16 July 2007

Let's make a date

No, I'm not propositioning you, dear readers (sorry to disappoint you all), but I am considering the speculation about when the next Westminster Election will be.

Gordon Brown of course dispensed with this personal privilege and is passing it to Parliament, which in the Commons at least, has a Labour majority and so will do what Brown says anyway, but chatter is starting about a possible early election, with the Spring of 2008 earmarked.

Those who reckon the election will be then base their assumption on the fact that work is now starting on the Labour manifesto, and Sunday's ICM poll giving Labour a seven point lead.

Now, these people are right to focus on an internal party matter and a set of polls, but I think they've got the wrong internal party matter and the wrong set of polls. I think that two key questions will determine the timing of an Election:

1. Will the Labour Party's finances be strong enough to withstand a tough Election campaign, as the next one will certainly be?

2. What will be the outcome of the two By-Elections this Thursday, in Sedgefield and in Ealing Southall?

Question 1 I think will mitigate against an early poll, despite preparation of a manifesto. Rather, we'll see a pre-manifesto coming out in 2008, on the back of a major fundraising drive.

Question 2 is the odd one. Sedgefield has not caught the heather alight and is almost certain to be a Labour win on a pathetic turnout. Ealing Southall is turning into a farce, however: none of the main parties' candidates appear to have impressed, Labour have seen five of their local Councillors defect to the Tories, the Conservative candidate has been caught donating funds to Labour and the Liberal Democrats are just there, doing very little, which isn't normal for the LibDems. However, given the state of this campaign, that might be a bonus for them: it will give them kudos with Exasperated Voter.

Exasperated Voter is the love child of Exasperated Non-Voter and Tactical Voter. Exasperated Non-Voter would like to vote, but is put off by the choice of candidates and parties available, so stays at home. Tactical Voter casts a vote designed to keep someone else out rather than put their preferred choice in. Exasperated Voter is dismayed by the choice available, so rather than voting for the candidate who has done the most to attract him/her, votes for the candidate who has done the least to antagonise him/her. Seeing as the LibDem appears to have been squeezed out in terms of publicity, this gives him a bonus with Exasperated Voter.

And if Labour do badly in Ealing Southall, then the debate might become whether the Election will be in 2009 or 2010.

2 comments:

Lord Straf-Bilderberg said...

I was laughed at by afficianados for a 2012 date for big changes but it's looking increasingly like an early election and that puts 2012 back in the frame again. There are many indicators the cabals have a bee in their bonnet about 2012 for some reason.

Lord Straf-Bilderberg said...

So we're still waiting.