in the HoC, no doubt the p*ss takers will abound. Rochester will be interesting, so will ignore anything MSM for a good while.

    Maybe Carswell has got Farage off the pints…not good. BTW, Farage says don’t resign yet!

  23. alan jutson
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Why should Mr Carswell have to rebuild relationships and do deals to get support for his ideas.

    Are you not all Honourable people, doing the right thing for the Country ?

    Surely all Mp’s should put Country before Party, and certainly before themselves.

    Surely all Mp’s vote with their conscience, don’t they ?

    Given Mr Carswell has been elected most recently, I would suggest that he has rather more traction for his beliefs, than some of those Mp’s who were voted in 4 years ago, and who have often voted with the whips against their constituents wishes and manifesto promises.

    You always quote figures John, and I understand that, as that is how our system works, but on this occasion in one constituency last night, if you voted Tory you got Labour.

    Perhaps lessons will be learnt by all concerned, Party leaders as well as the electorate.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Rather ungracious comments, JR, if you don’t mind me saying so.

    In the absence of a UKIP candidate, would the Tories have taken Labour anywhere near recount territory in Heywood and Middleton? I think not.

    This is the question that opinion pollsters never ask the UKIP supporters they identify in their samples, as far as I know, but you should ask yourself:

    “What would they do if there was no UKIP candidate in their constituency?”

    From indirect evidence I think you would find little comfort in their answers; even if UKIP were to completely disappear from the political scene, as you might wish, there would only be a small net benefit to the Tories in their contest with Labour.

  25. ChrisS
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Please note, I am posting this as a Conservative.

    Like it or not, UKIP are on a roll. Nigel Farage has played things perfectly this year starting with the European Elections.

    Our ONLY concern from now on should be to ensure everything is done to keep Miliband in his box and out of Downing Street.

    There is no doubt that a majority of the English electorate is broadly right-of-centre, this having been very clearly demonstrated at Eastleigh and all elections since.

    Labour would have lost Heywood last night had just 618 more Conservative voters switched to UKIP. Conservative voters are intelligent people, they are unlikely to make the same mistake again in constituencies like Eastleigh and Heywood. I for one would join them and vote UKIP in a constituency like one of these in order to keep Labour out.

    We are certain to see the Conservative vote substantially reduced wherever our voters believe that UKIP have a chance of taking a seat from Labour.

    The party needs to use this to its advantage. Jacob Rees-Mogg has been advocating an electoral arrangement for some time, as have I on this site. It would be a tragedy if the Eastleigh result was repeated elsewhere. If it is, Right of Centre, Eurosceptic parties may score more than 50% of the popular vote and Miliband will end up running the country !

    Heads need banging together.. Yes, I know that UKIP is short of really good candidates but it has captured the public mood brilliantly. We have to recognise this and take action accordingly.

    If he loses in 2015, Cameron will be toast anyway. He needs to give UKIP a clear run in a selection of seats the Conservatives can’t win. Eastleigh and Heywood should be the first two on the list.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Indeed, a UKIP-Tory coalition based on a deal would make a great 2015, but our host still denies that UKIP is popular, and even says their policies aren’t, and Cameron & Co are on another planet so there isn’t much hope. perhaps the best hope is for a hapless couple of years of Miliband.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Taking your point about conservative voters being intelligent – not intelligent enough it seems.

      You would have expected that after Eastleigh enough would have had the sense to understand that the Tories had no chance in Heywood and would have preferred to give the X to UKIP rather than allow labour in – I would have done.

    • Amanda
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Exactly

      If you live in a Labour safe seat, that the Tories have no chance of winning – vote UKIP

      If you live in a Tory safe seat, with an MP who want’s out of the EU. Vote Tory.

      If you live in a Tory safe seat, with an MP who wants in the EU. Vote UKIP

      If you live in a Labour marginal, vote for the party (Tory or UKIP) with the greatest chance.

      If you live in a Tory marginal, look at the MP, and vote Tory if against the EU, and UKIP if for.

      And, if you are John Redwood and Co, get a move on with EVEL.

      • Bill
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Good advice.

  26. Bert Young
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Plaintive voices will be heard to day all endeavouring to play down the obvious success of UKIP ; the Conservative Chairman said ” This is a wake-up call ” , indeed it is . Most thought the results would reflect the “protest” feeling prevailing in the country – no-one would dispute that ; the question is ” Will the protest prevail and show in the General Election ?”. Immigration and the knock-on problems that come with it together with the over-riding interference from the bureaucrats in Brussels are features that will not go away in the coming months , furthermore , in the time left to him , Cameron is most unlikely to win back controls on these matters ( witness the French response yesterday ). Labour are also in a cleft stick position and face an equally tough problem in restoring their place ;they have no answer to these 2 vital questions . I can understand why Conservative MPs are most likely going to give Douglas Carswell a hard time and belittle his presence in Westminster ; they would do well to recall the wise words of Norman Tebbit who said ” The Conservatives can ill-afford to lose someone like him – an honourable man”. Meanwhile the integrity and determination of Carswell will also show ; he will be able to rely on the British support of the underdog . The “wake-up call” emphasises the need for the Conservatives to come to a deal with UKIP , it is a far more positive step than to rely on “a vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour”. Farage has offered to negotiate with the Conservatives ; so far Cameron has not been able to come to terms with this and has resorted to various name callings to belittle their threat . Cameron must now listen to the wise who read the numbers more accurately ; he knows there is not enough time for another individual to challenge his leadership and he knows he will not be able to win back from Brussels enough to convince voters , above all , he will not back down from his avowed support to stay in the EU . The time for reckoning and decision is now .

    Reply The reason I delayed reading this one is it is both long and difficult to read, lacking paras etc

  27. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    “He will need to rebuild some of his links with us Conservative Eurosceptics if he wants other MPs to back any of his proposals, second any of his motions and help him get some airtime in a Parliament which requires numbers to achieve things”.

    So the onus is on him to build links ? If I were him I’d just sit back and wait for Mr Cameron to come begging for his, and his colleagues’, support in forming a coalition government after the 2015 election. It strikes me that Mr Carwell has been notably gracious throughout this campaign unlike some in the Conservative party (one in particular in the Whip’s office) who have made personal attacks on him and even dragged his family into the campaign. As it is these Conservatives who have broken the links why should Mr Carswell be charged with rebuilding them ?

    • zorro
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      You can be sure of something John, Douglas will not be crawling to anyone. Tory MPs may well want to cooperate on equal terms with him.

      zorro

  28. Bill
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    My concern is that UKIP entertains delusions of grandeur. There is no doubt that a large number of people want to either leave the EU or to radically change our relationship with it. However, if past performance is anything to go by, support of the kind shown to UKIP subsides quickly. If the Conservatives can show their genuinely eurosceptic credentials, there will be no need to vote UKIP and the UKIP support base will crumble.

    We can think of Shirley Williams, David Owen and Roy Jenkins: how long did their little party last?

    I hope that Farrage and Cameron can sit down together and find a way to enable their parties to work together after May 2015. Does Mr Cameron really want another 5 years of Clegg and co?

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      No chance of Cameron doing that but maybe Boris? In any case, why would Farage want to deal with yesterday’s man, or indeed a party that has no future? The two parties are too close to one another. One of them will need to go and the sooner the better.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Bill ,

      Surely you don’t really believe the Conservative party has genuine Eurosceptic credentials .

      Why would UKIP want to work with a Europhile party like the Conservatives ?

      • Bill
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Sorry I am a day late in catching up on this correspondence. I do understand but also recognise that there is a Eurosceptic component to the Conservative Party. I don’t think it is enough to say that the Conservatives are Europhile. The Europhile faction is in charge at the moment but that is not necessarily where things will remain.

        Reply They are not in charge. Read Bloomberg.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Dear Bill,

      Sit down, this is going to come as a shock to you.

      “We can think of Shirley Williams, David Owen and Roy Jenkins: how long did their little party last?” Er their party is the GOVERNMENT right now.

      True their party is finished forever at the next election, but then that is also true longer term of the other 2 dinosaur 19/20th century parties too

      • Bill
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Surely not quite. They merged into the old Liberal Party. So what one might suggest is a UKIP-Conservative merger – now that would be something!

    • Richard
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Bill,

      The Conservative Party leadership is most certainly not Eurosceptic as history has shown time and again.

      There is no way they want the UK to leave the EU.

      Mr. Cameron has not only made this very clear but has even said that he wants the EU to expand to include Turkey and all eastern European countries up to the Urals.

      So the Conservative leadership, to preserve our EU membership, would rather Labour win the next GE outright, or see a Lab/Lib Dem coalition, or go into another coalition with the Lib Dems themselves, than work with UKIP.

      • Bill
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Richard, you may be correct. And, if you are, the Conservatives have a death-wish. Yet, the truth, surely, is that there is a variety of views in the Conservative Party and that the controlling section at the moment is Europhile but the old Thatcherite rump is still alive and kicking and doing its best to change the ship’s course. One of the things that used to distinguish Conservatives from Labour was that Conservatives did not have an ideological position – a Clause Four – and so could be relied upon to act pragmatically. I hope that their pragmatism will lead them to adjust their position to reflect the strong anti-EU feelings that some of us feel.

  29. Bob
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    “If UKIP had won in Heywood I would have welcomed that. An extra Eurosceptic vote and the replacement of a federalist Labour MP “

    If the Tories hadn’t split the EU-sceptic vote we would have had an extra voice. How many times do you need to come third or fourth before you realise that the game is up for the Tories.

    Also, come next May, I wouldn’t bank on the Lib Dems bailing you out, they lost their deposit again last night.

    • Sam
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      The Conservatives are polling around 34%, while Ukip is polling around 14%.

      It is inaccurate to say that the Conservatives are finished, nor should you wish for the demise of the largest centre right party. Labour will be the only victor.

      • Bob
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        @Sam Peter Hitchens expresses it thus and I fully concur:
        “The Tory Party (like Labour) is close to the end of its natural life anyway. It has no automatic right to survive, and its successor is currently being born in places as far apart as Greater Manchester and Essex. Voters are not the property of politicians. When they stop voting for one party, and start voting for another, why do we treat them as deserters who need to be dragged back?

        If Tesco fails to attract customers and they go somewhere else, do we browbeat and threaten those customers into returning, or do we recognise that Tesco just wasn’t good enough? If you listen to the BBC and read the grand commentators of the media, you would think that Friday’s election results were bad and disturbing news.

        They remind me of the East German Communists of 1953, furious and resentful that the people – in whose name they ruled – had risen against them.

        The playwright Bertolt Brecht jeered sarcastically that perhaps in that case the government should dissolve the people, and elect another.

        Well, I think the people are right and the Establishment wrong. These wonderful, exhilarating and truly historic votes are not bad news to me or to many others who have long warned that our country could not be run in this way much longer without being ruined and abolished.

        At last, the bone-headed, complacent consensus which has done us so much damage has been challenged.”

        He has a way with words.

    • sjb
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      But why do you think the turnout was so poor, Bob? Here was a great opportunity for UKIP to win a seat from Labour and yet only 31% could be bothered to vote.

  30. Paul H
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    “On balance I fear last night has slightly weakened the overall Eurosceptic cause.”

    I understand your need to be loyal to the Tory cause, but this is clutching at straws. Furthermore, your insistence on looking at the results through the FPTP prism and claiming there was no earthquake is hardly the most intellectually rigorous and honest position.

    The only thing weakening the Eurosceptic cause is the continuing incumbency of the so-called ” three main parties” (odd that the phrase continues to include the LibDems instead of UKIP, don’t you think?). Any Tory-led referendum will be undermined with the enthusiastic support of the establishment and then ignored/re-run if it happens to deliver the “wrong” result (anyone who doubts this is seriously myopic – there is no point in rehashing the arguments here), ultimately leaving the cause in a far weaker position than if a referendum has simply been denied by Labour.

    I would actually quite like to vote for you since I think you are basically sound and honest as an individual, although your loyalties occasionally lead to statements which are faintly absurd or lacking in integrity. However it is now clear that anyone who considers the EU and the UK’s relationship to be fundamentally flawed, corrupt and rotten has quite literally nowhere to go but UKIP.

  31. Tad Davison
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Look at the sea. The rising tide comes in waves. It doesn’t engulf the beach all at once.

    It is madness to deride UKIP’s success and suggest because it hasn’t made massive inroads in one fell swoop, that it never will. Anyone who doesn’t take last night’s results seriously, is just being crass. They are a marked indication of people’s disaffection and dissatisfaction with Westminster Parties thus far, and I know for a fact that political analysts are now frantically trying to extrapolate whatever they can from the polling figures. The thing we can say with absolute certainty from the outset is that UKIP are on the up, whereas other major parties are on the way down, so others need to ask why.

    If I owned a company that was losing its market share whilst another company was in the ascendency, I would want to find the reason for the decline and do something about it, not merely snipe at the competitor. I might even want to sack the manager if he’d been anything less than honest and open with the customers and clientele (there’s a clue there for anyone who cares to consider its significance).

    Here’s an example of what I mean. This morning, I heard the Labour MEP, Richard Howitt, say on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire that we CAN control EU immigration. There is no limit to the lies these discredited people are prepared to tell in order to dupe the public, and it is little wonder the people are reacting against tem. Given their past record, the Tories and the Lib Dems are no different.

    The people are still the final arbiters and power brokers, and I am most thankful for that. They’re fed up with the political class, and the writing is on the wall for whomsoever thinks they can con them indefinitely.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  32. Robert Taggart
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Methinks the establishment parties have been found ‘kipping’ !

  33. Sandra Cox
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Labour won by 617 votes in Heywood and Middleton and, at the moment, I can’t find how postal voting affected the result. Perhaps you, or one of your contributors, could give us the lowdown.

    I believe that there have been recent elections where postal votes were larger than the votes cast on the day for the winning candidate.

    I can see the need for postal votes for certain categories of voters. Most of us play by the ball, but why should we turn up to vote when we know our vote could be cancelled out by those votes already collected by the sitting MP’s party machine (some of them in suspicious circumstances).

    We obviously need to increase involvement in the way our governments are elected but, in view of the worrying signs of fraudulent activity seen in some recent elections, do you not think that parliament needs to take another long, hard look at this issue? Or would that be to the detriment of the main parties?

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Yes the system must be tightened up. It worked reasonably well in the past but with the introduction of postal voting and the change in population demographics it is now exposed to exploitation on a greater scale.

  34. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Lord Redwood must acknowledge that for a previously tiny protest party dismissed as ‘closet racists and fruitcakes’ UKIP have captured a great deal of the popular vote. Sticking fingers in ears and not listening or applying positive spin to bad news wont help you. .
    It is his Compassionate were all in it together, not nasty, high spending, broken promises, heir to Blair, non conservative, pro Eu party that has spawned UKIP. You reap what your leadership sows Mr Redwood.

  35. Max Dunbar
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t usually laugh when I read your articles Dr Redwood but this one is an exception.
    Your surgical insertion of the scalpel into the weakest points of the victim lying on the table without showing any outward signs of emotion are classic Redwood, served cold and at its most withering.
    I especially liked the ending where you have stitched up the lifeless Lib-Dem corpse and consigned it to the morgue.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Not really. The standard line is that so-called Eurosceptic parties never succeed in garnering sufficient votes to make a difference. Now that one has and the most Europhile party hasn’t, the irrelevant middle-child party is lashing out.

  36. mike fowle
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    For once, Mr Redwood, I am disappointed by your comments and feel you’re not being honest. I remember how bravely you stood against John Major many years ago (and were derided for your principles). There is a change coming, no doubt with many setbacks along the way, but you can either be part of it or pretend it’s not happening.

  37. BobE
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Vote Conservative get Labour.

  38. Peter Davies
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Taking your point on Heywood and Middleton. Assuming the tories must have known they had no choice of winning, why did no one have the sense to stand down the Tory candidate and let UKIP take the slack?

    • Peter Davies
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      “no choice” – excuse the typo: no chance

  39. Sam
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Reading all of the childish squabbles between different brands of conservative on sites such as this is extremely depressing.

    All of us want less Europe. Almost all of us want less uncontrolled immigration. None of us want Labour back in power. It should be blindingly obvious that fighting amongst ourselves will deliver each of these objectives’ opposite.

    We must have an electoral pact. Failure to do so would be a betrayal of the country. As a Conservative (big ‘C’) I can acknowledge that we split the Ukip vote in Heywood, allowing a dreadful Labour candidate to be elected. Ukip will split the Conservative vote in key marginals elsewhere, letting Labour in. None of us win.

    Dr Redwood, can we rely on you to be a voice of sanity within the Conservative party, and to work towards co-operation with our ideological allies?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 11, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      How do you suppose there could be any significant co-operation between two parties with diametrically opposed objectives? One party whose leaders long ago transferred their primary allegiance to the EU, and another party whose leaders have an undivided loyalty to this country and its people? When MPs are asked to pass an amendment affirming the sovereignty of their Parliament, and almost all of the MPs of the first party obey their leaders and vote against it? It’s absurd.

  40. Kenneth
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    John, you state you would have welcomed a UKIP win at the Heywood and Middleton seat

    Yet, what had you done, if anything, to achieve this?

    Did you try to persuade the Conservative leadership to agree a pact with UKIP for this seat and allow one UKIP/Conservative candidate to stand?

    It may well be that you have privately tried to achieve this but the impression I get is that you did not lift a finger to prevent a Labour victory in this seat.

  41. Handbags
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    ‘It will be interesting to see how the Farage/Carswell relationship works.’

    You’ve hit the nail on the head.

    There is no way that Carswell will keep his trap shut.

    A one-man-band is much easier to direct and control – so it would have been much better for Ukip if Farage had become the first MP because now it’s only a matter of time before the in-fighting starts.

    I wish Ukip well, particularly Farage, and I will certainly continue to vote for them – but I suspect they’ll find it difficult to hold it all together until the election.

  42. scottspeig
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I’d be curious to see if the swing in Heywood & Middleton were applied across all labour constituencies would create UKIP MPs. I think an accurate swing to UKIP from Tory will have to wait for Rochester since Carswell was an exceptional MP for the locals (by the looks of it).

    Hopefully though, these bye-elections will promote Tory voters to transfer allegiance as well to Reckless! 🙂 We’ll see…

  43. Bob
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.
    Mahatma Gandhi

  44. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    UKIP did win the seat. Mr Carswell did win the seat. The Conservative candidate lost the seat. The Conservative Party lost the seat. The cause for Euro-scepticism has advanced beyond any Conservative’s wildest expectations.
    Mr Carswell, today, has stated he does not wish to be leader of UKIP. Even if he did so what?
    If or when UKIP replaces the Conservative Party in England will the Conservative argument be:
    “I shall sit here in my chair, and not say anything. I shall not even react to the fly on the end of my nose. ”
    And will in so saying the black and white Hitchcockesque Psycho film camera slowly back away and the list of actors roll on to the screen with an appropriate “THE END ” left on the TV screen as a satisfying statement of what was?
    Reality is a tough nut to crack.

  45. Bob
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Last night’s Question Time audience didn’t seem very representative of the Clacton electorate, more like Unite’s annual Clacton Beano!

  46. mick
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    After last nights results one thing is clear, that with all the promises given by the lib/lab/con conferences the public don`t believe a word of what was spouted only the sheep in the audience believed it, last nights results have reviled that there is a big change going to happen May 2015 and that there will be massive casualty’s from the lib/lab/con party’s and UKIP will be the winners

  47. paul
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Momentous moment last night for democracy as Mr Carswell on the stage at Clacton gave his victorious speech to the people of the UK as to what his victory means for UKIP votes of Clacton and for what a UKIP vote stands for. It stand for UNITED KINGDOM INDEPENDENT PARLIAMENTARY MENBER, that is to say he has no royalty to his party, only to the people who live in his constituency, they will decide which way he vote at parliament with full recall. It the first time in my life on this planet that the bell has rang out for democracy. My hope now is that people wish to have democracy in this country of yours and reject being lead by party like sheep. This will be a first as democracy go forth from this country shores to all four corners of the world, we lead world again, shining a light for humanity and civilization. My thoughts are with you as my star a line.

  48. petermartin2001
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I ‘m not sure you analysis is correct.

    When the Socialist left led the opposition to the old Common Market/EEC or whatever it was then known as, it didn’t have enough political “clout” to win the struggle. Now that the opposition to the EU is led by the political right, I doubt that it alone would have the necessary strength.

    The election result in Heywood is remarkable, not so much in the result, as in extent to which the pollsters got it wrong. They were predicting close to a 20% Labour lead. Labour scraped home by 2%. If they get it similarly wrong next May, what’s that going to mean in terms of seats?

    UKIP has the ability to win seats in places where the Conservatives would never have a hope. There’s a strong aversion to voting Tory in many working class Northern constituencies. This result shows there’s much less aversion to voting UKIP.

    Those who want a EU referendum above all else need UKIP to win those seats. It won’t happen without them.

  49. BobE
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Why can’t we vote online?

    • ChrisS
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      That would be open to even more abuse than the current system of postal votes !

      We need a return to postal votes only for those who cannot get to a polling station.

      • BobE
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        I do lots of things online without fraud. Car Tax, banking, shopping. Why not votes?

  50. British Nationalist
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    The Conservatives are going to need a formal pre-election pact with UKIP if they want to stay in government after May 2015 – otherwise Labour are coming in by the back door, which neither the Tories nor UKIPers want. The Conservatives and UKIP need to agree not to run candidates against each other and to stand on a joint manifesto. Otherwise it’s five more years of Labour.

    Yesterday’s by-elections also confirm what we already knew – the Lib Dems have been wiped out. Even Clegg could lose his seat at the general election. It’s not surprising; they completely betrayed their principles to get into government.

    • Bob
      Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      @British Nationalist

      “Labour are coming in by the back door”

      Only if the Tories continue to split the EU-sceptic vote in places such as Heywood & Middleton where they have no chance of winning.

  51. Richard
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    “On balance I fear last night has slightly weakened the overall Eurosceptic cause.”

    Sorry, but I do not agree with this statement.

    Firstly, Mr. Carswell is the first MP to be elected to Parliament for a party who say they wish to leave the EU.

    Labour, Lib Dem and Green parties are all very pro EU and although the Conservative Party has said they are prepared to offer a referendum on the issue, the party leadership has made it very clear that not only do they wish the country to remain in the EU but also wish to see the EU expand to include Turkey and all the eastern European countries as far as the Urals.

    So the election to Parliament of a UKIP MP is definitely a positive step for the Eurosceptics of any party.

    Secondly UKIP has made enormous progress in the North by coming so close to winning in Heywood.

    The fact that UKIP has done so well should not be a surprise.

    Many Labour voters in the Labour heartlands will have realised that Labour’s uncontrolled EU and non-EU immigration policy has been to their detriment.

    But there was no way they could vote Conservative after a life-time of voting Labour, as well as being aware that the Conservative Party is just as committed to uncontrolled immigration as the Labour Party, although for completely different reasons.

    The rise of UKIP has meant that there is finally a party for whom they can vote if they wish to leave the EU and see the end of uncontrolled immigration.

  52. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday BBC Newsnight had YouGov’s Peter Kellner on the show talking about the origins of support for UKIP.

    From 5 minutes in here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04l2w44/newsnight-09102014

    Well, the question posed by the presenter was actually:

    “Who is UKIP stealing votes from?”

    showing the biased attitude that pervades everything that the BBC does.

    What was supposed to be the answer, derived from aggregating all YouGov polls conducted in September, with a combined sample of more than 40,000 people with nearly 5,000 UKIP supporters, was displayed in a table:

    “How UKIP supporters voted in 2010:

    Conservative 47%
    LibDem 19%
    Labour 14%”

    with the 19% from the LibDems characterised as being merely a “protest vote” which had shifted to UKIP, plus off the table there were 14% who had voted UKIP in 2010.

    Which is a fairly similar breakdown to that published by Kellner back in February based on aggregating all of YouGov’s polls in January:

    http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/02/24/where-ukip-gets-its-support/

    Conservative 45%
    LibDem 15%
    UKIP 12%
    Labour 11%
    Did not vote 11%

    There is however a serious fallacy in both analyses, which is that the pollsters only asked present UKIP supporters how they had voted in May 2010, and even if somebody correctly recalled and reported that he had voted LibDem that does not mean that he had carried on supporting the LibDems after the election until such time as he switched his support direct to UKIP.

    It’s only necessary to look at the left hand side of the poll ratings charts here:

    http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/polls.html

    to see that the collapse in support for the LibDems was not accompanied by an immediate upsurge in support for UKIP, in fact it was Labour who were the main beneficiaries; and it was only later, more than two years later, that large numbers of those rather loosely attached voters started to make a second migration from Labour to UKIP.

    Assuming that all the May 2010 LibDem voters who now support UKIP had transferred via Labour then that 19% should be added to the 14%, = 33%, compared to the 47% who had voted Tory in May 2010; the difference is 14%, and taking total UKIP support as now being 15% that would be about 2% more voters who had switched to UKIP from the Tories than from Labour; and assuming that in the absence of a UKIP candidate about half of UKIP voters would not revert to voting Tory or Labour, and many might not vote at all, this means that even if UKIP completely disappeared the net benefit to the Tories vis-a-vis Labour might be 1%.

    Or if it is assumed that only two thirds of the 19% labelled as coming from the LibDems actually came from Labour, that would be about 13% to be added to the 14% labelled as coming from Labour, = 27%; that would be about 20% less than those UKIP supporters who had come from the Tories, and 20% of UKIP’s present 15% support would be about 3%; once again halving that for those UKIP supporters who would not revert to voting either Tory or Labour would come to a net benefit to the Tory party vis-a-vis Labour of about 1.5%, say that it might be less than 2%.

    To get more definitive answers on the net effect of UKIP would require pollsters to ask UKIP supporters a question like this:

    “Suppose that at the next general election there was no UKIP candidate standing in the consituency where you live, what would you do?”

    But they never do, they only ask what those people did back in May 2010.

  53. ian
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    UKIP give you a vote on every vote in parliament, so you and others in your constituency can even vote against the UKIP policy and your UKIP parliamentary member will go to parliament vote against it own party ideas if that is wishes of the people in that constituency with full recall, a once in a lifetime offer to all voters, the ball is in the voters court for the first time in this country. do you the voters have the courage to take these people up on they offer.

  54. John Wrake
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    How refreshing to see the mantra ‘vote UKIP, get Labour’ turn into the reality at Heywood and Middleton ‘vote Conservative, get Labour’.

    On Postal votes, the Electoral Commission list 8,348 Postal votes for Labour. It’s a repeat of Eastleigh, where Postal votes also skewed the result. UKIP have stated that given the opportunity, they will return to a proper arrangement for postal votes to be limited to the infirm, those out of the country and Service personnel.

    What a refreshing change has been brought about by this ‘non-event’ as our host would describe it.

    John Wrake.

  55. matthu
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    John,

    If the Conservatives really are serious about wanting to deny Ed Miliband being the next PM, do you expect them to contest Heywood and Middleton at the GE in May?

    Why?

    • petermartin2001
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure UKIP would want the Conservatives to stand against them. If the Tories support UKIP that will cost UKIP Labour votes.

  56. paul
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Authoritarian or democracy that is the choice, as Ebola threaten the world, will the power to be have the foresight to lock down and forget about their balance sheets and save the people, as evil manifest it self in war and disease as we hear stand on forefront of democracy, will evil win out and spread Ebola and take their balance sheets down anyway . Are there any lights on in the elites heads. We have two warships just built which would be ideal for Quarantine for Ebola patients, This Ebola and other diseases coming to the forefront are not to be taken lightly, don’t think money think democracy and people or you will be to late.

  57. Stephen Berry
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    JR: If UKIP had won in Heywood I would have welcomed that.

    So would I, but UKIP are not just taking votes from Labour. Indeed, at Heywood the Labour share of the vote went up, something which the Tories could never claim in Clacton.

    After the last general election, a friend of mine looked at the marginal seats which had been held by Labour and divided the UKIP vote in the proportion 80/20 per cent to the Tories/Labour (not absurd at the time). By this split, he worked out that UKIP had cost the Tories about 30 seats and an overall majority.

    If UKIP carry on like this, they are going to cost the Tories any sort of majority at the next election and put Miliband in Downing St. It’s amazing to me that Carswell and Reckless could not see this, or did not have this explained to them.

    Carswell, the Tory defector, will have managed at Clacton what Shirley Williams, the Labour defector, achieved at Crosby all those years ago. The popularising of a party which was not big enough to seize power, but was big enough to dish the major party it was closest to in ideology.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 11, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Immediately after the election Richard North went through this in detail:

      http://eureferendum.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/ukip-effect-full-list.html

      Unlike your friend he reassigned 100% of the votes won by the UKIP candidates to their Tory counterparts, and found 23 cases where that would have led to the Tory candidate notionally winning the seat.

      As the Tories actually ended up 19 seats short of an overall majority, on that basis it could be said that UKIP cost the Tories an overall majority. On the other hand, it could equally well be said that Cameron’s November 4th 2009 abject cave-in over the Lisbon Treaty cost the Tories an overall majority; as that knocked back Tory support in the opinion polls by something like 3%, while UKIP took 3.2% of the votes at the actual election, the effects were of similar magnitude.

      Personally I did not accept that the UKIP effect was as large as Richard North had calculated, not because I doubted the accuracy of his raw numbers and the simple additions he had performed, but because from my personal knowledge of UKIP supporters I doubted that it would be anywhere near realistic to reassign 100% of the votes received by a UKIP candidate to his Tory opponent.

      When I recalculated on a more reasonable basis that in the absence of a UKIP candidate the Tory candidate might have got a net benefit equal to 50% of the votes which went to the UKIP candidate, then there were 14 cases where the Tory would have won the seat. That was making an educated guess that in the absence of a UKIP candidate some of the UKIP supporters would have simply not voted at all, while some may have voted for independent candidates or other minor party candidates, and some may have voted Labour or even Liberal Democrat.

      That estimated net benefit to the Tory candidate equivalent to 50% of the UKIP votes is in fact not far off the 80/20 split that your friend used, which would be a net benefit of 60%, so I don’t know how he got to 30 as the number of seats where the Tory lost because he could not pull support away from UKIP.

      UKIP candidates attracted just 3.2% of the votes cast across the country, so on the guesstimate that the Tories would have got half of that as a net benefit in the absence of any UKIP candidates that would have been a net 1.6% boost for them in their contest with Labour, and because of their own inadequacies in the face of one of the most economically and financially disastrous governments in modern history the Tories would still not have got an overall majority.

      And in my view that 2010 order of magnitude estimate of 1.6% as the potential net benefit for the Tories vis-à-vis Labour in the fortunately very unlikely event that UKIP were to completely disappear from the political scene may well hold in 2015 as well, despite support for UKIP now running five times higher; the more that UKIP pulls support away from Labour, as it has been, the more that cancels out the effect of the support it has pulled away from the Tories.

      UKIP exists to get us of the EU, that is its fundamental raison d’etre as stated in its party constitution. It does not exist to help another party which is totally committed to keeping us in the EU, by all means and at any cost, get a Commons majority so that it can then misuse public resources and government patronage in its efforts to achieve its own diametrically opposed objective.

      The paradox in all this is that the Tory party constantly extolls the virtues of free competition, it believes as a matter of philosophical truth that there is no human activity where the outcome cannot be improved by vigorous competition. Yet it seems that there is an exception to that general rule; when the Tory party itself experiences competition for the support of electors from a new party, UKIP, its leaders get mighty upset, constantly whine about UKIP “stealing” their votes, and try to suppress that new competition by illegitimate means.

      Reply All of this is very academic. The underlying issue is simple. All the time the Eurosceptic vote is split a pro EU Parliament is more likely.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        What, it is “very academic” that even if UKIP put up no candidates at all at the next general election Labour would still win on present showing?

        If the underlying issue is as simple as you say, JR, then the answer is also simple: the Tories should stop splitting the “eurosceptic” vote where they have no realistic chance of winning the seat.

        Let me play back to you an updated version of the rubbish that UKIP has had to endure from the Tory party for years now:

        “In the Heywood and Middleton by-election, 3,496 electors foolishly wasted their votes on the no-hope Tory candidate, giving the seat to Labour. If only 618 of them had had the good sense to vote for the UKIP candidate instead, then we no longer have another europhile Labour MP for that constituency, making it more likely that Miliband will be the next Prime Minister. The message from that election is clear, “Vote Tory, get Labour”, and yet the Tory leaders cannot bring themselves to see the huge damage they are causing to the country by putting up candidates where they have no hope of winning and all they do is to split the eurosceptic vote and spoil UKIP’s chances. Are they proud to be helping Miliband into Downing Street?”

        Reply You make my point for me. If people like you and me are at odds over how to combat the EU it is going to be a gift to the pro EU parties.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Then you should surely put it to your leaders that the Tory party should stand down and not split the vote where it has no realistic chance of beating Labour but UKIP does now have a chance.

          Thanks to their perverse decision to put up a “no-hope” candidate in the Heywood and Middleton by-election, with the principal purpose of taking votes away from the UKIP candidate, there is now one fewer “eurosceptic” MP than there need have been.

  58. Chris
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    What the Heywood election clearly showed was that if you voted Tory you would let Labour in. Rather puts Cameron’s claims about bedding Farage and Miliband in perspective.

  59. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Disapointing to see Dr Redwood has his mind set on playing the violin with gusto while the Conservative ship sinks..seemingly oblivious to the fact that his ship is holed below the waterline by a UKIP torpedo.
    There is still time for the Dr to jump in a lifeboat and to the safety of UKIP island.

    • Sam
      Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      I suspect he is too principled to turn coat, and too intelligent to make friends at Ukip.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        You’d rather be friends with Professor Shapps for intellectual fulfilment ???

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 11, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        The Oath of Allegiance an MP takes is to the Queen as the constitutional monarch and Head of State, the British state, and by extension to all the citizens of that state. The principled position is that loyalty to the British people, as one of their elected representatives, takes precedence over any narrower loyalty to a political party or other faction.

  60. matthu
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Why did Grant Shapps say that UKIP’s victory in the Clacton by-election was a “wake-up call” for Tory supporters?

    It seems Shapps (and John Redwood, alas) has already convinced himself that it is not the leadership who need to change direction to get closer to the electorate, but the electorate who need to get closer to the leadership.

    He simply underlines the growing gulf between the Westminster elite and what is now a quite sizeable chunk of the electorate.

    One must conclude that if the Conservative Party is representing any particular section of the electorate, it is only themselves.

    • Margaret Brandreth-J
      Posted October 11, 2014 at 4:57 am | Permalink

      Yes I agree with this. My perception is that it is the electorate who have won in Clacton. The vehicle of change is UKIP,but the people of Clacton have demonstrated that they can be the first to initiate and change things by democracy.

  61. Freeborn John
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    You are thinking much too short-term. The goal now is to replace the LIbLabCon cartel with a UKIP majority in the Commons in 2020. Whether cameron or milliband is LIbLabCon leader next year is neither here nor there.

    ——-
    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside
    And it is ragin’.
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’.

  62. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Lord Redwood,

    You mention the ‘numbers’ often in terms of Eurosceptic votes. A check of the voting record shows that the vast majority of your party alas, vote in a Europhile way. This was the wish of the ‘heir to Blair’ whom your party foolishly elected as leader.

    A quick count revelas 280 out of 330 or so Conservative Mp’s are defined as Europhile by the Bruges group. http://www.brugesgroup.com/mpwatch/index.live. This at a glance explains why your party has gifted UKIP with a large following. We need only look towards the party of IN, the Lib Dems to see how unpopular the Eu is.

    This just underlines to me that working within the Conservative Party as it now stands is just futile. It’s possible to change the minds of wavering coleauges but too many have voting records that demonstrate a dogged belief in Eu intergration that the sceptics will never be able to shake.

  63. Margaret Brandreth-
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    The by elections sre very different from the general elections. We are addressing a very different collective psyche than previously.There is now hope of an alternative . Immigration is the issue which has spoiled the country and not just for the right , but for the left also. When there seems a possibility that things could change , others may jump on the bandwaggon.

  64. forthurst
    Posted October 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    “Why did Grant Shapps say that UKIP’s victory in the Clacton by-election was a “wake-up call” for Tory supporters?”

    Presumably they “Had forfeited the confidence of the government And could win it back only by redoubled efforts” or, perhaps, as Bertolt Brecht further commented, “Would it not be easier In that case for the government To dissolve the people And elect another?” At 500,000 p.a. inward and 300,000 outward, it appears the government, like its predecessor has already decided on the latter course.

  65. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    Conservative Eurosceptics like yourself should not freeze Douglas Carswell out. If he has any good ideas for forcing David Cameron to clarify his renegotiation stance, let’s hear them.

  66. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    As more UKIP policies emerge from their conference, am I the only one who has noticed that they bear a marked resemblance to Powellism? I am not the slightest bit unhappy about that.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 11, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      And beyond…
      It would be good to hear our host’s defence of overseas multi-national competitors trading here and paying their Corp Tax in low or no tax jurisdictions versus versus UKIP’s proposed application of a turnover tax to these companies. We need to give BRITISH small companies an unfair advantage, not overseas multi-nationals.

  67. Richard
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party’s declaration after the two recent by-elections “that the electorate needs to wake up” sounds like a “let them eat cake” statement to me.

  68. waramess
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Embrace the swing vote at the expense of your core vote.

    Therein lies the problem that all three main parties share at the moment: the core voters either lose interest in voting or move their allegance elsewhere and the swing voters swing although, this time to UKIP.

    You have all drunk from the poison chalice of abandoning your principles in favour of winning and now there is no chance of a reversal unless, that is, Cameron Milliband and Clegg are all replaced by orthodox leaders that are trusted.

    Farage must look on with great amusement as he sees the main parties winning support for him with no real effort required on his part.

    After November Reckless will still be an MP, probably with an increased majority. No change there? How tiresome.

  69. Terry
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    If Mr Cameron thought more of his country rather than his future, he would swallow his pride and join forces with UKIP to defeat Labour in the General Election.

    If he really thinks Labour is going to wreck our country again why doesn’t he set about doing the right and only thing to prevent it?
    Combined, strategically planned, Conservative and UKIP votes will ensure that a UKIP vote is never a Labour vote and neither will a Tory vote become a Labour vote if pitted against UKIP up t’north. Time to be smart Dave. You know it makes sense – Or do you?

  70. The PrangWizard
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    You have been rubbishing UKIP for years, so it is odd you should now wish them victory whatever the context. So, where else would you welcome UKIP victories? How many seats would you like them to win from your party? How many from Labour? How many from the LibDems?

    Is your party in another ‘muck sweat’? I saw Cameron’s interview – can’t remember if it were on the BBC or Sky, but he looked very worried, very subdued; Fake Earnest had been taken down more than a couple of pegs thank Goodness.

    Reply I have not been “rubbishing” UKIP. You would see very different prose from me if I had been. I have merely pointed out continuously that all the time the Eurosceptic vote is badly split the pro EU people will win. Why do you think that is wrong?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 11, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Then the Tories should stop splitting the “eurosceptic” vote wherever they have made themselves so unpopular that they have no hope of winning. You don’t have to put a candidate in every constituency to qualify for the maximum number of election broadcasts at taxpayers’ expense.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 11, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      But your solution that we should therefore all vote Tory is looking more and more beleaguered and, frankly, wet. The wind is in UKIP’s sails. If you want to get to the destination, do you prefer to be on a sleek catamaran, with the wind behind it, or the Titanic?

    • petermartin2001
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 2:42 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      It’s wrong because there are many non-Tory Eurosceptics who would find it hard to vote Tory. Even just the once to get an EU referendum. Its a pity that UKIP are such a right wing grouping. There’s plenty of political room to the left of the Labour Party making the same anti EU case the late Tony Benn made.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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