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 politicalbetting.com 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.


249 thoughts on “Part of the Union

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  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Yippee, a new thread and about time too, Craig, if I may say so.

    I’m looking forward to meaty, substantial posts and a good discussion (well, there’s a first time for everything, isn’t there!)

  • bringiton

    This will come into play next May.
    We have a large number of middle class Labour supporters in our constituency who will vote for anyone they think will keep the SNP or any other non “British” party out.
    These are the people who would rather see a Tory Westminster government in charge of Scotland’s affairs than any democratically elected Scottish government.
    In that respect,as you say Craig,they fit very nicely within current Labour party philosophy.
    Nice to meet you again on Friday evening.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “It is also interesting that Tory voters are happy to give second preferences to Labour..”
    _________________

    Interesting (as is the reverse phenomenon you point to : Labour voters putting the Conservatives as 2nd choice), but hardly surprising of course if you are correct in saying that there are no policy differences between the Conservatives and Labour.

    If the SNP – assuming it forms the next Scottish govt (and perhaps holds the balance of power at Westminster next year) can come up with different policies, clearly stated preferably before the elections, then good luck to it. The question is, of course, whether it will and whether they will stick to them (the experiences of Wilson in 1964, Heath in 1970 and so on refer).

  • Geoff Huijer

    Well who’da thunk it eh?

    The conjoined Better Together twins really are inseparable
    even in their own voters’ eyes.

    Vote Rule Britannia so the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    1 in 4 kids in poverty is just not enough is it?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Craig

    Hope all went well at the possible candidates meeting you attended.

    In the light of Mr Salmond’s decision to stand for Westminster, would your personal preference be for a seat at Stormont or a seat at Westminster?

  • Resident Dissident

    Craig and the SNP are of course talking demonstrable garbage as this study by Professor John Curtis for the Electoral reform society on the 2012 Scottish Council results – see the table at the top of page 15 demonstrates.

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.electoral-reform.org.uk%2Fdownloadfile.php%3FPublicationFile%3D272&ei=41KEVIKJN4Se7gb124D4AQ&usg=AFQjCNFYT7kzbtLQTqiFffwnZiYm2lT-NA&sig2=bOKtCsK5-NEsf2DEF-rXlw&bvm=bv.80642063,d.ZGU

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)
    7 Dec, 2014 – 12:45 pm

    “Whoops, I should have said Holyrood and not Stormont. Apologies!”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

    An understandable error from a London-centric observer.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Mr Scorgie

    Thank you for your understanding, Doug.

    But why “London-centric”? Please provide links and references.

  • Vronsky

    I’ve noted for some time now the growing realisation among Tories that Labour are the valiant other half of the bulwark against the jacquerie. It’s like the Aristotelian idea that a man without a woman is only half of something, but then they come blissfully together.

    These two parties are on closely parallel lines in the UK, but (necessarily) on rapidly converging paths in Scotland. But we simply don’t have room for both of them. Which Tories will survive?

  • Arbed

    Hello moderators,

    I can’t seem to post anything on the Anna Ardin Liar thread, although it states it’s still open until 17 December. Can you assist please?

  • BrianPowell

    it’s not a problem for Tories to vote in Labour in Scotland because they know they will be ineffectual and Scotland will run in all the important ways from Westminster, where they are likely to get a Tory Government.

  • Arbed

    Hmm, thought I’d try ‘parking’ my post on Squonk’s blog but don’t seem to be able to post there either. Must be something I’m doing wrong but I can’t think what?

    With apologies then for being wildly OT, I’ll ‘park’ it here while I sort out what’s going on. Ty.

    Following some revealing readers’ comments on his last blog post about the Assange EAW (http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2014/11/11/bernard-porter/assange-and-the-european-arrest-warrant/), Dr Bernard Porter has written a rather good follow-up.

    Julian Assange and the European Arrest Warrant:
    http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster69/lob69-julian-assange.pdf

    Meanwhile, Swedish leak site UnderMattan has revealed that an IP address registered to the European Court of Justice visited UnderMattan’s page dedicated to Assange (inc. all leaked, FOI’d and otherwise public original documents) on 21 Nov, the day after the SVEA court ruled the arrest in absentia should continue and criticised Ny for breaching her obligations to progress the investigation:

    http://undermattans.blogspot.se/2014/11/4-ar-till-assange-fortsatt-haktad-i-sin.html

  • Arbed

    Following some revealing readers’ comments on his last blog post about the Assange EAW (http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2014/11/11/bernard-porter/assange-and-the-european-arrest-warrant/), Dr Bernard Porter has written a rather good follow-up.

    Julian Assange and the European Arrest Warrant:
    https://twitter.com/LobsterMagazine/status/539203584404258816

    Meanwhile, Swedish leak site UnderMattan has revealed that an IP address registered to the European Court of Justice visited UnderMattan’s page dedicated to Assange (inc. all leaked, FOI’d and otherwise public original documents) on 21 Nov, the day after the SVEA court ruled the arrest in absentia should continue and criticised Ny for breaching her obligations to progress the investigation:

    http://undermattans.blogspot.se/2014/11/4-ar-till-assange-fortsatt-haktad-i-sin.html

  • nevermind

    Well analysed, Geoff Huijer, the party political system, elected by FPTP is unfair and will never reflect the true state of support for parties, it makes it inevitable that people will vote to keep one or other candidate out of office.

    The party politicians who are vying for our votes now with multiple promises, the should, could would phase in the run up to the next GE, HAVE WRECKED THIS COUNTRY.
    Rather than bettering conditions for its people we see policing for an elite power structure repressing students, women and workers alike.
    They pander to the elderly voters and to car drivers with multiple promises they can’t deliver.
    They brag about billionaires, whilst ranting against food banks.
    They sell weapons and trained to Isis/Al Quaeda and the FSA, cause multiple millions of refugees to be displaced into poor Lebanon and Jordans a result, but they do not want to admit more than 100 Syrian refugees into this country. DESPICABLE party politicians.

    I’m not so sure that we’ll get an election, a case for war might just postpone this 300 million waste of time,’so sorry,plebs, we have Russians and Iranians to fight first’.

    So what will happen to Scotland’s Independent drive if there is no GE?

    and don’t strain your thread breaking brain Habby, its too much for an ol codger like you.

  • craig Post author

    Resident Dissident

    Don’t be such a blundering idiot. Do you know what a by-election is? I am not talking abut the situation in 2012.

  • Mary

    Troll fest here since earlier.

    The Royal Foundation.

    The Trustees
    http://www.royalfoundation.com/about-our-foundation/trustees/ LOL

    The home page http://www.royalfoundation.com/

    conservation of wildlife – that’s rich coming from a pair of princes who like killing endangered birds of prey and the odd mammal or two.

    promotion of the militarization of the UK by way of P Harry’s Invictus Games. Never mind if you lost a limb or two in Afghanistan. You did it to keep us safe at home, etc etc.

    and so on.

  • Phil

    Craig
    “I have been arguing for years that there are no significant policy differences between Labour and Tory”

    The use of the first person here reveals the arrogance of those who fancy themselves as leaders of men. It subtly misleads and subbtly but grossly inflates the abilities of the speaker at the expense of understanding how ideas are actually formed. It gently lays claim to this idea although not even Murray would actually lay claim to it. I have been arguing for years. Well actually a lot of other people have been arguing it a lot longer than you mate. Such use of the first person subconsciously endorses the great man theory of history which in turn endorses the right of the few over the many. This is how language cows.

    Apart from such subtle misappropriations there is the hilarious white elephant in that sentence. Come on not even the most ardent Murray fan needs this spelling out do you? OK. The Liberal party. You know that party who are exactly the same con as the tories and labour, the party that had not so long ago the enthusiastic support of, yes you’ve guessed it, your fav innovative political analyst, Mr Craig Murray.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that update on Julian’s limbo state, Arbed, I do not know why you can’t post on Squonk or on the right thread here. It looks like Ms Ny’s mistakes do not matter for a socialist Sweden, who seemingly are subjected to the same establishment hands on the tiller, as their conservative colleagues, party puppets.

    What does this say about Swedish party politics? its a controlled puppet theatre, just as ours here in Britain.

    Ms Ny should be doorstepped and questioned the moment she dares to leave Sweden for abroad, if she can go on holiday or business trips, then she can come to London and interview him in the safety of Ecuador’s embassy, because she is unable to guarantee him that safety in Sweden.

  • Republicofscotland

    “New thread infected already.”

    _______________________

    Nice one Doug, it looks like malware. lol.

  • Republicofscotland

    O/T

    Guantanamo, Bay has just released 6 prisons of various Middle Eastern descent, all were held for a minimum of 12 years WITHOUT charge.

    All have been relocated to Uruguay.

  • Ben the Inquisitor

    Can we salvage democracy with the parties extant leading us down the merry path?

    I digress…

  • Republicofscotland

    That’s interesting Craig that Labour vote Tory and vice versa, but no surprising, I’m now almost convinced Sarah Boyack and Neil Findlay are there, just make up the numbers, and that Jim Murphy is a shoe-in so to speak for the leader of the Scottish Labour branch.

    As you rightly point out, Labour celebrated with the Tories, openly and joyously at their victory over the nationalists. I and many residents of Scotland including yourself no longer see, a marked difference between, Tory and Labour policy.

    One of which see’s the rich grow richer and the poor, penalised for their position in society.

    All we can hope for now until the next referendum is to gain seats at Westminster, and change what little we can from the inside, it won’t be easy.

  • Republicofscotland

    Regarding the contest (If it can really be called that0 for the position of manager of the Labour branch in Scotland, Jim Murphy is an incredible 1/4 on favourite with the bookies, Neil Findaly comes a distant 2nd at 3/1 and Sarah Boyack is an incredible 25/1 outsider, very seldom do the bookies get it wrong.

    Meanwhile voting for an above candidate closes on Wednesday, and we’ll find out on Saturday who’s the manager of the Scotland branch of Labour.

    I wonder who the “Sacrificial Lamb” will be the one to give up their seat, in order that Jim Murphy gains access to Holyrood, or will the prodigal son wait until 2016, I think not.

  • Ben the Inquisitor

    “Labour fears that coalition reforms will effectively disenfranchise millions of people have been rebuffed by the elections watchdog.

    A terse exchange of letters, seen by Politics.co.uk, reveals the Electoral Commission is not prepared to accelerate its analysis of the deeply troubling figures emerging this week about declining voter registration levels.

    Shadow constitution minister Stephen Twigg said the watchdog, which is tasked with protecting the way British elections are run, was in danger of doing “too little too late” if it does not act sooner.

    At present the Electoral Commission is not planning on publishing a headline figure about how many people have fallen off the electoral register since the transition to individual electoral registration began until February – despite local authorities releasing data for their areas this week.”

    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2014/12/05/too-little-too-late-electoral-commission-denies-complacency

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