Stop smiling Ed16 November 2012
Predictably Labour ran a send the coalition a message campaign, which in the Bristol Mayoral election resulted in them getting trounced by an Independent. As much as there was a desire to send such a message, this was outweighed by the desire not to have a party-political crank at the helm. There was also clearly anti-Labour tactical voting as LibDem & Conservative leaning areas registered significantly higher turnouts, yet support for those parties tanked. Ferguson got more first preferences than the Labour candidate had first & second combined.
Even though Ed Miliband is right with saying middle England turning its back on Cameron, he is being a bit blinkered in where those people are going. Given that Labour are supposed to be a popular opposition to an unpopular government, the equal measure of losses to Independents is actually counter to what they should expect.