The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Norwich North: It’s Over

Posted by The Futility Monster on June 26, 2009 @ 17:21

I see the Tories have been taking lessons from Lord Rennard...

I see the Tories have been taking lessons from Lord Rennard...

As always around these parts, when I speak, the world listens.

See, yesterday I delivered my reasoned and not-so-humble opinion on what is likely to happen in the forthcoming by-elections.

And today, my superb foresight has been proved right. ICM report that the Conservatives are on course for victory, with 34%, and Labour slipping back over 15% to 30%.

It’s tight. It’s within the margin of error. But my position is that if these are the opening numbers, the game is over already. With the release of this poll, it becomes obvious to all the electorate that this is, in the usual by-election parlance, a straight choice between the Conservatives and Labour. I would expect to see the remaining parties (including a very large “others” share of 14%) squeezed most horrendously.

That will be interesting in itself – as we will see the Lib Dem share drain away – to watch where the support transfers to. It is my belief now that more Lib Dems will go for Cameron than Brown if forced to choose. That wasn’t the case at first, but as time has gone by Lib Dem supporters are less prepared to forgive Gordon Brown for his endless silly mistakes. The dithering over a private Iraq war inquiry is just the latest that will rile Lib Dems. I know it’s annoyed me!

A Conservative win here is, to my mind, a certainty (and you know I don’t pull any punches with my predictions, even if they make me look stupid). The numbers will get stronger for the Tories as the weeks go by, especially once the campaigning gets into swing. It will be intriguing to see what kind of campaign Labour go for this time though. They did, after all, pull off a very good defence in Glenrothes. Perhaps they will apply some lessons from that campaign… but bear in mind that Scotland and England are very different beasts electorally.

Nevertheless – there is one thing that could upset the applecart. Could current MP Ian Gibson run as an independent after all? If he does, he may be our first “test case” of how the electorate reacts to very specific expense allegations. That in itself will be a real insight into what kind of “anti-incumbency” reaction we’re going to get come the General Election.

In the meantime, of course, the most likely outcome would be to split the Labour vote, making a Tory MP even more likely.

Time to place a small wager, methinks.

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