Giant Goldsmith crushed by miniature rival. pic.twitter.com/UfyYmcXCJO
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) December 2, 2016
Like in previous tight CON-LD fights LAB got squeezed. So what?
A lot of tosh has been written today about Labour’s loss of deposit for coming in under 5% in Richmond Park. That its vote total of 1,515 was lower than the 1,600 party members it has in the constituency has provided fuel for those wanting to attack the leadership on this.
What people haven’t appreciated are the sheer dynamics of a by-election like this. Once it becomes in that over-used cliche “a Two horse race” then the other contenders are going to be squeezed and many Labour activists and members found themselves voting for the one most likely to beat Goldsmith.
The hugely intensive leaflet and post board campaigns with lots of visible on the ground activity were all designed to highlight to LAB voters that the only way to use their ballot effectively was to go with the Lib Dem.
The Yellows were helped to a degree by the nature of Zac’s Mayoral campaign in the Spring. This made beating him even more important than just getting one over on the Tories. LAB voters were also prepared to hold their noises and ignore the coalition ears which is still held against Farron’s party.
The Richmond Park result is as worrying for LAB as Christchurch was in the 1992-1997 parliament where the red team was squeezed even more than overnight – it means nothing.