Sunday, May 09, 2010

Did the expenses scandal actually sink Labour?

An interesting post here from Philip Cowley over at the Elections 2010 Blog:
"The BBC/ITN/Sky exit poll found that in Labour held seats with new candidates, the Con-Lab swing was 7.5%. But in seats with incumbents, the swing was just 4%. The former would have been enough to win a majority for the Conservatives."
Mat has a counter-point in the comments saying that incumbents that got hammered by the expenses scandal didn't do as well, but it's still worth a look.

Certainly, a lot of fairly blameless Labour MPs got out this time because of the poisonous whiff around the very job of being an MP. Maybe if a few more of them had stayed on, we'd not be so worried about who Nick would be deciding to work with next week?

In other news, in a wider verygood post in which he patiently explains that we are in a representative democracy now, Tom Freeman adds this gem:
"As a Tory friend of mine pointed out, Labour has got a lower vote share than the Tories did in 1997, and obviously then they had no right to govern, so Labour don’t now, either. But on the other hand, the Tories now have a lower vote share than Labour did in 1979, and obviously then… When you start treating vote share as meaning the moral legitimacy rather than merely the popularity of coalition options, you can tie yourself in all sorts of knots."

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