Labour Party
Carl Kisicki, Dan Whittle, Sam Owolabi-Oluyole
Carl Kisicki, Dan Whittle, Sam Owolabi-Oluyole

I spent yesterday afternoon getting the vote out in the double seat by-election in Downham Ward, Lewisham yesterday. The result was disappointing but the trend was good:

LD 1075, 1067 (39.3%, -12.5)

Lab 655, 634 (24%, -0.8)

Con 654, 632 (23.9%, +6.9),

BNP 287 (10.5%, +10.5),

Green 63, 62 (2.3%, -4.1).

Swing of 5.9% from LD to Lab since 2006.

Outside the Polling station
Outside the Polling station

 A 6% swing has to be considered a brilliant result totally against the trend of the national polls.  It was a nostalgic day for me bumping into many old friends like Alan Smith, thanks for the tea and biscuits. Candidate Damien Egan is also Labour’s prospective candidate in Beckenham and Richard Hart had come over from there to support Damien. I met fellow LabourList contributer Dan McCurry for the first time. Thanks Dan for driving us around. We let Dan take the numbers so he could have a crafty cigarette or two. Hard working  Cllr. Sam Owolabi who represents the ward I used to live in Evelyn, was out joined by Dan Whittle who is the Young Fabians Trade Union and Elections Officer. Star of the  day had to be Carl Kisicki. I knew Carl when he was a Labour councillor for a neighbouring ward. He has since moved to North Staffordshire. He had travelled back especially for the election, brilliant commitment. Good to catch up briefly on City Hall in the Committee Room with Lewisham and Greenwich Assembly Member Len Duvall.

 On the streets it was sad to encounter young voters talking about voting BNP, we need to tackle this and their vote of 10% seems to have come mostly from the Liberal Democrats. As I posted in my comments previously, my experience had been that Liberal Democrats in this part of Lewisham had been quiet happy to quietly pick up racist support. Good to see they ditched this approach in Downham by selecting Duwayne Brooks. I hope that principled Liberal Democrats like John Grieves can influence his colleagues who still turn a blind eye to this. Elsewhere in London the Lib Dems still play fast and loose with race for the sake of a few votes.

The result 20 miles away from Downham in Swanley, Kent where the BNP won their first seat in the South East Region on a 32% swing sends a warning. The swing is a bit exaggerated as the BNP had not stood previously.Richard Hart, Dan McCurry, Pauline Morrison (candidate), Damien Egan (candidate), Len Duvall AM They took over the UKIP vote of 20%. UKIP may say they have no formal links to the BNP but here was a ward where the UKIP vote switched directly to BNP.

Continuing the electoral analysis this was the third London by-election where I’ve worked in a row where the Green vote has been a small fragment of less than 100 votes. Is this a result of the recession, as the Greens have councillors in Lewisham? There were also a large amount of outs, presumably people were at work.

Everyone agreed Pauline and Damien had worked oustandingly and with a better national position they could well have taken this seat. Next time.


  1. oops–should have posted my last comment here. Anyway, as I said, don’t go and get your driver arrested and fined for smoking like those pensioners were that you mentioned in an earlier post. Watch out for harman, pink knickers or no–(she’ll have you as Lee Harvey Honeyball before you could say anything)–and for goodness sake mind the roads. has every car in lewisham been towed?

    That BNP result is appalling. I wouldn’t be surprised if it drew from Labour and the Lib Dems equally, and the implications are ominous. The BNP is to blame for the BNP but, really, doesn’t Labour failure just worry you a little?

  2. I find it appalling that you consider the liberal democrats to have been “quietly pick up racist support” (which is not true in the slightest) and yet have taken part in a labour campaign in Downham which sole purpose and aim was to take advantage of the racial tension in the area. This is substainiated through the “Getting the british flag flying over the town hall in downham” campaign.

    Main points to consider before you accuse the Lib Dems of using racial tensions –

    1) you ran this “british flag” campaign over many leaflets – this brings serious questions. Of all the problems in the area, you selected the British flag as being the key cornerstone of your campaign. Nothing else. Just this and a picture of Mr Egan walking a bull dog.
    2) Why is this suspicious? I suppose its no coincidence that you just so happened to pick this out to be your main and only campaign in an area where the BNP, famous for their use of the British flag to incite and imply racial messages, had been popular in the past AND a black candidate was standing.
    3) There are rumours circulating that the local Labour party, on the election night before polls had closed, had circulated leaflets stating that your exit polls had it that the BNP where going to win. You were blateney were trying to scaremonger voters, with complete and utter lies.

    It was very clever – very sneaky. After-all, no one can accuse a party of saying ‘are you proud to be British’ as racist. So its hard to pinpoint something down on you isnt it, because you can just come out with the same old claptrap and protect yourselves.

    Does this sound familiar – it should do. This is what the BNP have managed to get away with for years – clever, sneaky, crafty wordings. Well done for jumping onto their awfully successful election campaigning bandwagon. It quite clearly gained you so much success, even though you percentage of the vote went down (query – how can you have a swing of votes, when your vote goes down????).

    I cant wait until the European elections where i’m sure the current trends of support towards the liberal democrats will result in your swift removal from office. If these are the tactics you support and endorse, I will be watching your campaign, and demise, with great interest.

  3. Acer 2007 how long have you been active in politics to make this judgment? Where do you explain the Liberal vote as having gone? Are you suggesting none of the BNP voters had previously voted Lib Dem previously?
    Labour has been seen as the most multicultural party for decades and all opinion polls confirm this. Do you not think racists are capable of voting tactically to oppose what they dislike?
    Did you click on the links to see what your party did in Redbridge? I base my judgment on knocking on London doors for more than 30 years.
    I suggest you google to understand swings better, this may revise your opinions. Thank you for pointing out my typo.

  4. I base my judgements on the downham campaign – the evidence is there for all to see – mainly the leaflets you put through peoples doors.

    “Many people are beginning to think of this election as a referendum on getting our flag over the town hall and sending a message to the softies who are ashamed of our union jack”…… A quote left by another blogger. Again, you refused to respond to this, just to remind you, this was from your leaflet not the BNP, although you;d be forgiven for make a mistake in regards to this.

    Why? Why this campaign – you still haven’t answered the question. In fact, i wouldn’t bother – there’s nothing to say. The aims are quite clear. we understood this, we saw what you tried to pull, and its quite clear how our community felt about it.

    I note how you refused to even address what happened in the downham campaign – and the active tactics you employed in order to use racial tension to your advantage. Multicultural – come on, read ypur literature before you put it through the door. You haven’t addressed the coincidence that occurred, even why you put lies through peoples door on election day?

    The end argument comes down to the vote – no matter how you spin this, the multicultural area of Downham selected the Liberal Democrats to represent them – giving Labour and the Tories a good, very well deserved, spanking in the process.

    Great politicians answer, Mr Campbell obviously passed on his spinning techniques much further down the line the Mr Blair.

  5. I don’t understand why New labour inc are shocked, horrified, and looking for scapegoats because the B.N.P. managed one council seat gain somewhere in Kent.

    You people refuse to look in the mirror and question your own narrow minded view of the world.
    For Years anyone that dared to question, or refused to conform to your own righteous thinking has been branded xenophobic initially, and if that didn’t send them running for the hills then out would come the big gun – the “R” word, shouted aloud like a nauseating scene from the film “Day of the Triffids”.

    The thing is, ever phrase, term and accusation has it’s own shelf life, and “Racist” was reached, breached and over used some time ago.
    So that now, and as we can see in this very thread where you yourself claim that the Liberal democrat supporters defected to the B.N.P., anybody who doesn’t still fully subscribe to the self righteous Socialist scripture must be xenophobic at best, but no doubt “racist” in the confines of their own personal space.

    The rise of the B.N.P. is New labours fault period. And the sooner you come to acknowledge that fact, and not blame everybody else for your own dreadful shortcomings, the sooner the rest of humanity may begin to take your propaganda at face value again.

    I wonder if you’ll think I’m “racist” for voicing an opinion other than that of the official new labour party line?


    You’ve become a cliched joke of your own self pity, and your all so close to the problem itself, you just can’t see it.

  6. i note she hasn’t replied – you know what – this is typical labour isn’t it? Speak a good game, avoid any challenge to their mislead views…and the moment it gets too hot, the evidence too convincing… the moment their spun lead lines cant dig them out of any hole they dig themselves into – they turn their back and run. Against foundation hospitals, then for them. Against PFIs, then for them. For phonics, then against, then for again. It comes up time after time, no conviction, no willingness to continue, just a shrug of the shoulder and a race to see who can run away first.

    Break the trend of current labour politicians, get a backbone and face your critics – if you can be bothered to spin your web of half-truths in the first place then have the guts to face the challenges that you will meet.

  7. Acer2007, I asked you a series of questions you ignored them, that speaks volumes. By all means make party political statements but if you wish to debate you need to explain your Party’s actions in Redbridge and elsewhere. Here’s another by-election from last Thursday:

    Thringstone Ward, NW Leics.
    Lab hold. Lab 593 (35.9%, -6.7)
    Con 520 (31.4%, -2.2)
    BNP 465 (28.1%, +28.1)
    LD 76 (4.6%, -19.2).
    Swing of 2.3% from Lab to Con since 2007.

    Can you suggest where the drop of 19.2% in the Liberal Democrat vote went? Only the BNP increased their vote. I do not know the detail of this campaign but surely it must send an alarm bell ringing for the Liberal Democrat Party there?

    If you had read my earlier post on Downham as I requested you would have seen I have answered your question, and I support taking the Union Jack back from the BNP and flying it over Town Halls.

    If you want a debate please answer the earlier questions and I will be happy to answer yours.

  8. i dont mean to sound like school yard arguements – but i addressed and asked questions of you first and you refused to answer them??

    Indeed then you gave me questions – none of which was the main concerns of my argument. The main jist, just incase it wasn’t entirely clear, was that Labour in Downham ran a campaign the BNP would have been proud to have called their own.

    However i did get something out of you, even if you managed to dodge most of them –

    you support a campaign that was aimed to cream votes off targeting the racial tensions in the area, when the lib dems selected a black candidate . Can you honestly expect me to believe you would have run this campaign in any other by-election where the BNP weren’t standing and a black candidate had not been selected?

    However i will respond to your questions as requested:

    1) No i do not the vast majority of our supporters would contemplate voting BNP for a second. Our values make us incompatible with a BNP ticket. Im sure you’d claim the same, as would any other respecting party 0 however judging by your downham campaign, this wouldn’t be a wise move.

    2) your calculations are not caluclations, but based on assumption that exactly the same amount of people and exactly the same people turned out to vote (referring to Leics). Your experienced enough to know politics, nor by-elections, arent easy to work out let alone try to apply simple logic as “this people lost x much and these people gained x much”. I honestly expected better, however if you are trying to make us out to be racist then i suppose i cant blame you for trying.

  9. and in regards to BNP voting tactically with the lib dems because you are the ‘multicultural party’ – the lib dems fielded a black candidate in Downham, why would racially motivated party back them in order to achieve their objectives???

  10. Mizz Honeyball,

    You say to acer 2007:

    “Can you suggest where the drop of 19.2% in the Liberal Democrat vote went? Only the BNP increased their vote. I do not know the detail of this campaign but surely it must send an alarm bell ringing for the Liberal Democrat Party there”?

    How about this for another viewpoint other than your own then.

    The Lib Dem support stayed at home because they didn’t think it possible that New Labour, at this current juncture in time could possibly beat them, and yet another percentage of the Downham public who had not previously bothered to vote at all, thought to themselves – “The major political parties are not speaking to me about my life and my concerns, perhaps I’ll go out and protest my frustrations by voting B.N.P. – Seems plausable to me.

  11. i think we agree hopespringenternal :o)

    In another blog post, The MEP stated that i had not addressed the question of redbridge, heres my response

    I do have to say your evidence base is pretty weak – i have direct comments and leaflets – you have a blog of reported actions.

    I did not see Redbirdge leaflets, how could i begin to comment on such? Your expecting me to comment on things i have never seen before – im sure we would all agree that if what you say proves to be the intentions of the local party (note i use the word IF) then of course i would not agree with what happened.

    But as i say, i did not see anything in redbridge- i wasnt there. Therefore, i cant comment – im not trying to get out of it, really im not. I think its reasonable not to respond and comment on something that is based on secondary evidence, having not had first had experience of it.

    However you DID deliever in Downham – you did knock on doors in Downham – you did push letters and literature which was motivated to stir up racial motivations in the area. You DID back the candidates which started this campaign.

    You saw them and the leaflets and saw it acceptable enough to push them through the letterboxes of the poeple of downham. Whilst you did not conjure up this well thought out campaign – Through these actions, as an elected offical, you ENDORSED that campaign.

    Effectively you answered my question the moment you went to downham.

  12. Hopesprings eternal and Acer2007 my experience of campaigning in Downham and elsewhere tells me a sizable minority of racist voters have voted Lib Dem in PREVIOUS elections (Sorry to shout, but you keep ignoring this point). You continue to refuse to acknowledge that in some parts of London such Redbridge the Lib Dems sill do use race.

    Acer2007 all your arguments are imputations and assumptions. I’ve known Pauline for over 20 years and the vast amounts of work she has done on South Africa and fighting racism everywhere. You can make as many claims as you like, there is no evidence for them. If you think your argument is credible you should put it to the press and see what they make of it.

    I am sorry you do not want to answer questions and debate, assertions are insufficient, so I am unlikey to respond to any more of your posts.

  13. MAry i have answered you questions – it is you that has refused to answer mine. Or anybody elses for that matter. I delivered in downham, how can it be assumption when the leaflets say it all?

    i have answered to your response about redbrige, im still waiting to hear what you have to say about downham.

    Comes back to what i have said before – “avoid any challenge to their mislead views…and the moment it gets too hot, the evidence too convincing… the moment their spun lead lines cant dig them out of any hole they dig themselves into – they turn their back and run.”

  14. i completley agree with it hopesrpingenternal

    and i would like to share something else that i read today – from the guardian, and no doubt this is as much for you to agree with hopespringeternal as much as Mary to ponder on.

    Afterall, Mary Honeyball stated quite clearly how confident that the press would agree with her – ” If you think your argument is credible you should put it to the press and see what they make of it.”

    here’s the evidence to prove to the contary.


  15. I don’t much like reading articles in the guardian, as their politically correct, and obvious Millbank induced “journalism” churns my stomach to the pits of nausea. However on this occasion, I feel that the article answers Miss Honeyballs questions about the fall in Lib Dem vote succinctly.

    To wilfully object to the flying of our Countries National flag above the local Town hall is beyond the comprehension of sanity. Therefore, I can only conclude that a certain percentage of the core Lib Dem vote stayed away to protest their rightful disgust.

    The backlash to political correctness has begun in earnest, but as yet, all of the leftist parties in Britain are still sticking doggedly to their own righteous mantras of the “We know whats best for you” doctrine, – that the rest of us down trodden saps are now so deeply weary of.

  16. however i will admit i dont agree with the tone – i think we all aagree here that the BNP are the purest definition of evil!

  17. *or indeed quite a fair bit of the content :S BNP are racist – its not the onmly reason people vote for them ,but its certainly a big reason!!

  18. The B.N.P. leadership are a lot more authoritarian than what’s in place now, and under their piracy we’de have even less freedoms than we do today.
    Most people don’t read their manifesto or beliefs, which in itself is a frightening aspect of modern Society, – caused (in my own humble opinion), by the dumbing down of our Nations people through left wing think tanks and Socialist media outlets.

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