Saturday, 5 May 2007

The election's biggest loser

Well, Labour may not be deliriously happy about losing Scotland to the SNP, the more honest among the Lib Dems are acknowledging that they had a bad night, and, while they've tried to put a positive spin on it, I'm afraid that I cannot see how the results were anything other than an extreme let-down for the BNP. The one extra seat that they appear to have gained is a far cry from what many were predicting. And I say that as someone who would have voted for them, had I had the chance.

However, while these results, particularly Labour's loss of Scotland, are of more importance, one has to feel a particular sympathy for Shirley Bowes, the septuagenarian Tory candidate in Sedgefield's New Trimdon and Trimdon Grange ward:
Tory Shirley Bowes has made an unwelcome piece if political history by failing to attract a single vote - not even her own.

It was always going to be a long shot for a Conservative to taste victory in a ward occupied by one Tony Blair.

But 72-year-old Mrs Bowes managed to come in with an almost unprecedented zero.

In an electoral quirk she couldn't even vote for herself because she lives outside the ward she was standing for.

Mrs Bowes, who lives on a farm in the quaint village of Great Stainton, Co Durham, only stood as a favour to a friend.

Conservatives are a rarity on Sedgefield District Council, but the New Trimdon and Trimdon Grange ward is a particular minefield.

Home to Labour PM and the Trimdon Labour Club, where he has seen in successive election victories, even the most die-hard of Conservatives would throw in the towel.

But not Mrs Bowes. She put her name forward in the certain knowledge she was in for an abject defeat.

She said: "I knew I wasn't going to win but I hoped I might pick up at least one vote.

"I couldn't vote for myself because I don't live in the ward and I'm afraid no one else thought it was worth turning out for me.

"I never have had any true political ambitions but I support the Conservatives and said I'd help out.

"There was no Tory candidate in the ward and when my friend, who is a councillor asked me to stand I agreed so that at leats the party was represented.

"I didn't campaign or get any leaflets done or anything, I didn't even attend.

"It seems as though Conservatives are in even shorter supply in Trimdon than I imagined."

The ward was won by Labour's Lucy Howels with 441 votes and even the BNP managed to garner 75 votes for their candidate Amanda Marie Foster.

Mrs Bowes fought such a low key campaign that she didn't even tell her farmer son Graham.

She said: "He'd have thought I was daft, so I kept it to myself."

The William McGonagall of politics perhaps? Although at least he made an effort.


bernard said...

As an adjunct:
"I took my harp to the party, but nobody asked me to play".

A song written by Spike Milligan.

(it now seems, alas, that this also applies to the BNP showing).

Fulham Reactionary said...

Indeed. I was certainly in a pretty depressed mood about it all on Friday. However, there are some positive signs in the country. People are increasingly aware of the dangers of Islam, increasingly concerned about the level of immigration and crime, increasingly angry about political correctness. What needs to happen now is for that anger to make itself felt at the ballot box, and thereby translate itself into real political power, either by putting BNP members into parliament, or by driving the Tories towards a right-wing stance on these issues.

There's an interesting article by Richard North at EU Referendum, in which he suggests that the increase in the vote for both Labour and the Tories (compared with last year) was caused by people anxious to keep the other party out. Dr North suggested that this meant that both parties were now "recruiting, not supporters, but temporary allies who have in common only their detestation of the other side". In such circumstances, the support of both parties may be weaker than it has been in the past, and more vulnerable to attack by a party like the BNP.

Nonetheless, there's no getting away from the election was a set-back for those of us seeking to save our country.

Fulham Reactionary said...

Sorry, that last sentence should read " getting away from the FACT THAT THE election was a set-back...".