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.

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

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  • Anon1

    Why do members of one particular community seem unable to make it to polling stations? Are they all disabled?

  • glenn_uk

    Anon1: You must be talking about that part of the community afflicted with debilitating selfishness and greed, and their fellow voters who are just stupid and misinformed (who therefore vote against their own best interests). Why do you think the these voters were unable to make it, with the result that the Tory vote has halved?

  • C K Fromage

    A very accurate review as ever – thank you Craig, and congratulations to Jim McMahon and of course to Jeremy Corbyn.

    Unfortunately, Nigel Farage seems to have responded to Ukip’s defeat in a rather ungentlemanly and sour manner, along with a spluttering Paul Nuttall, who blamed everything under the sun (except Ukip) for their under-performance.

    Why does Ukip persist with John Bickley when successive Greater Manchester electorates have signally rejected him? This can only mean that they have no strength in depth whatsoever, and that they’re being damaged by a dearth of useful candidates – Guido Fawkes has gone very quiet for some reason.

  • bevin

    Comments which begin with casual racism are a fairly accurate predictor of the tack the Blairites will be taking tomorrow.
    My guess is that Labour are going to do very well in upcoming elections so long as they stick to the issues that matter: inequality, economic insecurity and the campaign to sabotage the NHS while splurging billions on armaments and trailing after a United States determined to blow up the world.
    Corbyn, the underdog’s underdog, has outlasted a collective onslaught, from the media, with the result that the mad assassins of the Centre have nothing much left to throw at him and the growing movement he represents. The hardest part is now over.
    This might be a good time to be investing money in a Labour victory at the next General Election, the odds aren’t going to get better.

  • Mochyn69

    Excellent, Craig. Well said again!

    Like many others of a slight left and liberal bent, I really can’t figure out the Guardian these days, got to go back over the last couple threads here to dig out that very illuminating comment about the neo-con takeover.

    Meanwhile, on CiF today, one of the commenters specualtes about whether it’s all some kind of reverse psychology op .. I am really genuinely curious.

    It seems that since I’ve posted this my account has been disabled! If they have, and it’s not just some technical glitch, what a bunch of fucking fascists the world’s so called liberal voice has become!!

    This is surely the clearest evidence that the neo-con Blairite faction and Old New Labour are dead in the water. They, and the corporate media who keep banging on with their poisonous propaganda, do not realize the utter contempt and derision in which they are held by the broad left in these countries.

    In Scotland they are disgusting having nailed their colours irredeemably to the toxic Tory mast in the Independence Referendum and were quite rightly annihilated in the subsequent UK general election.

    Now Old New Labour in England have now irredeemably nailed their colours to the dubious mast of the War party, despite grave reservations about the efficacy of their policy and it’s objectives and exit strategy.

    Benn’s speech did not address the fundamental issues at all and was for most part empty, if somewhat effective rhetoric.

    In my view there is now little point to much of the Old New Labour rump within the Labour party and many of them may as well join the Tories, where they seem to more naturally belong. This would then allow a revitalised Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, which received overwhelming endorsement by the party membership, and the electorate of Oldham yesterday, to develop into the radical alternative which Britain so desperately needs.

    If this happens, even I, who have never, ever voted for Labour in my life might just possibly be able to vote for them, or even join the party. I get the feeling there are many more like me, who would welcome a truly radical alternative.

    Hilary Benn is not that alternative, he’s just more of the same old, same old.

    Will the corporate media take note and listen?

  • Mary

    A visitor from Mars with sight of the recent corporate media output would have had no idea that this election was taking place. Today the media is all over the result however.

    Sky News

    Labour Increases Share Of The Vote In Oldham
    Oldham West and Royton by-election Labour candidate Jim McMahon
    A “delighted” Jeremy Corbyn says the extent of the victory shows Labour is the party that “working people trust”.


    Jeremy Corbyn hails Oldham West and Royton by-election victory

  • Techno

    People turn out to vote against Conservatives and UKIP, not to vote for Labour. With that constituency having a large ethnio population, they worry about the consequences of Conservative or UKIP success, for example, that these parties are in favour of controlling immigration.

  • Resident Dissident

    Perhaps Craig is making the same mistake as the media in reading too much into single byelection results – but then he did start political life as a Liberal. Perhaps a better way of reading the public mood between general elections is to look at opinion polls, which if anything slightly underestimate the Tory vote, and then compare them with those at the same point in the political cycle. But I doubt Craig will do that as they will not fit in with the narrative that he is trying to create.

  • Tom

    Must be a particular shock to @bbcr4today who were indicating a complete collapse for labour in favour of ukip using their favourite method of distortion, the “vox-pop”.

    No wonder they immediately invited Fatage to explain to this mornings listeners that the results were fixed by ballot stuffing as they failed to notice in jack straw’s Blackburn constituency.

  • giyane

    Oh dear oh dear. there obviously isn’t a link between postal ballots, New Labour, and Muslim opposition to the UK dropping bombs on its own flesh and blood populating Islamic State. It’s always been about New Labour and benefits. Hasn’t it?

    If this bye election swing is about Tory bombing, the casino predicter computers in Tory central office will have predicted it, plus revolting pro-war swings to the Tories in other parts..


    Amazing how they will try to spin anything.

    Alas for them, an increasing slice of the public are becoming immune to their spin and getting their news and analysis from online sources the spindoctors cannot control.

    This is the reason they want to police the internet more and more. If they don’t control it it will empower the people and lead to a revolt.

  • craig Post author

    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.

  • Ken2

    Farague has lost all his funding. Lost all the financial backers £Millions. Tried to buy the election and failed. He could be next to go – bankrupt. Farague has been illegally troughing EU funds for years. Illegally financing a Political Party with public funds, protected by the Tory Parties grandees.

  • Phil

    I don’t really want to read national reports on this so i’ll wait for the chron later but i don’t think you can read too much into this.

    Its a bit like Chelsea getting a new manager and his first game being Rochdale, your going to be able to tell a lot more when they play a decent team.

  • T Sawyer

    11 Pollsters were not wrong, those 70k ballot papers in that crashed van were the tip of an iceberg, if only a person involved in faking the BBC exit poll would come forward. Or in the security agency that carried out the ballot stuffing in the key marginals. The devils have taken over, its time to reject the Jerry Springers and have our own Jeremy Kyle. Coulson should know that a couple of million Syrian lives are at stake (and a couple of hundred thousand of ours on benefits/NHS care), he has a chance to redeem his soul too.

  • Alcyone

    Craig, I’m amazed at your ability to manage with relatively little sleep.

    Personally I need a minimum of 7hrs of high quality sleep (early to bed, early to rise in sync with Nature), to be fully functional. Do watch this as the accumulation of sleep deficit, can play havoc with your health. And, yes, the deficit does accumulate and eventually put your mindbody out of whack.

  • Alcyone

    It is good to see Corbyn being vindicated. On reflection, he did the right thing to decide on a free vote. After all, Freedom is one of his key values, and he can’t now be accused of restricting that.

  • Phil

    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 and this time the conservative candidate was James Daly. It could explain both the rise in Labour and the fall in conservative…….

  • Mary

    The Oldham result is the best news that I have heard all week.

    ‘I told ’em Oldham’ An ancient advertising slogan. I think it was for a car battery.


    Meanwhile ‘Unt has been caught out in a lie.

    Junior doctors contract: Jeremy Hunt accused of ‘lying’ over weekend mortality

    Jeremy Hunt has been accused of “lying” about weekend mortality rates, over his use of data from a study published in the British Medical Journal.

    An audience member on the BBC’s Question Time programme said some of his liver transplant patients refused life-saving operations because they now feared going under the knife at the weekend.

    It is not the first time Mr Hunt’s use of the study has been questioned. In October, BMJ editor Dr Fiona Godlee sought clarification over comments which she said implied the higher weekend death risk was due to poor staffing, despite the study itself not apportioning blame.

    Mr Hunt has used the study repeatedly and the government says there is enough evidence to support the claims.

    Jeremy Hunt ‘misrepresented weekend deaths data’

    and his leader Smoothface has kept quiet about advice from the MoD chiefs.

    His ‘70,000 rebels’ is the equivalent of Blair’s dodgy dossier. An invention. A lie.

    MoD chiefs warned PM over 70,000 rebels claim
    The Times‎ – 9 hours ago

    Military officials warned the government against declaring that 70,000 Syrian rebels were ready to help eradicate Islamic State amid fears that the claim could become David Cameron’s “dodgy dossier”, The Times has learnt.

    Offering such a precise figure could make the government a hostage to fortune, it was feared. MPs might wrongly assume that a ready-made army was able to retake the Isis hub of Raqqa as soon as British warplanes started bombing, the Whitehall and defence sources said,

    /.. paywall

    Military officials warned the government against declaring that 70,000 Syrian rebels were …

  • craig Post author


    Thank you. It is I think one of the effects of being bipolar (and one of the reasons I have generally not taken medication). Normally I do have more energy and drive, and can get through improbable volumes of work. But every now and then there is a collapse. Fortunately in my case the depressive interludes are few and far between. Then I sleep 20 hours a day!

    I realise I am not balanced, but it is how I am.

  • Mary

    Yet another lie. From the Zuckerbergs this time.

    ‘Except, of course, the cold water of reality: “Mark Zuckerberg did not donate US$45 billion to charity,” noted Jesse Eisinger, a reporter for ProPublica. “You may have heard that, but that was wrong.”

    In reality, all the Facebook founder and his spouse, Priscilla Chan, did was stash their money – in the form of stock in the world’s most popular social media network – in a limited liability corporation that they promised would use the money for good, not bad. But there’s nothing holding them to that: an LLC, like any other for-profit corporation, is free to use its money for evil, as often happens under a global capitalist system that allows one single person to accumulate billions of dollars in a world where millions of others starve.’

  • Ken2

    The admissions at the week end-are usually emergencies. (Drink/Drugs) Accidents etc. Less chance of survival in any case. Routine operations etc are Monday to Friday, so patients can be home for weekend. The Hospitals work to get patients home for the week end, when relatives are around. The Doctors are entitled to time off. Not working 70 hours+ a week. Illegal under EU working hours directionl

    The Labour lying bullies don’t like it back. Social media comments what a load of lies. If they don’t like the heat stay out of the kitchen.

    MSM are so out of touch, controlled by Westminster. The Guardian was invaded by Robocops smashing up the Mail Room. The Editor threatened by Cameron and Clegg. Threatened with jail under a ‘D’ Notice – The Officials Secrets Act. Snowden/Greenwald. The Editor had mental health issues ( break down?) Side lined. Now has a post at Oxford. Reward. Oxbridge graduates break the Law with impunity, support illegal wars and corrupt politicians or they go to jail. The Oxford nasty, privileged, bully boys who are above the Law.

  • Alcyone

    Craig, thanks for your reply and for sharing.

    The one miracle medicine worth getting hooked on is: Endorphins. When your brain is awash with that, it is improbable that you will get a depressive episode. Best source of endorphins: some basic aerobic exercise; brisk walking, swimming 30-45mins a day.

    A rule my personal trainer gave me years ago: if you eat, you exercise. If you don’t want to exercise, don’t eat. Simple! Corollary if you skip one day of exercise, make sure you do it the next day. If you skip two days, make it a matter of life and death on the third day. Make it your most important ‘meeting/appointment’.

    That good kind of tiring by night when one is exercising, has the effect of meeting the sleep train early, and giving one a deeper sleep. Thereby creating that balance in the mindbody and feeling more vital the next day.

    Inevitably it will provide substantial support to your heart condition too.

    Take good care.

    PS Ayurveda states that one should exercise to half of one’s full capacity. The first half releases energy, while the second uses it up. Unless one is a professional sportsperson.

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