Friday, May 06, 2005

A Loss to Parliament

Bob Marshall-Andrews is apparently pretty much conceding defeat in Medway, which is bad news for Labour. This is on two fronts - one, it's a reasonably susbtantial swing needed to lose the seat, and secondly, Marshall-Andrews himself was saying that Iraq had come up as an issue. If he is getting pinged for the war, then Labour are in serious trouble (he was easily the best anti-war speaker in the Commons debate on the eve of invasion). The neighbouring seat of Gravesham (majority approx 5,000) is also rumoured to be going. This could be an unexpectedly good night for the Tories.

Marshall-Andrews will be the country's loss. I have little time for his politics, but a lot of time for the man. He is articulate and the sort of man we need in Parliament. He's just about to lose his seat and yet he was in incredibly good humour with Dimbleby on the BBC coverage.

More generally, Blaneau gwent is being called for the independent ex-Labour man who was campaigning (in effect) against all-women shortlists. That's overturning a 19,000 majority. The results are suggesting more and more to me that Labour may have lost had the electoral distribution of votes led to more contested seats.