Thursday, June 29, 2006

The by-elections today

As I write this the results of by-elections in Blaenau Gwent and Bromley & Chislehurst are coming in.

It's going to be difficult to read much into the Blaenau Gwent result of relevance beyond that particular seat. Peter Law was elected basically on a single issue - an issue that is no longer present in the by-elections there. A Labour win for the Assembly seat would restore their majority in the Welsh Assembly - so are voters there going asking if Labour wants the seat for the people's sake or the party's sake. The recent revelation that Labour tried to buy Peter Law off with a peerage if he wouldn't stand against them cannot have helped Labour there. Nor can Labour's attempt to have a quick by-election or Peter Hain's transparently false "apology". But ultimately all this comes back to whether or not a very traditional Labour seat (this was a seat that Labour held uncontested in the 1931 election after all!) is being taken for granted by Not So Very New Labour.

As for Bromley & Chislehurst, plenty has been said about this by-election by many people. Now let's see what the voters have to say...

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