Mike [Smithson] raises a point on his web site today that I’d not thought about. In the last Euro elections, Labour took about 22% of the vote. Mr Smith (sic) reminds us that in the last elections, Labour did better where there were all-postal-vote elections. That’s not happening this time around.
So what's Watson saying? That Labour fiddled the system last time, or that a performance of 19% really would be quite a success? Way to go, Tom. A new and innovative way to rally the troups!
In a funny sort of way, though, he does have a bit of a point. In 2004 Labour polled 23%, the Tories were on 27% and the LibDems 15% .
So what should the Tories be aiming for? No doubt Labour will try and spin that anything less than 40% would be a huge failure for David Cameron. It seems to me that the smaller parties, who between them polled 35.8% of the vote in 2004, may well do even better in 2009. But at whose expense? My own view is that the Tory vote will increase by up to eight points, Labour's will shrink by a couple and the LibDems will remain roughly where they were. I expect UKIP's vote to shrink but both the Greens and the BNP to rise substantially.
Graphic Hattip: BBC