Dead Men Left

Friday, July 16, 2004

Will say more in a minute... but am most pleased. 13% in Leicester; 6.27% in Birmingham. This from the Independent:

The success of the anti-war Lib Dems was a clear indication of the importance of Iraq to voters, as was the success of rebel MP George Galloway's Respect Party which picked up 3,724 votes in Leicester standing on the single issue.

Both there and in Hodge Hill it comfortably polled well over the 5% needed to save its deposit.

It's a bit daft to say we stood on the single-issue of the war (the headlines on the leaflets read something like, "NO: to war, privatisation... YES: to public services..."), but otherwise the assessment is reasonable, and was repeated by Andrew Marr on Radio 4 this morning. (The "single-issue" pigeonhole is, however, something we need to move out of.)
And, just so you don't think I'm too biased towards the pinkos on the Indy, here's the Torygraph's assessment:

Labour will be worried that in Leicester South the anti-war party Respect, founded by George Galloway, the former Labour MP, gained a respectable 3,724 votes...
The collapse of Labour's vote in two heartland seats will send shockwaves through its high command and add to concerns that the party is suffering from a backlash over the war and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction.

...of course, the Tories also did rather badly, being pushed from second to third place in both seats. And to think it was not three, maybe four, months ago that Michael Howard's "decisive leadership" was being hailed.