It’s always disheartening to hear media commentators try to extrapolate national results from by-elections when anyone even remotely numerate knows this can’t be done. It’s even less accurate for the BBC to claim Bromley is now “a marginal” seat.
Bob Neill deserves congratulations for his win in Bromley but many Tory activists will be disappointed with a majority of just over 600 however with a reduced turnout of just 40% the margin of victory was never going to match Eric Forth’s 13,000.
What won’t have helped is that, according to anecdotal evidence I hear, many local Tories thought the seat so safe they just didn’t bother to vote. If true they are lucky to have been spared an upset.
The LibDems should be pleased with their close run second place but it’s to be hoped they don’t start believing their own hype – they have little chance of taking the seat at the next General Election and claiming otherwise will just leave them looking rather daft.
The real losers in this contest are New Labour who found themselves flailing hopelessly behind UKIP.
Considering the much lower Parliamentary majority, the widespread losses in the local elections, the dismal showing in B&C and the humiliation in Blaenau Gwent it’s hard to see how much longer they can continue deluding themselves into believing that the electorate supports their agenda which we now learn includes the sell off of an entire tier of the NHS and the theft of grandma’s home.
Update. If you read the Indy’s online story located here you might have been surprised to read that
I helpfully emailed them pointing out the error which is nothing compared to one which appeared in the paper yesterday.
(Further discussion covering all by-elections in the UK can be found here.)
For a pro but fair LibDem take on the result see Alex Wilcock’s Love and Liberty Blog.