Reflecting on two by elections

I have to confess, in recent months I have taken my eyes off from what is going on in British politics, with the exception maybe of Brexit, and have found what has been going on in USA politics, with the elevation of Donald Trump to the Presidency, a lot more interesting. I still find myself in a quandary: while the Tories under May, may be better than under Cameron, I am far from convinced, and the same goes for Labour under Corbyn. As for the other three hopefuls: Lib Dem, UKIP and Green, I do not see any as especially deserving my vote. I therefore remain on the sidelines, holding as I always have, strongly held opinions on many different issues, each one that may be championed by one or other of these,  while not convinced by any and while still wishing for good government.

While not even aware these elections were going to take place, it was with interest I reflect on the results: Stoke-on-Trent Central (see here) and Copeland (see here) and like many a pundit feel inclined to comment on what has happened, something no doubt all the main parties involved in those election will be doing, trying to decide what went wrong (or right) and what they need to do to improve future chances of being elected. Not surprisingly, the turnouts were significantly lower than in the General Election. More surprising was the outcomes. Few would have expected Conservative to overcome Labour in Copeland, in what has long been seen as a safe Labour seat. While Labour won Stoke, it was hardly convincing with voter share down on last time; and was as much because those who did not support Labour were split between Conservative and UKIP. Overall, the only party that can take heart from the results was Conservative, who for once in a mid term election demonstrated the party in power could actually improve their standing with voters.

Rather than being enthused or otherwise by the results, I am disappointed there is no creditable opposition to bring the Conservatives to account – not a good thing for British politics.

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