Thursday, May 04, 2006

Can Blair feel the heat?

I'm totally exhausted, having been tramping the streets in the baking heat all day on this reasonably important election day.

I've been doing psephological research and, although the results are not yet collated, I can say...

  • people don't want to admit to voting Labour, in the way that Tories used to be utterly invisible in the Tory years. This could mean a vote melt down or simply be a sign of collective shame.
  • the Cambridge Respect vote is going to be very respectable indeed and, all credit to them, this is definately down to their campaign because otherwise no one would have known who they were. Cambridge Respect blog
  • Lib Dem voters would rather vote Tory than Labour and, contrary to my previous thoughts, most Lib Dem voters are not voting for something hoping it's slightly more progressive than Labour, but that it is a more palattable Tory Party. Ouch.

The election has been dominated by racist ideas on crime and the greening of all the political parties.

The BNP could never have paid for the amount of election coverage that they have been getting and it's possible if the anti-fascist camapigners can't get the anti-BNP vote out there could be real trouble.

The Green Party has also been in the position of its core values being adopted by all the main stream parties and could, potnetially, benfit very strongly - although whether the Greens have the kind of activist base that can capitalise on the opportunity is something that remains to be seen.

The Socialist Party has been having a good couple of years and enters the election in confident mood - let's see what they make of their focused and disciplined camapign. Whilst Respect has been going hell for leather and all the signs are that its work is going to pay dividends - let's see if they can export the model out of their core areas and into fresh territory.

It'll all become clear soon enough.

p.s. I noticed that there is a Guardian election blog which may be a useful resource... if you spot anything similar let us know.


    Jim Jay said...

    Lots of results in at here

    Bad night for Labour, some very good results for Respect so far and the Socialist Party - whilst the BNP making gains too.

    Difficult to tell what's happening to Green vote at the moment

    AN said...

    I'll write more later

    But my first reaction is that the results are terribly worrying.

    Having spent a day campaigning in a seat where the BNP were standing, it is clear that the issue of race and immigration was totally dominant - one woman who we have known while campaigning for years said "If you had asked me 5 years ago I would have said I was an anti-racist, now I'm a racist"

    JoyW said...

    Disturbed by how the BNP made gains in my home town of Burnley in the 2003 elections, I wrote a play which looked at why it happened. Now it's 2006 and chilling that the play is more relevant than ever. As part of its production, political theatre company Floodtide is running a discussion forum on the issues at Please pay it a visit and have your say...

    Dave Riley said...

    Local comment here in Australia
    In a historic watershed for the British Left, the RESPECT Coalition has provisionally won 10 council seats, including 9 in Tower Hamlets, East London...Unfortunately, in Australia, socialists and other leftists are currently a million miles away from building meaningful links of
    solidarity with Muslim-Australian and/or Arab-Australian workers....Nevertheless, the fabulous success of RESPECT demonstrates that if we work hard enough, and are serious and honest enough with ourselves about breaking out of the tiny ghetto the Australian socialist Left has found itself in for the last thirty years, then we may just be able to begin to move towards a real organisation, or network of organisations a la RESPECT, that can challenge to forces of war, racism, and wholesale pillage of the Earth and its people.

    AN said...

    I have only just started the exhausting number crunching, but would just like to point to the remarkable result in Bristol. which I think shows that respect can break out of the problems of only doing well in Moslem areas:

    Maxine Bowler Respect, Sheffield Burngreave
    1208/4662 = 26%
    Ward = 22.9% asian and British Asian

    Jer Francis, Lockleaze Bristol
    679/2713 = 25%
    Ward = 5.3% asian and British Asian
    , 86.2% white British