Sunday, July 02, 2006
Here in Wales, the events at Blaenau Gwent have overshadowed the Bromley & Chislehurst by-election. While the Tories just managed to hold onto their 17th safest seat, their majority was slashed by a staggering 11%.
Ben Abbotts (pictured left) of the Liberal Democrats increased the party’s share of the vote by some 17%, achieving a 14% swing from the Tories and a massive 16% swing from Labour and coming within a mere 633 votes of taking this safest of Tory seats. The Labour Party support in this Constituency almost evaporated, pushing them into fourth place behind UKIP. They managed to poll a mere 1,925 votes!
In the most elaborate show of arrogance, the successful Conservative candidate, Bob Neil delivered this scathing and bitter attack on the Liberal Democrats:
“If you sometimes wonder why it is that people are turned off by politics, get a mirror and look at yourselves.”
This just goes to show, how out of touch the Conservative party is. People are turned off by politics because they feel that the politicians are not listening to their views, opinions and concerns. It is also clear that the Liberal Democrats are the party that these disenchanted voters are turning to in the hope of making a difference. For Bob Neil to deliver such vile rhetoric is to further disenchant the electorate and, in a split-second show of arrogance, completely dismiss the hopes and expectations of the 10,988 constituents who voted Liberal Democrat. Just to set the record straight, that’s 10,988 Lib Dem voters who Bob Neil now represents.
Ben Abbotts said:
“This was a campaign in which the Conservative Party tried to take the support of local people for granted - Bromley and Chislehurst was the seventeenth safest Conservative seat in the whole country at the last General Election………Tonight's result has been far from convincing for the Conservatives, and it is clear that Labour has lost the trust of its former supporters. This result shows that as Labour lose support nationally - it is the Liberal Democrats to whom people are turning.”