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Will the party talk be about parties?

June 25th, 2005

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    The faces behind the names – all revealed tonight!

With Politicalbetting users gathering in London this evening for their post-General Election party there can be little doubt that the focus of discussion will be the South Staffordshire result.

Although nobody doubted that the Tories were going to win very few election-watchers stuck their necks out to forecast that Patrick Cormack would have been returned with an increased majority. Before Thursday the view of many, including me, was that this was a remarkably tough test for the Tories particularly because of the strength of UKIP there in the Euro elections last year and the fact that the EU has moved up the political agenda.

Yet the UKIP share did get into double figures while at the same time the Tory share exceeded what happened in 2001 and what the national swing from May 5th would have indicated.

    Has there ever been an election where both the UKIP and Tory vote shares have risen?

This was going to be tough for Labour because there was no risk of the Tories forming a government – the key message that got voters out at the General Election. But what was surprising was that Tony Blair’s tough stance on the EU, which has huge across the board support, seems to have done his party no good. This was something that many participants in our discussion forums had been predicting yet it did not happen. Why?

And are there any portents for the Lib Dems – hot favourites in next month’s Cheadle by-election following their poorish performance here? The party came out with a vote share that was lower than they got there in 1992 even though their current national opinion poll ratings are much higher.

Tonight’s party, at a pub in Belgravia, has been sponsored by IG Index and organised by book_value@hotmail.co.uk. There have also been one or two other donors. Thanks to all and I am really looking forward to meeting many of the people behind the names on the site.

Mike Smithson






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