Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not Just A By-Election, A Bye Bye Election

Today the nation decides in a by-election all about English politics. By-elections are supposed to be brushed aside as mid term blues but Crewe and Nantwich is different. It will signal a turning point. For the first time in over a quarter of a century the Conservatives are set to take a safe Labour seat.

New Labour's handling of this by-election has been a disgrace. The political elite should be ashamed of themselves. What a grubby nasty campaign it has been.

New Labour tried to play the Dunwoody card, the class card, the immigration card and the whole pack of cards. Voters discovered that Tamsin Dunwoody is not her real name. It's Moyra Tamsin Dunwoody-Kneafsy. And she's listed in Burke's Peerage! Very New Labour.

The LibDems are no better - ditching the original candidate for a new more Clegg friendly model. So much bitterness. So much political nastiness.

Meanwhile, Tory candidate, Edward Timpson, seems like an awfully nice chap. Certainly not part of the Westminster political class.

Voters are fed up with Brown and fed up with New Labour. Today they will deliver a resounding 'No' to Brown and New Labour. But this will not be a vote for the Tories even though they have fought a clean campaign with Mr Nice. It's a vote against Brown, the 10p tax fiasco, the decade of lies and spin.

So when the dust settles what next? Just a few week ago this was a safe New Labour seat with a 7000 majority. Tories didn't stand a chance. Then it was neck and neck. Then it was Tories just in the lead. Now New Labour is heading for a huge defeat.

But it is not who wins or loses. Here the swing is the thing.

A single figure swing to the Tories (up to 9 percent) and Brown/New Labour is safe. A double digit swing (10-14 percent) and it is very uncomfortable for Brown (but safe for New Labour). But a big double digit swing (anything over 15 percent) and the Party's over. Because that would translate in a Tory majority after a general election.

In this by-election, New Labour deserves all it gets.

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