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COULD UKIP WIN TWO seats on the SAME DAY? LABOUR is trying to set up a by-election on SAME DAY as CLACTON!

The death of a Labour MP in north west England might be (or might not be) a second UKIP win in a by-election and to prevent that, Labour wants to have the by-election on the same day as the expected UKIP win in Clacton – October 9.

But might it backfire?

First, here’s the story.

Labour strategists are understood to be planning to stage an early byelection in a vacant Greater Manchester seat in an attempt to minimise the potential of an embarrassing threat from the UK Independence party.

Officials said the party wants to kickstart the election of a new MP in the seat of Heywood and Middleton before parliament rises on Thursday. The seat became vacant on Sunday after backbencher Jim Dobbin died aged 73. He had a majority of 6,000.


Labour’s preferred date for the byelection is 9 October – the same day as the Clacton byelection sparked by the resignation of the MP Douglas Carswell, who switched from the Tories to Ukip.

Party officials believe if both byelections are held on the same day, it would split Ukip’s resources and stop a Ukip “bounce” in the polls.

First I am sorry to hear of the death of this MP I did not know about.  His family should have the credit and satisfaction of knowing Jim Dobbin practiced hono(u)rable public service.

But it looks like Labour is going to do exactly that:  A by-election on the same day in Heywood and Middleton riding.  And I think it might not work.

Of course Labour will be favored but the combination of the recent Scottish referendum, the Rotherham sex abuse scandal (apparently something similar may have occurred in a neighboring district) and the general discontent with all three major parties and politics as usual could set the stage for either a UKIP upset or a close second in Heywood and Middleton.  It also looks a bit panicky on Labour’s part and could backfire if it is seen as disrespectful to Dobbin’s family.

Many Tories and BNP voters could vote for UKIP figuring that their party cannot win (thankfully for the BNP!) and in the run up to the October 9 by-election, the news from Clacton will be overwhelming (assuming some meltdown does not occur that would cause sandy to go into hiding for days!) and positive for UKIP.  That will encourage the UKIP minded voters to turn out.  Since by-elections are special elections at inconvenient times, the turnout is usually lower than a General Election.

My strategy for Heywood and Middleton is:  Let Labour pick their candidate first, select a strong local candidate, preferably a young person under 35 or 40.  Perhaps a former Labourite.  Then send people nearby to go up to this riding to help.  Attack Labour on its internationalism, it’s support of the EU, it’s nanny state ideas like no more cheap beer, and how these voters can send a message that things have to change in the UK.  There are many Farage Labourites throughout Britain.  Say:  They are coming for your vacuum cleaner, your hair dryer and your cheap beer!  And Labour is in bed with the EU.

So, we’ll see.  If UKIP wins BOTH seats October 9, let’s hope the victory laps are not near a fault line!

UPDATE:  Two local officials in Clacton have left the Tory party and joined UKIP!  OOPS!

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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