Copeland and Stoke By Elections: 23 February 2017 - The first Political indicator of the year?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by slipperman, Dec 28, 2016.

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  1. The sitting MP for Copeland, Jamie Reed (Labour) announced on 21 December that he would be standing down in the New Year and returning to his previous employer, at Nuclear Fuels, Sellafield. No loss, it must be said.

    I'll declare an interest here. For those who don't know, Copeland is effectively the town of my birth, Whitehaven and its environs. It has been solid Labour since 1935 and Mr Reed had a majority of less than 3 thousand over the Conservatives at the 2015 General Election, with UKIP a strong 3rd.
    The talk of the town is should Mr Corbyn decide to 'impose' one of his own preferred candidates to run for Labour, then it is likely they will lose the seat whenever the By Election takes place.
    The constituency voted by almost 2 to 1 for leaving the EU on 23 June last year (I refuse to use the term Brexit!) and therefore the By Election could be an early indicator of which way the Political wind is blowing up North - it may be a straight forward fight between the Conservatives or UKIP. If so, it could well signal that Labour is losing it's grip on the North of England, similar to its meltdown in Scotland.

    For a constituency that up until recently could have literally stuck a red rosette on a monkey and got it elected to Westminster, there are very interesting times ahead.
    The Lib Dems are almost an irrelevance there, so I also look forward to that Pygmy Farron having to eat his own words about his Party's comeback!
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  2. Not only will it be interesting to see what the outcome of the election is, it will also be a test of the opinion polls which have been quite wide of the mark recently.
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  3. Are opinion pollsters on the public payroll should be sacked - have any of them been accurate in the recent past?!
  4. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    Dangerous game. Labour tried this at the inaugural Scottish Parliament elections and refused to allow the local choice - Dennis Canavan - to stand. Predictably, he stood as an independent and scored the biggest majority in the entire chamber.

    In this case though, Ukip would need to pick up 10000 votes and I'd suggest that a popular notion is that their race is run having achieved their raison d'etre. Tories don't have to do too much pushing to win this one I think.
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  5. I agree. The Tories should be pushing for a win here when the time comes (Reed is expected to resign late Jan 17, meaning the By election will be held late Feb/early Mar). The Labour vote has dropped in the past 5 General Elections and that's without the JC factor. Even one of my sisters (not the sharpest pencil in the box) voted Tory last time around, having spent most of her life voting Labour because our Dad, a coal miner, did too.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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  6. Agreed, as long as the conservative candidate is a solid leave supporter they should cruise it.
  7. All depends on the turnout, don't it, a few thousand can make the difference if enough of the electorate go "meh"
  8. Too late.
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  9. This reminds me of the time I was back from Germany visiting my Nana in Cleator Moor.

    We were sat out in her garden having a coffee when who should open the front gate and walk up the path, but none other than Jack Cunningham MP. My Nana (mid-70s (at the time) a very polite, proper and house-proud woman) said to the Honourable Gentleman "You can get out of my garden right now Jack Cunningham", as Jack and his posse continued walking towards us saying "can you just give us five minutes of your time etc." I stood up to face the group down and said "I suggest you leave" to them.

    Jack's mob tried to approach my Nana by pushing past me, so I grabbed the MP by his arm, looked into his eyes and said "leave now before I call the police", so the Honourable Member for Copeland and his entourage scuttled off.

    When I asked my Nana why she'd reacted in such a way, she replied "His Father was a thief and so is he - he's got no business being in Parliament".

    Nobody messes with Nana Ena.
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  10. Yes, UKIP would love to take this seat, but IMO won't stand if the Tory is a known reliable Leaver.

    The last thing they'd want is Labour winning, even if some kind of Leaver candidate, as their party may well start cutting up rough prior to we are really free of Brussels' grasp.

    Oh - KI, what was Cunningham pere's thievery ?
  11. One count of conspiracy and eight counts of corruption. In 1974 he was sentenced to five years, reduced (on appeal) to four - he ended up serving around two and a half years.

    Mr. Andrew Cunningham (Hansard, 27 July 1976)
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  12. Aha - Poulson etc etc !
  13. That's the badger.
  14. Despite the fact that I was born in October 1976, I'm aware of Cunningham senior's exploits leaving a bad taste in a lot of mouths oop north.

    God only knows how the truly weird Cunningham junior kept getting elected. It's no doubt as @slipperman said, once upon a time you could stick a red rosette on a monkey and it'd get into power.

    I keep thinking I should go into politics once my Afghan adventures come to an end, perhaps I should punch out early and go for the Copeland seat!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  15. Poulson was the architect responsible for the abomination previously known as old Blandford Camp and a host of other dire MOD infrastructure. Bent as a bendy thing.

    Thanks for the dit on Jack Cunningham, Krazy Ivan. He was our local MP for years and my Dad couldn't stand him. I suspect he had many similar encounters around Cumbria when he came out of the shadows to do his pre General Election glad handing and photo opportunities with babies. A classic specimen of the Westminster swamp!