THE BROXTOWE ELECTION ROLLING BLOG

0503 Soubry in with a 5k majority. My god. Stunned. Fatigued.

I’m off to sleep now. Gutted, Utterly.

I’m going to write a post mortem at one point. But feel ruined now. Broxtowe, you’ve made a huge mistake. I’m sorry. The next five years will see our services ruined. Our towns split and turned against each other.

Vile,vile woman.

Regroup. Recover. Build. Demand a new narrative. This is not a defeat, it is a start of the new fight. Night all.,

0503 I’m about to go to bed, but a tiny consolation prize: Esther Mcvey lost in Wirral West!

0500 They’re mounting the satge.

0459 Magnanimous tories mocking the losing Labour team at the count.

0455 Clegg holds. Out of his main job later, though.

0448 Declaration imminent. Sht shit shit.

0446 By an increased majority, well over a thousand, apparently. Gutted.

0441 Bad news from the count…another source telling me it’s Soubry.

0438 A real shocker here: Vince Cable out.

0435 Boris Johnson takes his safe seat. No shocker there. Rumour is Esther Mcvey is struggling in Wirral. Recount taking place.

0425 Mixed fortunes for UKIP: Carswell retains Clacton, but they narrowly lose in Thurrock.

0414 A message from my mole:

Just checking spolit papers, nearly there!! Still not looking good.

0411 Two Lib Dem scalps: Lynne Featherstone and Simon Hughes both lose seats to Labour. Utter Lib Dem evisceration.

Some joy for Peter Tatchell, I imagine.

0407 Bad news from Erewash: Tory hold. Should have been an early take: no incumbent. More bad news for Broxtowe, it seems.

0354 Exciting news from Thanet South (Farage’s desired seat): it looks like a very close battle that has led to a recount…between Labour and the Tories. Farage third place. UKIP over?

0349 Soubry has arrived: goes straight over to Steve Carr. Symbolic.

0347: First ministerial scalp: Ed Davey, Energy Secretary, out.

0339 Labour gain from Galloway in Bradford, it seems, and Rupa Huq, the Labour candidate in Ealin, takes off Labour.

0337 Labour gains against Lib Dems: good news but not going to be enough. Lost the number one target seat.

0334 One of my favourite MPs, Labour’s Sarah Champion, retains seat in Rotherham.

0329 I’m actually blogging from bed right now. That’s dedication. Or laziness. Palmer has arrived at count.

0325 UKIP look set to take third place in Broxtowe. Lost deposit last time round.

0318 SKY News are expecting up to THREE recounts. Can they make this any more tense?

0307: Brox result now expected at 5.30am! Good job I just made myself a coffee. Bad news it’s decaff.

0303: and there’s more

74% turnout. Not many Lib Dems left.

Bizarre that Watts is in Beeston tonight when he’s the candidate in Skegness? Bit of a slap in the face for Lincolnshire Lib Dems, if they exist.

0300 Home, and a flurry of info from my mole at the count:

Looking more favorable in Beeston Central: around 4:1 for Palmer. Still not looking good, nationally. Watts (Lib Dem councillor) looking sad, may not be a councillor tomorrow. Should lose deposit in national. No Palmer or Soubry still. Verifying over., count starts shortly.

0243: Contemplating home, and bed…though will try and keep awake to the Soubry result.

Ah, am off home. Will try and continue when home.

0239: Daftest tweet of the night comes in, with a guy saying

For someone that is non-political you have a strong hatred of an MP that has actually worked for the local area and listened

I don’t even know where to start. I’ve been writing politics for seven bloody years. Nice of him to notice.

0228: Schadenfreude update:  Lib Dem deposit loss now £7,500

0220: My mole at the count reports that Soubry ahead on all tables. And Douglas Alexander scalped in Paisley: by a 20 year old student. Biggest casualty of the night. This is looking like carnage.

0216: We could see several party leaders out of work tomorrow: Miliband, Farage and Clegg. Is this a record in UK politics?

0214: Scotland showing HUGE swings to the SNP  from Labour. Possible clean sweep minus one seat?

0157: BBC now talking about a Tory Majority. Christ. Anyone fancy moving to Scotland?

0154: Guy at the party I’m at ‘Can we switch to a channel that Labour are winning?’

0150: Nuneaton hasn’t gone Labour. Very bad news: unable to turn a 2.3% swing. This is upsetting. Nice backdrop though.

They actually LOST 3%. I am so glad I’m packing this in. It’s painful.

0122: Still not good news: Battersea reflects BBC Exit Poll.

0111: Sadiq Khan, Labour, Tooting, increases his majority slightly in a Tory target.

0104: My mole at the count replies that they have seen just ONE vote for the Justice for Men and Boys Party.

0102: No sign of Soubry or Palmer at the count yet. Verification expected to finish at 2am, so we might get a result faster than expected.

0053: George Galloway looks out. Respect!

0042: Some encouraging news for Labour: huge turn outs in strong Labour territory:

turnout

0052: worryingly, the Swindon result matched the exit poll. Ouch.

0039: Swindon: Labour needed to overturn a 7% majority: didn’t do it. Not good news.

0031: A real interesting seat will be announced in half an hour or so. Nuneaton is a marginal, similar to Broxtowe, that Labour are targeting. They need a much bigger swing: 4.6% , than Broxtowe’s 0.7%. If it goes, we can relax a bit more. If it doesn’t, and the Tories increase their vote share, then worry.

0019: A lull in the evening as results don’t come in... so conversation has turned to the Wakefield rhubarb triangle. Then Jeremy Vine bounds on, claiming Soubry will hold…

0012 : This has amused me: 

ss

Midnight: I still believe the BBC Exit Poll is an outlier. Not in line with other polls. Delusional?

23.44 BBC analysis: Gedling and Nottingham South will be Conservative gains.

23.42 Another Twitter account reveling in schadenfreude : schaud

23.28 Another North East heartland Labour stronghold: the Tory is called Bob Dhillon: polls below UKIP. LIb Dems poll under a 1,000, and behind the Greens. Clear Labour hold.

23.24 Some more hat-food promises being made at the count, according to the Nottingham Post:

“But Liberal Democrats in Broxtowe have laughed at the suggestion their party would get only 10 seats nationally – a loss of 47.

Steve Carr, a candidate for the party in Beeston, said: “I’ve got a great big sombrero and I’ll eat it if that’s true.” “

We’ll hold him to that…

23.17 Second result, again, a very safe seat, so hard to extrapolate much. A hold for Labour, but with a 5% increase in vote – much in line with  the last few months of polling. Surprise seems to be how much UKIP has eaten into the Tory vote in the North: not the Labour as Farage predicted.

23.12 Tweet of the night has just come in:

tweet

22.58 Another ray of light: the YouGov exit poll paints a much more optimistic picture, with vote share 34% for both parties.

Electoral calculus, who conducted the most accurate exit poll in 2010, is predicting a much closer result:

  • CON: 280
  • LAB: 274
  • LIB DEM: 21
  • SNP: 52

22.50 Sunderland South in: Lib Dems wipeout. Labour clear win. Not a surprise. Increase in vote share? Greens have outpolled the Lib Dems. UKIP second place. Some hope: that’s a 5% increase on 2010 for Labour. Lib Dem loss of deposit.

22.37 We’re up for the night now: I’m at a house just up the road from the count. We won’t know how accurate the exit poll is until we start getting results where they matter: places such as Nuneaton. The Lib Dem collapse in the poll looks odd: totally against the last few months of polling. Farage might have won, at the expense of Mark Reckless. SNP have near total-dominance of Scotland. Nick Clegg is gone: definitely as the leader of the Lib Dems, likely as an MP altogether.

Some hope comes in the utter jump in this poll from the hundreds done over the last few months. I can’t see the Greens get a second seat.  A gripping night ensues.

22.11 If the exit polls are accurate (they were pretty accurate in 2010) then the Tories are going to GAIN seats. Soubry will probably be safe therefore. This has put a worrying edge on the evening. I’m off to an Election Party: will be blogging live from there.

Lib Dems look like they are in real trouble: Clegg very likely to have lost his seat:Blimey. 47 seats lost.  I’ll be gone for a bit now while I travel to, and set up, at the party.

22.05 BBC EXIT POLL …IS BAD NEWS FOR LABOUR.. AND UTTER WIPEOUT FOR THE LIB DEMS

Tories: 316 Labour: 239 Lib Dem: 10 SNP: 58 Ukip: 2

22.00 POLLS ARE CLOSED! 

We’re off in a bit. Here’s a pic from The Nottingham Post’s Political Chap, Alex Britton, of the Pearson Centre awaiting the boxes of ballot papers….

count

21.16: Desperation in the Soubry camp. My mole there says

… a frantic race is on to drag out every last voter. Though we’re lacking much manpower, and legs are tired! Weather put some off

The Labour camp are more upbeat, reporting record turn-out at some Beeston polling stations. On my cycle round Chilwell, Attenborough and Beeston earlier the amount of red rosettes outweighed blue massively…and I didn’t see a single yellow one.

Soubry has been spamming her mailing list throughout the day in what is becoming to look like desperation. She  has 90% of the national press, millions of campaign cash and the nasty Lynton Crosby running her campaign…and it’s being beaten by old fashioned, on the ground foot-soldiers from the red team.

21.07: Jeez Louise! We haven’t even really got started on the meat of this blog, and we’ve already had nearly 2,000 hits off 718 separate readers. That’s 5.14138817481 Soubry majorities read by 1.84575835476  Soubry majorities worth of people.

21.00 We’re into the last hour of voting now. Not voted? THEN STOP READING THIS BLOODY BLOG AND GET YOUR LAZY ARSE DOWN TO A POLLING STATION.

There I feel better now.

20.32: RESULT IN AND IT’S A CLEAN SWEEP FOR LABOUR!

roundhill

20.07 Earlier, I saw the first frog ever in my new pond. Just now, I found a lottery scratchcard in an old notepad and, on scraping off the silver, won £15. Are the gods smiling on me today? Will Soubry be off back to Mapperley in a few hours?

20.02: Tweet of the day so far: Can you do better? Send in your best spots! (cheers to David for use).

britpic

20.00: I’ll be clocking onto the night shift properly around 11pm. Between then and now, we’ll get the first exit polls come out, which might give a general indication of the pattern we’ll see develop later.

I’ll be with you through the night (which makes me sound a bit like a nerdy Barry White) guiding you through the results, and how they apply here. The first results in, from constituencies in Sunderland where the Labour support is so strong they don’t count the result, merely weigh it, will be due in earlier. They won’t be very indicative, but Nuneaton  a key marginal will declare at 1am and likely to show how far Labour have managed to encroach into the Tory vote. If it swings to Labour, things look very bleak for Soubry.

1950: Most enigmatic sign seen around the country today:

photo (1)

(cheers to Colin for the tip).

1941: Voting done. ‘Don’t vote for him!’ the teller outside says, pointing at the incumbent councillor, Eric Kerry. I’m about to reply ‘I won’t be’ when she points at the blue rosette and says ‘vote for me instead’. An interesting bit of late campaigning, there.

Into town, and a tour of a few of the polling stations. Tellers from all parties inform me that after a slow start, numbers are really picking up. This is due to two factors: good weather and people knocking off work. If one wants to get into the minutiae of voting, these both benefit Labour. Retired voters, who can stroll up to the polling station at any time, are more likely to vote Conservative, while people of working age are more Labour inclined.

It still amazes me that we vote on a weekday. Surely to improve turnout, a weekend day?

1706: I’m off to vote, and have a look round Beeston. Keep sending stuff over, and while you’re there, please take a second to sign this: whoever wins in Broxtowe, we want them to address the unfair local government settlement – the worst in the country – that Broxtowe received under the stewardship of Anna Soubry:  https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/renegotiate-broxtowe-s-local-government-settlement-1

We’ll be presenting it to the winner of the election, whoever that might be.

15.52 Of all the days it could happen: Chief Executive of Broxtowe Borough Council Ruth Hyde reports a bizarre occurrence:

strelley

14.50 You may have missed this: an edition of the BBC Radio 4’s World Tonight, recorded in Beeston and Stapleford (which is described as ‘a little village’. Sorry, neighbours!). A good conversation with some folk musicians, and perhaps one of the most bizarre interviews ever with a UKIP voter, Neil Humphry, who got rid of his parrot because of the threat of HS2 (‘ obviously, we’ve had to take the strategic move and get him rehoused today…’). Bonkers. (skip to about 17 minutes in for the full piece)

1448PM: Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of The Sun, has come out for Soubry. Of course he has. She too has led a spiteful, negative campaign just like his paper. Murdoch and Soubry are made for each other…

1410PM: What are the polls saying? The national mood is tighter than ever before, with most pollsters showing a tie. Although more people say they will vote Labour, most polls weight down several points to reflect the sad fact that Labour voters are more likely to say they’ll vote, than actually vote. You have another variable  factored in: Silent Tories. Many Tories simply don’t like admitting the fact they vote Conservative, so refuse to tell pollsters. Why? Well, guess away. This also may see UKIP poll better than the dulled expectations after a limp campaign: though tactical voting may see this factor wiped out. The pollsters simply don’t know. The problem with psephology is the irrationality of the public: people are chaotic creatures who simply won’t behave in ways rationality wishes – a factor that makes economics such a indefinite science.

Locally, Soubry’s vote dropped nine points from 39 to 30 within months of taking office. It has stagnated there, suggesting the anti-Labour swing voter have left her en masse. In constituency polling a year ago, Labour were 14 points ahead. This fell to a lead of 9 points in August, but with Soubry not gaining whatsoever. UKIP and the Greens were the benefactors instead, but it’s likely that the support for these parties have wavered since: while the Greens are robust, with the much-vaunted surge giving them a filip this year;  UKIP support peaked in Autumn and has been in slow decline since.

ash croft

You want a prediction? Do I look like Mystic Meg? Well, nationally, I have no idea. Locally, I cautiously think Palmer will get it, perhaps with a four-figure majority. The ground-war Labour have waged here has been huge: and Palmer has wisely put himself front and centre. The Tories have tried to muster troops, but the problem of finding candidates has exposed some fundamental problems with their campaign. A senior Tory strategist has told me that resources that were previously ear-marked for Soubry have been diverted to Loughborough and Nicky Morgan, a far bigger scalp than our own minister. I haven’t seen local canvassing results, but the confidence in the Labour camp seems genuine. Soubry’s last few media appearances have sounded resigned, valedictory; as if she knows that it is over. Although this could be a savvy move to try and appeal to the sympathetic voter with an underdog appeal.

We’re 14 hours away from finding out.

13.30PM: A reader sends me an email, which he’s agreed to let me publish. A former Tory , on why he’ll be changing the habit of a lifetime and voting Labour:

Good morning.
So sorry to read that you are going into retirement. I found your blog a few years ago and have kept me “entertained” and informed ever since.
 
Myself – I am/was a conservative, a child of the 70’s swept along by “Maggie’s dream” only to find out that the bar stewards were in it for themselves. I try to support our local Foodbank with food donations a few times a year. For me, that is the biggest yard-stick to how our society has re-evolved back to Victorian times.
I still find voting a challenging action, as I still retain some conservative values, but with a bigger social awareness.
But I know one thing – Nick Palmer was a great constituency MP last-time, we discussed many issues over email and he always respected my views and my stance that I could never vote for him as he was “Labour”.
Today I take the “never” back. He will get my vote today, and I hope we see the last of Soubry.
 
Best wishes – Tim “Ry Lander” J

12.40 PM: A Labour candidate tells me he is disgruntled by the weather, as he’s outside all day. ‘Things can only get wetter’, he tells me.

12.30PM: Hallams in Beeston are getting in on the election fever: hallamshallams2

 12 NOON: It’s here! I’ve had a countdown clock on this  blog for 5 years, and finally it says TODAY. The polls are open, the tellers are telling, the vote counters stretching their fingers over what could be a very long night.

I will be writing throughout the day, for an estimated 16 hours. Don’t expect an update every minute – I do have a real job to be getting on with – but I’ll be posting the odd snippet and news as it comes in.

You won’t get a separate notification every time I post: that would be spamming you immensely. Instead, I will be using this page alone to give you a running commentary. Keep it on your browser, and ‘refresh’ here and there to check updates. If you follow me on Twitter, I’ll be updating on there when I can’t get to my laptop, check out @beeestonia for that.

I’m off to vote now. Who for? Well, I probably won’t surprise you on that one. While not, as rumours persist, in the pay of Labour, they will get my vote today. This is more on the strength of the candidate, the inclusive, caring hard-working Nick Palmer, rather than the Labour Party, that I still have some issues with.

I considered Green: and on meeting with their David Kirwan on a few occasions, including a Cafe Roya Film Club he gave a moving speech at about his life with HIV Aids + LGBTQ rights, and he has impressed me as a candidate. I won’t be voting for him, however, but I hope with all my heart he goes on to play a part in Broxtowe politics over the coming years.

As some of you may know, I have a couple of family standing here: my wife in Beeston North and my mother in Bramcote, for Labour and the Tories respectively. While I haven’t talked to, or wish to talk to, my mother, I wish her well, even though she stands for a party that espouses everything I abhor. My wife is the most kind, dedicated, bright and utterly selfless person I have ever met (the last pretty essential for being married to me), and I hope she does well. If she doesn’t get elected, then I’d publicly like to state that I am immensely proud of her, and the way she has been getting up at dawn every morning and collapsing in after dark, dedicating herself so thoroughly to the cause ( and spending a chunk of the hours between helping to

Don't call her Lady Beestonia... her title is real and worked for...

Don’t call her Lady Beestonia… her title is real and worked for…

design cancer-busting drugs). I met her a couple of months after the last election, and she has been the best thing to ever happen to me; and a huge support in keeping this blog, and all the crazy things it has led to, tootling along with support, advice and not minding when I wake up at 3am shouting ‘I HAVE TO WRITE’ and disappear into my office for several hours. Ellie Turpin, thank you. Love you to bits.

Smushiness over. Resume your usual seating position.

Right, I’m off to vote. It’s chucking it down with rain, but sod it. We have a Soubry to remove.

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11 thoughts on “THE BROXTOWE ELECTION ROLLING BLOG

  1. Stuart says:

    Crossing fingers Matt. Whats your take on this tory coup? Do you think they would have the audacity?

    • beestonia says:

      They will definitely do anything to block Miliband, so yes. They’ll be looking to Florida, 2000, as a precedent: a vastly different electoral system, but the use of the media to ‘call’ the election could lead to Cameron rfusing to budge.

      In some ways, this might be good. Progressive parties will be galvanised, and at last we might see some proper politics, real colours nailed to the mast, rather than the centrist flim-flammery we’ve been subject to since Blair. I feel sorry -almost- for the Lib dems, who will struggle to define themselves as progressive once it’s clear things are polarising.

  2. peterfrobinson says:

    I don’t think you should stop the blog. We need you.

    Is it ok for me to use some of the story from Tim “Ry Lander”?

    All the best

    Peter Robinson

    01332 600612

    07876595993

    • beestonia says:

      I won’t stop the blog, per se, but stop writing explicitly about politics. However, I feel a bit like an elderly cop in a movie, who takes on one last case…it looks like this election is far from over on Friday, and we could have a bizarre situation developing before I hand in my badge.

    • beestonia says:

      Feel free to use it: Ry Lander is also fine with that.

  3. Ry Lander says:

    Peter – feel free. I will send Matt a confirmation email.
    Cheers,
    Ry Lander

  4. Rachel VK says:

    Having always voted LD in the past (and been something of an activist in fact…), it was a bit of a wrench to change my vote this time round (not least because I really like Stan). But I love Broxtowe and I’ve been very impressed with Nick Palmer – intelligent, considered, thoughtful and willing to admit where he’s made mistakes and review his position. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about voting Labour today, but I left the polling station feeling that I’d made the right choice. It’s definitely time for a change for the better – let’s hope that’s what we get when the votes are counted.

  5. CT says:

    I’m very much with Matt – i have problems with Labour’s policies and performance during the last five years, am tempted by the Greens but have been reassured by Miliband’s performance during the campaign and, as I said on Radio 4 on Tuesday night (and it’s not often you get to write that!) it’s a tight marginal so I’ll be voting for Dr Palmer who is everything Ms Soubry is not. If it’s a Labour-led government on Friday (or in the end, after Cameron and Murdoch have tried to fix it), I don’t expect the sunlit uplands any time soon, but I do trust we can see the social fabric of our country start to mend. This, scarily, is, I think, the twelfth general election I’ve voted in – I voted consistently against Thatcher but she stayed in office – and did great damage, from which we are still suffering – despite more people being against her than for her. Cameron is Thatcher’s heir, trying to complete her ‘project’ and I sincerely hope he won’t be able to find a loophole through which he can crawl back, to carry on his failed and failing ‘plan’.

  6. Chris Smith says:

    Oh great five more years of failing to be represented in Parliment by an angry, aggressive and very negative person. Not sure how I am going to cope with five more years of listening to all that ranting and having my emails ignored.

    I could not agree more Matt, a huge mistake and terrible for progress in Broxtowe at a critical time.

  7. CT says:

    As I said a few short hours ago, Cameron is Thatcher’s heir and seems intent on completing her project to turn us into a market-driven state, populated by people whose only motive is self- interest. I suspect the explanation for the results locally and nationally, will be complex and will involve: the UKIP surge in some places, the LibDem collapse, Scotland, tactical voting, Tory scraremongering about a Labour/SNP deal, the long-term portrayal in the Tory press of Miliband as an ineffective geek, the tram problems (successfully exploited by Soubry), voter ignorance. I suspect a lot of people bought into the narrative about Labour’s responsibility for the financial crisis (not true), the demonisation of anyone on any kind of benefit, and of loosely-defined ‘immigrants’, that Osborne and Cameron have a plan for the economy that is working (they haven’t and it isn’t); those people somehow performed the mental gymnastics that persuaded them they could continue to have a comfortable standard of living, with tax cuts, and the schools and health care they want, ignoring the fact that the Tories studiously avoided saying where they would make the savings required to achieve this, believing that neither they or any of their family or friends would be affected. They were wrong. Whatever shade of red or perhaps green, we on the broad ‘left’ are, though not immune from selfish inclinations for ourselves and our loved ones, also believe we have a duty to look after others who are, perhaps, less well-off or more vulnerable. We believe in greater fairness and equality, greater social justice, greater cohesion in our local and national communities, that business is important as it provides employment and pays taxes to support the common good, and should be supported as long as it pays decent wages and its taxes. For whatever reasons, we appear in this election to be in the minority, even though, I suspect, we are actually in a majority in the country. These are difficult days ahead, with the chaos of the uncertainty over the run-up to an EU referendum and the prospect of another, probably successful, Scottish referendum, in the offing. It looks, however, as though Cameron will have a small majority – a different outcome from what anyone expected – but will find it hard always to get his way in parliament. There will be many ways to promote our values and oppose and frustrate Tory ones. We must pursue those avenues and look to a party or political alliance to arise that will command the majority support of all the decent people in our country.

  8. Joan says:

    Matt – Please keep up with the political blogging. Beeston needs your insight more than ever now. A majority of voters in Beeston voted for a labour council and extrapolating from the local results it looks highly likely that a majority of voters in Beeston voted for Nick Palmer. We have ended up with a council and an MP we did not want. What we need now is someone who is able to keep a check on what these people get up to. It is arguably sensible to conserve your energy by not wasting effort in responding to silly and unpleasant tweets but concentrating on wider actions and dealings. Beeston needs an independent voice.

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