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Monday, 3 May 2010

Ringing endorsements

Duffygate thankfully livened up last week's campaigning. And the debates have provided welcome novelty factor. But after five years of a rotten Parliament and a Prime Minister seemingly scared of facing the electorate - Thursday of this week can't come quickly enough.

We had endorsements from most of the major papers last week. The Tories reached beyond their natural right wing press to secure the approval of the Economist and the Times - good going for David Cameron. There was, however, a note of caution in those endorsements. The Sunday Times claimed the Conservatives "deserve the chance to govern", possibly similar to the endorsement that many will make at polling booths on Thursday - that it's time to give something else a chance, rather than being wholeheartedly convinced that the Tories are the answer.

The Lib Dems secured the coup of an endorsement from the Guardian, who claimed that the "liberal moment has come". They also advised their readers to vote tactically in Labour/Conservative marginals to keep the Tories out. In doing so, they rightly recognise the threat of a centre left fudge on Thursday, with some Labour voters drifting to the Lib Dems and reducing the Tory swing needed in harder to reach seats. The Observer's endorsement was wholeheartedly Lib Dem - perhaps it would have been uncouth to have argued twice for tactical voting, perhaps the Observer has more confidence. The Observer rightly congratulated Nick Clegg for his impact on the Lib Dem campaign. It has strengthened his leadership immeasurably within the party. His leadership makes the Kennedy years almost seem wasted years - one must think that Clegg would have driven home the Lib Dems advantage in 2005 post Iraq with more energy and drive than Charlie K.

Labour meanwhile continue to die slowly before our eyes. The loyal Labour press duly endorsed them. Tragically for Brown, he again performed well at interview with Jeremy Paxman on Friday evening. But noone is listening. There were ugly scenes at a "campaign" event in Sunderland at the weekend, where Brown spoke to an audience of activists who angrily bundled out the outsider who dared to ask him a question. It looked bad and Labour would be roundly kicking themselves for not kicking him out were there not such a good chance of a hung parliament on Thursday. Losing to the Tories, but giving the Tories a majority, in difficult economic circumstances, with a dodgy inheritance where the likes of a Miliband could blame it all on Brown then swiftly regroup is actually a very good outcome for Labour. The Labour party will turn on Brown with venom on May 7th, perhaps as early as after 10pm on May 6th - to purge themselves of the Brown years.

My prediction for the election has now been calculated, and I will post it on Wednesday evening. Some of the key highlights and seats to watch out for will be in there too. We're in for a historic night - if only we could just get on with it.

1 comment:

  1. Do you live in one of the top 100 constituencies where you could prevent a Tory majority?

    Spread the word.