Will the June elections be the pre-text for a move on Brown?
Above are the outline results of the 2004 Euro Elections where Labour came in with just 22.6% of the national vote excluding Northern Ireland. The party, was, of course doing far far better in the Westminster voting intention surveys than it is at the moment and it can be argued that it’s performance on June 10th 2004 was inflated by two factors that won’t exist on June 4th.
In four key regions there was the all postal voting experiment and in large parts of England there were simultaneous elections going on. In London Ken Livingston was fighting as Labour candidate for a second term as London mayor and there were local elections taking place in many of Labour English heartlands – the metropolitan boroughs. Just look at this turnout chart.
On June 4th 2009 there will be far fewer simultaneous elections which will mostly be restricted to the English shire counties and for new unitary authorities. In many places the council seats up for election were last fought on May 5th 2005 when Labour shares were boosted by the general election being held on the same day.
So the party can expect a nasty double whammy: a drubbing from the local results on the Friday and then the Euro results on the Sunday.
Will it be over this weekend that the anti-Brown factions within the Labour party make a move? The Saturday is June 6th – the 65th anniversary of D-Day – and you can see the papers dubbing them the “D-Day Plotters”
Labour always finds it hard getting its vote out in elections where the government of the country is not at stake. Thus in the 1999 Euro elections the party got less than 27% of the national vote even though it was towering over the Tories in the polls.
At last we’ve got our first betting market on the June 4th elections for the European Parliament. The bet is straightforward – will Labour’s vote share (excluding Northern Ireland) be above or below 20%.
The opening price on it being under at evens was great value. That’s now tightened to 8/11.