>Polling day in Oldham East and Saddleworth

>It is polling day today in Oldham East and Saddleworth. The election is having to be re-run after former Labour incumbent Phil Woolas’ election was declared void by a special election court.

Labour have been trying to play up the by-election as some kind of referendum on the coalition, and in particular Liberal Democrat involvement in the coalition. As well as showing once again that a supposedly ‘progressive’ party still can’t get their head around pluralist politics, this is yet another grave tactical error from Ed Miliband and company. With a strong, and clearly popular, local candidate in Elwyn Watkins, and a lack of confidence in a MiliE led Labour party that just won’t shift, there is every possibility that the people of Oldham East & Saddleworth will vote ‘yes’ to the Lib Dems in Government, and give them a 58th MP  today.

The polling data coming that has come out of Oldham East and Saddleworth in recent days still has Labour ahead. Ed Miliband though really needs something to kick-start his leadership. He has hardly set the political world alight since his narrow, questionable, victory over his brother. If the coalition, and the Liberal Democrats, are as unpopular as he would like us to believe, anything other than a substantial victory will show Ed Miliband exactly what people think of his ‘new generation’.

Nick Clegg on the other hand is embattled, supposedly the country’s least popular politician, the great yellow (orange,) hope gone wrong. The Liberal Democrats didn’t win the seat in May, although only just, and the nonsense narrative just laid out, which is being peddled by many, says they shouldn’t win it toady. However, the residents of Oldham East & Saaddleworth will have been shown clearly what the party can achieve locally, and is now achieving nationally. Given many of them supported the party in May, is it not more likely that they will back the Liberal Democrats now that they are actually delivering on some of the things these voters supported? Such a victory, which is very much a possibility, would show support both for a strong local candidate, and for the Liberal Democrats being at the forefront of decision making in Government.

That said, the result won’t be the game changer that some are making it out to be back in the Westminster bubble. It will though give a nice new year kick off to whoever is victorious. A few days nice headlines, a bit of a positive buzz among activists for MPs heading back to their constituencies for the weekend, a slight shift in the narrative, but nothing Earth shattering in reality.

As for the people of Oldham East and Saddleworth, the people that actually matter in all this, who have been caught in the eye of a political storm for the best part of 2 years now, they must just be glad it’s all coming to an end.


One Comment to “>Polling day in Oldham East and Saddleworth”

  1. >Delivered on what things these voters supported? Trident? Tuition fees? Taxing the rich? I have voted Labour today.

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