Honest Reporting?

Listen to any media report of the elections and you will hear the same story: UKIP have made huge gains at the expense of the mainstream parties. It is the same as the election campaign itself where the only coverage was:

  1. Nigel Farage
  2. People pointing out that Nigel Farage and other UKIP members are mad, bad and/or dangerous
  3. Reports explaining that UKIP have dominated the election campaign
  4. Ed Miliband forgetting someone’s name

The actual results so far tell a different story:


Using simple mathematical techniques it is pretty obvious that Labour has made the most gains as well as winning the most seats. I know that people voting for common sense policies that will help address the problems ordinary people are suffering isn’t as exciting as large numbers of people voting for a party whose party leader won’t defend their policies as they are so obviously bonkers – but now the voting is over how about some proper commentary?


5 thoughts on “Honest Reporting?

  1. Link now works!
    On the topic itself, you are right, of course, but the anger at the unfairness of the Coalition’s policies looks as though it is not especially benefiting Labour – and ex Lib-Dems who would perhaps have been returning ‘home’ to Labour are instead likely to peel off to the Greens. Certainly, for the MEP elections, but – far more worryingly for Labour – because of First Past the Post – in the 2014 General Election as well.
    Just as Tories are resisting an accommodation with UKIP, even though it would benefit them, Labour is in danger of overlooking an accommodation with the Greens. For example, who really wants to see Caroline Lucas be the victim of a Tory gain, but that’s what could happen.

    • I have long supported proportional representation but the General Election will be fought on first past the post. Given the Lib Dem manifesto I had assumed that a progressive government would be possible after the 2010 election – but apparently they didn’t believe what they said. Bit unfair to expect Labour to stand aside for Caroline Lucas; after all she captured the seat from Labour in 2010! Unless Plaid Cymru and the Greens are committing to support a Labour Government I think we have to assume the worst.

      Our focus however needs to be on convincing people who are angry with the Government but not convinced by Labour (and mostly reluctant to vote rather than voting for UKIP). The next election will be won or lost street by street in conversations with ordinary people. It is tiring but necessary work!

  2. Tal, I hope you don’t actually believe the analysis you’ve just posted.
    It’s as specious as the Tories pointing out (correctly) that they’re still the largest party of local government.
    What matters is change. In the marginals.
    Your post is the sort of complacency/denial that will definitely lose Labour the next election. According to the numbers on BBC, Labour are up 3% on 2010 in the marginals they need to win. They’re 10% down on 2012 local elections!
    Pretty disappointing showing. Not good enough a year before a general election.

    • Most news coverage implies that UKIP “won” the elections yesterday and while we don’t know what happened in the euros yet, this is factually inaccurate as it is Labour which “won” the local elections so far declared with 1360 seats . Change does matter and I have no problem with anyone reporting huge UKIP gains – but again they have gained 137 seats so far whereas Labour gained 231 seats so far. Claiming that just because Labour didn’t do as well as 2012 (one of our best performances for many years) it was a bad night for Labour is specious – we gained on 2010 (the last time the same seats were fought) and many of those gains did come in seats we will be targeting at the General Election. I am not at all complacent – we have a long way to go to win a majority in May 2015. Anybody who wants Labour to win needs to think about what they personally can do to make a difference in terms of persuading people who have been hurt by this coalition’s policies that Labour can and will make things better for ordinary people.

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