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The Batley & Spen by-election

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Iskra

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One of the more interesting by elections- even more so after Hartlepool went Conservative.

George Galloway has now announced he is standing on an 'anti Starmer' ticket for the Workers Party of Great Britain. Personally, I think he has no chance and that it would be sad if he were elected as I don't think he has any interest in the area or any local issues, it's merely more opportunist self-publicism from an odious character.

Labour however, seem to have gone for the sympathy vote with Kim Leadbeater, Jo Cox's sister.

But then there does appear to be a national swing towards the Tories, so how will they fare?

The Yorkshire Party are also fielding a candidate, which is interesting considering the recent thread we had on Yorkshire Devolution.

Labour won the seat with a fairly slim margin last time, so it's definitely one to watch.

Former MP George Galloway has announced his intention to stand in the forthcoming Batley and Spen by-election.
Mr Galloway, who was expelled from Labour in 2003, said he is standing as a candidate for his Workers Party of Britain in the poll on 1 July.
Posting on social media, the politician said he was "standing against" [Labour leader] Sir Keir Starmer.
"If [he] loses this by-election, it's curtains," he added.
 
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Horizon22

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Interesting Galloway's quote - by standing he's necessarily splitting the left-wing vote so obviously he has some desire to see "curtains" for Starmer as he puts it. Saying that, he's unlikely to keep his deposit (5%).

This will be more interesting than Hartlepool. In the local elections Labour stood their ground (albeit with a reduced vote share that could be critical) and it is a different type of Labour voter (albeit a constituency that still vote 60% for Brexit)
 

Revilo

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Alternatively it could split the Brexit vote, ie left-leaning ‘working class’ Brexiteers who might have voted Conservative without Galloway might be tempted to vote for him instead
 

Cowley

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Alternatively it could split the Brexit vote, ie left-leaning ‘working class’ Brexiteers who might have voted Conservative without Galloway might be tempted to vote for him instead

I just don’t think he’s as popular as his ego is telling him he is?
 

AlterEgo

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Nobody could be that popular!

He is adept at finding local grievances and making grandiose claims that he will solve them.
He’s a classic demagogue. Incidentally also the only politician to have *enhanced* their reputation by being on Twitter. Make of that what you will.
 

Iskra

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I just don’t think he’s as popular as his ego is telling him he is?
I agree, but if you’re a disillusioned Labour voter and you see:

Workers Party of GB
Conservative Party

...on the ballot sheet, which are you more likely to go for?

This could massage his ego even more if he doesn’t do terribly.
 

Tracked

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The only good thing George did, years ago, was make me aware of Bradford Brewery (although that's now closed, spent a few good afternoons in there ...)
A brewery that was embroiled in a Twitter spat with George Galloway celebrated the MP's ousting by trolling him with the tweet: "Miss you babes."
Bradford Brewery aimed the mocking message at Mr Galloway this morning after he lost his Bradford West seat to Labour's Naz Shah.
The controversial politician, a former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, was involved in a fiery Twitter exchange with the brewery last month.

He was accused of resorting to "petty threats" and branded a "first class idiot" by the business.
 
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pdq

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Surely this is a case of voting for the person you think would best represent you, your community, and your values. It will have no bearing on the makeup of the government - it's not as if there's a wafer thin majority in the House of Commons. We seem very keen to transfer national political agendas onto local issues which really isn't helpful.
 

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I just don’t think he’s as popular as his ego is telling him he is?
Last general election he fought was in 2019 where he managed 489 votes. His Scottish party (All For Unity) got just over half the votes of the Salmond crew in the Parliamentary elections. (So he appears to be the leader of two political parties, presumably he didn't think the 'All For Unity' tag would go down to well in West Yorkshire.) The best he can hope for is that he gets 231 votes and Labour loses by 189 (or similar). He will at least get some publicity, as news outlets desperately seek a story. (Maybe another stint on reality TV beckons?) It would probably advantage Labour if he was asked whether he supported Corbyn. This will be a big test for Shabana Mahmood.

I agree, but if you’re a disillusioned Labour voter and you see:

Workers Party of GB
Conservative Party

...on the ballot sheet, which are you more likely to go for?
You stay at home?

I'm not sure that the term 'workers' has the pull it once did.
 

Butts

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I'd be surprised if Labour don't hold this with "The Sympathy Vote"

Why did the ex-corrie star decamp to become a Mayor ?

George Galloway used to have a good show on Talk Radio late at night.
 

37424

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I will be voting in this election but I am in a voting dilemma. I am very annoyed that Labour have gone for a blatant sympathy vote with Jo Cox's Sister as the candidate, but on the other hand I don't want Starmer to be kicked out for Corbyn Mk2, that's not what the country needs in terms of opposition.
 

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For an area that has recently voted in a Labour mayor, by a strong margin, what makes people think that will turn on it’s head in the by election?
 

nr758123

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For an area that has recently voted in a Labour mayor, by a strong margin, what makes people think that will turn on it’s head in the by election?
Possibly London based political journalists don't realise that Hartlepool and Batley are two very different types of Northern town.
 

Purple Orange

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Possibly London based political journalists don't realise that Hartlepool and Batley are two very different types of Northern town.
Probably right there. The political press love the narrative of Tories winning all over, which wasn’t quite true of the local elections. Labour won the mayoral races overall and won power away from the Tories too. However, the press will focus on the by election and the county council results.
 

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I'd be surprised if Labour don't hold this with "The Sympathy Vote"
I always thought that Kim Leadbeater came across well when interviewed, true they were by-and-large sympathetic interviews but she did seem genuine when talking, say, about loneliness. Being interviewed seemed to be come quite easily to her, no thinking 'whats the right thing to say?'

Why did the ex-corrie star decamp to become a Mayor ?
She was effectively demoted by Starmer, perhaps she thought this was her one chance of being able to wield power? Being a mayor hasn't done Andy Burnham any harm.
 

southern442

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She was effectively demoted by Starmer, perhaps she thought this was her one chance of being able to wield power?
Being a mayor hasn't done Andy Burnham any harm.
Quite, in fact he is now being touted as a potential future leader by many (which is ironic considering when he actually ran many Labour members turned a blind eye to him!
 

37424

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I'm not sure the Mayrol election is particularly relevant given the much bigger electoral area, however Hartlepool was much more Pro Brexit than Batley and Spen so I don't see the same parallels, I think it will be tight but I think Labour will win, I have decided I won't be voting Labour but then again I haven't voted Labour since Corbyn became leader and it didn't stop Brabin getting in.
 

Typhoon

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Quite, in fact he is now being touted as a potential future leader by many (which is ironic considering when he actually ran many Labour members turned a blind eye to him!
Perhaps now that they've seen the alternatives, three elections later ... He's the only one of the 2010 candidates who seems to be a viable leader.

In fact politicians may start to look at becoming regional or city mayors as a stepping stone to high office, Sadiq Khan and Marvin Rees would never have got the publicity they now get as shadow ministers. And, of course, it was as a mayor that another politician can ever be said to have actually done something prior to achieving the top job.
 

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Possibly London based political journalists don't realise that Hartlepool and Batley are two very different types of Northern town.
Batley is very different to Hartlepool, but the by-election won't be won or lost in the town itself - Labour are pretty much certain to win there. Equally, some of the more middle class parts of the seat such as Birstall will provide the Conservatives with many votes. It's probably all going to come down to Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton, particularly the former which seems to be a microcosm of the whole seat.

Having said that, I expect the polarisation here is good news for Labour. Hartlepool is fairly homogenous with most areas of the town voting similarly, without any areas where Labour are particularly rock solid, which probably allowed their vote share to collapse in the way it did. That won't happen here: if the Conservatives win it will be by a narrow margin.
 

Iskra

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Batley is very different to Hartlepool, but the by-election won't be won or lost in the town itself - Labour are pretty much certain to win there. Equally, some of the more middle class parts of the seat such as Birstall will provide the Conservatives with many votes. It's probably all going to come down to Heckmondwike and Cleckheaton, particularly the former which seems to be a microcosm of the whole seat.

Having said that, I expect the polarisation here is good news for Labour. Hartlepool is fairly homogenous with most areas of the town voting similarly, without any areas where Labour are particularly rock solid, which probably allowed their vote share to collapse in the way it did. That won't happen here: if the Conservatives win it will be by a narrow margin.
:D There’s nothing middle class about Birstall, I spent 20 years living there.

Upper Batley is where the money is in those parts.
 

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:D There’s nothing middle class about Birstall, I spent 20 years living there.

Upper Batley is where the money is in those parts.
Ah, apologies - I was going off the ward names! Looking more closely, it seems like Birstall includes Birkenshaw which looks to be a bit more upmarket, and so is probably why Birstall votes so heavily for the Conservatives relative to the rest of the seat.
 

Iskra

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Ah, apologies - I was going off the ward names! Looking more closely, it seems like Birstall includes Birkenshaw which looks to be a bit more upmarket, and so is probably why Birstall votes so heavily for the Conservatives relative to the rest of the seat.
Yeah that’s exactly it, well deduced :)
 

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I'm not sure the Mayrol election is particularly relevant given the much bigger electoral area, however Hartlepool was much more Pro Brexit than Batley and Spen so I don't see the same parallels, I think it will be tight but I think Labour will win, I have decided I won't be voting Labour but then again I haven't voted Labour since Corbyn became leader and it didn't stop Brabin getting in.

My question would be, how different is the Batley & Spen constituency compared to the rest of Kirklees? The borough itself voted by 3 votes to 2 in favour of Labour v Tory in the mayoral election.
 

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My question would be, how different is the Batley & Spen constituency compared to the rest of Kirklees? The borough itself voted by 3 votes to 2 in favour of Labour v Tory in the mayoral election.
It's slightly better for Labour. At the local council elections, the Conservatives just beat Labour (across the borough as a whole the Conservatives won by 7-8%), and at the last parliamentary elections Labour won Batley and Spen by 7% but won by 1% across the borough as a whole (Dewsbury, Huddersfield, and Colne Valley being included in that total).
 

61653 HTAFC

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My question would be, how different is the Batley & Spen constituency compared to the rest of Kirklees? The borough itself voted by 3 votes to 2 in favour of Labour v Tory in the mayoral election.
Over the last decade, two of the four seats that make up the borough (Dewsbury and Colne Valley) have flip-flopped between Labour and Conservative, whilst the other two (Batley & Spen and Huddersfield) have stayed Labour throughout.

Colne Valley has been a marginal seat for decades, Dewsbury only really became one when the boundaries were altered so that a large chunk of Huddersfield's rural areas to the South (Denby Dale, Skelmanthorpe, etc) were included as part of the Dewsbury constituency.
 

brad465

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I will be voting in this election but I am in a voting dilemma. I am very annoyed that Labour have gone for a blatant sympathy vote with Jo Cox's Sister as the candidate, but on the other hand I don't want Starmer to be kicked out for Corbyn Mk2, that's not what the country needs in terms of opposition.
I know not every seat and/or background is the same, but Dover is now represented by Tory Natalie Elphicke, who stood in the seat after her ex-husband Charlie had to stand down in 2019 due to the sexual assault allegations he's now behind bars for.
Quite, in fact he is now being touted as a potential future leader by many (which is ironic considering when he actually ran many Labour members turned a blind eye to him!
I wonder if Burnham's touting as leader now is down to a combination of his experience and credibility improvements as Mayor of Greater Manchester, which he didn't have in 2010 or 2015, and/or his "King of the North" perception in some circles being what other Labour voters feel is needed to win northern towns back.
 

Purple Orange

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It's slightly better for Labour. At the local council elections, the Conservatives just beat Labour (across the borough as a whole the Conservatives won by 7-8%), and at the last parliamentary elections Labour won Batley and Spen by 7% but won by 1% across the borough as a whole (Dewsbury, Huddersfield, and Colne Valley being included in that total).

Over the last decade, two of the four seats that make up the borough (Dewsbury and Colne Valley) have flip-flopped between Labour and Conservative, whilst the other two (Batley & Spen and Huddersfield) have stayed Labour throughout.

Colne Valley has been a marginal seat for decades, Dewsbury only really became one when the boundaries were altered so that a large chunk of Huddersfield's rural areas to the South (Denby Dale, Skelmanthorpe, etc) were included as part of the Dewsbury constituency.

Thanks for the insight. As such the constituency is not in the same bracket as Hartlepool.
 

37424

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Ah, apologies - I was going off the ward names! Looking more closely, it seems like Birstall includes Birkenshaw which looks to be a bit more upmarket, and so is probably why Birstall votes so heavily for the Conservatives relative to the rest of the seat.
Indeed Birkenshaw is mainly Conservative along with parts of Gomersal
 
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