The Futility Monster

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

Beaten By Mugabe? Oxford East Lib Dems Celebrate!

Posted by The Futility Monster on December 17, 2009 @ 09:57

Peter Tatchell after Mugabe's thugs had their say...

Now that’s such a mean title…

But the last part is definitely true.

The news yesterday that Peter Tatchell will not be standing for the Greens at the next election in the seat of Oxford East will, I’m sure, have raised a wee cheer at Lib Dem Towers in Cowley Street.

Tatchell says his reasons for not standing are related to a beating he was given by Mugabe’s thugs several years ago, which has left him with long-term effects. That is very sad, of course, and I wish him all the best.

But, wearing my partisan hat, I believe this is good news for the Lib Dems. Oxford East is a squeaky Labour-Lib Dem marginal, which Labour just about kept hold of last time with a majority of of just 963. Boundary changes since then have, according to Anthony Wells of UK Polling Report, made this even more favourable to the Yellow Peril.

There is, in my mind, no doubt that a strong Green campaign in this seat would have affected the result next time. After all, in 2005 the Green candidate got 1,813 votes – twice the majority. It’s not a huge leap of imagination to suggest that if those 1,813 people were asked to recast their ballot in mind of what the result was going to be that many of them may have shifted over to the Lib Dems, particularly given the position of the parties on Iraq and top-up fees, which were massive issues in seats like this one.

Next time, Peter Tatchell’s mere presence, never mind his formidable campaigning skills, would have given the Greens a bigger profile. Maybe he was even standing as a spoiler to the Lib Dems chances. After all, he’ll probably never forget that by-election in a hurry.

But now he’s gone. And this, if you’ll pardon the historical pun, will be yet another straight choice for the people of Oxford East.

In the balance of things, it is a seat that the Lib Dems should obviously win against a failing Labour government. Nick Clegg will surely visit the constituency. He probably hopes all of the marginal battles were like this one. And it should be enough. If they cannot win a seat like this, then it will be an extremely bad night: and a seat total of 30-40 would be expected.

Winning this seat, and seats like it, are part of the calculation for the Lib Dems to make up the ground that may well be lost in LD-Con marginals, where the temptation of voting for David Cameron will just be too great for the locals, fools that they are.

The only unknown. Will Labour take my advice and try to rally the core vote?

If they did, this is the kind of seat (believe it or not) where it might just work…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: