Witney

2015 Result:
Conservative: 35201 (60.3%)
Labour: 10046 (17.2%)
Lib Dem: 3953 (6.8%)
Green: 2970 (5.1%)
UKIP: 5352 (9.2%)
NHA: 616 (1.1%)
Independent: 12 (0%)
Others: 238 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 25155 (43.1%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Oxfordshire. Contains the whole of the West Oxfordshire council area.

Main population centres: Witney, Carterton, Woodstock, Chipping Norton, Burford, Charlbury.

Profile: Large rural seat in the West of Oxfordshire, including the Oxfordshire part of the Cotwolds. This is the affluent rural England of the "Chipping Norton set" (the name given to the media to the social circle around David Cameron and his wife, including Elizabeth Murdoch, Matthew Freud, Rebekah Brooks and Charlie Dunstone). There is agriculture here, but other important parts of the local economy are high-tech motorsport, the large RAF base at Brize Norton and tourism from the Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace.

Politics: Generally a very safe Conservative seat, made even more so by the extra support party leaders normally enjoy at the ballot box. The seat has been won by the Conservatives since its creation in 1983, originally being held by former Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd. Between 1999 and 2001 it was briefly represented by Labour when the then MP Shaun Woodward defected to Labour after being sacking for opposing Section 28. Since 2001 it has been represented by David Cameron.


Current MP
DAVID CAMERON (Conservative) Born 1966, London. Educated at Eton and Oxford University, where he was a member of the infamous Bullingdon club. Former Conservative party researcher, special advisor to Norman Lamont from 1992-1993 and Michael Howard 1993-1994, and director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Television from 1994-2001. Contested Stafford 1997. First elected as MP for Witney in 2001. Vice-Chairman of the Conservative party 2003-2004, local government spokesman 2004, head of policy co-ordination 2004-2005, shadow education secretary 2005. Leader of the Conservative party since 2005, Prime Minister since 2010. David Cameron was promoted to shadow education secretary after the 2005 election, being seen as Howard`s preferred choice as successor. His speech at the 2005 Conservative party conference, and a lacklustre speech by the then frontrunner David Davis saw him become the favourite and he was elected leader of the Conservative party in December 2005, despite allegations of drug use surfacing during the campaign. As leader of the Conservative party Cameron sought to rebrand the Conservative party, making the environment a central plank of policy, pushing for the selection of female candidates and largely avoiding traditional Conservative issues such as immigration. This lead to large Conservative leads mid-term, but these fell back as the 2010 election approached, particularly after the leader debates which saw Liberal Democrat support surge. The Conservatives fell short of a majority, and Cameron became Prime Minister at the head of a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. He is married to Samantha Cameron and the couple have four children - their oldest son Ivan was severely disabled and died in 2009, their youngest daughter Florence was born after Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 33973 (59%)
Lab: 7511 (13%)
LDem: 11233 (19%)
GRN: 2385 (4%)
Oth: 2667 (5%)
MAJ: 22740 (39%)
2005*
Con: 26571 (49%)
Lab: 11845 (22%)
LDem: 12415 (23%)
GRN: 1682 (3%)
Oth: 1356 (3%)
MAJ: 14156 (26%)
2001
Con: 22153 (45%)
Lab: 14180 (29%)
LDem: 10000 (20%)
GRN: 1100 (2%)
Oth: 1770 (4%)
MAJ: 7973 (16%)
1997
Con: 24282 (43%)
Lab: 17254 (31%)
LDem: 11202 (20%)
Oth: 1401 (2%)
MAJ: 7028 (12%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
DAVID CAMERON (Conservative) See above.
DUNCAN ENRIGHT (Labour) Educated at Oxford University. Publisher. West Oxfordshire councillor since 2012.
ANDREW GRAHAM (Liberal Democrat) Born Birmingham. Teacher and playwright. East Hertfordshire councillor 1995-2011. Contested Clacton by-election 2014.
SIMON STRUTT (UKIP) Contested Buckingham 2010 as a Cut the Deficit candidate. Contested South East region 2014 European Elections for UKIP.
STUART MACDONALD (Green) Born 1946, Glasgow. Educated at Hitchin Boys Grammar and Cambridge University. Professor. Contested Witney 2010.
COLIN BEX (Wessex Regionalist) Architect. Contested Windsor and Maidenhead 1979, 1983, Portsmouth North 1997, Wells 2001, Dorset South 2005, Witney 2010, Eastleigh 2012 by-election.
CLIVE PEEDELL (NHA) Born Botley. Oncologist.
DEEK JACKSON (Land Party) Comedian. Contested Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath 2010.
VIVIEN SAUNDERS (Reduce VAT in Sport) Born 1946, Sutton. Educated at Nonsuch County High and London University. Golf club owner and former British Open Champion. Awarded the OBE in 1997 for services to golf.
CHRIS TOMPSON (Independent)
NATHAN HANDLEY (No description)
BOBBY SMITH (Give me back Elmo)
Links
Comments - 2,062 Responses on “Witney”
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  1. Result for the 3 Witney divisions: (2 Con, 1 Lab)

    Con: 3,021 (39.0%)
    UKIP: 1,865 (24.1%)
    Lab: 1,834 (23.7%)
    Green: 671 (8.7%)
    LD: 359 (4.6%)

  2. Possible MRLP gain?

  3. Green vote has been increasing here, and the trends would suggest holding the deposit and continuing to advance, but I really don’t understand why- being something of a Tory stronghold and seat of Mr Cameron. Especially in comparison to the other party vote shares, I was surprised at their vote share- surely with only 40% of vote shared between so many parties, their share should be lower than in most of places, yet is 3 times higher or more! Is there something I’m missing here?

  4. List of televised declrations of seats at the 1992 General Election- (By BBC (and regional), ITV (and regional) or other television companies) which I have found confirmation of online from various websites-

    1. Sunderland South
    2. Sunderland North
    3. Torbay
    4. Basildon
    5. Guildford
    6. Cheltenham
    7. Battersea
    8. Putney
    9. Banff and Buchan
    10. Southampton Itchen
    11. Oxford East
    12. Swindon
    13. Wolverhampton North East
    14. Hyndburn
    15. Kingston-upon-Thames
    16. Bath
    17. Hereford
    18. Ayr
    19. North Antrim
    20. Truro
    21. Falmouth and Camborne
    22. Hampstead and Highgate
    23. Galloway and Upper Nithsdale
    24. Huntingdon
    25. Islwyn
    26. Yeovil
    27. Brecon and Radnorshire
    28. Wallasey
    29. Greenwich
    30. Woolwich
    31. City of York
    32. Rushcliffe
    33. Belfast South
    34. Batley and Spen
    35. Berwick-upon-Tweed
    36. Liverpool Mossley Hill
    37. Kensington
    38. Bolton North East
    39. Bury North
    40. Stirling
    41. Monklands East
    42. Monklands West
    43. Glasgow Govan
    44. Copeland
    45. Dunfermline East
    46. Coventry South East
    47. Coventry South West
    48. Darlington
    49. Lewisham East
    50. Lewisham West
    51. Luton South
    52. North Down
    53. Portsmouth South
    54. Rossendale and Darwen

    There are probably many others that were recorded and shown on BBC/ITV regional news. But they are all I can find for the moment- Most of them from You Tube, though one I found elsewhere- Brecon and Radnorshire, from the tribute to Richard Livsey on the BBC News website.

  5. Some of them were only for a few seconds like Southampton Itchen on the BBC’s programme.

  6. I’d be interested to get hold of a copy of Sky’s 1992 election show. It would have been the first one they covered since they launched in 1989.

  7. List of televised declarations of seats at the 1997 General Election- (By BBC (and regional), ITV (and regional) or other television companies) which I have found confirmation of online from various websites-

    1. Sunderland South
    2. Hamilton South
    3. Torbay
    4. Sedgefield
    5. Yeovil
    6. Huntingdon
    7. Southport
    8. Harrogate and Knaresborough
    10. Braintree
    11. Shipley
    12. Bristol West
    13. Galloway and Upper Nithsdale
    14. Falmouth and Camborne
    15. Livingston
    16. Belfast West
    17. Mid Ulster
    18. Eastwood
    19. Edinburgh East and Mussleburgh
    20. Edinburgh West
    21. Edinburgh Pentlands
    22. Glasgow Govan
    23. Dunfermline East
    24. South West Norfolk
    25. Norwich North
    26. Battersea
    27. Putney
    28. Stirling
    29. Portsmouth North
    30. Portsmouth South
    31. Berwick-upon-Tweed
    32. Brecon and Radnorshire
    33. St Ives
    34. Basildon
    35. Hartlepool
    36. Rushcliffe
    37. Enfield Southgate
    38. Mitcham and Morden
    39. Bury North
    40. Exeter
    41. Stevenage
    42. Ayr
    43. Birmingham Edgbaston
    44. Birmingham Selly Oak
    45. Cheltenham
    46. South Derbyshire
    47. Brent North
    48. Gedling
    49. Ynys Mon
    50. Clwyd West
    51. Dumfries
    52. Richmond (Yorks)
    53. Richmond Park
    54. Winchester
    55. Wolverhampton South West
    56. Welwyn Hatfield

    Again, there were probably many others. In fact given there were so many Labour gains in 1997 I wouldn’t be surprised if several declarations were shown in all the regional news election roundups all over the UK that night.

  8. ”Some of them were only for a few seconds like Southampton Itchen on the BBC’s programme.”

    Yes that is correct. In fact that one was remarkable in that the BBC actually managed to cram the result in in about 15 seconds or something- Although given the Lib Dem candidate was read out last alphabetically, that might have helped.

    There were others in 1992 that the BBC showed but only briefly- Wallasey (the briefest of the lot I think), Monklands West and Liverpool Mossley Hill, for example. Then there were others where they had just missed the result so only showed the acceptance speech (Monklands East, Dunfermline East and Banff and Buchan) to name but a few.

    In case you’re interested Andy the following results I found on the ITN coverage that you uploaded that the BBC missed were City Of York, Swindon, Batley and Spen, Copeland, Belfast East, Ayr, Bolton North East, Bury North, and Coventry South East.

  9. Jack Cunningham’s Copeland seat must have been declared on ITN because as a prominent Labour frontbencher I suppose the fact he also sat in a highly marginal seat must have brought him to the wider attention of the national press at the time.

  10. Copeland is a low swing seat most of the time, but the core Labour vote is enough for them to hold on in the worst years.

  11. As a right wing Labour MP who supported nuclear power that may have helped him hold off any danger in 1983 though

  12. Some seats seem never to attract the TV cameras despite being interesting constituencies most of the time.

    Brentford & Isleworth is an example. I can’t remember any TV declarations from there, although I think there was a brief broadcast from there at the start of the evening in February or October 1974.

    Streatham is another — there is a clip of the 2010 result on YouTube, but it wasn’t from a TV source.

    In fact there are quite a lot of declarations from 2010 on YouTube from people who recorded it on their phones, or alternatively put on YouTube by local councils or newspapers.

  13. Another phenomenon is where a TV programme has an initial outside broadcast from a constituency at the start of the evening and doesn’t return there.

    An example is Derbyshire South in 1992 on BBC. Tom Mangold was there as the BBC’s reporter and he did a brief broadcast at about 10:30pm but there wasn’t time to return there, I think because Neil Kinnock’s declaration was being shown at the time.

  14. That’s true. There were several seats in 1992 where the BBC could have shown declarations but didn’t- ISTR also that Mitcham and Morden, Ynys Mon and Ross, Cromarty and Skye were other seats mentioned early on with regards to outside broadcasts. And in the real knife-edge marginals like Ayr, Hayes and Harlington and Bristol North West, I would have thought given the narrowness of the results there that the BBC cameras would have been down these places like a flash- to have seen H&H being declared in 92 would have been fascinating given the enthralling battle that went on between Dicks and McDonnell.

  15. I think the strangest declaration I’ve ever seen in terms of the design of the stage was probably Kensington and Chelsea in 2001- the platform looked very elegant with a brick wall pattern, and it had plants in either corner as well I think. Of course given Michael Portillo had a safe Tory seat, I suppose the plush nature of the stage wasn’t all that surprising.

  16. List of televised declarations of seats at the 2001 General Election- (By BBC (and regional), ITV (and regional) or other television companies) which I have found confirmation of online from various websites-

    1. Sunderland South
    2. Sunderland North
    3. Torbay
    4. Wyre Forest
    5. Banff and Buchan
    6. Ynys Mon
    7. St Helens South
    8. Leicester East
    9. Kensington and Chelsea
    10. South Dorset
    11. Upminster
    12. Romford
    13. Enfield Southgate
    14. Oldham East and Saddleworth
    15. Sedgefield
    16. Richmond (Yorks)
    17. Ross, Skye and Inverness West
    18. Teignbridge
    19. Kingston upon Hull East
    20. Hartlepool
    21. Romsey
    22. Hamilton South
    23. Eastwood
    24. Portsmouth North
    25. Portsmouth South
    26. Ayr
    27. East Ham
    28. Rushcliffe
    29. Henley
    30. Birmingham Edgbaston
    31. Galloway and Upper Nithsdale
    32. Devizes
    33. Folkestone and Hythe
    34. Dunfermline East
    35. Edinburgh Pentlands
    36. Edinburgh Central
    37. Brentwood and Ongar
    38. Newbury

  17. I have ITN’s 2001 show on video but it’s difficult to find the time to put it on YouTube. Takes ages to get it in the right format and then uploading takes a long time with a relatively slow connection. My average connection speed at the moment is about 1.5 Mps.

  18. ”I have ITN’s 2001 show on video but it’s difficult to find the time to put it on YouTube. Takes ages to get it in the right format and then uploading takes a long time with a relatively slow connection. My average connection speed at the moment is about 1.5 Mps.”

    Right, I see.

    Don’t want to sound rude or anything but it doesn’t have any declarations that the BBC missed does it by any chance???

  19. Nothing rude about asking that!

    I haven’t watched it for ages but I think it does have a few declarations that weren’t shown on BBC.

    In fact I did upload Mandelson’s speech from ITN’s 2001 coverage but the quality is very poor:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0Z6ODjfj2I&amp

    I also have ITN and Sky’s 1997 coverage on video. I remember ITN showed the Braintree declaration with Tony Newton being defeated.

  20. I do get the impression the BBC loves reporting big majorities from massively safe Labour seats as though they are some great surprise – they made a huge thing about Glasgow in 2011,
    and East Ham in 2001.

    You don’t normally see lots of Conservative safe seats being commented on – but it’s now too busy with the sleb parties.

  21. @AndyJS

    Thanks for the reply Andy. It would be great to see to compare it to the BBC’s though!

    Here is my list of seats I would like to see declarations of on the BBC’s 2015 Election coverage be broadcast- (Or if not in the case of some, ITN)
    1. Witney (David Cameron’s seat)
    2. Doncaster North (Ed Milliband’s seat)
    3. Sheffield Hallam (Nick Clegg’s seat)
    4. Eastleigh (Huhne’s old seat, by-election in 2013)
    5. North Warwickshire (Labour’s top target seat)
    6. Thurrock (Labour target)
    7. Hendon (Labour target)
    8. Cardiff North (Labour target)
    9. Sherwood (Labour target)
    10. Hampstead and Kilburn (Tory top target seat)
    11. Bolton West (Tory target)
    12. Solihull (Tory target)
    13. Southampton Itchen (Tory target)
    14. Dorset Mid and Poole North (Tory target)
    15. Stockton South (Labour target)
    16. Broxtowe (Labour target)
    17. Lancaster and Fleetwood (Labour target)
    18. Bradford East (Labour target)
    19. Amber Valley (Labour target)
    20. Waveney (Labour target)
    21. Berwick-upon-Tweed (Marginal Lib/Con contest)
    22. Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander’s seat)
    23. Twickenham (Vince Cable’s seat)
    24. Rushcliffe (Kenneth Clarke’s seat)
    25. Tatton (George Osborne’s seat)
    26. South West Surrey (Jeremy Hunt’s seat)
    27. Brentwood and Ongar (Eric Pickles’ seat)
    28. Surrey Heath (Michael Gove’s seat)
    29. Westmorland and Lonsdale (Tim Farron’s seat)
    30. Falkirk (For obvious reasons)
    31. Bradford West (George Galloway’s by-election win)
    32. Corby (Labour by-election gain)
    33. Montgomeryshire (Con/Lib marginal contest)
    34. Somerton and Frome (Con/Lib marginal contest)
    35. Taunton Deane (Jeremy Browne’s seat)
    36. North Shropshire (Owen Paterson’s seat)
    37. Yeovil (David Laws’ seat)
    38. North Somerset (Liam Fox’s seat)
    39. Runnymede and Weybridge (Philip Hammond’s seat)
    40. Kingston and Surbiton (Ed Davey’s seat)
    41. Norwich South (Four-way marginal)
    42. Camborne and Redruth (Potential three-way marginal, top Lib Dem target)
    43. Putney (Justine Greening’s seat)
    44. Chingford and Woodford Green (Iain Duncan-Smith’s seat)
    45. Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling’s seat)
    46. Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore’s seat)
    47. Maidenhead (Theresa May’s seat)
    48. Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps’ seat)
    49. South Cambridgeshire (Andrew Lansley’s seat)
    50. Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith’s seat)
    51. Oldham East and Saddleworth (Lib Dem target)
    52. Oxford West and Abingdon (Con/Lib Dem contest)
    53. Ashfield (Lab/Lib Dem contest)
    54. Truro and Falmouth (Con/Lib Dem contest)

  22. The Oxford West & Abingdon declaration has never been shown on any channel to my knowledge. Nor has Oxford East, although I think it was shown later on on a local news channel.

  23. Out of all the declarations you can remember Andy which one would you say had the most elaborate stage that you can remember?

  24. I can’t say I’ve paid much attention to that but I know Torbay usually has a fairly elaborate display saying something like “The English Riviera”. But you already knew that I guess.

  25. It was a bit of an odd question I’ll admit. I suppose though that as most people pay attention to the result as it is given the setting of it is less relevant.

  26. Cambridge hasn’t been televised since 1987 which is odd.

  27. IIRC they had a similar display in Wrexham in 1983: ‘the Industrial Mecca of the North’.

  28. Could this possibly be the beginning of the end for Cameron? It will depend on the opposition to some extent as well as his own MPs. It is fortunate for Labour that Neil Kinnock is not the leader at this point. Ed Miliband has been astute so far, and personally I hope that he learns the lessons from Kinnock’s disastrous Commons performance at the time of Westlands and maintains his current position, and doesn’t over-extend himself as Kinnock did.

  29. Oh dear. Just heard the news…

    Well all I can say now is who knows what developments may take place in the coming days?….

  30. I can’t see how this defeat, in of itself, would threaten Cameron’s position. This defeat is not going to be something that will animate the public into wanting Cameron gone, which really is a necessity for taking Cameron out and dealing with the instability.

    However, it’ll be how the media and his backbench rebels act in the next few weeks. If they both talk up this narrative of a Prime Minister leading a divided party, suddenly this truce we’ve been seeing between leader and rebels will be at an end, and Cameron’s poll numbers will start to decline again.

    As far as I’m concerned, Cameron will survive this, but rebels and media smell blood now, and that’ll end up causing the kind of divisions that help drop a party’s poll numbers.

  31. I doubt Cameron’s leadership is under threat (though if I am wrong on that, he will only have himself to blame). In my view, his mistake was mooting the possibility of arming the rebels back in May/June. I think that may caused people to doubt him today when he insisted that he action would be confined to degrading weapons capability.

  32. *may have caused

  33. I actually reckon the weirdest thing about this thread being reactivated all of a sudden is that I began one of the most recent discussions here- entirely unrelated to Cameron and indeed this vote. So I must say I do find it intensely bizarre that Witney should appear in the Recent Comments bar without any poster needing to access the Seats By Region section. Am I psychic by any chance?

  34. If Cameron loses the follow-up vote in the coming weeks, I’d be very surprised if a vote of no confidence hadn’t been called!

  35. A) What follow-up vote? The only other vote that was planned was perhaps a vote next week authorising military action, on the presumption that this motion tonight would pass. Which it hasn’t, so that plan’s off.

    B) Umm, no. There won’t be a vote of no confidence. What on earth can Labour have no confidence in – ‘We have no confidence in the Prime Minister because…umm…he accepted the result of the vote… *silence’*.’

  36. That might have been what Neil Kinnock might have done – it’s unlikely that Miliband would act as unwisely as that.

  37. I agree entirely with Van Fleet’s comment (12.48am this morning).

    I think Cameron is guilty, in general, of jumping on the bandwagon in relation to various causes. He doesn’t always appear to think things through properly and it’s to his detriment as PM. I think he may have been guilty, to some extent, of doing that in this case – he perhaps saw a chance for another Libya and a foreign policy success.

    Equally though, I believe at heart he is a reasonably decent man. I suspect he has a conviction, rather like Blair, that countries with power shouldn’t simply stand by whilst atrocities are committed, and that he also believes that not acting is just as definite an act.

    So I suspect he started out with good intentions, but perhaps the desire to make some political capital meant that he rushed the motion to the house. I believe that we should try and prevent bad regimes doing bad things, but in this case it’s a very messy situation with objectives that seem somewhat opaque. in addition, the evidence doesn’t seem concrete at this stage.

    And it’s these factors that lead to him losing the vote yesterday. But I doubt that he’ll suffer long-term damage as a result.

  38. From what I’ve seen of it, and leaving aside the arguments of principle on one side or the other,
    it is Ed Miliband who has come across extremely badly.

    But the issue itself is far more important.

  39. ‘From what I’ve seen of it, and leaving aside the arguments of principle on one side or the other, it is Ed Miliband who has come across extremely badly.’

    Don’t try and present yourself as an objective observer Joe – since Shaun Bennett’s depoarture you are easily the most partisan contributor to the whole site – but as someone who thinks we should involve ourselves against the Assadd regime, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Labour are putting party politics befire the lives of Syrian civillians

    This is one of the few things that Camereon has done that warranted bi-party support – and given that his motion was so watered down anyway, I think our MPs have effectively given a green light to those throughout the world who are willing to use whatever tactics are necessary to win their war

  40. “it is Ed Miliband who has come across extremely badly.”

    I have to agree with Tim here. Joe, you demean yourself by making such a ridiculous and nakedly partisan comment.

    In years to come, yesterday will be remembered as the day that David Cameron’s premiership died, and the day that Ed Miliband became prime minister in waiting.

    No Prime Minister has been defeated by a commons vote on his motion to go to war for more than 200 years. In more honourable times, Cameron would most certainly have had to resign (basically, any time prior to the Blair years).

    Miliband has proved himself to be a slimy, two faced duplicitous shit, but those qualities unfortunately are very useful to becoming and remaining prime minister (remember a certain Tony Blair). And there’s no getting away from the fact that he completely outwitted David Cameron and has delivered the death blow to any chance of the Tories remaining in Downing Street.

    We are beginning to see the kind of Prime Minister Miliband will be – basically a modern day Harold Wilson – shamelessly but skilfully zigzagging around to keep his party together, on the surface incredibly weak, but able to cling on by repeatedly putting short term tactical political victories ahead of the long term national interest time and time again.

  41. ”Miliband has proved himself to be a slimy, two faced duplicitous shit, but those qualities unfortunately are very useful to becoming and remaining prime minister (remember a certain Tony Blair).”

    That’s not very nice.

    Do you have any evidence to back up those remarks Hemmelig?

  42. ‘We are beginning to see the kind of Prime Minister Miliband will be – basically a modern day Harold Wilson – shamelessly but skilfully zigzagging around to keep his party together, on the surface incredibly weak, but able to cling on by repeatedly putting short term tactical political victories ahead of the long term national interest time and time again.’

    I think that’s a fair assessment but save for a few moments – such as last night, and his gay marriage crusade – the same could be said of Cameron, whose done U-turn after U-turn, all in the name of keeping his party on-side, and most shamefully of all, on at least one occasion, his advisor

    I actually felt sorry for Cameron last night – by trying to do something he actually really did believe in, he merely underlined his own vulnerability and lack of political nouse.

    No longer will he be able to stand at the despatch box and accuse Milliband of weak leadership, not whilst keeping a straight face anyway

  43. I’d be very happy with a repeat of Wilson’s first term. On the whole he presided over a civilised and forward looking government

  44. H. Hemmelig

    Don’t be so sure about this being a serious event.

    If the far more incompetent looking events of 1956 couldn’t save labour in 1959 (with a brilliant leader – the best of either party to never be PM) who opposed a disastrous foreign policy then there is no way on earth that this will be the making of EM.

    Most people don’t want us to go into Syria, but understand there is a decent case (if not strong enough) for involvement, but just feel the UK is fighting on too many fronts and are tired of our soldiers dying in the deserts of the middle east.

    EM might be right both politically and in military terms, but history tells us this alone will not really help him (though something else may do).

    It may even be good for the tories in the long term should we stay in government after 2015, with yet another unpopular war avoided.

    The big story (as always) is the economy. If this carries on improving then we should expect sufficient tory seats to avoid a labour government in 2015. Head up!

  45. “I think that’s a fair assessment but save for a few moments – such as last night, and his gay marriage crusade – the same could be said of Cameron, whose done U-turn after U-turn, all in the name of keeping his party on-side, and most shamefully of all, on at least one occasion, his advisor”

    The difference is that Ed Miliband is good at it.

    David Cameron has showed time and time again that he can be absolutely terrible when it comes to getting short term political tactics right. He could very easily have avoided the calamity of yesterday. His mistakes were complacency, arrogance and underestimating Miliband. This is the black Wednesday moment for him and his administration.

  46. I wonder how the polls will look now after this vote.

    It must be more than a little frustrating to Cameron that he was defeated by only 13 votes last night. If anything now questions are more than likely going to be asked about his leadership, and where the Conservative Party goes from here.

    As many have said on here already he would be expected to survive this- But would that be merely short-term or long-term?

    In any case, interesting times ahead…

  47. Compete shambles: apparently ten government members failed to vote for various reasons.

  48. ”Compete shambles: apparently ten government members failed to vote for various reasons.”

    Is that so? Well if that is the case, then Cameron will not be overly happy.

  49. ‘As many have said on here already he would be expected to survive this- But would that be merely short-term or long-term?’

    Long-term, though this will cause the Conservatives’ poll numbers to decline. Not because of the defeat in of itself, but because the media will now, once again, push the divided party narrative, and the public abhors a divided party in government. If this media push also fractures the truce between Cameron and his backbench rebels, it will be an awkward next few weeks.

  50. Rubbish Milliband is reflecting public opinion can’t believe that people on here have not learned anything from the debacle of Iraq. Syria, a country I have lived in, is an extremely complicated place. This is a civil war whether we like it or not Assad has significant support it is a fight to the death. The Lebanese civil war took 15 years to burn out & after political process was imposed on all sides. The Russians are the only clear headed people in this.

    If our imperial pretensions have been shattered then so be it. The so called ‘special relationship’ belies fact that US does not need us, thats the brutal honest truth.

    Germany and France vehemently opposed Iraq and their relationship with the US suffered no long term damage. Do we pity the Germans to staying away from these quagmires?

    Parliament must be given credit for applying the brake this is what the Tories should have done to Blair instead of falling in line suspending their critical faculties.

    Cameron did not make the case for intervention it was full of holes and public, Tory rebels & Labour saw through it. It was backbenches that ensured that Ed made the right call.

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