For those of you puzzled by my approach to this series of posts, it’s in alphabetical order. I’m putting the Communists with Socialist Labour and the Greens in ‘Other Parties’ at the end. Apologies to those whose sensibilities are grossly offended.
This was clearly a seat that they were never going to lose. Even vindictive Labour bully Desmond Hughes would have been a shoe-in here. So let’s have a quick look at previous results and see how Stephen Doughty’s result and majority compare with others since the seat’s formation.
The margin of victory – 27.4% – ranks 3rd out of 8, which is pretty good going since James Callaghan only managed a 5.5% margin in his final election. Although some might find it amazing that Stephen wasn’t able to eclipse all of Alun Michael’s results, given:
I know of die-hard Labour supporters who either abstain or vote Labour with a peg on their nose and with gritted teeth because of Alun Michael.
And you’d hardly expect his majority of 5,334 to rank among the stunning majorities because – unsurprisingly for this wholly predictable solid Labour constituency – a pathetically small proportion of people (25.7%) could be bothered to drag themselves out of bed to vote. Mind you, we already know that voting for Westminster is meaningless in almost every election, so perhaps it’s the 25.7% who are the mugs. However Stephen did manage to get a bigger majority than Alun Michael in 2010 and 1987, and James Callaghan back in ’83.
So there’s not really an awful lot for us to learn from Labour’s result. A steady, not stellar performance in one of their safest seats.