The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

Has 24 weeks got anything to do with the collapse of the Labour vote in Crewe?

It is now clear that the Labour vote has collapsed in Crewe, and a large section of it switched to the Conservatives, in a massive 17.6% swing.

A lot has been said about Northern Wreck, the 10p tax rate, and other Labour mistakes.

But a few evenings ago almost the entire parliamentary Labour Party (apart from a few decent Labour MPs, such as Ruth Kelly, MP for another North West constituency, Bolton West, with about a 2,000 majority) voted to maintain the current 24 week limit of abortion.  The timing was ludicrous.

Crewe has a long history of immigration from Irish people to work in the railways, and thus a large Catholic population.  (The most recent Catholic immigrant group, the Poles, were disenfranchised from voting in Crewe, although they can vote in local and European elections.) 

I spoke to a few Catholics in Crewe who were appalled by the abortion vote and were switching from Labour, for the first time, to the Conservatives.   There were no doubt many others, as well as some who did not turn out to vote, for various reasons – but the last straw was the abortion vote.  Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has bravely said that Labour must not take the Catholic vote for granted.  Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor is a man that I (yes, I, an Ulster Protestant) admire for his bravery on the abortion issue.

Let’s hope that Labour has lost the Catholic vote for good.  Part of the huge swing from Lab to Con in Crewe is evidence of that.

Tue 27/5/8, 14.43 Update: On her blog, the brave campaigner Nadine Dorries MP – who made a powerful and frank speech about the reality behind abortion – has confirmed that many other people had 24 weeks raised as an issue on the doorstep.  She points out that seats such as Bedford (whose MP Patrick Hall – notional 2005 majority 3,494 – voted to maintain 24 weeks) have large Catholic and Muslim communities. Lesson to Labour MPs: don’t upset what is supposed to be your core vote.

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23 May, 2008 - Posted by | abortion, Gordon Brown, Labour Party, politics |

11 Comments »

  1. […] TitusOneNine wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt It is now clear that the Labour vote has collapsed in Crewe, and a large section of it switched to the Conservatives, in a massive 17.6% swing. A lot has been said about Northern Wreck, the 10p tax rate, and other Labour mistakes. But a few evenings ago almost the entire parliamentary Labour Party (apart from a few decent Labour MPs, such as Ruth Kelly, MP for another North West constituency, Bolton West, with about a 2,000 majority) voted to maintain the current 24 week limit of abortion.  […]

    Pingback by Has 24 weeks got anything to do with the collapse of the Labour vote in Crewe? | Politics in America | 23 May, 2008 | Reply

  2. I don’t think Labour have a clue as to why their vote has collapsed , I don’t think its a case of any single issue but a growing resentment for ten years of their pushy nanny state mentality in general. Issues that people close to me say are the reason they have switched include the ID bill, the U-turn on the referendum the 10p Tax fiasco, and the fact that after ten good years and high tax returns there has been so little progress in so many areas. Add to this an unpopular war and very high personal taxation. I must admit I was personally sicked by the fact that they have kept 24 weeks when the evidence suggested that 20 weeks was more in keeping with the actual survival of children. I am not a catholic and indeed I am not a practicing Christian but I would personally like to see a 12 week cut off for most abortions. The original bill was never intended to be a form of contraception but it has become exactly that in the hands of the secularists.

    Comment by ross warren | 23 May, 2008 | Reply

  3. The 24 weeks had nothing to do with it. Which is a shame, because if the good people of Crewe & Nantwich had, say, watched Dispatches on Monday, or seen the (now expected, almost obligatory) hystrionics and deceit of the member for Mid Narnia, they might have voted Labour or Lib Dem, and given Cameron a kick in the teeth which would have said:

    “Don’t play with fire, sunshine. We may be sick to the death of this Government, but we sure as hell don’t want American culture wars mucking with our tolerant and liberal society. We know the nutters looked on this as a first step down the path to full abolition. Well now you know what you can do with it.”

    Comment by Anonymous | 23 May, 2008 | Reply

  4. This is a superb and accurate article. I am a Catholic and live in Crewe and a lot of my friends were angry with Labour over abortion.

    Labour MPs could have reduced the limit from 24 to 22 (or 20) weeks because of the medical evidence. These are not collections of cells, but viable babies.

    People in Crewe are not as Anonymous suggests trendy lefties. Labour has betrayed us over this and many issues, and we’ll vote Conservative in the future (and we never thought we’d say that).

    Comment by Sarah | 24 May, 2008 | Reply

  5. Labour stands for killing the vulnerable at the request of the irresponsible.

    Comment by Praguetory | 24 May, 2008 | Reply

  6. “The most recent Catholic immigrant group, the Poles were disenfranchised from voting in Crewe,”

    They are not entitled to vote anywhere never mind Crewe. Only British and Commonwealth citizens (including bizarrely citizens of the Fenian Republic of Ireland) can vote for a British Parliament. Poles are citizens of the EUSSR and can vote for elections to the corrupt European Parliament and strangely for our local government.

    Whilst I accept that the Church of Rome has a preponderance of Labour voters in its communicants, (primarily for economic reasons but also because the Opposition is loyal to the Queen and Country which the Church of Rome is at best neutral), even then the actual number of devout RCs who usually vote Labour but changed because of this one vote last week would only number a few hundred.

    Comment by Cheshire Prod | 24 May, 2008 | Reply

  7. modem says : I absolutely agree with this !

    Comment by modem | 29 May, 2008 | Reply

  8. Sicily says : I absolutely agree with this !

    Comment by Sicily | 3 June, 2008 | Reply

  9. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Onward
    .

    Comment by Onward | 18 June, 2008 | Reply

  10. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Hypochondriac.

    Comment by Hypochondriac | 19 June, 2008 | Reply

  11. […] role in behind the scenes whipping of Labour MPs to vote for the status quo of abortion age limits which helped to lose Labour Crewe, particularly its Catholic vote, she has actually seemed to be keen to promote gender equality. It is unclear whether the Equalities […]

    Pingback by Will the Minister for Equality help her husband circumvent an all-woman-shortlist? « the wilted rose | 18 August, 2009 | Reply


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