Friday, July 20, 2007

Ealing Southgateall Result: From Horse's Mouth

Nigel Bakhai, Liberal Democrat 10,118
John Cartwright, Official Monster Raving Loony 188
Sati Chaggar, English Democrats 152
Salvinder Dhillon, Respect 588
Sarah Edwards, Green 1,135
Kuldeep Grewal, Independent 87
Tony Lit, David Cameron's Conservatives 8,230
Yaqub Masih, Christian Party 280
Jasdev Rai, Independent 275
Kunnathur Rajan, UKIP 285
Virendra Sharma, Labour 15,188 *****
Gulbash Singh, Independent 92

Labour hold. Turnout 43% (2005 56%). 2005 Majority 11,440. This time 5,070. Menzies Campbell 8 visits, Dave-id Cameron 5 or 6 visits. Including two cocktail parties.

Grant Shapps MP is on. As bad as Greg Stone. But no glasses. He is full of it. All sorts of bogus stats. Bogus glee. He's just bogus bogus bogus. 1989 since Lib Dems have not won a by-election where they started second he says. God, he's full of it. The Tories cannot fight a ground war says the reporter. Still he's full of it. Sadly the picture breaks up at this point.

Tony Lit arrives. Shakes hands with lots of Tory boy blog muppets and the like. Where is Gurcharan Singh? Oh dear, not here.

Results added at 02:30

BBC Results and analysis


Anonymous said...

Appalling night for the Tories. Got to admire you for keeping your cool in the midst of complete shit from Iain Dale.

Appalling night for 'David Cameron's Conservatives'. I honestly wonder if the Tories are finished in terms of national power.

LibDems not bad but should have done better. Still could have been worse. Weak though.

Very good for Lab to hold 2 by elections mid-term. If the opinion polls remain good for Brown it's odds on a General Election by next summer.

Anonymous said...

bloody good result in Ealing, where it mattered. Devastating for the Tories....

Andrea said...

very good Lab result...I didn't expect a 10%+ majority

Chris Paul said...

Agreed both. I think my %s on E-S are going to be fairly close or at least the proportions between the top three.

I very much overestimated the likely vote for some of the Sikh tiddlers. Respect and Rai and UKIP particularly. But I had 35-25-19 in the right order for the top three and that won't be far off.

Lib Dems were blagging that Sharma was 72. He is 60. They are shameless.

Lit is on. He reminds me of Ali G to be blunt. He is being argumentative which shows he is spent. Chewed up and spat out. Hardly the great future Tory MP which Grant 1234 Shapps described.

rupahuq said...

Much better result than anyone expected - really thrilled me. Interesting when voting to see where candidates actuallly lived according to the ballot paper - Sharma in Southall, Tony Lit and the Green woman both in posh Chiswick, meanwhile Respect candidate was down as residing in even posher Richmond.

Anonymous said...

Where is Ealing-Southgate? Oh... You mean Ealing Southall?

Chris Paul said...

Ooops. 1:38 was a bit late/early after a day at the blog face. It was Sockpuppetgate, Suicidegate, Labourdonationgate, PVLeakgate etc but not Southgate. Sorry to anyone who really cares.

jailhouselawyer said...

As I predicted the result on Wednesday that's a pint you owe me...

Anonymous said...

Press Release put out by the Sikh Federation (UK) on Friday 20 July 2007


In the last few weeks there have been many twists and turns in the Ealing Southall by election. The Sikh Federation (UK) objective was to try and ensure that there was every opportunity to get the first visible and appropriately qualified Sikh elected to the Commons and to get candidates to deal with issues relevant to British Sikhs e.g. Sikh identity, human rights abuses, 1984 etc.

It was clear from the outset that the only realistic prospects to get the first visible Sikh in Parliament and to recognise Sikhs are an important part of modern British society was if the candidate selected by the Labour Party met this requirement. This was a safe seat that Labour was likely to retain. There also appeared to be a demand within the local Labour Party membership that the time had come for this historic step.

The first hurdle was to ensure the Labour Party opted for an open selection process. The combination of a by election and pressure exerted from several quarters ensured the selection was opened up. Six of the seven on the Labour Party long list were Sikhs, which included three turbaned Sikhs.

So far things were on track; although it was difficult to understand why the Labour Party Selection Panel, comprising Keith Vaz, Mike Griffiths and Norma Stephenson, chose to ignore excellent outside candidates and Labour loyalists, such as Dr Harkirtan Singh, while other less able outsiders were included. It remains a mystery why some formidable candidates that could have united the party were excluded from the long list. Although this would probably have resulted in a stronger shortlist and possibly a different Labour candidate.

The big question was who would make it to the short list. Most assumed this would be down to the performance of individual candidates on the long list as they would each be put to the test and a short list of at least 4 candidates would emerge based on past practice in arriving at shortlists.

However, the Labour Party Selection Panel astounded local Labour Party members, councillors, Labour MPs and Ministers in only selecting two for the shortlist. By pitching the unknown Jo Sidhu against the veteran Virendra Sharma the selection panel were not only deciding who would be the Labour Party candidate, but were also in effect deciding who would be the next MP for Ealing Southall.

Most have concluded the short listing process was a scandal and should never be repeated. When the two names were announced it was a sad day for democracy in the Labour Party and for the people of Ealing Southall.

Meanwhile the Conservatives were coming up with their own strange selection process in deciding who would represent them. There were several local visible Sikhs with a history in the Conservative Party who appear to have been ignored. In selecting the new recruit and political lightweight, Tony Lit, the Conservatives were taking a huge risk in going for someone with no real political allegiances or pedigree. Embarrassingly most have become aware of this since seeing the infamous photograph released at the weekend. This has proved a costly mistake for not only the Conservative Party, but for those who defected from Labour who have been left in the political wilderness.

At the start of the campaign the defection of Labour councillors to the Conservatives put the Liberal Democrats on the back foot and the revelations about Tony Lit’s donation to Labour came too late for sufficient votes to switch to the Liberal Democrats to reduce or overturn the Labour majority. It would have been much more interesting between Labour and the Liberal Democrats if the run up to the by election had been more than the 3 weeks. The outcome may well have been different with Labour and the Conservatives still recovering from shooting themselves in the foot with their selections and showing contempt for the electorate of Ealing Southall.

What about the three independent turbaned Sikhs on the ballot paper? Kuldeep Singh Grewal and Dr Gulbash Singh withdrew after a few days and urged their supporters to vote Labour and Conservative respectively. Despite their withdrawal and a total absence of any campaigning – posters, leaflets, adverts, speeches, media interviews, web sites etc. they still received 87 and 92 votes respectively.

The third turbaned Sikh, Dr Jasdev Singh Rai, claimed from the outset he was in it to win, given around 25% of the constituents were Sikhs and his wider appeal to other communities. He unrealistically maintained this line along with those supporting him, right up until the result was announced in the early hours of this morning. Questions need to be asked why Dr Rai therefore only received 275 votes despite his extensive campaign under the slogan ‘No Party, Just People’.

The Ealing Southall by election has been one of the most controversial ever – divisive selections, defections, dirty politics, police investigation etc. No wonder the turnout was low and ordinary people want less and less to do with party politics. Hopefully, many have had their fingers burnt and learnt a few lessons.

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)