Part of the Union 249

Labour voters are switching straight to Tory as second preference and Tory straight to Labour in Scottish local government by-elections held under the STV system. These are not opinion polls, they are real elections.

I was shown results and transfer sheets yesterday in the margin of the SNP vetting assessment of potential candidates which I was attending. Unfortunately I did not have a chance to copy down the figures, but the pattern was clear.

For those unfamiliar with single transferable vote, you mark the ballot paper 1,2,3 in the order you prefer the candidates. What is now becoming clear is that Labour voters tend to put the Tories at 2, and Tories put Labour as 2. I have been arguing for years that there are no significant policy differences between Labour and Tory – it is a fake choice. I will never forget at the count in Clackmannan the Labour and Tory councillors and their wives all celebrating together, all looking well-heeled and arrogant and entitled, impossible to tell apart.

That the few remaining Labour voters put the Tories as second preference, instead of the Greens, SNP or Liberal Democrat, shows that the core Labour support base is largely Blairite. Which explains why the ultra-Blairite Jim Murphy, scion of the far right Henry Jackson Society, is set to become Labour Party leader in Scotland. It is also interesting that Tory voters are happy to give second preferences to Labour, recognising that Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper, Tess Jowell and Harriet Harman – every one a millionaire – are doughty protectors of the rich and the established order.

I haven’t been able to find a website that records local byelection results including the transfers – some results are listed on but only give the final result after all transfers. If anyone can find the data online I would be grateful. I should love to see an analysis from James Kelly on this one.

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249 thoughts on “Part of the Union

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  • lysias

    NATO countries missing from that list of complicitous countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway.

  • lysias

    No pardons without at least a South African-style Truth and Reconciliation Commission that not only holds public hearings and requires confessions of guilt, but also imposes what France did to collaborators after World War Two: a status of national degradation that prohibits any holding of public office and perhaps other things (e.g., loss of the right to vote).

  • Mary

    The report consists of +400 pages redacted from the original +6,000.

    Will the UK’s part in extraordinary rendition be mentioned?


    What theatre!

    The royal tour of the U.S. continues, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge set to visit the 9/11 memorial on Tuesday……

    What was it all in aid of? The USUKIsNATO axis presumably.

  • Phil


    Fair enough. Thanks at least for acknowledging the problems with your comment. I was surprised because you are not the bandwagon bully gang type.

    I’m not sure if I sense sarcasm in your reference to me but if that is the case then there you go. I can hardly complain.

  • Tony M

    BBC have a new whistleblower radio drama out. Broadcast on 30th November in Radio 3.
    It’s “Dream of White Horses” by Linda Marshall Griffiths.

    The blurb:

    Scenario. You discover a secret. A terrible secret. What do you do? Ignore it or let it loose on the world? Your move.

    In Linda Marshall Griffiths’ powerful original drama two friends release a film onto the internet exposing a military operation that they believe constitutes murder. But truth is complicated and the consequences of their actions tear their world to pieces.

    The silencing of virtual whistle-blowers poses important questions about how information can be controlled. Dream of White Horses examines this and the consequences, the conflicts and the motives of the whistle-blowers. It throws into question what we risk in the release of this information; behind the information are real people, flawed people whose lives will be changed forever.

    With Derek Riddell as Chris, William Ash as Sean, Christine Bottomley as Sarah, Sam Hattersley as Stevie and Jonathan Keeble as Paul.

    Produced by Nadia Molinari.

    On the radio version of ‘Murder in Samarkand’ I have two versions, I believe there was an edit between the first version transmitted on air and the repeat or web version. My memory might be failing me but I think a scene with ‘Jack Straw’ was omitted or altered.

  • Mary

    Firms awarded third of NHS contracts
    A third of NHS contracts in England have been awarded to private sector firms since the Health and Social Care Act came into force, a probe finds.

    Private firms ‘win 70% of NHS bids’
    Bill against ‘privatised’ NHS backed
    Pause NHS privatisation – Labour

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