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The news continues to come from the UK about the amazing political realignment going on.  It’s like the Republicans in 1856.  On the verge of a breakthrough.

The second by-election next Thursday (Is it October 9 yet!) in the Labour stronghold of Heywood and Middleton is turning into a two horse race – the red Labour nag is still in front with 50% but the purple filly, UKIP is a strong second at 31%.

The Survation poll reported at Breitbart London shows that Labour might pull it out with the UK equivalent of:  My grandpappy’s a Democrat and Daddy was a Democrat so I am one, too:

Overwhelmingly the most popular response from Labour supporters was “Always voted for them (tribal loyalty)”, with over 61 percent agreeing with that statement. Just 15 percent of Labour supporters were voting for them because they like the party’s policies.

But too bad for the old Southern Democrats, virtually now an endangered species, that voting pattern largely ended sometime between 1968 and 1980.  Labour better hope that pattern doesn’t change on October 9.  I would note from the numbers that Labour might have 50% of the voters who have declared but the number of weighted votes decreased from 481 with 146 undecided and refused to 336 weighted votes when undecided and refused are left out.  I don’t get it.  Maybe there is an explanation.  But I think a great number of voters refused to say anything when they were forced to give a preference.

We also do not know how they determined who is likely to vote.  But I won’t go there.  Here’s the raw numbers.  (Compare pages three and four.)  Have fun.

I still think Labour has the edge but UKIP could win.  By-elections tend to be lower turnout and UKIP has the clear enthusiasm edge.  Pray for bad weather in Heywood and Middleton or that Labour makes a huge mistake (Is this it?  Supporting an European court having the last say on British law and the UK being compared with Belarus might not sit well with many who admired and voted for the late MP Jim Dobbin who was similar to a conservative Democrat in the USA!) in the next four days.

I am not sure what this means but UKIP won a council by-election in South Tyneside last Thursday.   This is a north east area but appears to be a Labour stronghold.  This was UKIP’s first local win in this area.  Here’s the results:

The final results were:

Tony Bengtsson (Green Party) 90

Norman Hanson Dennis (UK Independence Party UKIP) 676

Katharine Emma Maxwell (Labour) 625

Edward Anthony Russell (Conservative) 219

Carole Troupe (Liberal Democrat) 41

Rejected papers 6

Now we turn to Rochester and Strood.  That is the Reckless riding.  Mark Reckless the former Tory MP now UKIP candidate.

Some, many, even this blogger, felt this might have been a bridge too far for UKIP.  BUT, this early poll shows RECKLESS has a NINE point lead!

Tory defector Mark Reckless is on course to win back his Commons seat in a stunning victory for Ukip, according to an opinion poll.

Ukip enjoys a nine-point lead in Rochester and Strood, the latest research conducted by Survation for the Mail on Sunday found.


But the telephone polling, which put Ukip ahead by 40% to 31%, will encourage his supporters and concern Conservatives, with 40% of those who voted Tory in 2010 now saying they would switch.

More than two thirds (70%) of those planning to back Ukip said it was to support the party’s policies, while 18% who said it was an anti-government protest and 12% said they liked the candidate.

The vast majority – 88% – said they would maintain that support at next year’s general election.

And this conclusion ought to inspire every UKIP voter and activist:

Survation chief executive Damian Lyons Lowe said: “If our polling, representing a snapshot of opinion taken in Rochester and Strood between 1-3 October, reflects the final outcome of the byelection, the Conservative party will be deeply worried.

And from this Daily Mail article discussing the same poll:

David Cameron faced a second by-election blow last night after a new survey suggested Ukip’s latest Tory MP defector Mark Reckless is on course for victory in Rochester.

A Survation poll for The Mail on Sunday shows that Mr Reckless is nine points ahead of the Tories, and that Nigel Farage’s fans are not put off by the Prime Minister’s warning that voting Ukip will result in Ed Miliband winning power.

The result is a slap in the face for Tory chairman Grant Shapps, who called Mr Reckless a ‘liar’ for breaking his promise to constituents not to defect.


[The Survation CEO said this:]  ‘If Mark Reckless is elected despite the Conservatives throwing the kitchen sink at the by-election campaign, other Conservative MPs may conclude it is safer for their political careers to defect to Ukip rather than stand and fight Farage’s insurgency.’

Is it 1856 or 1860 for UKIP?  Remember my post some time ago about it only took 34% for UKIP to get control of Parliament?  Maybe that 34% is shimmeringly close.  Might be time for mass Tory defections if this by-election goes for Reckless.  Remember, my US readers, UKIP is fighting YOUR fight.


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)


  1. Jon Barrow says:

    Elwood, interesting to see an American following UKIP in this much detail – I would assume that most Americans would be against the UK leaving the EU; on the (to me, somewhat short-sighted) basis that the UK has a pro-American influence on the EU (short-sighted because the UK will have little influence in a truly politically consolidated EU).

    By the way, if the UK leaves the EU we will not necessarily lose out on trade deals (as some of your readers have suggested) – Norway, Switzerland, Iceland have close economic ties to the EU, with free trade etc. but without EU sovereignty. To me a re-negotiated, economic rather than political, relationship would be fine; but the EU will not at present re-negotiate.

    Just a point of detail. A ‘riding’ (or ‘thirding’) is a historical (Viking) three-part sub-division of a county, primarily applied to Yorkshire. In Canada, it’a colloquially an electoral area (perhaps the reason for some confusion). More properly, you should use ‘constituency’ or ‘seat’.

  2. Sandy Sanders

    Thanks for coming by, Jon and I am sorry my “English” is not better! I’ll try to keep Canadianisms out of my posts heretofore!

    I also agree that probably most US voters would say yes to UK in the EU but maybe I am helping just a bit. It has also been US policy to strengthen the EU and its institutions. Hence my warning in many posts: The EU is NOT our friend. They are reported to have spent up to 30 million dollars to influence our public opinion.

    The EU can re-negotiate a solid trade pact with a free and independent UK.

    Thanks again for coming by!


    • Jon Barrow says:

      Thanks for your response, Sandy. Of course on an administrative level it’s much easier for the US to work with a single European government – I often hear American commentators saying or writing things like ‘Why can’t the Europeans get their act together/make decisions/have a common policy?’ etc.; seeming to suppose that each European country is a bit like an American state. But of course ‘easy’ does not mean ‘good’. This view totally ignores very different European histories and traditions – unlike the US, which at its founding and for 100 years and more thereafter shared and built common traditions. Given that the EU does not have a citizenry, and barely any loyalty (except among EU bureaucrats) the whole ‘ever-closer [political] union’ seems a clear disaster for democracy – and bound to fail. The most committed countries, like Poland, are in it for national benefit (financial, defence against Russia, etc.) and will withdraw their commitment once they seem to get less out than they put in; and I think Germany is still propping up the whole thing due to war guilt impulses. As a Briton who is aware of our traditional national freedoms (of course, foundational to your Republic), it’s clear to me that the EU is stripping us of our democratic liberties and we have to get out, if only to restore control of our borders. I just hope that UKIP’s rise does not allow a Labour govt to slip in – and I really hope that provincial British working-class communities which have been Labour since the 30s or 40s start abandoning the party which abandoned them 20 or 30 years ago – when Labour switched from ‘national’ to ‘internationalist’. Thanks for your interest.


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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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