Friday 24 July 2009

Nick Robinson desperately spinning for Labour

Nick Robinson looks increasingly desperate as he tries to spin for Labour. Let's ignore his habit of seemingly only blogging on days when he can post anti-Conservative angled articles. This morning he posted this humorous piece about the likely spin that would be employed by each of the three main parties after the Norwich North by-election result became known. It's quite a good idea and one that I have toyed with before, although Nick Robinson's is not a great example of the genre. His piece is harsh on the Conservatives, soft on Labour, fair on the Lib Dems and as is usual at the BBC treats the Greens as the fourth party of British politics.

Then the result of the by-election was declared and Nick Robinson had to post again. This time he had to accept, presumably through clenched teeth, that:
"A massive 16.5 swing, not far short of what they got in Crewe and Nantwich, will allow the Conservatives to say that this is much better than the results I alluded to in my earlier post.

Labour, on the other hand, will point out that the swing originated largely from a collapse in their vote (-27%) and much less by an increase in the Tory vote (just 6.5%).

The truth is that Mr Cameron has done more than enough to look on course for an election victory and Labour has done badly enough to fear that one is inevitable. "

Here's the result:
Chloe Smith (Con) 13,591 (39.5%)
Chris Ostrowski (Lab) 6,243 (18.16%)
April Pond (LD) 4,803 (13.97%)
Glenn Tingle (UKIP) 4,068 (11.83%)
Rupert Read (Green) 3,350 (9.74%)
Craig Murray (Ind) 953 (2.77%)
Robert West (BNP) 941 (2.74%)
Bill Holden (Ind) 166 (0.48)
Howling Laud (Loony) 144 (0.42%)
Anne Fryatt (NOTA) 59 (0.17%)
Thomas Burridge (Libertarian) 36 (0.1%)
Peter Baggs (Ind) 23 (0.07%)
Con majority 7,348 (21.37%) 16.49% swing Lab to Con
Turnout 34,377 (45.76%, down 15.33% on gen election)

So what do we see? First of all a collapse in the Labour vote, I wonder if they will return at the general election or are they lost for a while yet. A Lib Dem vote that seems not to have benefited from the Labour collapse. A Conservative vote that is increasing but not spectacularly. UKIP and not the Greens are once again shown to be the fourth force in British politics, maybe the BBC could take note. A UKIP vote that increased without adversely affecting the Conservative vote. Minor parties and independents still doing better than in previous elections, will that continue to the general election?

As an aside what was George Galloway doing on Question Time last night? His Respect Party is a very minor party, certainly polling fewer votes than the BNP who I don't recall ever having anyone on the QT panel. Was he there as a serious politician or a celebrity; either way I, for one, would rather not see him again.


Charlie F said...

Dear God...Nick Robinson a Labour supporter? The guy is a former Young Conservative chairman and a mate of David Cameron - every btroadcast he makes is skewed in that direction. What an incredible post - it is difficult to take anyone seriously who can't check the most basic facts - and Robinson's political leanings are well known across the political spectrum.

Not a sheep said...

Oh goodie, it's Samuel Coates again...

So because Nick Robinson was Chairman of the Young Conservatives in the mid 1980s that makes him still a Conservative now, does it? By the same "logic" Peter Mandelson is still a Communist, Alistair Darling a Trotskyist, Bob Ainsworth a Marxist etc. etc. etc.

"a mate of David Cameron" - some evidence would be interesting and more than they have had dinner together. I would expect the BBC's political editor to meet regularly with many senior politicians. I doubt that anyone would say that means he supports each of them. As part of my work I have had to socialise with many people that I have detested personally but professionally have had to work alongside. It's called being an adult.

"Robinson's political leanings are well known across the political spectrum." Really? Some solid evidence would be interesting.

As an aside, when did I say Nick Robinson was a "Labour supporter"? He spins to the benefit of Labour, of that I am sure, but as to his support for a particular political party... Might it be possible that Nick Robinson is using his talents to fulfil the editorial line he has been given or thinks he should follow to aid his career?

Jon of Kent said...

I think the point about the "fourth party" thing is that Norwich is where the Greens are the second party on the council. This is of course the place other than Brighton where they are generally agreed to be a force to be reckoned with.

And also they did come fourth in the General Election. So up until this point UKIP were very firmly the fifth party.

There's bias and bias, but I think treating UKIP as the fourth party in Norwich would have been much more biased than the reverse.

Jon of Kent said...

Sorry, wrong, I mean third on the council... but they did get the most votes in the Euro-elections by some margin, with more than twice the votes for UKIP.