[This article will be updated as necessary, with updates posted at the foot of the main article]
The Batley and Spen by-election is set down for 1 July 2021. Nominations are open until the late afternoon of 7 June 2021, three days from time of writing, but the main parties and some others have already declared. It is likely that any further candidatures will either be crank or joke.
Batley and Spen was created in 1983. There have been several boundary changes over the years. One particular Conservative Party MP held the seat until 1997, succeeded by a Labour Party MP who held the seat until he retired in 2015.
Batley and Spen area voted about 60% for Brexit.
The constituency remained Labour, with Jo Cox as MP from 2015 to 2016 when she was assassinated. The subsequent by-election was rigged, in that the System parties agreed that Labour should put up a candidate unopposed by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. Pathetic UKIP followed suit.
The result was that Labour secured nearly 86% of the vote. All other candidates lost their deposits. Turnout was very low, not much more than 25%. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Batley_and_Spen_by-election.
The percentage of the vote won by Tracy Brabin, the TV actress selected by Labour in 2016, declined steadily from that 86% high: 55.5% in 2017, and 42.7% in 2019. Now, in true Blairite fashion, Tracy Brabin has jumped ship in order to become Mayor of West Yorkshire, a newly-created and rather powerful role which also pays rather more than an MP’s salary— £105,000 plus expenses [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayor_of_West_Yorkshire].
It must be a possibility that Tracy Brabin could see support for Labour sliding, and weighed up the odds.
Parts of the constituency have high non-white populations (mainly Indians and Pakistanis), while others are still largely English. I have been unable to discover exact proportions for the constituency as a whole.
The Conservative Party candidate is one Ryan Stephenson, a councillor in Leeds (10 miles to the northeast); Stephenson is also the Chairman of the West Yorkshire Conservative Party, and a director of an academy trust. https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/politics/conservatives-choose-leeds-councillor-ryan-stephenson-as-candidate-for-batley-and-spen-by-election-3243396.
Labour is represented by Kim Leadbetter, the sister of assassinated MP Jo Cox. She was not even a member of the Labour Party until fairly recently, and the usual rule (that members of the Labour Party have to have been members for a year until they can be selected as candidates) was waived in her case.
Ms. Leadbetter is apparently a former lecturer in physical health, who also works as a personal trainer, but spends much of her time working for the Jo Cox Foundation.
When I had a Twitter account (a pack of Jews had me expelled in 2018), I tweeted rather extensively about the Jo Cox Foundation. My conclusions were unfavourable. I now notice that there were, in 2019 (when accounts were last published), six paid employees, and the salary cost of those six was around a quarter of a million pounds altogether.
The candidature of Ms. Leadbetter smacks of desperation on the part of Labour. They seem to be aiming, five years after the assassination of Jo Cox, for a sympathy vote.
Ms. Leadbetter, like most of the other candidates, is local or at least from a nearby area, which is perceived to be important.
The LibDems have chosen as candidate a LibDem councillor, Tom Gordon, whose council seat is in Knottingley, 20 miles east of Batley.
The Green Party has selected a rugby player, 29-y-o Ross Peltier [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Peltier], who seems to be the only non-white in the contest.
A relatively new entrant to politics is the Yorkshire Party [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkshire_Party], which came third (behind Lab and Con) in the 2021 West Yorkshire Mayoral Election. Its vote share was 9.7%, though, only narrowly defeating the Green Party (9.2%); there were 7 candidates in toto.
Yorkshire Party has a number of councillors in Yorkshire.
The well-known speaker and former MP, George Galloway, is standing, under the aegis of the Workers’ Party: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Galloway; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers_Party_of_Britain.
Two “nationalist” candidates, both from tiny parties, and neither with a good track record, are contesting the by-election: Anne Marie Waters [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Marie_Waters] of For Britain, and Jayda Fransen [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayda_Fransen] of British Freedom Party but standing as Independent because the Electoral Commission has as yet not “approved” BFP to stand in elections (so much for “democracy” etc…).
Neither Fransen nor Waters has much chance of even retaining a deposit. Jayda Fransen has made a short YouTube video about her Batley and Spen campaign:
I have blogged about both Anne Marie Waters and Jayda Fransen in the past: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2020/09/11/diary-blog-11-september-2020-including-a-few-notes-about-jayda-fransen-and-her-new-british-freedom-party/; and see also https://ianrobertmillard.org/2019/04/04/a-look-at-some-uk-political-and-social-realities/.
Batley and Spen by-election: analysis and provisional prediction
This is probably going to be between the two main System parties, but there are complications.
In 2019, Labour won on 42.7% of the vote, with the Conservative Party second on 36%. The LibDems, on 4.7%, were beaten into fourth by a new entrant, Heavy Woollen District Independents [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Woollen_District_Independents], which scored 12.2%. The candidate for HWDI was not the leader, who is or was an ex-UKIP member called Lukic, who himself had scored 2% as Independent in the 2017 election at Batley and Spen.
It seems that HWDI is standing no candidate this time, but there is still time to declare, so that is not certain. I cannot say whether those who voted HWDI might now transfer their vote to Yorkshire Party. Perhaps.
I give little credence to the two minor British nationalist candidates, whose votes would probably have been tiny anyway, even had they not split whatever vote each might have had without close competition. Both are anti-Islam (or anti-Islamist), both are pro-Israel to some degree, neither has achieved much politically, though I commend anyone who keeps trying in the conditions of State repression, Jew-Zionist conspiracy and migration-invasion prevalent in the UK today.
I am not expecting either of those two ladies to score as high as 5% in Batley and Spen, or to get 5% even between the two of them. If either does retain her deposit, then she will have done well, indeed very well.
George Galloway? I hope that my bias against him does not prevent objectivity (he tweeted negative comments about me on Twitter, years ago, and also blocked my then Twitter account). He does not accept that old-style socialism died in and after 1989, and he is as outdated as the Battleship Potemkin.
I am unsure as to what level of support Galloway has among Muslims in Batley and Spen. Some, probably. All the same, if he scores 5%+ and retains his deposit, that would count as a major victory for him.
The LibDems likewise. They will be hoping, at best, for retention of their deposit, but I would expect them to end up with less than 5%.
Yorkshire Party? Perhaps the joker in this pack. I have no way of assessing their chances, except by reference to that mayoral election recently. 9.7% was a good result for a relatively new party (founded 2014 as “Yorkshire First”). They are very unlikely to win this by-election; the question is, if they do get a high-ish vote (over 5%), which of the two main System parties will be most damaged?
The Labour candidate is a mark of Labour desperation. Someone only there because her sister was assassinated (and later canonized, or at least beatified, by the System and msm).
The constituency having a fairly high non-white population (no exact figures found, but around a third), Labour’s expectations must be to win between a third and a half of the vote as a whole. Labour is now largely a black/brown party in terms of its voters; public service workers account for much of the remainder.
If the white population of Batley and Spen has turned away from Labour, even if not voting Conservative, then Labour has a problem.
My present feeling is that the Conservative Party candidate might win this. Labour is just not what most people want at present. The recent YouGov poll suggesting that about 37% to 23% think that Boris-idiot would make a better PM than Keir Starmer is stunning, even though I myself despise “Boris”. Likewise, latest polling on “Westminster voting intention” puts the Cons around 40% and Labour around 30%.
Ironically, the fact that the Labour candidate at Batley and Spen has not been a member of the Labour Party for very long might actually help her with the voters! On the other hand, voters may feel that, if Labour nationally is sliding, and unlikely to form a government any time soon (if ever), then they may as well vote in as MP someone who might be listened to by Government, and thus help the area more. Just a thought.
Much will depend on turnout; also on whether either or both of Galloway and the Yorkshire Party do well, and on whose votes those two take. Galloway will be aiming largely at the Muslim vote; as to Yorkshire Party, hard to say, but maybe they aim to capture white formerly Labour voters. If that is so, then Labour is again in trouble.
The Labour Party vote in Batley and Spen has been eroding steadily since the rigged 2016 by-election. Tracy Brabin jumped ship because she feared defeat at the next general election.
My feeling at the moment is that the Conservative Party might win this, but that it could either be very close, or it could be a total rout for Labour. My head says the former, but my heart is screaming for the latter.
Update, 6 June 2021
“John Rentoul@JohnRentoul Paul Halloran, the 3rd placed candidate in Batley & Spen in 2019, standing aside in by-election – boost for the Tories“
The reference there is to Paul Halloran, the candidate at Batley and Spen of the “Heavy Woollen District Independents” in the 2019 General Election: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batley_and_Spen_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2020s. He scored 12.2%, a very creditable result. I mentioned the fact in my blog post of yesterday about the upcoming Batley and Spen by-election (1 July 2021): https://ianrobertmillard.org/2021/06/04/the-batley-and-spen-by-election-2021/.
It seems that the said Halloran has now joined the no-chance Reclaim Party set up by the actor Laurence Fox, who now stands for free speech (except, it seems, where Jews disapprove or are mentioned). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Fox.
Halloran, Fox, and Reclaim Party have issued a statement: https://mailchi.mp/a466726a0fd3/media-statement-the-reclaim-party-and-paul-halloran?e=d4fb63896d.
It is clear that Reclaim Party will never amount to anything. As far as the Batley and Spen by-election in July is concerned, the stand-aside will obviously help the Conservative candidate, but what is unknown is by how many votes. Halloran received 12.2% of the vote in 2019, true, but Fox, in the recent London Mayoral Election, only 1.9%. I suppose that it might be surmised that Halloran, had he stood, might have garnered 5% of the by-election vote, possibly 10%, and maybe even 15%+, but the fact is that that is pure speculation. We do not know.
What we do know is that the above news is probably a blow for Labour. A few percent might decide this contest.
Update, 7 June 2021
The tweet below gives an idea of the local government situation within the Batley and Spen constituency area:
Says it all…
Kirklees Council has a plurality of Labour councillors: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirklees_Council.
Update, 7 June 2021
The Green Party has dumped its candidate at Batley and Spen: https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/19354923.ross-peltier-ex-bulls-star-by-election-candidacy-revoked/. Another candidate will be selected, apparently. I thought that that was impossible after close of nominations (which was late today), but maybe there are exceptions.
Update, 8 June 2021
Seems that I was right, and that Green Party will now not be represented: https://news.sky.com/story/batley-and-spen-sixteen-candidates-to-contest-by-election-on-1-july-12327304.
The non-candidature of the Green Party will probably be a minor help to Labour; however, Green Party only had a 1.3% vote share in 2019.
A host of minor and crank candidates came forward on the last day of the nomination period (7 June 2021):
- Alliance for Green Socialism [https://green-socialist.com/];
- Christian Peoples Alliance [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Peoples_Alliance], which was founded in 1999, has won a handful of local council seats, and has contested a few Westminster seats, never reaching 1% of votes cast;
- English Democrats [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Democrats], founded 2002, which has perhaps 2,000 members and has had limited local election success, but which has never scored as high as 5% in any Westminster election;
- Official Monster Raving Loony Party [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_Monster_Raving_Loony_Party], founded 1982; usual Westminster vote is below 1%;
- Heritage Party [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kurten#Heritage_Party], founded 2020. Came fourth in the 2021 Hartlepool by-election (1.6% vote);
- Social Democratic Party [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Democratic_Party_(UK,_1990%E2%80%93present)], founded 1990 in this form. Has attempted numerous Westminster elections, but has never risen beyond statistical zero;
- Rejoin EU;
- UKIP [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_Independence_Party]. UKIP is of little account now, though it still has, apparently, as many as 20,000 members (on 2019 figures at least).
Some of those candidatures (UKIP, English Democrats, Heritage) will affect the contest between the two major contenders, taking away a few percent from the Conservatives, and the Green non-candidature will probably increase the Labour vote by a similar amount.
The contest has, in my view, just become tighter.
Update, 13 June 2021
A few news reports seen: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-57429588; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-57282364; https://www.dewsburyreporter.co.uk/news/politics/keir-starmer-batley-and-spen-by-election-is-not-about-me-3268697.
Interesting piece from Spiked: https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/06/10/batley-and-spen-this-is-bigger-than-red-v-blue/.
Update, 14 June 2021
Update, 16 June 2021