Any hope of realities here?

Malcolm had forsworn utterances — there are other priorities in his complex existence.

Then came the forked-tongues of the spinners of the English County Council elections.

So, let’s start from the top

We are talking of the shire counties. These are, largely, where the fox is routinely pursued by the unspeakable after the uneatable. They amount to a moderate part of the UK populace. But no cities. Not London. No metropolises at all, at all.

The big news is that, among the hicks and rubes and bumpkins, the weirdos (hereinafter “UKIP”) got one-in-four of a less-than-30% poll. That will be front-page news on Saturday. The Earth is expected to tremble.

Where it mattered, the forces of decency (hereinafter the “Labour Party”) seemed to do quite well. There was a parliamentary by-election, which Labour took at a stroll. Of course, the mainstream rightist media won’t say that, but take away a top-name and drop an odd percentage point, and you might think differently. Anyway, Labour took South Shields with a plurality.

Misrepresentatation

Now there was Paul Staines (by name, by reputation) of Guido Fawkes telling us:

the extent of Labour’s thoroughly underwhelming day becomes clear

This, incidentally, before the final results are in.

This odd presumption had to be reinforced by reference to Mark Pack, the Lib Dem snake-oil salesman. Odd, isn’t it, that Fawkes — who normally has a hot-line from Tory Politburo — has to reach out to Pack?

Pack had taken an incomplete return and quantified it, to “prove” that the Labour vote was down by more than either the LibDems or the Tories. Wonderful things numbers. Here are some more:

Tonight there are:

  • 26% fewer LibDem County Councillors;
  • 23% fewer Tories;
  • 1838% more UKIPpers; and
  • 217% more Labour councillors.

Apparently it would in Tory terms have been a massive disappointment had Labour not gained 300 seats. They didn’t. It was only 291.

Similarly, the prognostication from Labour was that the Tories could lose 200 seats … and hooray! Well, 335 Tory county councillors are now without a seat. Sad, that.

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3 Comments

Filed under Conservative Party policy., Guido Fawkes, Labour Party, Tories., UKIP

3 responses to “Any hope of realities here?

  1. Doubting Thomas

    For those of us who derive malicious pleasure from events, the next few months are going to be good. First there will be a sustained Tory panic which is designed to push Cameron to adopt UKIP’s policies – the clear blue water that lost them 4 elections on the trot as I recall Portillo calling it. Presumably the coalition will either split with a Lib Dem walk out or the Tories will self destruct (under their own inherent self contradictions if I remember my dialectics). However as UKIP are now a threat, I hope and expect that the Tory attack machine will be cranked up to expose the underpinnings of soft corrupt clay that are UKIP’s MEPs and officials.

    A long hot summer we hope.

  2. To correct a passing comment you made – my graph isn’t based on an ‘incomplete’ return. It’s based on the national equivalent vote shares for the whole country (ie what the vote shares would have been for each party if each ward has been up for election this year and fought by them – which therefore adjusts for the variations in which wards are up in any particular year).

    The point in looking at that is to see how the different party standings have changed this year compared to last.

    Seat numbers tell us how the parties have changed this year compared to 4 years ago – also interesting, of course, but also therefore taking into account all the other events in the last 4 years, such as the departure of Gordon Brown and the Lib Dems entering coalition.

    The simple picture is that Labour was very unpopular four years ago, had recovered quite a lot by last year and then this year has slipped back on where it was last year. (Looking just at seat numbers this year vs four years ago misses that final part of the trend, which as it’s the most recent trend is one of interest, no?)

  3. Malcolm Redfellow

    I agree with Mr Pack that my original remark was misconceived: it assumed that real data was involved. In truth it involves, as he recognises above, unreal syntheses —

    “ie what the vote shares would have been for each party if each ward has been up for election this year and fought by them – which therefore adjusts for the variations in which wards are up in any particular year”.

    I’m also leery about “would have beens” and pseudo-statistical evaluation of apples versus oranges. I believe it is provable that the British soldiers at Waterloo had an inch or two of average height above those at the Somme. I wouldn’t suggest that contributed to the comparable outcomes of those events.

    Mr Pack, on his blog, now invites us to share John Rentoul’s applause for Mr Pack’s remarkable analysis. To tell the truth, Rentoul’s explication of the “figures” suggests they are even more synthetic than Pack allows:

    “The Projected National Share figures are hard to understand: they extrapolate from places that voted to estimate how the whole of Great Britain might have voted if the local elections had been held everywhere, and the main parties had stood candidates in every seat.”

    So, we now have a “projection”, a “might” and two “if” concessions. Four levels of manipulation.

    A real-world comparison of May 2013 with May 2012 would involve just four County Council Wards which were contested on both occasions: Kendal Strickland and Fell (Cumbria CC), Meriden Tudor (Herts CC), Bixley (Suffolk CC), and Worplesdon (Surrey CC). Even then one of those —Worplesdon — is not a direct comparison, because there was no UKIP participation in 2012. However in Worplesdon, where UKIP ran second in 2013, it was Con minus about 3%, Labour minus about 5% and Lib Dems minus nigh on 16%.

    But I’m not drawing nationwide conclusions from that.

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