A quick political history lesson for Grant Shapps

As Nich Starling has pointed out, last night Conservative MP Grant Shapps said on TV:

The third placed party in by-elections always gets their vote squeezed … [and] …

I cannot remember a by-election in the last ten years where the third party has not had its vote squeezed.

So here are fourteen by-elections since 1997 that must have slipped his mind:

Dunfermline (where the SNP were third)
Leicester South
Birmingham Hodge Hill
Tottenham *
Ceredigion *
Leeds Central
Paisley South (ok, I admit – I had forgotten this one until I looked it up)

I do have some sympathy for MPs who have to appear in the media after a bad result for their party and talk it up nonethless. But maybe next time the Conservatives shouldn’t use such a forgetful MP 🙂 (No jokes about poor memory explaining using 1234 as your password please).

PS Those marked with a * were the ones where the Tories were the third party and increased their vote. So it wasn’t just a slip of the tounge with him meaning to limit his comments to Conservative third places only.

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  • At the time he made the comment, I’m not sure he’d have known the Sedgefield result which is why I’ve left it off.

  • nigelashton 20th Jul '07 - 3:54pm

    ‘Grant Shapps’ is an anagram of ‘graphs pants’ if that helps 🙂

  • Well done for working this out. The Sedgefield result was in at that time because I remember shouting it at the screen as the Shappster.

  • Unchased Man 23rd Jul '07 - 4:45pm

    Mark, I think you’ll find there shouldn’t be a * besides Tottenham on that list. The Lib Dems started that campaign in third place but, having nearly doubled their share of the vote, claimed second place from the Conservatives, who finished third. You do remember it, don’t you?
    The unfortunate Conservative candidate is now their choice for Battersea at the next election, so perhaps all is not lost for Mr Lit.

  • The Conservative vote went up, very slightly, in the Tottenham by-election – from 15.7 to 16.0.

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