Chloë Smith sweeps to victory for the Conservative Party
In a nation oppressed by recession, infected by swine flu, disillusioned by expenses-gate and depressed by Gordon Brown, it was always going to be difficult for Labour to win the Norwich North by-election.
But the extent of the collapse of the Labour vote is an unmitigated disaster and an unqualified humiliation for the party of Government. Labour secured just 18 per cent of the vote, as against 44 per cent at the last general election.
How many disasters and humiliations does Gordon Brown have to endure before he gets the message?
Basking in the glory of this well-deserved Conservative victory - a very convincing 7000 majority - Cranmer sends his sincerest congratulations to Cloë Smith, who, at the tender age of 27, becomes the ‘baby of the House’. He thanks the constituency’s former MP, Dr Ian Gibson, for having the integrity to resign in protest at his appalling and unjust treatment at the malicious hands of Gordon Brown, and the self-sacrificial humility not to stand as an independent (he would probably have won). There are few politicians who put country before party and self.
This victory marks only the second time in almost 30 years that the Conservatives have taken a seat from Labour in a by-election. Of course, one should be cautious about transposing by-election results onto national predictions, but for the Conservative Party to win target seat number 163 bodes very well for the forthcoming General Election.
And it is the first time that a ‘vicar’ has stood as a candidate for the BNP.
Labour's candidate, Chris Ostrowski, stayed away from the count after being forced to abandon the campaign trail after collapsing with a bout of swine flu and being taken to hospital.
There are those who believe plague and pestilence to be the Lord’s judgement...