Friday, 7 May 2010

The rewards of good incumbency

Ann Arbor, Mi: Well liked incumbents got their reward in the general eletion and less popular ones were ejected by electors. In Gedling, a key Conservative target seat, Warwick politics graduate and minister Vernon Coker retained his seat. An American colleague visited his campaign and noted that his posters said 'Vote Vern Coker' in big letters and 'Labour' in much smaller type.

An asteroid hit Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik when he lost his Montgomery seat to na popular local farmer and former Welsh Assembly member. The Lib Dems lost Harrogate where a popular local MP stood down, but they took Redcar where feeling was running high over the closure of the steel works.

For all the talk of a wave of independents, the incumbents in Blaenau Gwent and Wyre Forest lost their seats and Esther Rantzen polled less than 5 per cent of the votes in Luton South. 'Celebrity' politics has not arrived and the much heralded death of the two party system appears to have been overstated, although the Green victory in Brighton Pavilion will add a distinctive voice to the Commons. The BNP polled badly in their target seats in Barking and Stoke.

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