Stoke Central By-Election: Final Word before Polling

I have blogged twice previously about the upcoming Stoke Central by-election:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/stoke-on-trent-central-preview/

and

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/stoke-on-trent-central-by-election/

in which I predicted a very close race. In the latter post I suggested that UKIP and Paul Nuttall could finally crack it and defeat Labour in a former Labour heartland. That post was written on 26 January, since which date Paul Nuttall and UKIP have run one of the least impressive campaigns seen for a long time. Labour is now  (21 February) 8/13 odds-on favourite, with UKIP out at 9/4, having been at one point 10/11 favourite.

The latest polling seems to suggest, however, that UKIP and Labour are neck-and-neck in the affections of the voters:

http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/survey-predicts-tight-result-in-stoke-on-trent-central-by-election/story-30149927-detail/story.html

As the Stoke Sentinel report says, turnout will therefore be key. UKIP voters tend to be older, tend to vote, tend to be more motivated politically than Labour voters now are. Those factors favour UKIP strongly. Against that, the NHS is a major issue, which favours Labour (especially because Nuttall seems to have flirted with market forces in the NHS, albeit some years ago). Immigration, race, and culture is probably a combined major issue under the surface, something which is often obscured in polling by reason of the pervasive political correctness.

All weather forecasts are showing that Polling Day, Thursday 23 February 2017, will be a cold, wet and windy day across the country, featuring “Storm Doris”. That will depress voting numbers in Stoke Central, which is already one of the least-voting constituencies in the UK (in 2015, the turnout was 49%).

On the face of it, Paul Nuttall seems a poor candidate and UKIP a bit of a joke. However, it was revealed during the campaign that the Labour candidate, Gareth Snell, is a spotty and rather unpleasant Twitter troll, who posted, only a few years ago, some juvenile-level insults about women. He also grievously insulted EU Referendum Leave voters, in one of the most Brexit-friendly parts of  the UK.

In addition, Gareth Snell seems not to have had a job outside local Labour and connected union politics, living off his council allowances and expenses.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4219874/Labour-s-election-candidate-caught-sexist-rant.html

One has to ask whether Stoke Central voters want to be represented by such an unpleasant person. We shall see.

Prediction

It may be foolish to predict anything now that the race seems so close, but I am still inclined to think that UKIP might crack it despite everything that has happened. In the end, if Labour wins, Stoke Central gets another and particularly useless Labour MP, whereas if UKIP wins, Stoke Central really is on the map.

The main indicators still look good for UKIP:

  • turnout
  • voter motivation
  • voter age profile

as against which Labour has on its side

  • traditional Labour voting pattern
  • Muslim voters [6%+].

Conclusion

This looks bad for Labour. Either Labour loses to UKIP or Labour scrapes a pathetic fingertips win. If the former, Labour will go into a tailspin and its MPs will be lining up to find new jobs after 2020; if Labour “only just” wins, then Labour’s decline continues anyway.

As for UKIP, only a win will do. A win keeps the UKIP train clattering along its rusty rails. If UKIP loses here, then that is derailment or the end of the line, whichever metaphor might be preferred.

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5 thoughts on “Stoke Central By-Election: Final Word before Polling”

  1. Don’t think polls count for much any longer as people tend to err on the politically correct side of opinion now, as they perceive it.

    And the other problem is gerrymandering of the vote count where four or five hundred votes can be put in the wrong stack, as fast as you can say Jack Robinson.

    If UKIP lose it will be because of someone fiddling the voting ballets and postal votes (old habits die hard), since if it is blowing a gale and the rain is coming down stair rods, the only voters to come out will be the die hard UKIP old lads brigade.

    All Labour voters, apart from the bussed in immigrant vote, (who have been told they will all go to hell by their immam if they don’t vote Labour), will be comatose in front of the tv watching a rerun of some moronic soap, replete with two bar electric fire, wool blanket and steaming hot mug of tea!

    So if Labour get back in you will know the vote has been fiddled by the Westminster mafia yet again! Only dead from the neck up Labour voters think there’s something to gain from voting in another self seeking Labour Party approved career moron.

    While those who vote UKIP know it is only a protest vote. As if our real bosses care, as they are wont to say ‘as long as we control the money supply who cares who gets voted in to Westminster’!

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  2. Don’t think you can wait for the collapse of both Labour and UKIP before launching your Social-Nationalist party Ian !

    Labour and UKIP are both Establishment approved parties and they will drag out their existence until long after you are pushing up daisies. Just follow the money if somehow or another you are deceiving yourself about UKIP not being Establishment approved.

    Act while the iron is hot and do it now! Otherwise it will be too late. Where there is a will there is a way. With truth, honour and justice as your unique selling points having Establishment lackies still paddling around with their snouts in the trough, would be a great advantage.

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  3. Well if both Labour and UKIP are about to run aground on the same reef, what about the BNP?

    Dave Furness, BNP candidate got 124 votes, 3 less than the Monster Raving Loonies in Stoke! Don’t think the Raving Loonies even leaflet do they? But quite clearly the BNP under Walker and Jefferson have completely lost the plot.

    While Dave is a likeable but totally incompetent and unimaginative chap, (probably helps if you are deluded enough to be a member of the BNP today), there is absolutely nothing about this utterly awful result to suggest the BNP can survive without Establishment help as a controlled opposition.

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    1. I do not bother to blog about BNP, NF etc because they are twigs long ago washed under the bridge. Tiny groups, with tiny memberships and, it seems, tiny votes thee days. They are on the level of the “revolutionary” joke-parties such as SWP or the (now defunct?) WRP.

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