Apologies for a lack of blogging recently, busy with work, and just came back from Glastonbury, about which more later.
Anyway, what amazing news about the by election in Henley! For only the second occasion the Greens have taken third in a UK Parliamentary election, after Brighton Pavilion in 2005.
Tory candidate John Howell won with a majority of 10,116 to replace Boris Johnson as the town's MP. The Lib Dems came second, slightly increasing their vote share. Labour's Richard McKenzie trailed in behind the Greens and the BNP and lost his deposit, as Gordon Brown marked his first year in Downing Street.
Health Minister Ben Bradshaw admitted it was a "terrible result" for Labour but said it was down to current economic conditions rather than the unpopularity of Gordon Brown. "When people start feeling the pinch and start feeling a reduction in their disposable income ... they take their anxiety out on the government. I don't believe he is personally unpopular," he added, saying that it was the "completely irrational" criticism by political commentators that was fuelling negative perceptions.
The Liberal Democrat candidate, Stephen Kearney, said voters were angry and fed up with the government. "This is an abysmal result for the Labour party that has been in government for almost 11 years and has lost most of its support. "But I have found no positive enthusiasm for the Conservative alternative. "The Conservatives can say what they are against, but they have failed to say anything about what they are for and what they stand for."
So Labour are predictably blaming everyone but themselves and their poor choice of candidate for the by election as well as a lack of choice for PM last year.
The LD are congratulating themselves ignoring the failure of their by election machine for the second time in a row. Not a good result for Clegg, who is failing to inspire the electorate. The Green vote increased despite very little outside help coming to Henley, the LD are well known for putting national party resources fully into a local campaign.
The Tories are having some success by promising to go green, but we've yet to see any green policies. We shall see how this plays out in the next year.
We could top this by taking second in Haltemprice and Howden next month, now theres a thought.
See more at:
Henley By-election results
1 John Howell (Conservative) 19796 (56.9%) +3.4%
2 Stephen Kearney (Liberal Democrat) 9680 (27.8%) +1.8%
3 Mark Stevenson (Green) 1321 (3.8%) +0.5%
4 Tim Rait (BNP) 1243 (3.6%)
5 Richard McKenzie (Labour) 1066 (3.1%) -11.5%
6 Chris Adams (UKIP) 843 (2.4%)
7 Peter Thomas Bananaman (Loony) 242 (0.7%)
8 Derek Allpass (English Democrat) 157 (0.5%)
9 Amanda Harrington (Independent) 128 (0.4%)
10 Dick Rodgers (Common Good) 121 (0.3%)
11 Louise Cole (Independent) 91 (0.3%)
12 Harry Bear (Fur Party) 73 (0.2%)
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