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A TORY AND LABOUR DISASTER

By Pete Moore On May 3rd, 2019

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So far the Tories have lost well over 1000 seats and the Bolsheviks around a hundred. If that doesn’t sound so bad for Labour, this Tory government is the most hated ever and Labour losses were not predicted. Labour should have have been winning hundreds of seats.

The good news is that the tsunami hasn’t arrived yet. The sea has only gone out. It roars back in on 23rd May with the European elections. That’s when The Brexit Party stands in full national elections and the big two parties become minor players.

Thousands of ballot papers were what TPTB describe as “spoiled”. I prefer “enhanced”. If the none-of-the-above-party had stood it would have got the biggest vote share, easily. Labour might survive post-Corbyn. It’s all downhill now for the Tories.

56 Responses to “A TORY AND LABOUR DISASTER”

  1. Interestingly the Tories have lost Bath and North East Somerset council to the Liberal Democrats. That’s Rees-Mogg territory.

  2. Just had a look. Mogg’s constituency is a little more balanced for the Tories (still not great though). The Bath and North East Somerset council covers both the Bath constituency (already Lib Dem) and Mogg’s constituency.

    In Bath proper the Lib Dems got 25 of a possible 27. In wards making up Mogg’s constituency it is 9 LD, 9 Tory, 5 Labour, and 4 Independents.

  3. Both Corbyn and McDonnell are gagging for Labour to facilitate Brexit becuase (apart from being pro-Brexit all their political lives) they understand that the EU election (if it happens) will be a triumph for Farage and his Brexit party. That would probably force May’s resignation and Johnson would be favourite to replace her as Tory leader and PM. Johnson would call an immediate election on the sole issue of Brexit and Labour (trying to face both ways) could lose badly. A significant percentage of their Remainers would defect to the Lib Dems and a significant percentage of thelr Leavers would defect to the Tories. It could be a bloodbath.

    So watch out for a Brexit deal within the next two weeks, just in time to prevent the EU election taking place. May will then resign as Tory leader and Johnson’s chances of succeeding her will probably be gone.

  4. The Lib Dems are interesting in this election. They lost a lot of votes to Labour in Labour seats following the coalition. For the most part that vote hasn’t come back to the Liberal Democrats but has gone to the Greens. While they also lost a lot of votes to the Tories in Conservative seats following the coalition. For the most part that vote has come back. So it will be interesting to see whether the Greens can parlay that into seat gains in a general election.

  5. This election has seen a big Lib Dem comeback, a big surge by the Greens and the annihilation of the racist rabble that UKIP has become. But the big story will be the hammering taken by the Tories and the failure of Labour. Both leaderships now have a great incentive to do a deal to get Brexit done asap:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48091592

  6. So it will be interesting to see whether the Greens can parlay that into seat gains in a general election.

    No Seamus, our absurdly undemocratic electoral system will keep the Greens to a handful of MPs at best.

  7. Sure. But even a couple of gains would be massive for the Greens.

  8. We need to change the voting system to a fair one. In 2015 the SNP won 95% of the seats in Scotland on 55% of the vote. UKIP got 1 MP elected on 14% of the UK vote. That showed just how bad FPTP is.

    No other European country would show results like this. It is not democratic by any stretch of the imagination.

  9. Could I interest you in an Electoral College system?

  10. Absolutely, other than France has a broadly similar system. Both are appalling. FPTP broadly works well in a two-party system. It is why it doesn’t (Presidential elections aside) cause much issues in the United States. But it just completely messes up in a multi-party system.

  11. Phantom,

    The US system, outside of Presidential elections, broadly works because you only have two parties.

  12. Yes

    And in a number of presidential system the Electoral College has subverted the clear will of the American voter.

  13. There haven’t been many to be fair. In 58 (56 arguably as George Washington didn’t face opposition) elections there have been 5 elections were the candidate who won didn’t win the popular vote.

    1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016. In 1824 John Quincy Adams didn’t win the electoral vote either (there was a four way split) and the result was decided by the House of Representatives.

    In only one of those other four elections (1876) did the losing candidate win a majority of the vote. In 1824 Andrew Jackson won 41%, in 1888 Allen Thurman won 49%, in 2000 Al Gore won 48%, and in 2016 Hilary Clinton won 48% as well. In 1876 Thomas Hendricks won 51% of the vote.

    So there has only been 1 election in the entire history of the United States, 1 in 58 elections, that a candidate has won 50% or more of the vote and lost the election.

  14. Al Gore in 2000 and Crooked Hillary in 2016 got more votes than the winners.

    Two of the past three newly elected presidents snuck in via a rigged system.

  15. FPTP broadly works well in a two-party system.

    No it doesn’t Seamus. One party could win 51% of the votes in each constituency which would give it 100% of the MPs and the other party would get no MPs with 49% of the vote. That is roughly what happened in Scotland in 2015.

  16. But the party that won 51% in each constituency would win 51% of the votes nationally. And so the party that won the most votes would win the most seats and form the government. The problem the SNP causes is because the UK is not a two-party system. It is a multi-party system. And so FPTP breaks down.

  17. To be fair Phantom the majority of people voted against Al Gore. The majority of people voted against Hilary Clinton. While they got more votes than their main opponent the majority of people still rejected them as well.

  18. But the party that won 51% in each constituency would win 51% of the votes nationally. And so the party that won the most votes would win the most seats and form the government.

    And is that democracy? 49% of the votes have no MPs elected?

  19. Ultimately the important thing is that the government has the support of the majority of people. Ideally it should be a broadly representative parliament. But the main thing is that the party that wins the majority of votes gets a majority of seats.

  20. //1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016. In 1824 John Quincy Adams didn’t win the electoral vote either//

    I thought JFK failed to get the popular vote in 1960.

    //But the party that won 51% in each constituency would win 51% of the votes nationally. And so the party that won the most votes would win the most seats and form the government.//

    Yes, but it would be practically a dictatorship, without any opposition in parliament.

    The List system used in Germany means seats in parliamnet are assigned on the basis of the share of votes received by each party nationally.
    It’s modified somewhat by a 5% threshold for entry (which keeps out very small parties and is supposed to prevent a Weimar situation) and a second vote on the ballot where local candidates can be elected directly. But generally this system of seats based on the share of votes nationwide leads to a very fair reflection in parliament of the people’s vote.

  21. //Ultimately the important thing is that the government has the support of the majority of people.//

    Well, that didn’t seem to work in NI for half a century.

  22. “I thought JFK failed to get the popular vote in 1960.”

    He won a plurality, but not a majority. He won more than Nixon but not more than 50%. Though that is also only true if we ignore what happened in Chicago.

  23. But the main thing is that the party that wins the majority of votes gets a majority of seats.

    No, the important thing is that votes translate into MPs. So 30% of the vote will get 30% of the MPs. That’s how they do it in most democracies, apart from the oldest (UK) and second oldest (USA). Strange that.

  24. “Yes, but it would be practically a dictatorship, without any opposition in parliament.”

    Sure. It also doesn’t happen. Where as for the most part in a two party system the party that wins the most votes wins the the most seats. There was actually a thing known as the cube rule. The ratio of A seats-won to B seats-won will broadly speaking be proportional to A³/B³.

  25. “No, the important thing is that votes translate into MPs. So 30% of the vote will get 30% of the MPs. That’s how they do it in most democracies, apart from the oldest (UK) and second oldest (USA). Strange that.”

    Ultimately government matters more than parliamentary representation. The first, amongst all other considerations, is that the government should have democratic mandate. Overwhelmingly in a two-party FPTP system that happens. Also overwhelmingly in a multi-party FPTP system that doesn’t happen.

    I’m not defending the plurality system. It is a bad system. But the main harm is that it produces governments without democratic mandates, not that it doesn’t produce proportional parliaments.

    Ultimately the States General isn’t more legitimate than the German Bundestag, even though the former is more proportional than the later. Because they both broadly speaking produce governments with democratic mandates.

  26. Seamus

    Well someone has to win the office.

    GW Bush and ( especially ) Trump were not who the American people wanted.

    Trump is so completely defensive about it because he knows that he was not the peoples choice.

  27. Thatcher won huge Tory majorities in 1983 and 1987, on vote shares in the low 40% band.

    That’s not democracy, however you try to spin it.

  28. I think it is the problem have a winner takes all system with more than two candidates. Ultimately a run-off system, like AV or a two round system, would be preferable (should the President be elected by popular vote). Because while George W Bush and Trump were not who the American people wanted neither were Hilary Clinton or Al Gore.

  29. Phantom

    If Trump loses by a small margin in November 2020 my bet is that he will not concede and will be prepared to create a constitutional crisis. We are talking about a rule-breaker who lies and lies and lies.

  30. “That’s not democracy, however you try to spin it.”

    Nor am I trying to. I am comparing the plurality system in a two-party system with the plurality system in a multi-party system. For example in 2018 the Democrats and Republicans took 97.2% of the vote between them. That is a two party system. And, gerrymandering aside, the plurality system largely works in their two party system. The UK, now and in 1983 and 1987, was not a two party system. In 1983 the Tories and Labour between them took 70% of the vote. Nearly 1 of 3 people voted for someone else. In 1987 the Tories and Labour between them took 73.2% of the vote. Over 1 in 4 people voted for someone else. Those are multi party systems and is where the plurality system breaks down.

  31. I’ve always thought the electoral college system is profoundly wrong for the unique office of POTUS. The election for President is the only single political office that is voted for by all Americans purely as Americans. Each vote regardless of where the citizen lives should count equally. The President elected should be the candidate who obtains the single greatest number of votes . That is the only way to ensure the principle that every vote counts.

  32. The Electoral College was first instituted as a way to give greater power to slaveholding states

    Behind closed doors at the Constitutional Convention, when the idea of direct presidential election was proposed by the Northerner James Wilson, the Southerner James Madison explained why this was a political nonstarter: Slaves couldn’t vote, so the slaveholding South would basically lose every time in a national direct vote. But if slaves could somehow be counted in an indirect system, maybe at a discount (say, three-fifths), well, that might sell in the South. Thus were planted the early seeds of an Electoral College system.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/06/opinion/electoral-college-slavery.html

    The one good thing about it is that it probably makes voter fraud a bit less likely – there’s little point in vote fraud in the big one party states.

  33. Look guys, it’s not rocket science. Last week Spain elected a parliament which was almost 100% proportional to the votes cast. In a few months Canada will have a general election under the British system, which could result in a 55:45 vote split leading to a 75:25 result. So which country is more democratic?

  34. Phantom

    For decades the population trend is for people to leave rural areas and move to cities. So the imbalance of the electoral college system can only get worse. Never mind the fact that North Dakota (under one million) has the same number of senators as California (40 million).

  35. Correct.

    Some of very lightly populated territories that became states should have been combined at the outset.

    Wyoming has 577,000 people. Brooklyn has five times that.

  36. I have always thought that the ability of the Korean Workers Party to secure 99.8% success in every election in North Korea is a wonderful example of not just extensive democracy but enthusiastic popularity too, Well done to the great achievements of Kim and co 😉

  37. It wasn’t almost 100% proportional. It is 94% proportional. The UK by comparison to the 2017 election was actually also 94% proportional. Now 2017 was atypical for the UK. For example the 2015 UK election was 85% proportional.

    Also by comparison the Netherlands at their last election was 99% proportional. Is it more democratic than Spain? Arguably but in general not really. Because a government that represents the will of the people matters more than a completely proportional parliament.

    In the Netherlands the government got 49.3% of the vote but is 99% proportional. In Germany the government got 53.4% of the vote, but is only 98% proportional. The Netherlands is more proportional than Germany. But the German government has a majority of the vote, while the Dutch government doesn’t. Which is more democratic?

  38. It wasn’t almost 100% proportional. It is 94% proportional.

    Ok Seamus, you win as usual. First Past The Post is the greatest electoral system ever and cannot possibly be improved on. Johnny Foreigner with his fancy proportional systems has nothing to teach us.

  39. Peter go fuck yourself. I put forward an argument. If you don’t agree challenge it. But stop acting the petty dick over it.

  40. Now Now girls. You are both clever enough to play better than this !

  41. Cheers Seamus.

  42. // If that doesn’t sound so bad for Labour, this Tory government is the most hated ever and Labour losses were not predicted. Labour should have have been winning hundreds of seats.//

    Strip away Pete’s propaganda and you’ll see this in perspective. The Tories have lost over 1,330 seats, while Labour lost “only” 82 seats. UKIP in turn had a total diastrous result – which Pete of course doesn’t even mention – and from an already low number lost 145 seats, which is, I think, around 75 percent of the seats it held.

    On the other hand, the pro-EU Lib-Dems increased their number by over 700 seats, which the Greens and independents gained over 800 extra seats.

  43. The country is swinging back to remain. Brexit will be stillborn hopefully !

  44. Noel –

    I didn’t mention UKIP because it’s an irrelevant faction. I didn’t mention the LibDems because it’s irrelevant and its gain in seats in due to many reasons. The greatest mistake is thinking that yesterday indicated any kind of pro-EU vote.

    It was nothing of the kind, though you anti-democrats who don’t live here wish it were otherwise.

  45. When the main parties not only ignore the wishes of the electorate, but actually seem to despise them, what they expect to happen.

  46. I live here and I know most Brits couldn’t give a damn if Brexit was cancelled. Most Brits in all honesty are very soft remainers or Brexiteers and I think their biggest sense of political frustration is actually about the fact that Brexit has paralysed political life here and they just wish it could be sidelined/moved/ cancelled whatever just not dominant anymore.

  47. The country is swinging back to remain.

    No it’s not Colm. The Lib-Dems have merely reclaimed most of their catastrophic losses in 2015. Labour have lost seats because they are attempting to face both ways on Brexit. They have lost to the Tories in the North and the Lib Dems in the South. But the big result is that the Tories have lost much more heavily because they are a total shambles of a party.

    But don’t rule out a rapid Tory revival under charlatan Boris Johnson. May and Corbyn need to get Brexit over the line in the next two weeks. If not, there will be a Brexit general election later this year and Boris will be the likely winner, possibly a big winner if the Remain vote is split between Labour, Lib Dems and Greens. Because the Leave vote will go 90% to the Tories, even if Farage and his Brexit party fight full on, which they won’t.

  48. This is a Tory disaster, it’s great to see it, couldn’t happen to nicer people:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/ceeqy0e9894t/england-local-elections-2019

  49. For the sake of us foreigners, what was this recent election?

    Not a Parliamentary election, but one for local offices like mayors?

    How often are such elections held?

  50. Most mayors in the UK aren’t directly elected. Thursday’s elections closest analogy to in the US would be like county commission elections or municipal elections.

    They are held every year as the elections as staggered (each one is elected to a four year term but they have some up for election every year).

  51. Phantom

    The election today was for local councils. Nothing to do with Parliament or national government at all. Plus it was largely rural and provincial and didn’t include the big cities. There were no elections in London, the only part of the U.K. that matters 😉

  52. In the face of these results, do we see May recapitulating, or her cabinet doubling up to try to remove her?
    No, of course not, all carries on as normal, for it doesn’t matter to her whether she, or Corbyn will carry the next election, because they’re all one and the same party. To call them all “remainers” misses the point, for that implies that they are all still totally loyal to Britain but that they just happen to be rather fond of remaining in the EU. I hold that this is not the case; they’re not Pro-EU, they ARE THE EU. Bought and paid for. Puppets, muppets, merely retaining the old names of “conservative” and “labour” to fool people into thinking that they are actually separate political parties. No change can come, no real Brexit can be achieved, while any of these ex-UK, now EU pretend-parties are able to co-operate.

  53. No change can come, no real Brexit can be achieved, while any of these ex-UK, now EU pretend-parties are able to co-operate.

    Wrong, wrong and wrong. Brexit will be sorted this month.

  54. brexitannia

    Spot on !

    The only shock was how bad Labour did. Not as bad as the Tories, which was to be expected, but compared to everyone else. UKIP ran down the number of seats it was contesting so was always going to do poorly. The Tories ? Well is was always a question of how many seats they would lose. The LibDems always do well and did far better than expected given the above. But so did Independents and they did not benefit from a party machine like the LibDems.

    In conclusion. I really do not think anyone can draw too much from this other than the fact the people are not happy with both the Tories and Labour over the handling of BREXIT.

    So how will the Tory and Labour leaders respond ? For Mrs. May it is easy, just keep going as nothing can be done to remove her. For Mr.Corbyn, things are a little trickier. If he helps may with her WA then his party is equally toast and May has achieved the impossible – the destruction of both the Tory and Labour parties.

    Corbyn’s best hope is to run this to the wire and get the Europarl Elections into frame. The Tories will be toast and Labour, although probably not doing as well as before, will still do better as we have recently seen. Their core support intact and the Tories finished. After that, I think the knives will be out for, May.

  55. UKIP ran down the number of seats it was contesting so was always going to do poorly.

    Bullshit. UKIP were defending 176 seats and lost 145 of them. Because they have become an irrelevant racist rabble.

  56. Link here to results in England:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48091592