Massive Collapse in Tory Vote Share in Oldham 50

The true story of the Oldham West by-election is a massive collapse in the Tory vote, which fell from 19.0% to 9.3%. The Tory vote share halved.

The Tory vote in Oldham West was not tiny and statistically insignificant. In 2010 it was 23%. The national media has been plugging a narrative about the political dominance of the Tories for months, which bears no relationship to people’s experience in real life. Tens of thousands of words of utter bilge have been written about the Conservatives “Northern powerhouse” strategy and how it will enable them to win in the North, and especially in precisely this Greater Manchester region. This is revealed as complete and utter nonsense. This by-election shows the Tories are deeply unpopular.

The media were also doing everything possible to talk up UKIP’s chances, in the hope of damaging Jeremy Corbyn. In fact, my own contacts in Oldham had been telling me for weeks that UKIP were struggling to hold up their percentage vote, and that proved to be the case. This leaves the Blairites of the Guardian looking particularly stupid, having produced a whole series of articles predicated on UKIP gaining ground as a protest against Corbyn.

The media’s last resort in spinning this result goes thus:
a) Do not mention at all the collapse in the Tory vote
b) Emphasise it was a personal vote for a local man, Jim McMahon
c) Portray McMahon as a Blairite

This formula is being universally followed in the state and corporate media. The difficulty with the McMahon angle is that his predecessor was a very popular long term MP, Michael Meacher, who also had a big personal vote. And McMahon declared both last week and tonight that he would have voted against bombing Syria, so no Blairite.

We are nowhere near mid term yet and already the Tory vote is collapsing. People are not nearly as stupid as the media wish them to be.

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50 thoughts on “Massive Collapse in Tory Vote Share in Oldham

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  • T Sawyer

    @Mary – SNP Angus Robertson repeatedly called upon the bench to rebut his 70k were bogus moderates claim, but Hammond remained stuck to his seat as if he had sat on a whole bucket of super glue. Both Hammond and Fallon deathly afraid of becoming poster boys (instead of smoothface) of the 70k con (a la Colin Powell ice cream van)when smoothface’s Syria regime change goes all awry and disastrous yet again in future, as with Libya.

    The Englishmen are very wary of the pig “headed” crypto after he took Ashcrofts money to get elected in 2010 but reneged on his side of the deal come the 2015 election.

  • Mary

    It is so good to have medical advice thrown in for free here. Is Villager a doctor like Suhayl?

  • Sixer

    “The national media has been plugging a narrative about the political dominance of the Tories for months, which bears no relationship to people’s experience in real life.”

    This is what I keep saying. I live in the safest of Tory seats in the rural west country. And even here, there’s a lot of disquiet about Cameron & Co. Here, there’s always been a distrust of Westminster and a perceived metropolitan elite but that distrust was always pointed at Labour. Now, it’s pointed at the Tories too.

  • T Sawyer

    @Mary – Its the Orissan orifice aka the Black Hole of Kolkata, a godbole in the employ of a Ronson, eternally grateful for having been saved from daily trips to the railway lines of Mumbai.

    But not to detract from Ayurveda,even Prince Charles is not averse to encouraging homopathy, look where it got Edward Heath and Jimmy Saville !! Not to mention Board of Deputies President Janner.

  • Alcyone

    Mary, this is not “medical advice’ — it’s about Life itself. Unlike a new gadget, we don’t come with an instruction manual. Billions make the mistake and turn to organised religions and adopt a “book” as their manual. Most of us that are growing human beings learn from the hard work of observing, and knowing one’s self. And we all learn from each other, apparently excepting you, the eternal Old Troll, stuck in a rut of gorging on huge amounts of useless data.

    Now please kindly turn off your megaphone.

  • nevermind

    How to get from a massive Tory rout in an UNFAIR electoral system to pseudo religious quackery in 10 hours flat.

    Whilst the media made much of the Oldham by elections and reiterated what it would mean for Corbyn should he do badly, during their ‘get Corbyn by any means’ phase, now that 40% have bothered to vote, not bad for a by elections by British standards, the BBC’s true blue masters of edition have decided to best forget about it.

    A putrid desolate place for any democratic roots to hold on to.

  • Mary

    Good ones T Sawyer and Nevermind. Some of us are fortunate to be blessed with eyes so that we can see and ears so that we can hear.

    Oh Gawd! I am beginning to sound like Villager.

  • Mochyn69

    Found it, it’s from a comment on

    reinertorheit says
    August 9, 2015
    I understand the anger and frustration many people have voiced here – and I think that it would be worth posting an explanation of what has actually happened at The Guardian.

    In 2013, The Guardian filed some of the worst financial accounts in the newspaper’s history. The publishers were clearly in deep financial trouble, and were forced to sell-off some of their assets, simply to avoid immediately bankruptcy. The financial outlook appeared very grim.

    But ‘hope’ was around the corner… although it was a vile kind of ‘hope’ indeed.

    The Guardian was (quietly) relaunched, positioning itself primarily in the USA and Australia – whilst aiming to retain as much as possiible from its former days as a left-wing newspaper in Britain. New and mysterious ‘backers’ appeared, who were now controlling the political content of the newspaper. Alan Rusbridger was quickly removed and thrown on the rubbish-heap – the usual nonsense about wanting to develop his career (in retirement?).

    It was a very simple idea – “buy up the opposition to neoconservative American ideas – and neatralise it with a daily diet of pro-Pentagon, pro-Washington, shabby indoctrination”. Unwanted old left-wingers were quietly pushed aside. Ambitious Americans like Hadley Freeman were shoved forwards. New right-wing writers were hired, such as “Rafael Behr” (who he?). The screaming voices of the lunatic right, such as TImothy Garbage-Trash, suddenly become Leader Writers..

    Let’s just explain what “neoconservative” actually means. It means following right-wing policies and ideas under the apparently acceptable cloak of being socialists, in order to secure public support for these extreme right-wing policies. Tony Blair is the perfect example… a man who found himself in perfect accord with George Bush – a god-bothering war-mongering racist fascist psychopath with the brain of a mollusc.

    But it gets worse. The Guardian is now not really written by Guardian journalists any longer. Instead, coverage of all “sensitive” topics has been franchised out to American rightwing organisations. Now we get articles and editorial which have been “sponsored by the John D Rockefeller Foundation” (an extremist rightwing organisation), whose authorship and views chime perfectly with American hard-line exceptionalist Christian white right. Sometimes the sourcing is hidden more carefully… for example, the “Calvert Journal” – an American-funded pile of rightwing trash based in Calvert Street in London…. trailed as an “expert source” on Russia, but actually ghost-written in Washington. A few down-at-heel Russian emigres were hired as the ostensible “authors” of this crap. So now the Guardian’s Russia coverage is written by spooks in Washington under the guise of being written by “Russian opposition voices cowering from Putin in London”. I’ve met these filth – they are pathetic users who are happy to take Washington’s dollars to fund their empty-headed glamorous lifestyles in London. This comes under the heading of “New East”, headed by a new rightwing extremist at the Guardian called Maeve Sheerlaw… a cheap hack who has never been to Moscow in her life, yet was made an Overnight Expert to parrot the opinions of filth like Andrew McFaul, failed American Ambassador to Moscow.

    Then there are all the articles ‘syndicated’ from the Moscow Times – another fake newspaper funded by American rightwingers in Washington, via a chain of anonymous holding companies in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Don’t be fooled by that “Moscow Times” title – it was one they picked on purpose, to make it sound like a serious newspaper. In fact it’s staffed by a team of cheap American journalism students, and there are no Russians working there at all. A few Russian names appear as columnists… but – surprise! – they are all Russian runaways, living in Miami or Brighton Beach, and delighted to have Washington’s cash in exchange for some bitter hatred penned during a drunken lunch-hour.

    In summary, then – The Guardian which readers remember from the 1980s and 1990s no longer exists at all. Its exterior appearance and readership has been bought for cash by American fascist organisations… but covertly, so that readers “believe” they are still reading The Guardian. Surprised? You shouldn’t be, because it’s how Tony Blair came to power in Britain – the most Tory leader Britain has ever had. And where are his ‘socialist’ allies? Peter Mandelson, a penniless journalist, is now Lord Mandelson, with a two-million pound house and a seat in the House of Lords. Socialism, my arse.

    The Guardian is now more right-wing than the Daily Telegraph. It features articles from Timmy Garbage-Trash saying how Britain should go to war against Russia, to save those jolly, plucky, Right Sector genocidal fascists in Ukraine.

    None of this has ever been mentioned in the Guardian itself, of course. You are all still clinging to this rabid pro-American sheet of garbage until the moment they actually write it on the front page. That day will never come. Yet you still think the Guardian is a ‘socialist’ newspaper.

    I wonder how much of this is actually true. Can anyone cast some light on the ownership and backers of the Guardian post October 2008 when its assets were transferred to The Scott Trust Limited, and especially post News International phone hacking (2011) and Edward Snowden (2013)?

  • Old Mark

    BTW in the previous 2 elections in Oldham West and Royton, the conservative candidate was Kamran Ghafoor. Now im not saying it happens but there’s a chance he got more of the Ethnic minority vote

    Phil- what you describe certainly occurred in Bethnal Green at the 1997 general election, where, contrary to the nationwide rout, the Tory candidate, who shared his ethnicity with half the local electorate, increased the Tory share of the vote by 3.2% at Oona King’s expense-

    This time round though I would say that ethnic solidarity was only a very minor factor in the decline of the Tory vote- they have done enough since May to reduce what little appeal they already had to ‘hard working families’ in Oldham and elswhere.

    Two possibly beneficial outcomes of the Oldham result would be-

    1. To embolden Corbyn to slap down Hilary Benn, and take soundings among his supporters about his possible replacement as Shadow Foreign Sec

    2. For Farage’s complaint about postal voting abuses to result in a serious discussion, and possible action, about reforming this stinking element of our electoral process.

  • Robert Crawford

    The last time I was in Oldham, I thought it was for sale!

    I have never seen so many “FOR SALE” signs in my life. It seemed every second house was for sale.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that Mochyn69, an explanation for my feelings, for years since expelled from the Guardian for relaying Craigs link to his testimony of Chilcot, have I felt that something does not chime within their big tent, that somebody must have peed into it.

    quiet amazing how much our senses are right.

    @old Mark who would have thought that Farage would come out demanding a fair proportional voting system, hahaha

  • Sixer


    I think this is the best explanation for what has happened at the Guardian. I posted that very comment in a thread on here a couple of weeks back.

    The Guardian is now a straight neocon front and readers would be well advised to check its US edition ( to see its actual intent and stance.

  • Neil Rutter

    Congrats to Labour but the postal vote system IS open to massive fraud. Time for e-voting like Estonia & others

  • Ed L

    “Lord Snooty

    In Blackburn in the 2005 General Election when I stood it was an even higher percentage of the vote cast by post. Funnily enough the media had zero interest when it was Jack Straw.”

    Another masterclass in self-pity.

    Just because you got shafted then it’s ok if it happens to everyone else, especially people you wouldn’t vote for. It’s hardly the moral authority of a George Orwell, is it.

  • Mary

    From Medialens Message Board-
    ‘Guardian left with egg on its face after Oldham’

    ‘BTW, Craig M’s properly-informative and accurately-analytical piece on Oldham: Tory vote collapse. EKIP struggling – and failing – to shore up their vote. We-the-people apparently not as feckin’ stupid as the WithintheM25-delusion-babblers like to imagine we are.

    As he underlines yet again, Craig does news and sound analysis, as well as just blogging comments. With his contacts, and the real perspicacity that he possesses – despite the real blind-spots – that’s hardly surprising, of course.’

  • lysias

    If the lost Tory votes were Asian votes, then the Syria issue is likely to have played a major role.

  • Mick McNulty

    I believe the establishment has learned how to rig elections with e-voting machines and I feel the US establishment helped the Tories swing it. That would explain how they won so decisively. Cameron’s recent threats toward Russia and now his bombing in Syria is probably part-payback for keeping the Tories in power. After the election some Tories were quick to say about unpopular policies, “We have a mandate,” which rather suggests they don’t.

    They won’t expose their capabilities at one by-election because it’s too risky. I fear the next few General Elections will show that however much the establishment is despised no opposition will get in, and this will continue unless we go back to ballot box and paper.

  • Tony M

    I agree Mick (6:41pm) the very idea of e-voting fills me with horror and distrust. Even before the revelations about spy agency hacking/interception such as from Edward Snowden, I had doubts, there needs to be a checkable audit trail of sorts, publicly accessible, for which even present arrangements are inadequate. The hackability, the opacity of electronic voting has squashed the appeal and enthusiasm I once had for the implementation of technology to deliver more direct, participatory democracy to augment failing representative forms, and make referenda on specific issues practicable, inexpensive to conduct and more frequent. I’ve seen, visited, stayed briefly in, Oldham in the 1980s; by comparision with neglected wasteland parts of Glasgow, it was run down, with poor housing, poverty and a sense of helplessness, yet several Scots I knew had moved there for work, considering their chances there better than in the urban west of Scotland. I am astonished that the Tories could ever have considered they had any prospects there, or polled more than a token few votes. It speaks to the lack of real choices offered.

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