Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bromley byelection

Results of the Bromley & Chislehurst by election:

Conservative 11,629 40.0% (down 11.1%)
Ben Abbotts, Liberal Democrat 10,988 37.8% (up 17.5%)
UKIP 2,347 8.1% (up 4.9%)
Labour 1,925 6.6% (down 15.6%)
Others 2,171

This was a stunning achievement by an excellent candidate, Ben Abbotts, almost wiping out a huge Tory majority. We could have won, given a bit more time.

For all his talk of reform, the Tory leader isn't going anywhere. The Europhobes are still deserting the Tory Party in droves, and could seriously threaten them at the next general election - to say nothing of other byelections between now and then. The core Tory vote is obviously not inspired by Cameron's quasi-liberal flourishes.

Tactical voting by former Labour supporters continues to be a big factor. Not only are they disillusioned by the directions taken by Mr Blair on civil liberties and public services, but they positively see theLiberal Democrats as the only defenders of key values shared by most people who consider themselves as 'liberals' with a small 'l'.

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