Posts Tagged ‘election bandwagon’

Labour’s bandwagon needs a shove

11/02/2013, 12:43:42 PM

by John Braggins

The first polls are out for the Eastleigh by-election and they give the Tories a three point lead over the Lib Dems, or the Lib Dems a three point lead over the Tories – depending on which poll you believe or how you interpret them.  I know from many years of campaigning that by elections have a special dynamic that means early polls often turn out to be deceptive.

Veteran Lib Dem campaign supremo, Lord Rennard, ennobled, it is said, for his services to the dark art of by-election campaigning, says the Labour vote is there to be squeezed in a “classic two-horse race.” Where have we heard this before?  Well in every Lib Dem leaflet penned by Chris Rennard, at every by-election since the Liberals won Bermondsey in 1983.

In the past this was a largely successful ploy as the LibDems have always claimed they were neither Tories nor Labour and if you didn’t like one or the other, then you could vote for them.  But that was the old politics and today things are very different – voters In Eastleigh can vote Labour precisely because they are not the Tories or the Lib Dems.

Now is time for Ed Miliband to step forward and show he has the vision and guts to pull-off an amazing by-election victory in this ex-railway town. And why not, all the components of an electoral bandwagon are in place.

Tory candidate Maria Hutchings begun her campaign being forced to deny quotes from the past and quarrelling with David Cameron on Europe, gay marriage and abortion.

In 2005 she was quoted as saying “With an increasing number of immigrants and asylum seekers then the pot is reduced for the rest of us, Mr Blair has got to stop focusing on issues around the world such as Afghanistan and AIDS in Africa and concentrate on the issues that affect the people of middle England.” Undoubtedly Ms Hutchings could turn into a liability – her presence in Westminster would certainly send a shiver down the spine of David Cameron.

And with a nasty Tory campaign, if the early comments by party chairman, Grant Shapps, are anything to go by, that will upset the many decent voters of Eastleigh.


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