Sunday, 16 May 2010

Albert Owen's 'increased' majority

According to the Western Mail yesterday, Chris Bryant the Labour MP for Rhondda "whooped for joy" when Albert Owen increased his majority. Although it is strictly true to say that Albert did increase his majority, its probably time for a little context.

The fact is that Albert didn't increase his majority in the traditional manner by increasing his own vote (in fact he lost 788 votes since 2005), rather it came about because there was a fundamental shift of voters between the other parties - in particular from second placed Plaid Cymru to the third placed Conservatives. In 2005 Albert's lead over the Plaid Cymru candidate was 1,242 votes; this time that lead expanded to 2,461 because Plaid's support leaked away to the Conservatives.

So in reality there is not really much cause for "whoops of joy" in the Labour camp.


Anonymous said...

well i suppose next time will be different because:

1) Peter Rogers is most unlikely to stand

2) The Tory Lib Dem coalition is committed to reduce House of Commons seats from 650 to 585.

1) this will boost the Tory vote on Anglesey further.

2) it's likely that Ynys Mon will no longer exist as a Parliamentary seat in 2015. More likely to be a new seat taking in say BAngor and Bethesda - taking the electorate nearer the desired 77000 in Tory manifesto.

So: How to predict the next GE result in the new seat called "Mon Menai" (?) perhaps:

You never know, Plaid may make an unexpected comeback. If they include Caernarfon in the boundary that's more likely than not.

A new seat including Holyhead, Caernarfon, Dyffryn Ogwen and Benllech, now that's a thought!

Anonymous said...

Druid. All that Woad is running into your eyes.
" rather it came about because there was a fundamental shift of voters between the other parties - in particular from second placed Plaid Cymru to the third placed Conservatives"

So your analysis is that Peter Rogers lost 3000 votes evaporated into thin air, even though he is a right wing ex Tory whilst the extra 3000 odd votes which the New Fridgeman got moved smoothly across from the Primarily Welsh speaking left wing Plaid electorate.

Now I know you want to big up the Fridgeman but do you have to trample on the laws of probability so shamelessly to do it?

Try this scenario; Plaid Vote is dropping because of migration of Welsh speakers to the SE of Wales. In this case an uninspiring candidate caused many Plaid Voters to sit on their Hands but Plaid cannot muster 11,000 voters any more.

Peter Rogers is an independent. It's OK to support him if you are a Tory and the Tories won't win nationally. Not so when they could form the next Government. The extra 1.3% turnout comes from a re-energised soft Tory following.

Albert Owen Held his personal Vote minus a few completely dis-illusioned with Labour.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 13:34 - a very interesting analysis and I think you are quite right in your observations. I think this will merit a whole new posting sometime.

Anon 14:08 - Woad is where it should be. This post is only about Albert Owen's majority, i.e. the gap between him and the second placed candidate. Yes, Peter Rogers lost 2000 votes - but that didn't necessarily effect Albert's majority; however, the fact that Plaid's Dylan Rees also lost 2000 votes most certainly did. Your hypothesis about welsh speakers migrating to S. Wales may well be true.

Anonymous said...

Your figures show a lower turnout by 1800 voters. So it's plausible to argue that Albert and Dylan lost 600 each (they had a third of the previous vote each) to a lower turnout.
Tories opted for their party instead of an ageing demagogue - Peter's vote collapsed by 3000. That and the UK swing to the Tories accounts for the surge in the Tory vote (this was, after all, a Tory seat within living memory.
The Lib Dems don't count and remain static.
The only unknown is how Plaid lost 1400 votes and Labour didn't, despite the unpopularity of Brown. I suspect that was down to a combination of a relatively active constituency MP and a relatively uninspiring Plaid candidate.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 16:07 - as the average UK turnout was up by almost 4 percentage points (and 2 percentage points in Wales) its interesting to speculate why the turnout actually dipped in Anglesey. My guess is that it is not down to just more people staying at home - but because there has been a migration out of the island including those who have lost their jobs in recent years (and there is plenty of them) and those who just can't find work on the Island.

Jasmine said...

Interesting blog. Especially since i am in the process of moving to Anglesey.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Jasmine - I do hope we haven't put you off...!

earwicga said...

"So in reality there is not really much cause for "whoops of joy" in the Labour camp."

I beg to differ! Albert Owen kept his seat in an election when his Labour Party colleagues lost 91 of their seats. I think this is an occasion when a 'whoop of joy' could reasonably be expected.