Confessions of a Political Animal

June 10, 2009

Party like it’s 2008 – sort of.

London Boroughs Euro Labour

Note: I have published my data sheet for the London European election results with borough-by-borough breakdowns here. I am missing the exact breakdown of independent candidate votes in Hillingdon and the results for the City of London (unless the latter are included in a neighbouring borough). If anyone has access to these, please could they leave me a note? Thanks! UPDATE: data now complete thanks to Nick in comments.

If the patterns emerging on the map above (apologies for the atrocious reproduction quality) look slightly familiar, it’s probably because, like me, you spent some time last year poring over maps like this or thiswhich showed clearly the inner/outer London divide in voting in the Mayoral elections. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that last week’s European elections produced similar results – voting patterns aren’t likely to change that much in 13 months – but they are evidence of the re-emerging political disconnect between the ‘two Londons’. The dominance of New Labour did much to smooth over that disconnect. It may be the case that its death throes are widening the gap further than ever before.

There’s no getting around the fact that the European Election results were very, very bad for Labour, but as Dave Hill has pointed out, what was calamitous in the rest of the country was merely dismal in London. Whilst Labour’s vote dropped 7% nationally compared to 2004, it fell by only half of that in the London region; the Tory increase was smaller even than the limited national figure (+0.6% in London, compared to +1% nationally), whilst UKIP, surging into second place across Britain registered a 1.9% vote decrease in London, narrowly falling into fifth place behind the Greens. (more…)

October 14, 2008

Get back to your sink estates, serfs!

Highgate - not for the likes of you

Highgate - not for the likes of you

The newspapers of the past couple of days have carried some interesting headlines, of the type I wasn’t sure I’d ever see: ‘Top bankers tumble as state steps in’ on this morning’s Financial Times was a particular example. One paper, however, has decided to take a different tack: in the week when it suddenly became fashionable to bash the obscenely rich, The Evening Standard has decided that now is the perfect time to…er…bash council house tenants. Yesterday, the day of possibly the greatest sea-change in the British financial system for at least eleven years and probably much longer, the Standard‘s billboards across London instead carried the headline ‘London’s £2m council house’.

This particular type of story looks like it might be developing into a trend for the Standard – they recently got Tory-run Ealing Council to summarily sack three temporary staff who were about to receive the rights that go with a permanent contract in order to appease the paper’s tabloidesque rage that a seven-person family was housed in a seven-bedroom house by the Council, in a nice area of Acton. Of course, the key issue for the Standard, never quite explicitly stated but happily mentioned at every opportunity, was that the family in question were Afghan refugees who were in receipt of benefits. By constantly describing just how well-off and desirable this particular area of Acton is, the paper’s underlying message was that such a family simply had no place in this sort of neighbourhood.

Having read through that particular story, it is possible that something had gone slightly wrong with (more…)

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