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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Election Timing

Having been swept along with General Election hype over the last two weeks I have now taken a deep breath and tried to think through whether I believe this is a good idea.

On the plus side:
1 - The Party is very much ready, organised and funded to fight an election - why stop now when everything is geared up and ready to go?

2 - There's every chance of Labour making significant gains in both votes and seats compared with 2005.

3 - The polls have been very stable for months, showing healthy leads for Labour over the Tories - there is no need to wait any longer for an acceptable run of poll leads.

4 - There's a strategic opportunity to stop Cameron's renewal of the Tories in its tracks and put them in a position where they have expended the best leader they are likely to have in the near future and made no progress - it could even trigger a split or realignment on the right.
I wish I was clever enough to work it all out
5 - We are completely focused on the marginal constituencies and confident that this approach will once again lead to a sweeping Labour victory.

6 - We are the only party with an overall command of regional politics and a realistic chance of winning the popular mandate in England, Scotland and Wales.

7 - The electorate is desperate for an opportunity to vote for Gordon Brown, as it does not like the concept of an unelected Prime Minister.

8 - This is a great time of year to get out and campaign.

9 - We need to go to the polls before Cameron consolidates his control over the Tory Party even further and develops even more manifesto policies.

10 - From a purely London point-of-view we should avoid stretching our resources to breaking point by waiting until May, when the General Election would conflict with the Mayoral and GLA elections and could let Boris Johnson and the BNP in.

On the minus side:
1 - We desperately need more time to complete our organisational preparations and to raise more money from our millionaire non-domiciled business supporters before we could consider an election campaign - why call an election now when we are £20 million in debt and not geared up and ready to go?

2 - There's every chance of Labour making significant losses in votes and even losing some seats compared to 2005.

3 - The polls are notoriously volatile - it would be good to wait to see a longer run of poll leads.

4 - Cameron has consolidated his leadership of the Conservative Party by presenting a policy manifesto that appeals to all wings of the party and has made an excellent speech to Party Conference without script or autocue - something Gordon Brown couldn't do in a month of Sundays.
5 - Do we have any real idea about the trends in marginal seats behind the recent poll leads? An 11% national lead is not much use if it is all stacked up in safe seats rather than marginals.

6 - We're losing votes to the nationalists and LibDems in Scotland and Wales and the Tories are starting to gain seats in the north of England for the first time in years.

7 - The electorate is desperate for an opportunity to give Gordon Brown a good smack in the teeth, as it does not like the concept of an unelected Prime Minister and they don't like the slick way in which we slid Gordon Brown into the role without going to the country.

8 - It's freezing cold and dark in November which will piss off millions of complacent Labour voters and give an advantage to the opposition as their voters have more to gain. And I don't want to go out in November. Linda - have I got to go out on the streets at night in the cold and rain?

9 - If we wait for a bit the Tory Party will see through Cameron and his phony modernisation project and, because most Tories don't actually buy into his vision, they will launch a leadership coup against him and destroy themselves before a General Election.

10 - From a purely London point-of-view there is a tactical advantage to holding the General Election in May on the same day as the Mayoral and GLA elections to increase turnout and campaigning activity in these, which would help Ken see off Boris and help keep the BNP off the GLA.

Unlike the Decision-Maker-in-Chief, I don't have a full deck (or an autocue to tell me what to think). Mind you, this is Gordon Brown we're talking about so I'm not totally convinced that he's got a full deck or a functioning autocue, either. On balance I think I'll just take another deep breath and hide under the kitchen table.

1 comment:

Frieda Greebel said...

I think we should definitely... umm... err...