Phew – what an election night that was! Those pundits claiming it was going to be boring were proved wrong. Then again, so were the pollsters. So much for a hung Parliament and another coalition…
I’ll ignore my personal disappointment at the overall result to focus on the implications for HS2 and a look at how badly the night went for the anti Hs2 campaign. OK, let’s not beat about the bush here it didn’t go ‘badly’ – it was an outright disaster. Throughout the election campaign I’ve been blogging about how the anti campaign’s been writing cheques it can’t cash. Their laughable ‘no votes for you with Hs2’ being the classic example of hype & hyperbole. Now the results are in and so we can cut through the spin & look at the reality.
First off has to be the supposed anti Hs2 ‘strongholds’ which are the Chilterns & Warwickshire. The results in both are very, very telling. Antis claimed Hs2 was the pivotal event that would decide the election in North Warwickshire (formerly held by Dan Byles MP, who was standing down). The result?
Well, that went well then! Meanwhile, in the Chilterns, UKIP were making great play of their opposition to Hs2 as they expected it would deliver them Aylesbury. After all – wasn’t this the epicentre of opposition to Hs2 with the whole county up in arms about the project? Obviously not…
As the article states, Lidlington’s vote was down a mere 1.5% which, when you consider the outrageous claims of the anti Hs2 campaigners is a pretty damning indictment of their supposed influence. Mind you, If I was UKIP I’d be very pissed off with the anti hs2 mob. They promised the party thousands of votes & failed to deliver every time. It’s clear UKIP were fooled into banking their votes, assuming this meant they were a shoo-in at constituencies Hs2 passed through.
It’s not just the general election either. There were council elections too. Here’s the results in another supposed stronghold of the anti Hs2 campaign – Wendover in Bucks, where all 3 seats were won by the Tories.
In fact, there’s nowhere the anti Hs2 campaign manifested itself in the popular vote. They failed to wield any influence in their supposed ‘strongholds’ or anywhere else on the route. As for away from the route – forget it! I’ve long said that their campaign’s a chimera, oft talked about but never seen. Sections of the media have given them an easy ride & never scrutinised their claims. That needs to change & I hope this blog will encourage fellow journalists to do that.
Back in the real world it’s clear that Hs2 will continue just as soon as Parliament reconvenes. The election result couldn’t have been worse for the anti Hs2 campaign. The Tories return without coalition partners, UKIP have been emasculated and the one Labour front bencher who was seen as wavering on Hs2 (Ed Balls) has lost his seat.
One can’t help wondering how long it’ll be before those who fund StopHs2 & the other anti organisations wake up, smell the coffee & realise they’re only throwing their money way…
After grabbing a few hours sleep I’ve woken up to find some of the anti Hs2 mob are still dreaming! A quick look at social media has shown just how utterly deluded members of their campaign are. Here’s a few examples;
Talk about being in denial? The PM’s just been re-elected for another 5 years with the Hs2 antis having shown they’ve absolutely no electoral clout – even in the Chilterns.
More delusions that aren’t even worth commenting on..
Oh, there’s one result that speaks volumes. The only constituency that had someone standing purely on an anti Hs2 ticket was Westminster North. Here’s the result.
So, what next for the anti Hs2 mob? The oblivion I predicted earlier in the year. They’ve had the worst possible result. Within hours of the results becoming clear, returning Chancellor George Osborne tweeted this:
Of course, Hs2 is a major plank of Osborne’s Northern powerhouse…
I predict it won’t be long before Warks millionaire Joe Elliott (the man who’s bankrolled StopH2) finally puts his chequebook away & that group folds. Will Hs2aa be far behind?