Nearly a week on from the Bradford West by-Election, the result is still causing ripples about the hidden meanings of the election result.
George Galloway’s victory has been described variously as stunning and important, while the Burd described it as jaw dropping. It might be all of these, but if it is to be a turning point in British politics – where the tide turned against the big parties – more electoral evidence is required. Starting of course with the upcoming council elections across England and Scotland.
The old rule about waiting for as trend hasn’t stopped some commentators from claiming Galloway’s win as some sort of turning point, that people most at risk from being adversely affected by George’s Marvelous medicine are being turned off of “mainstream politics”. Whether this is true or not, there is a short term meaning which is not in doubt.
Ed Milliband’s own attempt to lead New Labour increasingly look’s like ending in bitter election defeat in 2015. Last week was not a particularly pleasant week for the coalition, what with the fall out from a very partisan budget. Yet Milliband, Balls et all failed to land a serious punch on Cameron, Clegg and Osborne. Galloway’s victory brought into focus the failure of Milliband and Balls to… umm… seal the deal and successfully spin the Budget. After all, the Tories current haemorrhaging poll ratings are largely self inflicted due to some loose talk about “Jerry Cans”.
Truth is, Galloway’s victory at the moment looks like a big fat protest vote against the three main parties – a very well run campaign against not so well run campaigns. At the moment there’s not really a pattern that this vote fits into. If there is, it’s not really apparent yet and still to early to gather the full relevance.