The Labour Party won both by-elections on Thursday 19 October, overturning Tory majorities in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire. Leader Keir Starmer has been celebrating, hailing the results as a “phenomenal”. Of course, Labour’s by-election results were a millions miles away from that. In fact, they show the public has all but given up on politics. Not that Starmer seemed to have noticed – as Labour slipped further down the rabbit hole of delusion and preposterous PR.
‘Phenomenal’ by-elections – according to Starmer
First, to Mid Bedfordshire. As BBC News reported:
Labour has made history by winning a by-election in the Mid Bedfordshire parliamentary seat which has been held by the Tories since 1931.
It was triggered by the resignation of former Conservative cabinet minister and MP Nadine Dorries.
Labour’s Alistair Strathern won the seat with a 1,192 majority, overturning Ms Dorries’s 2019 majority of 24,664.
The win is the largest Conservative majority overturned by Labour at a by-election since 1945.
Next, to Tamworth. As BBC News also reported:
Labour have won the Tamworth by-election overturning a Conservative majority of more than 19,000 votes.
Sarah Edwards’ margin of victory over her Conservative rival, Andrew Cooper, was 1,316 votes…
She said the people of Tamworth had “voted for Labour’s positive vision” and sent a clear message to Rishi Sunak and the government that it was “time for change”.
The by-election was held after the resignation of MP Chris Pincher.
Reacting to the results, Starmer said:
These are phenomenal results that show Labour is back in the service of working people and redrawing the political map. Winning in these Tory strongholds shows that people overwhelmingly want change and they’re ready to put their faith in our changed Labour Party to deliver it.
If you believe the results were “phenomenal”, then you’ll believe anything.
Labour: no-one cares about you
Turnout in both by-elections was pretty dire:
The latter was one of the lowest turnouts in recent by-elections. Yet still, the winner – the now-Labour MP Sarah Edwards – clearly couldn’t bring herself to admit that her party inspired nothing but apathy among voters. As BBC News reported:
Ms Edwards said the low turnout had not led to her winning by default, because Conservatives had stayed at home. “I think what it actually demonstrates is Conservative voters have voted Labour – I have spoken to many of them,” she said.
Her statement would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic and insulting to her constituents. This is because, when you look at what percentage of the total electorate voted for Labour, these two by-election results look very different:
- In Mid Bedfordshire, 14.98% of the electorate voted for Labour.
- In Tamworth, 16.44% of the electorate voted for Labour.
To be fair to Edwards, she did inspire more of the electorate to vote for her than her Mid Bedfordshire colleague Alistair Strathern did. Yet browsing X, you’d think that these guys had performed some kind of miracle:
Waking up to incredible results in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire!
Rishi Sunak has lost the confidence of the country – he should call a General Election.
— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (@DrRosena) October 20, 2023
🚨Huge by-election victories for Labour overnight as they take *both* Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth from the Conservatives with enormous swings of over 20%.
Mid Beds has been Tory for almost a century while Tamworth was party’s 55th safest seat. Terrible result for Rishi Sunak.
— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) October 20, 2023
In reality, both results show that politicians and the state have now utterly disenfranchised huge swathes of the public from our so-called ‘democracy’. However, this has been building for some time.
Starmer: helping to disenfranchise the poorest people from our sham democracy
It was a similar story in the Hartlepool by-election in 2021. Labour lost it, but most people didn’t bother voting, anyway: the turnout was 42.6%. It was the same in Wakefield in 2022, where Labour won but turnout was a dire 39.5%. Tamworth is particularly reflective of both these other results – as the three constituencies all have higher rates of poverty than the England average. That is, Labour (and politics generally) are failing to convince the poorest people it’s worth voting at all.
As the Canary wrote of 2022’s Wakefield by-election result:
Ultimately the Wakefield by-election is useless as a public opinion gauge. Because the turnout was just 39.5% – way down on the general election. This is much like 2021’s Batley and Spen by-election, where Labour spun-it as some sort of victory when turnout was less than 50%. Both constituencies have higher rates of poverty than other parts of England. Hartlepool was a similar story: poverty met a by-election and the result was a turnout of less than 50%.
Our systems of politics and democracy, and their proponents, disenfranchise the poorest people. So much so, that they rightly feel voting will change nothing. The difference in a richer area, like Tiverton and Honiton, is clear. Its by-election saw a 52% turnout and the Lib Dems got in – while the constituency has much lower rates of deprivation.
So, no – the Wakefield election wasn’t a victory for Labour. It was a victory for the political and media class, who’ve maintained the status quo. And it’s all thanks to their disenfranchisement of the poorest people.
Labour’s Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth by-election victories haven’t changed any of that – in fact, they’ve likely compounded the issues. If Starmer and his cronies weren’t such careerist charlatans, they’d admit this and try to engage with missing voters. Instead, they’ve sunk further into a centre-right, delusional abyss – while the rest of us suffer.
Featured image via GB News – YouTube
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