The Truth

Why Labour think they lost Henley .........


Added 27/6/08


Labour candidate, Richard McKenzie, polls just 1,066 votes - 3% of the vote - in yesterday's Henley by-election. (Full results)

Andrew Porter
Friday, June 27, 2008

Labour in fifth place, behind the BNP and Greens in Henley. Analyse that. Well this is what one Labour minister has just told me to try and explain the result. I offer it without prejudice:

1.There was a classic squeeze. The Lib Dems "threw the kitchen sink" at the contest. Labour had its vote rung almost dry.

2. The minority parties stood up well and their voters rarely shift. The Greens are also strong in Oxfordshire. They thought Labour would come fourth behind UKIP, but instead were beaten by the BNP and the Greens.

3. The Labour campaign was deliberately low key. They spent very little (possibly lower than 10,000) on what was always an unwinnable contest. "If we could have got away with not fielding a candidate in this one we would have done."

4. Harriet Harman Effect I. Labour has a problem with white working class men. So what do they do on polling day? Announce that Harman's new Equality Bill will discriminate against them.

5. Harriet Harman Effect II. After the Crewe campaign backfired (although they did not lose their deposit it should be noted) Labour's deputy leader decreed Henley would see a "positive" Labour campaign.

The rest of the article is here Telegraph