After two by-election flops the Tories should blame their own complacency

After two by-election flops the Tories should blame their own complacency

As it is both Starmer and Davey are now invigorated

In the past two and a bit weeks the mood of Labour and Lib Dem parties has soared following the Chesham and Batley by-elections. For in both seats the Tories were widely believed to be next to near certainties and this was driving the media narrative and the betting. Betfair had the blue team as a 75%+ chance to take Batley and a 95% one in Chesham.

There’s been an effort to diminish the LAB hold in Batley which really isn’t justified. The party was fighting hard on two fronts against the Tories as well as a nasty and personal misogynist effort against the LAB candidate whose sister was murdered five years ago. The Tory campaign there should have called that out more.

Looking back the blue teams appeared to be remarkably complacent. Maybe they believed the betting! For both campaigns worthy men were selected to be candidates who were no match for their main opponents – the LDs in C&A and Labour in B&S. For in tough by-elections there is an intense focus on the candidates themselves.

One instance that reflects Tory complacency was that In Chesham and Amersham the Tories held their selection meeting on the evening before the May 6th locals when you would assume active campaigners would be pounding the streets or preparing for voting on the following day. After seeing a 15k CON majority move to an 8k LD one the Tory loser complained that the LDs had thrown everything at the seat as though that was somehow wrong.

In Batley the Tories gave the impression that Galloway would do the anti-LAB work for them. On election day 800 Labour volunteers flocked to the constituency for a hugely comprehensive GOTV operation. Given the winning margin this proved decisive.

The grassroots in both the LDs and LAB saw how crucial the by-elections were to their parties and they were rewarded with victories. BoJo cannot risk the Tories being complacent again.

Mike Smithson

UPDATE: These are the market rules:

This market relates to whether the UK government re-introduces any legally enforceable restrictions on social contact in England related to the spread of coronavirus, following the legal end of restrictions on social contact (currently expected to take place on 19 July 2021). Examples may include, but are not limited to, the mandatory wearing of face masks on public transport or the closure of pubs/nightclubs. For the purposes of this market, restrictions will not include any regulations on international travel or any regulations related to self-isolation or quarantine. For the purposes of this market, ‘re-introduce’ does not require any restrictions to exactly replicate previous restrictions. If the UK government does not end restrictions on social contact in 2021, and thus could not ‘re-introduce’ restrictions, this market will be void. Dates in this market relate to when any restrictions come into force in England, rather than the date on which they are announced. All times and dates in this market are in UK time. Clarification (14 July 2021): This market refers to mandatory England-wide measures introduced by the UK government. Any measures that are introduced locally or by individual companies (e.g. Transport for London only) will not count towards the settlement of this market. Clarification (6 September 2021): If ‘vaccination passports’ are required for entry to nightclubs or other events, this market will be settled for yes, so long as the measure satisfies the other conditions in the market rules, i.e. that it is mandatory, implemented by the UK government, England-wide and legally enforceable. Clarification (12 October 2021): If vaccines become mandatory for people working in care homes at any point in 2021 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaccination-of-people-working-or-deployed-in-care-homes-operational-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-of-people-working-or-deployed-in-care-homes-operational-guidance) this market will be settled for yes, so long as the measure satisfies the other conditions in the market rules, i.e. that it is mandatory, implemented by the UK government, England-wide and legally enforceable.

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