Libs Gain Brent East - 29% Swing

OK, Celyn has not lived in the deep South for many years, and may be missing some important local detail, but I reckon that a 29% swing, resulting in the Labour Party losing.a Commons seat at a by-eleciton for, appparently , the first time in 15 years, is something to notice.

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It seems that, thus far, it is being viewed as a reaction to Blair’s approach to …ahem…recent events in Iraq.
Well, that is certainly what I would be inclined to think too, but, as I said, there may be more local issues of which I would not be aware, so I invite opionions from other Dopers, please.

Ooops - I think this belongs in IMHO, rather than GD, but I suppose time, or esteemed Mod, will tell.

SO sorry - I should not post unless awake - here is the link

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3121336.stm

from BBC website 19/9/03

Ken Livingstone’s old constituency? I would expect people to vote for a left-wing party there … in preference to the two right-wing parties …

Although ‘Red Ken’ did come out in strong support of the Labour candidate. Didn’t seem to help though.

I think Lib Dems won because they really, really wanted it - more than anyone else. They totally saturated the streets with supporters and threw a lot of money at their campaign, from what I’ve seen.

Poor Rainbow George only recieved 11 votes. Shame. :wink:

Voter turnout was rather low: 36.4% so there may be something in the Labour party’s claims that their voters didn’t show up, either in protest at government policy (probably not their favoured explanation) or apathy (it was supposed to be a safe seat.

Without comparing actual numbers it would be difficult to tell. I haven’t been able to find a cite with historic vote numbers for this seat. Anyone?

BTW: Woohoo for my fellow LibDems. Youngest MP in the house too.