Thursday, May 22, 2008

Crewe and Nantwich

As is my wont from time to time, I poke my nose in the politics of other countries. I don't spend any money on influencing the outcome but I do like to watch. So the by-election in Crewe and Nantwich looks to be quite interesting given the national scene in the UK. Basically, Gordon Brown seems to have been caught completely unpreparedby the British public in bed with a naked recession and he had no protection at all. Meanwhile, Nick Clegg is still learning to lead without his stabilisers on the bicycle of the Lib Dems and David Cameron has suddenly found himself faced with the prospect of being behaving like the leader of a major political party with a decent chance of being in government somewhat ahead of schedule. You can peruse the full line up if you wish but the three main parties are where the real action is as per usual.

Last time out in 2005 the final % results were
Labour 48.8
Conserveratives 32.6
Lib Dems 18.6

A shift or swing as they like to call it over there of 9% from Labour to Tory would mean Labour on 39.8% and Conservative 41.6%. However, many people - core Labour people - are likely to find voting for the Tories a bridge too far, and might either stay home or seek out a temporary safe haven in the Lib Dems. Indeed, with the Labour vote nationally appearing to be in free fall, it is just possible that some Labour voters might even decide that the only way to stop the Tories romping home is to vote LibDems. It is alternately possible that if the battle is seen as a straight choice between supporting the government or giving it a bloody nose then the Lib Dems might be squeezed out completely. With that in mind, I've got two outcomes that might result from each of the above scenarios

Scenario (A)

Labour suffer a collapse but as it is a collapse in the core vote many can't bring themselves to vote Tory so they temporarily jump to the LibDems, in fact the Labour campaign doesn't get people to vote Labour but it is effective in stopping people from voting Tory

Labour 34.8
Conserveratives 38.6
Lib Dems 26.6

Scenario (B)

Labour suffer a significant drop but the core vote holds and many including some who previously voted Lib Dems see the risk nationally of a Tory win (especially if it means an overall majority for the Conservatives) so they vote Labour. The Labour campaign gets people to vote Labour but it is still not effective in stopping middle ground people from voting Tory.

Labour 39.8
Conservatives 44.6
Lib Dems 15.6

We'll know tonight. And there is always scenario (C), (D) and so on and so forth.

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