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Scottish Conservatives On The Roll 16 April 2007

Posted by David in Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scotland, Scottish politics, SNP, UKIP.
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Suddenly, and unexpectantly, the Scottish Conservatives are on the roll. Their campaign so far has been nothing short of a miracle. Anabelle Goldie, who for ages seemed boring and dull, turns out to be a quad bike riding, ten pin bowling, former naughty school girl who ouzes charisma, trouncing the other party leaders in debates and interviews. The pledge not to go into coalition has proved highly popular, and the lib dem yellow paint-chart – emphasising a Lib Dem vote is a vote for Labour government – is very innovative (and true).

But the SNP are still far ahead, with Labour making the error of portraying their former Scottish deputy general secretary as an ordinary member of the public. It’s almost as if certain elements in Labour want them to lose, perhaps to derail Brown? They also continue to rely only on negative campaigning and scares of life in an independent Scotland that is inevitable if the SNP win, leaving voters feeling insulted. If they have such low opinion of Scotland’s prospects, they’re hardly the inspired optimists needed, but rather failed has beens believing in an inescapable dependency culture on a national scale.

The SNP, of course, aren’t what’s needed either. They certainly aren’t inspired or optimistic, basing their figures on magic growth, EU cash now heading East and fast depleting North Sea Oil (“It’s Scotland’s oil” they may say, but most of it’s nearer the Shetland Islands actually, time for SINP?). Their campaign is merely a glossy, GQ style sales pitch of Alex Salmond. Slogan: “It’s Time”. Time for what? As yet, we don’t know.

And bubbling under, as with all elections using proportional systems, is a plethora of small parties. There’s UKIP, the “Stop the Growth” Greens, the Scottish Socialists, and the Labour supporting Lib Dems.

So who’ll win? Who knows.

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Second Preferences Mean Little – Except Sometimes 1 April 2007

Posted by David in Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Polls, UKIP.
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 As discussed on ConservativeHome, the YouGov survey for The Daily Telegraph identifies some interesting findings on the second preferences of likely voters for the main political parties.  They are summarised in the graphic. Second Preferences

Some have rushed to suggest large numbers of Tory voters (23%) are leaning left, to the Liberal Democrats. False. The Lib Dems are the second preference of everyone who seriously hates Labour, and wants to stop them. If you can’t vote Conservative, they’re the only credible alternative to seeing Labour win (i.e. they’re the only viable second choice).

I expected a higher share for UKIP than 18%, but their recent problems and near zero chance of winning makes them second choice for all but the most serious Eurosceptics. The BNP rank of 12% surprised me, but I imagine its down to protest voting and their higher chances of winning in certain areas such as London, the Midlands and Yorkshire.

With the Conservatives, the second preference statistics are largely irrelevant as they will contest all seats with a good chance of winning in many. The voters therefore have no need of second preferences and tactical voting. The figures for Labour and Lib Dems are more important however, as becoming the second choice controls tactical voting, and is surely the first stage in full conversion to becoming first choice.

In most Lib Dem seats, the Conservatives are the main opposition. And in many Labour seats with Tory opposition the ratio of how the Lib Dem tactical (i.e. second choice) vote splits is the difference between the seat staying red or turning blue. With Labour still ahead 21% to 16%, Cameron will be keen to keep wooing the Lib Dems without upsetting any more Tories. The Conservatives need Lib Dems to significantly prefer a Cameron government to a Labour one, so as to chose to vote tactically (to stop Labour, and to boot out Lib Dem MPs in favour of Tories under the “Vote Lib MP, Get Lab Gov” principle).

The fact Labour voters split 33% for the Lib Dems and just 9% for the Conservatives is worrying, and suggests there’s few more Labour voters to win over. It also suggests the Lib Dems will do well in the Labour seats they’re currently second in, matching their long running council seat shift from rural to urban. Cameron needs policies to win strivers – the people Margaret Thatcher built her landslides on. Cameron must also target non-voters, which are a large constituency needing a home.

Interesting too is the 30% of Lib Dems and 14% of Labour voters who list Green as their second choice. This is a good opportunity for the Conservatives if they get green enough to win them over. It also gives the possibility of a few Green MPs in places like Brighton.

Ming’s Bad Week 7 March 2007

Posted by David in Labour, Liberal Democrats.
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You really have to feel sorry for Ming Campbell, don’t you? Well no not really, but perhaps we should. The dear old leader clearly has bad advisers, or none. Setting out the coalition terms for Gordon Brown was a huge mistake, given that nobody likes Gordon Brown, especially in those leafy Lib Dem seats of Winchester, Lewes, Richmond, Colchester… You could almost hear the Lib Dem candidates screaming, Victor Meldew like, “I don’t believe it!” Maybe that will be their next slogan.

Another bad move Ming escaped flak from was his gripe on BBC News that he is satirised for his age. “This wouldn’t happen if I was a woman or black,” he said, seated on a park bench somewhere. It wouldn’t, no, but that’s life. Satire is merciless, most politicians find it funny, even buying their Spitting Image puppets and originals of newspaper cartoons. Don’t be so sensitive Ming, you have to be able to laugh at yourself or you end up, well, a Lib Dem…

Scottish Elections 2007 1 January 2007

Posted by David in Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats.
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I am a strong believer in the 300 year old Union of Scotland, Wales and England. The Kingdom of Great Britain, for all its faults, has been a huge success. As the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union approaches, so too does the new elections to the devolved Scottish Parliament which look set to see the Nationalists win.

UKPollingReport:”There was a new TNS System Three poll in the Sunday Herald yesterday. The constituency vote, with changes from TNS’s last monthly poll, breaks down as CON 11%(-1), LAB 35%(-3), LDEM 14%(nc), SNP 32%(+2), GRN 3%, SSP 4% (though the Greens do not put up candidates at the constituency level, so come the actual election these voters will obviously have to go elsewhere or not vote). Regional support stands at CON 11%(+2), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 15%(-2), SNP 30%(-3), GRN 5%(nc), SSP 4%(nc).

Another poll in The Scotsmanprojects the SNP winning 43 MSPs, (+16), making it the largest party at Holyrood. Labour would have 38 seats (-12), the Liberal Democrats would have 25 (+8). The Conservatives would have 14 (-4), with the Greens on five (-2), and the others on four (-6). A party needs 65 for a majority.

Under these results, the current but unpopular Labour-LibDem coalition would be just 2 short of a majority. The Greens, Tories or SNP could become kingmakers for them, but would any of these parties want to be seen holding an unpopular party – rejected by voters – in power? The SNP wouldn’t, unless they agreed to a referendum on independence, which could be the end of Gordon Brown. If the Greens or Conservatives did, this would make the SNP seem the only real alternative to Labour coalitions, not a good result for unionists.

Equally, the SNP would be just 22 short of a majority. They work closely with the pro-independence Greens and “others”, and combined would be only 13-17 seats short (depending on the “others”). The LibDems, Tories or Labour could be kingmaker for them, but could they accept the SNP’s demand for a referendum on independence? From what I hear the LibDems have refused, knowing it would damage their English vote. Then could any of these potential partners work with the left wing SNP and possibly the openly ultra-socialist “others”?

My prediction is that there will be a minority SNP-Green-Other government, with the unionist parties letting the nationalists dig themselves into a hole over the next few years. This would greatly discredit the independence movement, and so may well be the best result for unionists.

It’s Been An Odd Year For The Lib Dems 18 December 2006

Posted by David in Liberal Democrats.
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This year has been busy for the Liberal Democrats. We’ve seen popular Kennedy toppled by one of the grumpy old men off the Muppets; a potential leadership challenger announce he has been having an affair with a rent boy, later putting it down to going bald; another leadership challenger announce he is gay; and now- Lembit Opik has dumped ITV weathergirl Sian Lloyd for one of the Cheeky Girls.

We are the Cheeky Girls, we are the Cheeky Girls,
You are the cheeky boys, you are the cheeky boys,
Touch my bum, this is life…
 
                                                      “The Cheeky Song”

Can things get any stranger on Planet Lib Dem? We hope so.

More Rubbish From Planet Lib Dem 13 December 2006

Posted by David in Liberal Democrats, Political Correctness Gone Mad.
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Sarah Gidley MPSarah Gidley MP (right) is a Liberal Democrat. You could probably tell that from the patronising yet utterly moronic expression on her face, terrible teeth, fake smile, bizare NHS retro specs and unusual taste in neck jewelery. Plus the fact she appears to be wearing an orange jump suit from Guantanemo Bay. She is MP for Romsey (majority 125), and the new poster girl for political correctness of the gone mad variety.

Anyway, Sarah Gidley MP has decided that she dislikes sportsdays, competitive sports, or anything fun basically. She states that “those children who are towards the end of the queue when the teams are being picked soon get the message and decide that they do not want to exercise because they do not want to make fools of themselves.” Obviously she was one of them. And to my knowledge, few if any feel this way. If they do, they should learn to accept defeat and become stronger individuals.

Paul Creeden, Hampshire Football Association’s spokesman said “sports are both good for personal development, learning to have respect for others and encouraging teamwork. It’s also good for learning to be successful, accepting defeat and working together towards one goal.” I guess the Lib Dems have never been successful, or worked together (particularly Gidley, who started the back stabbing of Kennedy). They have also yet to learn to accept defeat, hence their obsession with electoral change and the stability wrecking, secret deal dependent proportional representation.

 “That [sports] is not a positive experience,” said Gidley, “if a child cannot read, they are not put on a stage and made to stumble through the alphabet or a passage of Shakespeare.” This might be a good idea, confronting your problems is vital. 

“Little thought is given to the children who do not excel at sport.” No, one thing I agree with. Bring back grammar schools!!!

The MP called for a greater focus on activities which focused on “personal improvement” like skipping, dance and games. That will be popular.

Lots of kids hate sports, fine, PE at schools is awful, but not because of competition. It’s awful because it’s awful- in dire need of greater individual pupil choice and specialisation, with proper coaching. The answer isn’t banning competition, it’s letting kids choose and develop their own strengths. Gidley is mad, she must grow up!

Lib Dems Officially Mad 12 December 2006

Posted by David in Liberal Democrats.
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Whilst the Liberal Democrats have a peer who thinks the World, including her pathetic party, is run by Jews, their leader wants the World to be run by the EU. Menzies Campbell wants a greater EU role in foreign affairs…because the EU is so successful (not).

What planet are they on?