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June 30, 2008

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Alun

It's an interesting article (though I disagree with much of the analysis... though not so much the hinted remedies, oddly enough) but it lets itself down badly in places... the example that leaps out is this;

"Who would have thought that Labour could have lost the former heartlands of Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent?"

Anyone with even a very basic knowledge of political history and recent political in those areas actually.

Merthyr has always had an independent streak (S.O.Davies's re-election, as an "independent" in 1970, being just the best known example) and Labour was actually hammered by, of all parties, Plaid Cymru there in local elections in the 1970's. And the Labour majority on the council elected in 2004 was tiny and was eventually more-or-less lost. And there's no excuse for being surprised at Labour losing control in Blaenau Gwent (it isn't as though the Lawites are a low profile buch). As it happens the result in Blaenau Gwent was actually quite a bit better than a lot were expecting (most surprising of all was Labour winning more seats than People's Voice in Ebbw Vale). The standout awful result in the Valleys (in terms of seats Merthyr was dreadful, but that was largely the result of a few votes lost here and there combined with FPTP. Labour benefited from the electoral system in 2004, were screwed by it in 2008) was actually Torfaen.

jameshigham

SNP not a show up that way?

Tim Footman

Dave, your last paragraph resonates. I was brought up supping the Labour Party with my mother's milk (since she was standing for a council election when I was born). I leafleted for the party in the '79 election, just before my 11th birthday.

Even though I saw through Blairism, I cheered when Portillo went down in flames, and I still trotted out to support Labour, because the alternative was worse. But now - I just couldn't give a toss. Really, what's the difference between Michael Gove and Ed Balls?

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