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Not good at all.

Cameron's really not doing himself any favours lately.

LOL if it's true. Camo out and all that.

Of course it may not be true and then the Cameroons will live to spin another day....

Bizarre if we slip into 3rd in Sedgefield - Graham Robb's fought a superb campaign.

Ealing looks deeply, deeply disappointing.

Slam dunk for Labour tomorrow then!

Looks like the bonfire is well and truly been lit in Southall along with our chances.

Maybe there will be a silver lining if this sham of spin and PR comes to an end. The country is crying out for a real alternative and sadly we offer nothing more than a fresh face.

Robb clearly hasn't fought a good campaign if he comes third.

Cameron's going to take a massive slap in the cherubic chops over Ealing Southall.

Cameron visited the place FIVE times and there was talk of winning it. Lit even ran as 'David Cameron's Conservatives', so it's personal!

Not good at all.

Seriously, having been to Southall a few times what struck me was how little those at the top seem to know about how to fight a by-election - glitz and glamour have their role, but there needs to be substance underneath all that and that seemed to be completely overlooked.

Poor. Tomorrow Labour will crow.

I sit here from Indiana watching the blog with interest at just over 7PM Eastern time.

If we are third in Ealing Southall but a close third and not far behind first place, then I think that we could claim it as a good result.

Why don't you lot hang fire on your acidic commentary of our by-election efforts for another sixty minutes or so? Or do you want to write Lord Retard's quotes for him? *sigh*

Well "call me Dave" can't blame the "nasty wing" this time. It was their choice of candidate, their style of campaign, their staffers on the ground and even "David Cameron's Conservatives" on the ballot paper. Time to start producing results "Dave" or we might want our Party back.

Terry Keen - Hmm, a very iffy spin!

I'm a Cameroon but not a deluded one. Something has gone seriously awry here.

i've got 50 quid on labour, come on!

well i just come from there.... and we had a projected increase of 15% of our vote so lets just wait......

Besides, we can still win this!
Being third in a three horse race during the voting could result in coming first at the finish line.

The country is crying out for a real alternative and sadly we offer nothing more than a fresh face.

As opposed to offering nothing more than "the same old Tories", I suppose, given your handle...

I'm not paying too much attention to Sedgefield, but my ambition for Ealing was to pass the LibDems in to a strong second - an 11,000 Labour majority is pretty hard to overturn. We'll obviousy see later what inroads we've made on that. This is not a by-election in a Lab-Con marginal seat. At the very worst, we hold 5 more council seats in Ealing than we did before the campaign (try doing that on one Thursday anywhere else!).

After setting the pace with strong early momentum, and importantly picking up some non-traditional support, the result will be interesting enough to keep me from my bed a little while longer in any case.

Tired Anon - the results are pretty much in so we don't need to wait another 60 minutes.

I'm afraid this can't be spun any other way than a bad night for us. I can't understand how on earth we've finished third in Ealing Southall. I'd have expected it in Sedgefield, but not there.

The problem with the Ealing campign was that the Tory leadership overplayed expectation, so that anything but a close second would look to the media like a disaster.

Hence, the BBC are the lefty newspapers are going to have a field day in the morning - as well as Simon Heffer in the Telegraph!

The problem with the Ealing campign was that the Tory leadership overplayed expectation, so that anything but a close second would look to the media like a disaster.

Quite difficult to underplay your chances while being an appealing choice to the electorate, Cliff - although I don't deny the appeal of the underdog campaign if you can play it cleverly enough.

Grant Shapps was doing some sensible media this evening in terms of managing expectations, though.

I was expecting a solid second in both by-elections (obviously further off the pace in Sedgefield than in Ealing Southall), so to switch on News 24 tonight to find we're going to come 3rd in both is a distinct disappointment - and a bit of a shock to the system to be honest.

according to this report this is leaked by the LibDems, why not wait till the results is actually out.
At the end of the day we were fighting huge majorities.
And am I the only person fed up with the constant Cameron Bashing seen here? Over the past year and a half I've seen a huge revitalisation of the Tory party, believe it or not we ARE connecting with people, I'll admit it could be better but considering where we've been for the past 10 years this is a good thing.
I'm not going to say you must believe in Cameron, but maybe give the man a chance, constant complaint is PRECISLY the reason we keep loosing elections!

If this is true then I think we can be justified in saying "Cameron out". IDS lost his position after Brent East and this is, in effect, far worse.

The Cameron leadership is a shambles. Shame on us for putting up with it for 2 years.

I told all resposible at CCHQ that Tony Lit is not the right candidate to win for us. He has no personal vote bank. We need someone who can bring new votes from strong Labour wards (Southall Broadway, Lady Margaret, Norwood Green, Southall Green and Dormers Wells).

In these wards Labour will be 1st, Lib Dem 2nd and Con 3rd.

Ealing Broadway and Greenford Broadway (2 polling districts from each ward are part of the constituency) we will be competing with Labour, Lib Dem and Greens, and it will be the similar position in other wards (Ealing Common, Elthorne, Northfield and Walpole).

One thing strange happened in the constituency Muslim (Pakistani / Somali)community voted for Labour. Ch Dilawar of Chaudhary's TKC (Southall Broadway)has settled score with Lit family.

How about we wait for the real results - not what some Lib Dem nobody guessed at?

BBC 24 saying Southall result is very close.

well guys this is a bit of a beating isn't - I think that some of the tories on here need to accept the fact that the reason why you are starting to connect a bit (or removing some of the total hatered that people have for you) is because you are slowly starting to stop being the right wing nut jobs you are!

Something has gone badly wrong Cameron's Conservatives don't secure at least a very good second place in Ealing.These are the sort of seats an opposition party on its way to government should be mopping up with relative ease.If the Lib Dems have managed to steal the anti Labour vote what does that say about the strength of the current conservative message?.A major rethink is needed, and very quickly...

You can follow how close we are by looking at the betfair market, which is clearly being influenced by people at the count. Suggests Labour are clearly ahead in Ealing, but Lib Dems still have some chance of winning. Conservatives look to be in third, but even that isn't conclusive. Expect all three parties to be within 2-3,000 votes of each other.

Why all the conclusions based on what the Lib Dum campaign manager has said?

I just knew this was going to happen. So much for Grant Shapps wonderful campaign. According to a Lib Dem poster on Political Betting the Tories were nowhere to be seen in the Ealing Common and Walpole wards, which are supposed to be our strongest wards in the constituency. Does anyone know if this is true? If it is/was, then it is shockingly bad to be honest.

Cheshire Blue, I won't disagree that the Conservative message could probably do with a change from what it is currently - however, a couple of by-elections is very different from the long-haul of a general election.

"Why all the conclusions based on what the Lib Dum campaign manager has said?"

The BBC said it was neck and neck between Labour and the Lib Dems.They didn't mention the Lib Dem campaign manager.There's no point spinning now the polls have closed.

anon, nobody hates the Conservative party, except for left-wing Labour/Lib Dem weirdos like you, and people who would never vote Conservative anyway - so I don't think we really have anything to worry about in that respect.

Sky say the result in Sedgfield is bad for Cameron.

Chris Palmer: I agree, but by elections are meant to be won by opposition parties on their way to government.You'll have to forgive a great deal of initial disappointment, I actually thought the Conservatives could win this one and signal a real sea change.

A lot of the problem in Ealing Southall is that there are so many independent Sikh candidates standing that between them and the LibDem the anti Labour vote has been too badly split for the selection of Tony Lit to have made the difference hoped for. A shame if we come third and a real wake up call for Cameron and Hilton.

TheDuke: I'm not going to say you must believe in Cameron, but maybe give the man a chance, constant complaint is PRECISLY the reason we keep loosing elections!

Can't argue with that, Duke! I'm waiting for the actual results before making a definite judgement on them. I have to confess that work commitments haven't given me much in the way of useful campaigning time in the last few weeks, but I wonder how many of the predictable whingers have pushed a leaflet through a door in Ealing or Sedgefield? Strangely for some in the party of individual (and social!) responsibility, it's somehow always easier for it to be entirely someone else's fault...

Cheshire Blue - if you really think that then you stand no chance. I voted Tory the past 4 GE's and I CANNOT STAND Cameron. Many many of my Tory friends are the same. He is a puke-making spinmaster and the country is sick of it.

At the genral election 2005, Labour had 22,937. Lib Dem 11,487 and Conservative 10,147.

If it's a close result, the principle loss morally speaking is to Labour. If Conservative are 3rd (yet to be confirmed) in a close vote, that could yet show progress e.g. Labour 16,000ish, Lib Dem 15,000 and Conservative 14,000, for example.

The detail will be important.

It's interesting that almost all the heavily negative 'it's a disaster for Cameron' comments here are from posters no one has ever heard of before.

Wouldn't be Labour trolls trying patheticaly to create a bogus 'Tory grassroots in revolt' story, would it?

Editor - I'd check the IP addresses and give them to any journalists who call you later this morning.

He is a puke-making spinmaster and the country is sick of it.

"Richard" wins tonight's award for thoughtful and tasteful commentary...

Cameron is standing firm for a referendum on the Constitution. If he wasn't doing that, this country would be history already. He is our chance of achieving a break with the politics of the last 20 years.


Bad result in Sedgefield.

Total Number of registered electorates are approx 90,822 and say 25% of them are Sikh (23,000), 65% turnout among Sikhs (14,950) split among all parties.

We have to wait for the final results.

Third place in Sedgefield, in an expected tough result.

Many congratulations as well as commiserations to Graham Robb and his team. It was always going to be an electorally frutrating fit, but from reports Graham has shown himself to be a strong local campaigner and he and his team have used this opportunity to build our support and our organisation in the area.

"Sky say the result in Sedgfield is bad for Cameron."
Oh!!! I would have said that the results over the last 20 years in Sedgefield had been bad for the Conservative party but throw in a by election and the Libdem campaign team posing as the protest vote and hey presto we come third, wonder why?

Richard Carey, as usual fair and sensible comments unlike our supposed Conservative voting Richard. I have voted Conservative all my adult life but funnily enough despite not being in favour of the last two leaders I still never managed to reach that level of venom for either. Sorry but when that happens you are either in the wrong party or don't believe in democracy.

Well Labour hold Sedgefield. From the raw vote totals we did not discrase ourselves (unlike Hartlepool). If we've done badly in Ealing that will be more damaging for us...

Lots of anti-Cameron comments by the Labour and Lib Dem candidates in Sedgefield. Worried for the future perhaps?

I wonder which 'Roon loon will be the first to claim that good results for the Lib Dems are 'good for us because they keep Ming in place'? Using that logic, think how delighted they (and Labour) must be that Dave's set to stay in place.

It's a good thing if the Lib Dems do quite well, they'll be less inclined to change their uncharismatic leader and he'll be a great asset to us at the next GE.

Robb is tiny - maybe the people of Sedgfield did not want a garden gnome as an MP?

Looks like it's time for Kenneth Clarke to rescue the Tories!

Looks like it's time for Kenneth Clarke to rescue the Tories!

To get the facts straight before people start getting things wrong:

In 2005 in Sedgefield we came second with 5972 votes.

In this by-election we came third with 4082 votes.

So, I have to say I am not best pleased with the result. Still, let's wait and see what happens in Ealing Southall before we come to too many conclusions.

I agree, Sedgefield is meaningless for the Conservatives.It's all about Ealing, that's where all the effort has been concentrated.A good second place is required in my opinion...

"To get the facts straight before people start getting things wrong:

In 2005 in Sedgefield we came second with 5972 votes.

In this by-election we came third with 4082 votes."

Yes, lets get facts straight before people start to getting things wrong!!!!
Where are these two constituencies on our target list for the next GE?
Will you be betting money on a Conservative win or the vote shares in these by elections to remain the same in either at that GE?

I wonder if Scotty is aka Tamsin Lightwater ?

"Looks like it's time for Kenneth Clarke to rescue the Tories!"

Ken Clarke is someone who, as was once said of John Major, has his political future behind him. I'd wait more on the details of the results, but if it's bad, people will rightly start talking about ditching Cameron. As with each of the leaders since 1997, he's legitimately added something in helping the Party get back on its feet. But someone else may look better to the public, and BE better, as a genuine alternative PM to Brown. I vote for David Davis, but then what do I know? ;-)

Cheshire Blue? Millbank Red, more likely. Who do you think you are kidding? I could write anything I wanted under any name I chose. Would it give me credibility?

God, these trolls are a bore.

Looks like the Blulabour Mafia have screwed up yet again.

I'm going to bed after an evening on the booze with refreshingly nil discussion of Cam and the Roons, by-elections etc.

However I will look forward to reading the comments tomorrow - after Cameron's backside has been well and truly scorched in the easily-predictable second disaster of the night

I may just be a casual observer, but I think the Tories' chances in Ealing were overplayed on the blogs, but not much elsewhere. Yes, Tony Lit was "electable", but nobody said the others were not. This is the expected result. The right-leaning blogs suggested he might win, and I suspect it will be bloggers claiming that the Labour campaign was in disarray will be eating their words tomorrow, not the Conservative Party.

For what it's worth, these are strong Labour seats, both with complications. The "Blair Factor" is still at play in Sedgefield, and Ealing is complicated by the huge "ethnic minority" population. Tories are not expected to do well here, and they haven't. Big deal. This is not a test of Cameron's leadership in the way it was for Ming. In many ways, Tories should be happy for the bog-standard result: Ming drags on for a little while longer.

The worst that can be said is that the Tories and Lib Dems are stagnating. If accusations about stagnation are the harshest words being thrown about tomorrow, Cameron has much less to worry about than Ming does.

"I wonder if Scotty is aka Tamsin Lightwater?"

I wish, how much do you get paid for that slot in the Spectator??

I think we actually increased our share of the vote - albeit by just 0.2%. I don't think we could have hoped for much more considering the circumstances. I'm not that unhappy with this result.

Watch Grant Shapps on Sky being interviewed live.

I'm not a Tory supporter but I thought Graham Robb performed really well on TV just now. I agree his 'spin' on the result left a lot to be desired, but his positive attitude - to the campaign and to other candidates - was refreshing. He did well in getting off the stage when those BNP thugs started speaking.

"Cheshire Blue? Millbank Red, more likely"
Eh? what have I said that is in the slightest anti conservative? what do you expect me to do, rejoice? i'd be fooling no one if I thought it was a good night and a good base for the conservatives.It isn't and unless it's acknowledged that it isn't what's the point in talking about the results?

"I'm not a Tory supporter but I thought Graham Robb performed really well on TV just now.
I thought he was excellent and put the Lib Dem to shame.

I fail to see how we can be going backwards!

DC has to do something soon, we have ZERO momentum, and how can we win an Autumn election with no hint of a Manifesto?

Jaz - there isn't going to be an autumn election.

Graham Robb was very honourable in my view - fair play to him.

Sky News more or less confirming that it's Labour 1, LibDem 2, Tories 3 in Ealing Southall.

Grant Shapps is still looking too smug for my liking, I wish we'd replace him.

I'm not a Tory supporter but I thought Graham Robb performed really well on TV just now.

I agree, Robert - saw him on News24 a short while ago and thought it was an honest and credible media interview. He came across as a local man and local campaigner with no particular axe to grind.

Shapps on News24 now...

Grant Shapps is still looking too smug for my liking, I wish we'd replace him.

Why, Michael? He's an excellent camapaigner (I confess to "borrowing" a few of his ideas in the past!) who achieved one of the best swings of the night when he was elected in 2005. What's your particular problem with him?

Shapps' News 24 performance is somewhat... odd...

George Osborne
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
General Election Campaign Coordinator

Grant Shapps Shadow Housing Minsiter.

Shapps' News 24 performance is somewhat... odd...

I find that everything looks somewhat odd at this hour of the morning, Chris!

True, Richard, true.

Are we missing the point here? Does no one find it strange that the news about the abortive "cash for honours" enquiry is only released after the voting is closed in Sedgefield and Ealing Southall by-elections? What might the results have been otherwise?

Richard - I just find him a bit too smug and I can't help thinking that it puts voters off. People prefer politicians to look more humble (especially after a result that isn't the best we've ever had), but Grant seems to have a grin permanently fixed to his face.

Well, can`t say this comes as a surprise. Dave has to learn that gimmicks do not work. The man just is not serious. Personally appointing a candidate in Ealing Southall who was not a member of the party and had no record of loyalty or service and then surprise surprise turns out to be a donor to the Labour Party, shows a complete lack of judgement.

You can also see evidence of this approach and desire to grab a quick headline in his appointment of Sayeeda Warsi. She has only been active in the Tory Party for three years and has made a list of blunders. Her reward - to get appointed to the shadow cabinet without even being elected! All for the headline "Dave appoints first Muslim woman to Shadow Cabinet". It is all PR guff. Voters see through it.

A little more substance please or I fear your days are numbered Dave.

Sedgefield has not really been good for the Liberal Democrats - all they've managed to do is rearrange the anti-war vote and their increase in the share of the vote is *less* than the share Reg Keys received in 2005. Nor have they squeezed us - our share went up.

Third place?! Ultra Roons like dear old Tory T were very keen on boasting about often *they* had gone to canvass - perhaps this explains the result?

Fat Tony - how would you feel if a donation your company had made, was a) made public without your permission, b) taken out of context, and c) the cheque image published in contravention of the data protection act (also offering the opportunity for potential bank fraud)? You have clearly fallen for the Labour spin yourself or perhaps thats who you really are?

The time to take stock will still be after the party conferences in my opinion. Complicating factors in both byelections as stated above.

Secondly, Cam has been a lot more right-wing lately with strong support from the Sun for him yesterday on his PMQs on early release of prisoners. Now is not the time for you to moan at him. If he carries on on his present trajectory I might even rejoin the party. He is beginning to get his act together.

Sayeda Warsi has no vote bank whatsoever and influence among Muslims.

Her interview in The Guardian dated 11th July 2007 has badly damaged her reputation among Muslim community.

"Warsi is 36. Born near Leeds, she is the daughter of Pakistani parents, and one of five sisters. Her father began life in the UK as a Labour-supporting mill worker, but eventually became the wealthy owner of a beds and mattresses business, and an enthusiastic Tory. After graduating from Leeds University, Warsi qualified as a lawyer, and founded a solicitors' firm in Leeds with her non-Muslim husband (they have one daughter, aged nine).

For full interview please click below;


Two questions:

1) To Grant Shapps - supposedly the best campaigner in the party with no shortage of manpower or money. Grant what went wrong?

2) Given Tony Lit`s deep roots in our party, how long before he defects to Labour?


I can assure you I am very Tory. Perhaps Lit`s grinning picture next to Blair was also Labour spin. Please spare me.

His company gave a direct donation to a party we are meant to be opposing and then Cameron wades in and appoints this guy we have never heard of as our candidate in Ealing Southall against the wishes of many local activists. Another great Dave appointment.

How curious though that the BBC have given this such low profile coverage (i.e. no big name hacks on duty, no panel of top flight politicians required to present themselves etc). What gives?

That's that then. I can't say it was a brilliant result, because it wasn't. Goodnight.

We were 7000 votes behind Labour and 2000 votes behind the LibDems - nowhere near good enough.

We can't deny it - it's been a bad night. Brace yourselves for bad headlines tomorrow.

3rd, disappointing.

I'm a Cameron Fan, but i'm very very worried right now.

LABOUR : 15,188
LIB DEM : 10,118

This is very very worrying. When will the tide change! I am pro Cameron...but he needs to take this result seriously. He needs to review the strategy of the party. We do not need another Blair - we need a strong, substantial, heavy weight alternative to Brown. An election maybe closer than we think! WE NEED POLICIES!

Also unless I've misheard, the Official Monster Raving Loony Party outpolled the English Democrats. How can the EDs claim to be a serious party?

Not the result I'd hoped for in Ealing Southall, I had hoped to overhaul the LDs in to second place, but it was not to be. No doubt the post-mortem will be had by the campaign team after a good rest. If we have to have one here on CH on a public forum, I hope we'll all be grown up enough to conduct it without rancour, too, despite the childish attitudes of some contributors tonight.

We all learn from looking at campaigns in a dispassionate way, win or lose, and analysing what we could all have done better.

Commiserations to Tony Lit and his team there, and well done to all my colleagues I know who went to Ealing and worked hard in this seat with a previous 11k Labour majority. An "A" for effort to all of you.

Now to bed...

No, it really doesn't matter how you Cameroonians try to spin it these two results are not good news and do not bode well for the future. Perhaps now you can all start to understand that spin and PR are not enough and that the electorate do not want an heir to Blair.

That was a car crash of an interview with Lit on News 24 - stumbled in response to some pretty soft questions. Fluffed such lame lines to take as I assume he had been given. All in all, not a very impressive performance, and it makes it all the more astonishing that Maude and Cameron imposed such an inadequate candidate in such an important seat.

We wanted to give Brown a bloody nose, but thanks to the party leadership, Labour's needless honeymoon continues. Party leaders are defined in their first 100 days: Major was, Hague was, IDS was and Howard was (and Cameron was too, for good or ill). We should be well into 'defining' Brown the way it suits us to have him perceived. We've totally failed in this crucial task. And by 'we' I of course mean, Dave has failed. But presumably the loons will now sprout and scream that there's nothing to worry about, and it's full speed ahead for the iceberg.

Cam hasn't got much in the way of policies out yet. He decided to keep his powder dry. When they do come out you aren't going to see any more 7p's on the price of beer, charges for museums or increased comprehensiveisation of education. It will be sounder Tory stuff.

His problem in getting traction has also been economic stability. Ben Bernanke said yesterday that the sub-prime fall-out could cost $100bn. Cheney and Bush are looking at attacking Iran, with an unprecedented 3 carrier groups in the Gulf. Oil is at $75 per barrel and headed north. Stability is being challenged.

I don't even support Cam as I don't like lefty toffs who waffle and accuse their opponents of being closet racists, whatever that means. Nevertheless I would suggest you give him another 3 months. At least he tried very hard in Southall. He is recovering from a series of disasters at the moment.

It can't be denied that Labour has done very well in Ealing Southall; their share of the vote has only fallen from 48.8% to 41.3%.

The swing against them was just 5.4%.

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