A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Castle Point - 3-way marginal?

Looks like I picked the wrong election to stand in Castle Point, which with Bob Spink's defection to UKIP could be a 3-way marginal between UKIP, Labour and the Tories.


Anonymous Keith Vaz said...

You should try Peterborough

Following a four-month trial, the former mayor of Peterborough, Labour's Mohammed Choudhary (49) has been jailed for nine months after being convicted of vote-rigging. Labour candidate Maqbool Hussein, 52, was jailed for three months and Tariq Mahmood, 40, received a 15-month term, according to this BBC report. All three from Peterborough, were convicted of forgery over a scheme to fabricate votes for the Peterborough city council election in June 2004. The judge ordered Choudhary to pay £20,000 towards his costs and Mahmood to pay £15,000. He did not make an order relating to Hussein. The three were able to get hold of postal and proxy votes which belonged to voters in the central ward and arranged for postal and ballot papers to be sent not to the voter but to addresses with which each defendant was connected. Choudhary and Hussein were Labour candidates in the election - and neither won seats despite the scam. Mahmood was a local Labour party secretary.

11:49 am, April 22, 2008

Anonymous Fred Bingley said...

Knowing you, Labour would still fail to win the seat if you were the candidate.

12:19 pm, April 22, 2008

Blogger dominic said...

Castle Point (1997 election result notwithstanding) is hardly Labour territory. The local council has one labour councillor (and he got in because the BNP split the tory vote): the rest of the council comprises Conservatives and a big mass of Canvey Island Independent Party.

("Remember our main goal is for Canvey Island to be seperate from the main land, and rule ourself. Also, a third road for Canvey Island! ")

A UKIP win there would not be out of the question: I do think a Labour one is.

2:35 pm, April 22, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

If Labour keeps the 14,000 votes I got last time, and the Tories lose more than 8,000 of their 22,000 to Mr Spink and UKIP, Labour will win. I think that's not impossible.

2:37 pm, April 22, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

It depends entirely on how many Tory votes Spink holds on to. I would have said that there could be no more suitable seat than this heart of White Van man territory.

As for corruption regarding vote-rigging, its hardly confined to one party - as the current events in Slough indicate.

2:46 pm, April 22, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Or the jailing of a Lib Dem councillor and a Tory councillor in Hackney for proxy vote fraud on a massive scale in the late '90s.

2:52 pm, April 22, 2008

Anonymous tim f said...

I somehow doubt that Bob Spinks is the kind of MP that does so much community outreach and casework that he could get elected off the strength of incumbency and not need a party ticket. So I think a UKIP win is out of the question.

But if a UKIP win is not out of the question, then there are certainly possiblities for Labour. Just look at the electoral math. If it's possible for UKIP to take 11,000 votes off the Tories to win, then Labour would only need to find another couple of thousands votes through increased turnout. Unlikely perhaps, but not impossible.

3:34 pm, April 22, 2008

Anonymous tim f said...

d'oh, that was in response to the second comment and my computer hadn't loaded Luke's reply for some reason.

3:36 pm, April 22, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Actually to give Bob his due he has a reputation as a hard working constituency MP. Having lost the seat in 1997 and only just won it back in 2001 he has been careful to work the patch assiduously.

3:41 pm, April 22, 2008

Blogger dominic said...

Hmm, I'm sure you (Luke) know the electoral habits of the the area better than I do (South Essex native that I am notwithstanding).

Two points, though :

at local election level (both borough council and the recently established parish council), in the southern half of the seat, the Labour vote has almost evaporated since 2005 - admittedly on a local issue, to a local, semi-single issue party. I may be wrong, but I suspect that the Island (and I guess around Tarpots) was one of the Labour strongholds in Castle Point previously. Who CIIP would stand behind in a Westminster election, I'm not sure - -but some of their material is assiduously anti-Labour and anti-Conservative (and making no reference to any other party: and Canvey or South Essex generally is hardly Lib-Dem Land, either). Of course voting at national elections is different from that in local elections (and the turnout is higher, too), so getting out of the Labour-voting habit may not have nay such impact next time round.

Second, in 2005, the Tories were led by that nasty, spiteful, unpleasant Mr Howard and had as their candidate a man who was quite willing to openly say things like "Which part of `Send them back' don't you understand, Mr Blair?". Now they have that nice, personable, pleasant Mr Cameron who rides a bike...and whose appeal is likely to resonate more in other parts of the Conservative heartlands (and beyond) than south Essex, which is rather Thatcherite and enterprising and go-getting, rather than polite, respectable and conservative.

I think the traditional Tory voters who live on the mainland bit of Castle Point (ie South Benfleet & Hadleigh & Thundersleigh) will be the ones who have the potential to decide the outcome here next time.

Just a hunch, and one that could well be wrong.

3:53 pm, April 22, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

CIIP was already winning every seat up for grabs on Canvey in the 2004 district election - it did not contest the General Election the next year and the same people who had canvassed as CIIP in district elections voted in fairly large % for Labour in the locals. Some will go UKIP but others will be Tory or Labour in a GE.

CIIP was set up in reaction to my selection as Labour PPC by Dave Blackwell who I beat for the Labour selection in Jan 2004...

4:18 pm, April 22, 2008

Blogger dominic said...

Ah, I see....

4:31 pm, April 22, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Looking at the CIIP website, their policies appear to be fairly Old Labour to me (no selling off of public assets, pro-council house building etc). Can't see them lining up behind Spink.

Must be honest Luke: I wouldn't touch you with a bargepole as a Labour candidate - far too right wing and uncritical of this government. I also couldn't vote for someone so tied up with the war industry.

5:59 pm, April 22, 2008

Anonymous Bridget Carswell said...

If Labour keeps the 14,000 votes I got last time, and the Tories lose more than 8,000 of their 22,000 to Mr Spink and UKIP, Labour will win.

I see your maths is as sound as your politics. As well as some highly favourable rounding up and down, you seem to have forgotten that UKIP fielded a candidate last time who managed 3,431 votes.

So assuming everything remains the same (i.e. without any swing against Labour), the combined vote to be split between Spink and the Tories is 25,549. This means Spink must take 11,633 votes from the Tories for you to win the election on 13,917 votes.

You don't fool me, Fakehurst. I can see who the real parliamentary candidate is. He can do numbers and things what is learned in a proper school.

7:48 am, April 23, 2008


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount