A quick political history lesson for Grant Shapps

As Nich Starling has pointed out, last night Conservative MP Grant Shapps said on TV, trying to explain away the embarrassing Conservative result in Ealing Southall:

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 *
CeredigionĀ *
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 justĀ a slip of the tounge with him meaning to limit his comments to Conservative third places only.

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