What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

July 18, 2007

What to make of the by-elections?

I’m not the greatest fan of Parliamentary by-elections. They provide, almost invariably, an unedifying political spectacle in which fairness, objectivity and the public become by-standers to the main event. That turnout is usually low - despite the avalanche of leaflets, and babble of mob-handed canvassers - highlights the gulf between the amped-up interest of we politicos, and the damped-down disinterest of the voters.

However, they remain significant events - serious tests not only of the popularity of political parties, but also of their campaigning effectiveness. To disregard them would be even more foolish than to over-egg their wider significance. What, then, is at stake for the three main parties at Ealing Southall and Sedgefield?

Labour

In a perverse way, Labour can afford to be most relaxed about these by-elections. Why? Because they have a ready-made excuse - all governments suffer mid-term setbacks. It’s a tired, clichéd, and not wholly accurate excuse. But there is enough of a grain of truth in it to get Labour off-the-hook. Unless, that is, their doomsday scenario occurs, and they were to lose both by-elections… in which case it’s a disaster which will flatten the ‘Brown bounce’. More likely, Labour will hold one or perhaps both, albeit with slashed majorities. They can live with that - though that they feel able to should give them serious pause for thought.

Lib Dem

As the acknowledged by-election specialists, the Lib Dems are probably most tense for two reasons. First, because expectations of our performance are commensurately higher. In one sense this is healthy - it shows party activists are still enthused enough to mount a vigorous campaign, and that the media must acknowledge (however much it pains them) that the Lib Dems are not going to disappear simply so that lazy hacks can indulge their love of old-school two-party politics.

And, secondly, because our performance is being viewed through the prism of Ming Campbell’s leadership. Anything that falls short of expectations - however high and unreasonable those expectations might be - may be portrayed as a disappointment, and increase still further the media speculation which has plagued Ming’s 18-month tenure.


A victory in either/both Ealing Southall and/or Sedgefield should be more than sufficient to calm any party nerves, and to shore up Ming’s position. (Though given the commentariat appears to have made up their mind about Ming it’s doubtful that they would accept any evidence to the contrary.) A good result would be the Lib Dems running Labour close in Ealing Southall, and getting a substantial swing in Sedgefield to leap-frog the Tories into second. A poor result would be if the Lib Dems slip back into third in Ealing Southall, and cannot progress in Sedgefield.

The Tories

They, too, will be tense - they have thrown a hell of a lot of resources at Ealing Southall in particular, and anything less than a good second place will be a disappointment. David Cameron’s position is, of course, secure for the moment - he is, after all, more popular than his party. However, a failure to make real progress in this seat will trigger a few concerns, even among loyal Cameroons, that the party is still in no fit state for a general election campaign. And among the not-so-loyal-Cameroons, we might expect to hear some mutterings that Mr Cameron’s personal choice of candidate - famously photographed beaming alongside Tony Blair only last month, and a Tory member for only a few weeks - exemplifies the style-over-substance trait which risks becoming his defining characteristic in the public mind.

Clearly if the Tories win Ealing Southall it shows they’re back in business, at least in the south of England. They could be satisfied with a second place, leap-frogging the Lib Dems. If they remain in third place, it will be a poor investment on their effort.

Their expectations for Sedgefield appear much lower - they would, I suspect, be ecstatic if they held onto second place. If they slip to third, behind the Lib Dems, they will shrug it off. That in itself says much about the national ambitions of the Tory party today.

2 comments:

James said...

I think your analysus of the by-elections is broadly about right. I think the Sedgefield result should be thought of as to how much (presuming we're second) Greg manages to reduce Labour's majority by; anything getting it to below 12,000 would be a very good result for "us". However, if we don't win, or at least come close to winning, in Ealing (especially finishing behind the Tories), I think it's 'Good-night Calcutta' for poor old Ming...

Anonymous said...

msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
şekilli msn nickleri
şekilli nickler
güzel msn nickleri
frmtr
msn nickleri
.
.
.

wp themes
blogger templates
wordpress temaları
wordpress themes
wp themes
wordpress temaları
blogger templates
wp themes
blogger themes
blogger templates


erken rezervasyon
129.93.251.82
free link directory
e-directorylive
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
test atölyesi
testatölyesi
test atölyesi
testatölyesi
Msn Nickleri
free warez
Msn avatarları
free wordpress templates
free wordpress themes
free wp themes
free wp themes
free wp templates
blogger tips template
blogger template
blogger themes
free blogger templates
free blogger themes
wordpress templates
blogger templates

sandbox
msn nickleri
webmaster
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
dmoz
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
msn nickleri
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması

dmoz
alexa
kaiser_dealxa
seo uzmanı
seo
iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması



msn nickleri
msn nickleri
freewaresmania
msn nickleri
msn
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
todd livingston
aşk şiirleri
aşk şiirleri
haberler
msn nickleri
evden eve nakliyat
evden eve nakliyat
e-okul
health articles
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
credito
pret
msn nicknames
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
hilary duff
lazer epilasyon
lazer epilasyon
ramazan ayı
msn nickleri
msn spitznamen
msn nickleri
hayal bahçesi
şarkı sözleri
seo yarışması
msn nickleri
gafoloji
msn nickleri
msn nickleri


msn nickleri
tsubasa
ev dekorasyon

msn nickleri

yeni msn nickleri

msn avatarları

komik msn nickleri

delikanlı msn nickleri

güzel msn avatarları

şekilli msn nickleri

msn avatarları

beşiktaş nickleri
aşk sevgi nickleri
duygusal msn nickleri
damardan nickler
dini nickler
nefret nickleri
nickler
rap nickleri
webmaster
backlink
kaiser_dealxa
wordpress temaları
pagerank
seo
msn nickleri
romantik nickler
yalnızlık nickleri
yazılı msn avatarları
yeni msn nickler

dantel örgü modelleri
dantel oya modelleri
webmaster
alexa
supremacyshowtime
aşk nickleri
bebek nickleri
msn avatarları
webmaster
Kahraman Türkler
civciv
hayalbahcesi
Msn Nickleri
msn ifadeleri
Msn Nickleri
Msn Nickleri
msn nickleri
toddplivingston
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
basketbol
borsa
haberler
spor
müzik
iç haberler
futbol
yusuf
yusuf
yusuf
leylek
msn nickleri
msn nickleri
health articles
gafoloji
warez



[code]Msn Nickleri[/code][code]
webmaster[/code][code]
Kahraman Türkler[/code][code]
civciv[/code][code]
hayalbahcesi[/code][code]
Msn Nickleri[/code][code]
msn ifadeleri[/code][code]
Msn Nickleri[/code][code]
Msn Nickleri[/code][code]
msn nickleri[/code][code]
toddplivingston[/code][code]
msn nickleri[/code][code]
msn nickleri[/code][code]
msn nickleri[/code]
[code]
msn nickleri[/code]
[code]
basketbol[/code]
[code]
borsa[/code]
[code]
dış haberler[/code]
[code]
futbol[/code]
[code]
haberler[/code]
[code]
iç haberler[/code]
[code]
müzik[/code]
[code]
spor[/code]
[code]
voleybol[/code]
[code]
tarih[/code]
[code]
teknoloji[/code]
[code]
blogger themes[/code]
[code]
blogy navideno themes[/code]
[code]
msn nickleri[/code]
[code]
darlehen[/code]
[code]
health articles[/code]
[code]
grup hepsi[/code]


"iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması"

Msn avatarları


"iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması"

"iyinet webmaster forumu 2008 seo yarışması"

msn

hayalbahcesi
forum merkezi
muhabbet
oyun merkezi
genel bilgiler
-
hayalbahcesi

hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
hayalbahcesi
forum
komik
msn avatarları
tsubasa
vbulletin
aşk
sevgi
msn nickleri