Hackney North & Stoke Newington

2015 Result:
Conservative: 7341 (14.7%)
Labour: 31357 (62.9%)
Lib Dem: 2492 (5%)
Green: 7281 (14.6%)
UKIP: 1085 (2.2%)
Others: 327 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 24016 (48.1%)

Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of the Hackney council area.

Main population centres: Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill, Dalston, Clapton.

Profile: A highly cosmopolitian and multi ethnic seat covering Stoke Newington, Clapton and Hackney Downs. This seat has one of the ten highest proportions of black residents, a significant Muslim population and also one of the highest Jewish populations because of the densely packed ultra-orthodox Hassidic Jewish community around Stamford Hill, one of the pockets of strength of the Conservative party in the seat, at least at local elections. Stamford Hill aside this is a Labour seat, there are the beginnings of gentrification and private house prices are rocketing, but this is mostly a seat of council and social housing, of estates, tower blocks, deprivation, high crime and drug problems.

Politics: Unsurprisingly this is a solid Labour seat and Diane Abbott increased her already healthy majority in 2015, pushing it to almost fifty percent.


Current MP
DIANE ABBOTT (Labour) Born 1953, Paddington. Educated at Harrow County Grammar School and Cambridge University. Former television researcher and press officer. Westminster councillor 1982-1986. First elected as MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington in 1987. Shadow minister for public health until 2013. Shadow internationla development secretary since 2015. She is a left winger and prior to joining the frontbench was a regular rebel against the Labour whip, opposing Iraq, foundation hospitals, top-up fees and 90 day detention - she also branched out into television and regularly appeared on the BBC`s week politics show This Week in a double act with Michael Portillo. In 2010 she contested the Labour leadership, finishing last.
Past Results
2010
Con: 6759 (15%)
Lab: 25553 (55%)
LDem: 11092 (24%)
GRN: 2133 (5%)
Oth: 924 (2%)
MAJ: 14461 (31%)
2005*
Con: 4218 (14%)
Lab: 14268 (49%)
LDem: 6841 (23%)
GRN: 2907 (10%)
Oth: 1146 (4%)
MAJ: 7427 (25%)
2001
Con: 4430 (15%)
Lab: 18081 (61%)
LDem: 4170 (14%)
GRN: 2184 (7%)
Oth: 756 (3%)
MAJ: 13651 (46%)
1997
Con: 5483 (17%)
Lab: 21110 (64%)
LDem: 3806 (12%)
Oth: 1909 (6%)
MAJ: 15627 (48%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
AMY GRAY (Conservative) Educated at Oxford University. Government affairs manager.
DIANE ABBOTT (Labour) See above.
SIMON DE DENEY (Liberal Democrat)
KEITH FRASER (UKIP)
HEATHER FINLAY (Green)
JONATHAN SILBERMAN (Communist League)
JON HOMAN (Animal Welfare)
Links
Comments - 348 Responses on “Hackney North & Stoke Newington”
  1. I agree that the tabloid/broadsheet distriction is a more important one than the left/right lean of the editorial. Certainly most broadsheets argued for a continuation of the coalition where as the tabloids advocated for a majority of one party or the other.

    I read the Guardian online but I tend to avoid opinion pieces unless it a a subject that interests me. I don’t particularly enjoy the subjective nature of opinion pieces but much prefer an objective or as close to coverage of the news. The Telegraph is relatively neutral in comparison to the Express maybe.

  2. “The studies I was referring where not done by Think Tanks rather Journalism and Media departments at various UK universities”

    Well that DEFINITELY makes the studies impartial then.

    I know the particular study to which you are referring (Cardiff, I believe), and their study was based on the number of stories rather than the more nuanced balance of content. Yes, there are generally more stories on the BBC relating to the government (whoever the government is at the time), but this is only natural as it’s the government more generally who are doing the work of governing and policymaking whereas the opposition will tend only to make the headlines if they make an important policy announcement.

    The devil is in the detail i.e. HOW the story is reported. “Government forced to defend…” is a negative angle of reporting implying that whatever the government has announced is unpopular/wrong/whatever, whereas “Government announces…” is usually more neutral/positive. However, both in the Cardiff study would be automatically “pro-government” as they reported on the government rather than the opposition.

    Just today on the BBC website there is a big piece about how the “Gig economy” is affecting the tax take and will cost the Treasury x billion quid. This in the same week when the deficit figures for October were reportedly better than expected due to, er, a record tax take.

    Either a lack of joined up thinking or innate bias, one could suggest?

  3. I’m amused that anyone can think that an person or organisation wanting to investigate a subject like ‘political bias in the media’ will be 100% independent and have no axe to grind.

  4. The most egregious example of BBC bias in recent months is surely the phrase “despite Brexit”, which seems to have crept into most reports on positive economic figures.

  5. I’ve been thinking about bias and I think it’s just that if people inhabit a physical and social bubble which is eg middle class and centre Left – particularly in London – it’s entirely possible that they just won’t encounter contrary views from people they respect. They won’t see a WWC cleaner and so all of that just reinforces their position that those holding contrary views must somehow be morally inferior, flawed or irrational.

    Gavin Esler just had some supposed ‘Cuba expert’ on from the LSE.

    She was praising Cuba & Castro (of course). Esler said ‘but what about the people who were locked up in sanatoriums for 50 years?’ She didn’t even respond to that and actually said, “But my Doctorate was in Cuba relations so I understand what went on.”

    Goon on Esler, he retorted straightaway, “but they were locked up, I visited them!”

    It reminded me of something else – earlier in the week I had to find where an event I was covering was being held. I found it on Eventbrite. On there, there’s countless events at universities. But it’s all Polly Toynbee, a Vegan Night for Asylum Seekers, Survive in a Brexit world etc and a lot of these have a panel of 4 academic speakers ie some actually count as taught lectures for undergrads or for CPD points for professionals.

    I now realise it isn’t Rivers10 & his age group’s fault, if this is the diet being fed.

    One event on Terrorism at the University of Liverpool (ie the original red brick and a Russell Group member – not an ex Poly) seriously states this:

    “Researchers must negotiate a minefield of mainstream analyses that have a persistent tendency to frame terrorism through the political-bias of certain Western states, wherein contemporary terrorist threats are viewed as aggressive, ideologically-motivated and exceptional.”

    What utter drivel!

    Er yes, all terrorist attacks are aggressive, 99% ideologically motivated and thankfully v rare.

    Let them try spouting that anti-host nation rhetoric in Iran, Russia or Cuba and see where it gets them.

    I should state that, of course, I don’t have a problem in anyone holding whatever views they want. But HE lecturers shouldn’t disguise that they are basically a union protecting and espousing their own rights and causes. I used to respect eg Drs & Profs as supposed experts in their fields, but I now realise (as I know 3 personally), that they held those views at age 18 and just stayed at uni too long and ended up with PhDs etc.

  6. The real Cuba (John Simpson) is food rationing of 1 bread roll per day:

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/11/cuba-really-like-fidel-castro/

  7. I’m glad we haven’t degenerated into a massive argument on Cuba, but the Corbyn statement concerned me. I know those are his personal views, but I’d hoped that his duties as Leader of the Opposition would make him tone it down a bit.

    I don’t care if your stated intent is left wing or right wing or anything else, any system of government that requires putting your opponents in jail, lobotomising ‘deviants’ or summary execution is morally bankrupt.

    “Cuba trained good doctors” is the new “East Germany had universal childcare”. Maybe, but there’s nothing to be gained from icing a cake nicely if eating it will kill you.

  8. Lancs
    “I now realise it isn’t Rivers10 & his age group’s fault, if this is the diet being fed”

    With respect that is unbelievably patronising, I have my own opinion of Castro that I have never even shared here so for one I think its foolish to make presumptions about what I believe.

    Also Lancs you are flowering it up quite nicely but you are essentially saying “these people are ill informed by biased academics and supposed experts, their all wrong and my set of beliefs is the correct one” but if I said that about any issue you’d rightfully object and claim I’m being deluded, what gives me the right to be high arbiter over what is the “correct” opinion? The same applies to yourself.

    I’m not going to get dragged into a debate on Castro and besides this applies to most any subject but all I’d say is trying to warp reality to make out like the media is awash with pro Castro propaganda is silly, some of the coverage (particularly in the US) has been if anything overly critical glossing over far too much of history and fixating on the negatives. With this in mind I’d ask you to accept that while your opinion is valid it is in no way the “correct” view and its certainly getting more than its fair share of air time while the opinions of others are just as valid and probably just as reasoned as your own. Saying otherwise makes you guilty of exactly what you are accusing others off.

  9. I don’t know why anyone is even remotely surprised about this. Jeremy Corbyn is a not too bright, authoritarian extremist who is unfit to hold public office so of course he’s going to praise Castro, news at 11…

  10. Exactly. Corbyn’s actions no longer surprise me, nor will his taking Labour down to its worst defeat in decades in 2020…

  11. My wife’s mum & dad are first generation Cuban Americans and to say that they are dancing on Castro’s grave today would be an understatement

  12. Pepps/Con Estimate
    Have either of you even read or seen Corbyn’s statement on Castro?

    Compare it to some Conservative equivalents for example many Tories including Thatcher’s statement on Augusto Pinochet when he died and frankly this is all once again silly if not downright hypocritical on your side’s part.

  13. @Rivers There is a critical difference. Thatcher didn’t support Pinochet’s behaviour/ideas parse. Sure she along with America helped prop up his regime and gave him political asylum because she believed rightly or wrongly that it was in Britain’s and by greater extension the world’s best interest to play nice with certain very unpleasant people as they were perceived as the lesser of two evils compare to communism. Jeremy Corbyn on the other hand thinks that Castro who was an authoritarian dictator who oppressed and impoverished the people of his nation was an amazing leader, comrade and revolutionary. He’s not being nice to Cuba for diplomatic reasons or out of international politeness he’s being nice because he actually agrees wholeheartedly with Castro’s ideology and actions as dictator of Cuba making Corbyn guess what an authoritarian extremist.

  14. Oh and Rivers it proves my other point too about Corbyn being extremely thick. If he was even of average intelligence he would realise that his association to foreign extremists is one of his biggest weakness and giving the Tories more ammunition to throw at him come election time might not be a good idea lol.

  15. Sensible leftists don’t get involved in debates about whether this left leaning authoritarian regime is better or worse than that right leaning dictatorship. Politically there is very little upside. Those who agree with you will vote for you anyway, while those you need to win over to avoid political irrelevance are unlikely to be impressed. It’s the equivalent of a Tory arguing about whether Zimbabwe was better off under Ian Smith than it is under Mugabe.

    Corbyn isn’t a sensible leftist though.

    Arguably the last Lib Dem MP for Chesterfield lost his seat partly due to comments he made about Cuba; something along the lines of “fair enough they imprison people for political offences, but they do have excellent dental care”. He lost as a of Tory voters concluded there was no point voting tactically for him in order to defeat a Labour candidate who was on many issues to the right of him.

  16. For the record Corbyn said that “Castro (note this next part) for all his faults of which there where many) was (insert various lines of praise that are irrefutable facts or general positive sentiments with no real meaning. Unless you are ideologically opposed to Castrol nothing he said was controversial, it was identical to what Tories have done in the past re other dictators except at least Corbyn had the decency to acknowledge Castro’s many drawbacks.

  17. Pepps
    Pinochet died in 2006, 16 years after the end of the cold war and his presidency. He was an absolute irrelevance on the global stage and was certainly no longer of use in combating Communism. Yet Thatcher and Tories abound not only praised him to a far greater extent than Corbyn has Castro they offered him effing asylum!!! Yet this is acceptable and necessary in your book? I’m not even saying it isn’t I’m just saying having a go at Corbyn over Castro but excusing Tories over Pinochet is literal textbook hypocrisy.

  18. I wonder if Thatcher felt an obligation to him as he’d been a good friend to Britain during her time as PM, most notably his support during the Falklands War

  19. Pinochet’s Chile didn’t do all that much to help Britain during the Falkland’s war, I think Thatcher’s admiration was simply down to the fact that Pinochet was an extreme right neoliberal wack job.

  20. If only there were more sensible people who don’t engage in the top trumps of dictators

  21. Rivers10 – age, experience and working in the private sector quite simply.

    That’s aimed at the 30-year-old supposed experts ie HE lecturers more than yourself, incidentally.

  22. Jeremy Corbyn who wants to abolish all the nuclear defences in his own country lauds evil communist dictator who tried to persuade Russia to drop nuclear bombs on the US. Yes that makes perfect sense.

  23. On Pinochet

    – for all his faults he was a genuine friend of Britain who helped us in our hour of need, Castro was a mortal enemy of every man woman and child in this country, to the extent that we would all have been nuked had he had his way

    – Pinochet stepped down voluntarily and enabled a transition to stable democracy. Chile today is a successful free western democracy in a very unstable continent and has been for 25 years. Cuba remains a total basket case stuck in the dark ages

  24. I do wish young lefties would take a break from reading Marxist textbooks and do some travelling in the FSU. Amongst people old enough to remember those times you will not find many with a good word to say about communism – that’s putting it politely.

  25. My experience is that’s not entirely the case, but varies very much depending on which country you’re in, and who you are speaking to.

  26. Really? That’s not my experience whatsoever.

    Over 20 odd years I’ve travelled quite extensively in the former eastern bloc. Just off the top of my head I can recall visiting Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Czechia and China, several of these countries up to 10 times. Only in China have I ever spoken to anyone with anything good to say about communism, and that can easily be explained by the fact that the system officially remains in place there. In the Former USSR and eastern Europe people I have met have been viscerally anti-communist almost to a man. I worked for a Russian billionaire for several years and had much the same experience from his organisation right the way from top to bottom.

  27. I’d assume you get a few people with some nostalgia, in the same way you get people here nostalgic for the remembered 1950s of their childhood, but they wouldn’t actually be happier if they did go back.

    Some of my housemate’s relatives were fairly high up in the Stasi, and I would imagine they’d be interesting to talk to. Unfortunately they disappeared to escape justice after the wall fell, so no way of knowing how much they believed it all.

    I’ve only been to Czechia and Hungary of the former Eastern Bloc, but from having read a fair bit opinions vary slightly depending on where you were. Ceausescu’s Romania was more cartoonishly villainous than, say, East Germany, but all were oppressive, drab and poor.

    The last book I read estimated real supporters of the Polish government by 1989 as maybe 3-4% of the population. That’s enough to keep a government running on fumes, but it’s amazing it lasted as long as it did.

  28. “Ceausescu’s Romania was more cartoonishly villainous than, say, East Germany”

    Though Romania and Yugoslavia were major tourism destinations for USSR citizens in the old days so the anti-communist views there were generally a little bit more tempered than you would find in eg Poland.

    Incidentally I forgot that I’ve also been to Albania. Another great advert for cold war communism.

    Praising old school communists will not help Labour at all with the hundreds of thousands of east Europeans now appearing on the electoral rolls for general elections (ironically Brexit is accelerating this, as people scramble to obtain citizenship). The Labour party of Attlee, Bevin, Callaghan and Healey would be appalled by the views of Corbyn and McDonnell.

  29. I wish that people on the right didn’t think that they needed to defend Pinochet or Thatcher’s attitude towards him. I wish that people on the left didn’t think that they needed to defend Castro or Corbyn’s attitude towards him.

    Most of all, I wish that people would stop committing the tu quoque fallacy. “Ah, but your side XYZ…” is a much less effective response to someone condemning a dictator than saying “Yes, I agree, they were awful. This is one area where we agree, because we both like democracy and freedom.”

  30. Bill Patrick being very sensible there.

  31. Attlee was smart – he would agree with the Soviet Union when he had to (e.g. on the desirability of a planned economy) and otherwise was a Cold War Warrior. He knew that it was in the interests of both Britain and the Labour party for him to draw a thick red line between the mainstream UK left and communists. A key part of his success was convincing the UK public that, contra Churchill, you could have socialism without firing squads and repression.

    Praising Castro is good for far-left groups in the UK, by normalising their politics and heroes, but it does precious little good for Labour or their supporters.

  32. HH
    I’m not defending Castro but your desire to defend Pinochet says a lot. I could reel off quite the list of Pinochet’s failures just as I could Castro’s, I agree with Bill totally when I say both should be condemned less so for their economic records more for their human rights abuses. This is precisely my point, having a go at Corbyn for offering quite modest praise of Castro, resorting to reducto ad absurdum on Castro’s legacy then lumping praise in droves on Pinochet is out and out hypocrisy if not plain ridiculous.

  33. Also HH on your experiences of the Eastern Bloc I’d be curious how many of these supposed haters of communism were living in poverty when you met them, the losers from the transition rather than the successful businesspeople that make up the success stories?

    I don’t claim to have your experience visiting these countries (though I’ve been to Poland and the Czech Republic not to mention former East Germany) but what experience I do have tells the opposite story to what you say. The few people I have breached the subject with or heard it discussed either look back with nostalgia and miss certain aspects if not out and out claim things were better back then. Frankly on most every measurable statistic Russia has went backwards since 1990. There is actually a good documentary series by the BBC called the “Lost World of Communism” on Youtube that I’d recommend everyone have a look at, it offers a very fair and balanced perspective highlighting the good and the bad.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dFdKjhgt3k

    Again I’m not defending those regimes, my criticism are frankly endless I just wish people on the right didn’t feel the need to denigrate every aspect of them when they clearly had their good aspects and the transition to Capitalism has been at best a bit shaky at worst a humanitarian catastrophe.

  34. It’s pretty hard to speak to the truly poor and downtrodden unless you speak the language but ordinary business people as well as the mega rich ones are exceptionally anti communist. I agree with what Bill said actually and I’m not a defender of Pinochet. I do think though that comparing him and Castro is misplaced. As Bill says it would be good for us to try to avoid this whattaboutary.

  35. HH
    Re speaking to the poor in the Eastern bloc that is undoubtedly true, I have never spoken to anybody seriously poor and those whom I spoke I’d describe as “lower middle class” and I was only able to speak to them due to quite unique circumstances. But you can surely see that the business community you converse with are of course going to be assiduously anti communist, their very way of life wouldn’t not be possible otherwise. Its probably even worse than gauging British opinion on Thatcher based solely on what folks in Surrey say ignoring voices from Liverpool or the NE.

    As for this back and forth on dictators or as Matt correctly put it “Dictators Top Trumps” I totally agree its pointless, I was hoping to avoid the topic of Castro’s death entirely but others on this site insisted on having a pop at Corbyn over it so here we are…

  36. The Communist Party is Russia’s second-largest party (albeit dwarfed by United Russia), which suggests there is some residual support for communism in at least one ex-communist country.

    My experience of travelling in the former Eastern bloc and ex-Yugoslavia is that most people are more concerned with the politics of today than nostalgia for the past. For example, I last visited Croatia in 2012, and most people then were talking about the country’s impending accession to the EU and how that would affect them.

    In those countries I’ve visited that still retain Communist governance (China, Vietnam, Laos), people are understandably reluctant to talk politics with strangers, especially foreign ones.

  37. I should add to the above that I could only speak to people who had a decent command of English, who in these countries tend to be younger. Most would have had only hazy memories of Communism, if any.

  38. There was a report on Radio 4’s lunchtime news today about how teenagers in a town in Macedonia made lots of money during the American presidential campaign by posting fake news on Facebook about the candidates. The fake stories were apparently so popular with people in America because it fed their prejudices of what they thought about the candidates to begin with.

  39. I’d perhaps hazard that the communist party’s continued existence in Russia is less to do with residuel support from the Soviet Union and more to do with the complete lack of a competent opposition in Russia. There is this great line ‘in America if you lose the support of your people you lose the election, in Russia if you lose the support of the people there will be blood in the street’. Your argument holds true if there was actually democracy in Russia. If there was I expect you’d see real democratic parties competing for office rather than Putin vs. Soviet throw backs warming the benches.

  40. On the subject of the communists in Russia its as Matt says a sham opposition party as is all opposition parties in Russia. They are basically just wings of the United Russia party that occasionally propose amendments and make disapproving noises so it looks like there is an actual opposition and thus a functioning democracy while in reality they just do everything Putin and UR tell them to do. Indeed one great little example of this was on the vote to annex Crimea, all bar one elected rep voted with UR and supported it, the one who opposed it actually had to flee the country a few days later.

    A basic checklist of Russian opposition parties.

    1) All real opposition parties are banned outright.
    2) A handful of “nuisance” parties are allowed to stand but treated immensely unfairly by the media, police and electoral authorities so they never get anywhere electorally.
    3) Those that remain are UR puppets totally under Putin’s thumb, they are basically the same party.

  41. @Rivers I forgot to reply to this:

    ”That isn’t surprising amongst the public at large where UKIP’s position probably goes down well but if the respondents were wholly made up of metropolitan luvvies they’d struggle to break 5% in these categories”

    But metropolitan luvvies are only a tiny proportion of the electorate including in the online world. Read the Guardian comment section for example on economic policies it tends to be fairly supportive of Corbyn but on things like nationalism, refugees, culture, immigration, Islam etc. it is pretty right wing. Corbynite social policies of the type that you subscribe to are chronically unpopular even amongst Labour voters. The average person who spends their time doing these quizzes on line likely be moderately UKIPPY on things like immigration because the average member of the public is extremely UKKIPPY. For example if you did a scientific study on people’s actual view of the party’s immigration policy you would get something in the region of: UKIP: 55%, Tory: 25%, Lab: 15%, LD: 3%, Grn: 2%.

    In order to make this survey credible you would have to weight based on age, class, income, gender, race etc. and if you did this the survey results would shift dramatically to the right on every issue

    ”Well this isn’t scientific but I’ve seen quite a few vids suggesting otherwise, with confirmed self confessed Tory voters agreeing almost entirely with Lab policy and disagreeing with Tory policy.”

    I take it you have never actually been to or spent much time in Surrey or any other of the home counties? I have lived in a place not too dissimilar to Surrey all my life and I can tell you categorically that people (both the affluent middle class and the Essex/white van man type) agree far more with Tory policy than Labour ones. A few videos done by left groups with an agenda whether that be editing out responses that don’t fit the narrative or asking the questions in a loaded way such as to ensure a certain response are not in any way credible. Things that you mention like nationalisation are popular amongst voters even Tory ones nationwide so sure you would be able to find Tory voters in Surrey who support it but it would be far, far less popular there than it is nationwide. I have to disagree with inheritance tax cuts though, that is something which virtually every Tory voter from the home counties passionately supports (true mostly because it serves there own self interest). Council house sell offs are another thing that these groups of people are heavily in favourable of (so much so that it makes me look like a sceptic).

  42. @HHemmelig I think it very much depends where you go. Certainly, in Central Asia, there seemed to me to be more support for communism, and a feeling that the Soviet period was a relatively good time. Then again, if you end up with leaders like Karimov or Niyazov, then maybe the likes of Gorbachev or even Brezhnev don’t seem all that bad.

    I think there’s often a significant difference between views in Eastern European countries, where I think there’s more of a sense that communist rule was also a foreign occupation, and some parts of the former Soviet Union, where that doesn’t apply. Also, countries which had a relatively smooth democratic transition, and which have moved to a market economy are much less likely to look back fondly, while those that have ended up with autocrats ruling over failing economies possibly see the Soviet period as not all bad.

    There are significant differences depending who you speak to. I’d agree that professional people who come into contact with foreigners through work are going to be very anti-communist as a rule. I think older people. and people who work in the public sectors don’t always share those views. Obviously, there are some places, even in the FSU, which are very anti-communist. Georgia is one, and I’d guess the Baltic states, at least outside the Russian minorities, would also be similar.

  43. Rivers10 – but HH isn’t being hypocritical at all or ridiculous. In fact he explained the position very well.

    You’re doing precisely what Tarik Ali did on Newsnight. Fulminating at the word Pinochet and glossing over Castro torturing people.

    But it is always amusing how people fled China, Cuba etc and yet the far Left here continues to be in awe for their ultimate system.

  44. What I always say to people who hold up such countries as somehow ‘better’ states than the UK is “try living there!”.

  45. This constituency is currently in second place as far as signatures on the Trump e-peition are concerned, just behind Bristol West, although I think that has an unusually large electorate.

  46. The usual suspects, of course.

    I don’t really know what the government’s website is for – the most successful 0.01% of petitions get “considered for debate” – some of these do not even get debated – and then the government decides not to act further. It doesn’t really hold the government accountable in any way.

    The main use for it is the comedy value of some of the more obscure petitions:

    “Could the government please start flights to Sirigu in Romania from Birmingham airport? We are going there this summer and it’s just not convenient for us to fly from Luton.”

    “Could the government please lift the veil of secrecy over the evidence of the existence of aliens which is being hidden in Area 51?”

    And inevitably: “Could the government please end these fake petitions that are ruining society?”

  47. Indeed.

    It’s always the same handful of liberal, intellectual seats which have been quite volatile (typically swinging to the Lib Dems in 2005 and back to Labour 2015):

    Bristol West; Cambridge; Hornsey & Wood Green; Manchester, Withington etc.

    Obviously the ‘hipster’ seats like Brighton, Pavilion and Hove as well.

  48. A slightly odd ‘little boy lost’ voice from Abbott in her tv interview today, which reminded me of a certain annoying guy who Miliband courted just before the GE.

    It’s led to the unfortunate Guardian headline, “Staff won’t let me out alone” next to a picture of the MP.

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