Thursday, May 27, 2010

Final result of 2010 British General Election comes in

At Thirsk and Malton (Yorkshire), the parliamentary election was delayed for three weeks, from May 6th to May 27th, because John Boakes, the UK Independence Party candidate, died in a plane crash after the election had started.

The election was won by a Conservative with an absolute majority over a Liberal Democratic candidate and three others (Labour, UKIP and Liberal), giving the Conservatives a 307th seat, and their governing coalition a 365th (counting 57 Liberal Democrats and the single MP from the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, which aligns with the Lib Dems at Westminster). Turnout was 50.3%. Here are the final results:

20,167 ( 52.9% ) Conservative — Anne McIntosh
_8,886 ( 23.3% ) Liberal Democratic — Howard Keal
_5,169 ( 13.6% ) Labour — Jonathan Roberts
_2,502 ( _6.6% ) UK Independence — Toby Horton
_1,418 ( _3.7% ) Liberal — John Clark

38,142 ( 50.03% ) Turnout

And the consequent standing of the parties in Parliiament:

365 Government benches (Cons.-Lib. Dem. coalition)
280 Opposition
__5 Sinn Féin (Irish Republicans who refuse to take their seats)

_85 Government majority over all others (simple majority: 323-322)


307 Conservative
_57 Liberal Democratic
__1 Alliance Party of Northern Ireland; votes with Lib Dems

Opposition benches:

258 Labour (official Opposition)
__8 Democratic Unionist (Northern Ireland)
__6 Scottish National Party
__3 Plaid Cymru (Welsh nationalist)
__3 Social Democratic & Labour Party (NI); vote with Labour
__1 Independent Unionist (NI)
__1 Green

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More British Election Statistics since 1945

I've reshuffled the columns from one of the tables below (the dark blue one) to show the joint share of the total electorate won by Lib-Lab and Tory-Liberal aggregations (orange and light-blue tables respectively), to compare with the declining share taken by the Labour + Tory sum below. I also added a simpler, parallel series of tables to show millions of actual votes won.

Because the Liberal/Alliance/Lib Dem vote was increasing at the same time that Labour's and the Conservatives' was declining, the Lib-Lab and C-Lib combinations both show some stability in both votes won and share of the electorate. See Dave's comments at:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Some British Election Statistics since 1945

See the discussion and comments, together with some rather untidy statistical tables of my own, at:

I've managed to create a couple of slightly-clearer tables that I'm posting here because I don't know if or how I can post them there. Don't hesitate to ask about unclear or unfamiliar terms or abbreviations. Click on a "thumbnail image" above to open up a nice, clean, readable full-sized chart.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Philippine Presidential Election

[Sorry for the hasty style of this post; it started as a side-comment on another blog which wouldn't print out for weird technical reasons.]


a handy website I just found by ignorant Googling. It has links to a couple of dozen English-language newspapers in the Philippines and Southeast Asia (Manila Times, Philippine Star, etc.) in a sidebar along the upper left.

There was significant lethal election violence in several places. The new automated voting machines (not used in Britain) seem to have worked better than expected. The turnout of 85% would be the envy of the US or even the UK.

Benigno Aquino, Jr (Liberal Party), the son of the late Pres. Corazon Aquino, leads former President Estrada (PMP) by a wide margin. The Nacionalista candidate, Villar, has conceded to Aquino.

Aquino 12,688,024

Estrada 8,084,861

Villar 4,525,913

Teodoro 3,367,778

Villanueva 951,622

Gordon 440,626

Perlas 44,518

Madrigal 38,650

De los Reyes 36,495

Monday, May 3, 2010

Can the government handle a string of disasters?

Flooding in Southern New England. An apparently-preventable mine explosion in West Virginia. A gas explosion and horrendous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to deliver the coup de grace to many of Katrina's victims plus a whole fishing industry. Deadly tornadoes in the Ozarks. A bomb that could have killed dozens in Times Square. Bostonians boiling unsafe water after a huge pipe burst in their aqueduct (this would have been near the top of national news if all the other things hadn't happened at the same time.)

Many images of President Obama and Secretary Napolitano running around the country like a fire brigade. More aspects of the unwieldy Homeland Security Department than most of us remember even existed. The President beginning to resemble President Bush, making speech after speech from different places with firm jaw, steely eyes and steady voice promising resolve. But is it enough?

Can the Federal government, the states and local governments handle all this? Or is this adding up to "Obama's Katrina"? Could Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Mitt Romney, John McCain or George W. Bush have done any better? Are the cabinet secretaries, mayors and governors doing their jobs?

What do you think?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Open thread beginning on May 2, 2010

Here's the first open thread. (Use the non-political thread for non-political topics.)

British General Election of May 2010

At the campaign's final weekend, it appeared that the three major political parties in Great Britain were in a near tie, with the Conservatives or Tories (led by David Cameron) drawing a little more than 30% in the most recent polls, while Labour (led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown) and the Liberal Democrats (led by Nick Clegg) were both slightly below 30%. This could produce a "hung" parliament with no overall majority in the House of Commons, leading to deadlock, new elections, a more-or-less-formal coalition or an inter-party understanding. such as those between Labour and the Liberals in the 1970's.

The lack of a single-party majority would also increase the bargaining power or influence of any independents or minor parties who win representation on May 6th, such as the Scottish nationalists, the Welsh nationalists and the Northern Irish parties.

While there's been no formal coalition government in the United Kingdom since 1945, various forms of wartime or peacetime coalition, such as the National Government, were the norm from 1914 to 1945, interrupted only by single-party Tory governments in 1922-23 and 1924-29.

Non-political thoughts

This is for comments that don't relate directly to politics, such as your views on movies, literature or life.

Introduction: a home for open comments on politics

This is a minimal blog, intended to continue a series of open threads of political commentary which used to follow Ron Gunzburger's blog. But feel free to join in, whatever your opinions, regardless of whether you've ever heard of or visited Politics1.

However, apart from the time that I spent reading or posting comments on that blog, there's no connection with Ron Gunzburger or Politics1.

At least for the moment, I will not attempt to follow Ron Gunzburger's former practice of reporting political news as it happens. This is already being done thoroughly at a slightly-older offshoot, Political Dog 101 at Politics2 is mainly intended to provide a continued open thread for comments arranged by time more than topic.

However, apart from periodically starting new open threads, I may open a special thread from time to time for a current topic such as an extended Congressional debate or an interesting election outside the U.S.

Please observe all the customary conventions and courtesies. There was a great diversity of opinion on Politics1's comments, as you can see from reading any of its archived comments before May 2010. It's certainly not my intention to reduce that diversity: a narrow range of views would reduce the great attraction of seeing political analyses, reports, statistics and predictions from so many viewpoints and places.

But I may limit, block or delete comments that are irrelevant, tedious or abusive. As for statistics, tables and lists, while a couple of roll-calls or a single statistic arranged either state-by-state or year-by-year can be very helpful, this format is poorly-suited for 50-state-by-220-year tables, or a sequence of long tables submitted column by column.