Sunday 8 December 2019

Tunbridge Wells Constituency General Elections 1885-2024

Changed; December 2019 - July 2024 

I don't know if Tunbridge Wells has always had a Conservative or a Unionist MP, but it has been at least since 1885, except for 1906.  Until 1910 the Liberal Party came a close second or won in 1906 and during the 1950s the Labour Party also came close to winning the seat.  From the 1980s until 2010 Lib-Dems had been second, but they have moved to 3rd or 4th place whilst the Labour Party had been gaining ground again since the end of the 1980s.  Lib-Dems rose again and run the Borough Council and now in July 2024 have become the holders of member of parliament.
In the July 2024 General Election, once Labour expelled most of its left MPs who had under Momentum had made the party the biggest political party in Europe, subsequently Labour got very strong support from the BBC and now run government.  Reform, a right wing party also got a lot of support from the BBC.  Locally, the campaign and result is;  
There were a number of local hustings, meetings but evidently, what the candidate says does not seem to count for a lot.   The meeting in St James Church, I attended, had over 300 members of the public present plus there was a webcast;
  • Labour spoke well but got a further reduced vote. (I received 2 good quality election comunications, fewer than Southborough Labour deliver in a local election)
  • The Green who was a good speaker got a modest but the BBC say got an increased vote, though there was no green in 2019.  (1 green election comunication, good cease fire but nothing on Ukraine/Russian Federation). 
  • The Reform got an increased vote, the BBC say, but they did not exist in 2019.  (3 election comunications, poor rights and climate change denial, British supremacy) The far rights vote has been increasing and this is the first time a candidate has not lost his deposit. 
  • The Palestine cause supporting Independent got an increased vote, though I don't know how the BBC figure that, he had not stood before.  (1 election comunication, quite good, does not mention PSC)  
  • We now know the outcome - The Conservative supports re-nationalisation of rail and other services he supports Israel but lost the seat.  The retiring Greg Clark offered the greenest government policy in 2010 but would not have said that about re-nationalisation.  (I received 1 good quality election comunication)
  • Lib-Dem did not attend any of the hustings but only spoke to a local radio station. He supports some flying duty reduction. He won the seat.  (I received 10 or 11 election comunications)
After each of the two world wars people spoke to each other rather than receive a spun impression from the media, people wanted peace in the world though the establishment returned to exploit and profit as before.  People are now very remote in the UK from war, and it has been glorified more so by film and TV.  I would have voted pacifist if I could have.

BBC - Tunbridge Wells results, and change compared with 2019, Registered voters: 78,738, turnout: 69%, Change: -3.80% 
  • Liberal Democrat, Mike Martin, votes 23,661, share 43.6%, change +15.3
  • Conservative, Neil Mahapatra, votes 14,974, share 27.6%, change -27.5
  • Reform UK, John Gager, votes 6,484, share 12.0%, change +12.0 
  • Labour, Hugo Pound, votes 6,178, share 11.4%, change -3.4
  • Green, John Hurst, votes 2,344, share 4.3%, change +4.3
  • Independent, Hassan Kassem, votes 609, share 1.1%, change +1.1

The 2019 General Election timing was chosen by the Conservative prime minister for best advantage for that party, with help of the Lib-Dem leader and despite having fixed term parliaments.  Generally, electors rejecting coalition of any sort despite, Michael Heseltine, John Major, Tony Blair and others recommending something like that.   Locally the Lib-Dem's gained by heavy leafleting (the number of trees lost did not count against them) despite the usual trend, but Labour fielded a candidate with an out of the constituency address.

There was a short time when Conservatives did not run Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council in the 1990s.  You can also see the inevitable downward trend in Labour voting in General Elections when Labour was in power, this effect is not apparent in Conservative voting in general elections.  Conservatives vote for other party's some making a point of voting Labour in local elections when they don't like what their party is doing nationally.  Also in Local Elections from 1990 Labour followed an upward trend, but in General elections the trend fitted the pattern I suggested, and the trend was downward whilst Labour was in government. 

Observations from looking at the data and discussion;

Before WW1 - General Elections probably happened when members chose to step aside.  So there was a more gradual change - the system seemed fairer, but that the franchise was only for men with property. 

We could do with both the franchise widened plus that voters all getting to vote without problems.  We could do with the media to behave better or be shut down completely.  I am sure people feel they got it wrong because they listen to the media, so don't vote next time.
When government changes the civil servants or new members are mislead by the old hands run government for the first year or two until members gain enough experiance to run government properly.  Changing government by proportions like much of local governement does would resolve this issue.  People would then take turns by constituency to change government in stages and be able to make less cautions changes which turn out to be silly choices.

The 2019 election;

Conservatives have been winning elections for the past 30 years by promising to leave the EU to a minority, but not delivering that promise.  This has been a good strategy for them because there is no other party likely to carry out leave.

Even if we never have another Labour government.  Momentum, Jeremy Corbyn and his team have inspired a considerable number of people to get into politics for the good.   People of alternative viewpoints voted who have never voted in 40 years.  The Labour opposition have a high success rate in opposing successfully many of the very nasty party's measures.   That nasty party could not change, but instead beat its own MPs in the line.  Perhaps even Mrs May wanted change, but there were Conservatives who said the last 40 years were a mistake - in this election campaign.  That has been said across party's for a few decades.

The Lib-Dem leader gave this election to the Conservatives by letting them chose when it wanted an election.  Of course the Conservative government chose before Brexit so that Leave campaign did much of the work.  The outcome though is that all party's followed Labour's look after the little people promises in their manifesto's.  Still, I am not expecting Boris Johnson to be a Socialist in Wolves clothing?

The mistake of the environmental campaign in the 1990s may now be overcome;

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament were very effective, taking care not to divide amongst themselves on strategy.  The old guard from the 1960s guided new member's well from 1979 when Cruise Missiles and Theatre nuclear war was being deployed for in the UK and Europe.  In the 1990s, the environmental groups divided and criticise strategy's.  They employed advocates rather than environmentalists and activists.  The environment, social rights and other things than self-interest have started to inspire more young adults again.  

Presentation prepared for; Extinction Rebellion London University's Strand the Strand event in September 2019 that was broken up by the police. Based professor Keith Barnham's book, The Burning Answer;

The young people must not give up - they share the same enthusiasm that people now over 85 had in 1945.  The 2019 Labour Manifesto was more easily achievable and exciting, however they voted.  The manifesto did not have the anti-nuclear war policy that the 1980s Labour manifestos had, despite that policy having been supported now by the public for the past 30 years.


The video Ven Diagrams, we can laugh when comedy draws out differences 
in types of people, but allow the BBC and the tabloid press to influence 
enough of us then blame the politicians who mostly do what we asked for.  
Both cases are about ourselves but politics matters so we become annoyed 
by politics, dont trust the news and turn it off. 

Although people blame politicians for outcomes they don't after all like too many are misled by the media who may not feel responsible because they mostly did not lie but did mislead.  Boris Johnson did lie on Brexit and was a very popular prim minster, whereas Nigel Farage did not lie or lie so much but is said to have lied.  Momentum now expelled from the Labour/Party are the people that have always been honest and have the courage and ability to bring about necessary change such as to start to bring about less conflict in Northern Island and surely would do the same in the Middle East and with the Russian Federation.  It is also likely that the far right Mrs Thatcher and Donald Trump would have resolved more conflict, as they did in their time. 
  • During the election campaign Nigle Farrage was interviewed and he spoke about imgrants and that New Labour had returned many more imergrants a year than the Conservative government had, his message was clearly understood.  He was then cross examined on something else with out the listeners being distracting from what he came to say.  Personally I would have liked to know how Reform would resolve conflict in peoples homelands so that they did not run away from them.
  • This distraction almost always occur when Dianne Abbot is interviewed by the BBC and we just hear again that she does not understand numbers and we know she did not come on the radio to speak off of her expertise.  The expection was when she was at the point of not being allowed to stand for Labour then she got an easy interview and very quickly the Labour Party allowed her to stand. 
  • A Green candidate did not get a word of a policy she came to speak about due to continue interruptions about paying for it.  I have myself, and I am a poor public speaker, been interrupted by Jonithan Dimbleby and my point sumerised into a sound bite which was not mine.  But also been helped to say clearly what I was wanting to say by very good local journists.
  • Sadly no party will cut military spending which is the cause of so much harm.  No one wins, except the arms sellers largely the UK,  they just end up dead.  This point no one will face and expect to be elected.  Green and the SNP did express sceptisim of war in the 2019 general election.  The main political partys have antiwar sections.  And journalist rarely cross examins anyone how to get growth on our finite size planet exploted at three times above capacity.

1885-1910 Tunbridge constituency;

1916 No general election due to World War 1.  Term reduced to 5 years.

1918-1970 Tonbridge Constituency.  Franchise widened to Women and people without property.

1974-2018 (present) Tunbridge Wells Constituency

BBC 2019 and 2024 election results.

Turn out percentage for 1956 found in a government document found on the web.  The figure looks correct for the given the poll.

Post General Election Momentum and The Labour Party - this video might be deleted?

Pre-election warning - I am in any-case very surprised out how well Labour and Momentum did inspiring people, mostly younger voters but also voters over age 85 who remember how it was before the NHS.   Those now very old voters liked the manifesto, seeing simply a 1945 Labour manifesto.
Lost deposit occurs when a candidate gets less than 5% of the poll.