The by-election results and what they tell us

CopelandStokeVoteShareChangeIn a previous article I looked at the polls during Corbyn’s period as leader, noting the deterioration in the period post the referendum/coup compared to that preceding it. I also noted that actual election results up to and including May 2016 were not bad, and for the parliamentary by-elections and mayoral elections were very good.

Let us now have a look at the actual results since the referendum/coup in late June. There have been only by-elections during this period, four parliamentary with two pending, and many council by-elections.

There is no point in considering the Batley and Spen by-election, as none of the other major parties contested it out of respect for the murdered Jo Cox, so it cannot tell us anything, except rather sadly demonstrating that despite the circumstances of the by-election some 2,000 voters were prepared to vote for an unsavoury bunch of candidates from the far right. Continue reading

Should Labour enter into electoral pacts?

2869227767_cce69d7f21_bZac Goldsmith’s decision to resign as a Tory MP and contest his Richmond Park seat in a by-election as an independent, in protest at the government’s decision to build a third Heathrow runway, has raised the thorny issue of electoral pacts. With the Conservatives and UKIP choosing not to contest the seat, Labour came under pressure to promote one candidate of the anti-Brexit left.

MPs Clive Lewis, Lisa Nandy and Jonathan Reynolds all urged Labour to consider standing aside in favour of a Lib Dem candidate in order not to split the anti-Brexit vote. This way, they argued, the by-election could be turned into a referendum, not on Heathrow expansion, but on the xenophobic politics that Goldsmith symbolises.  Continue reading

Hard on the ‘Progressive Alliance’, hard on the causes of the ‘Progressive Alliance’

SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon

SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon

In recent months the question of whether Labour ought to consider a “progressive alliance” with other anti-Tory parties has become a major talking point on the left. Clive Lewis, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has come out in favour of the position as has influential pro-Corbyn journalist Paul Mason. The exact formation of what a progressive alliance entails or who would be involved in one remain unclear. Continue reading

In defence of Jim Jepps against press smears

ozNV3c9BThatcher once noted that when opponents resort to personal attacks, it signals their inability to argue the politics. What then to make of the concerted attack on my friend and comrade Jim Jepps by the Fawkes rabbleThe Mail, and the Daily Mirror. Jim is very much away from the limelight, quietly plugging away at his own activist projects and not courting the media at all. And yet he’s become fair game in the desperate attempts by idiot journalism to smear his partner, the Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.  Continue reading

General election 2015: Green candidates – the definitive list

green flag copyIf you thought the far left candidate list was big, wait until you see this. As far as I know, below in the most complete list of Green Party candidates for the forthcoming general election you will find anywhere. It is provisional, subject to last minute selections and withdrawals and will be revised when new information becomes available. Also, I have lumped in the Green Parties of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Yes, they’re separate (albeit fraternal) entities but they’ll do as one for my purposes.

I shall return soon to say a few words about the Greens’ campaign, but whichever way it’s sliced and diced this is an impressive achievement. Even with the tens of thousands of new members this is no mean feat. I make it 566 PPCs, which is truly a gargantuan number of candidates for a party that until very recently was a small outfit that did everything on a shoestring. Continue reading