Thursday, April 22, 2010

Have Labour Hoisted the White Flag?

Labour seems to have almost disappeared from this campaign over the last three or four days. The broadcasters are still covering Gordon Brown, but you almost feel they are doing it out of duty rather than anything else. Mandelson has gone to ground and no one else seems willing to put up a fight. There are no policy launches, no new ideas, just ritualistic press conferences and personal appearances by Gordon Brown. And at those he repeats the same, tired old lines which everyone has heard before.

It is quite something for a major political party to appear to have given up any hope of outright victory two weeks before polling day.

The only thing Labour seems concerned with now is protecting its position in the event of a hung parliament. Well, good luck on that.

The point here is that if the voters get the impression that Labour has given up, then they are less likely to come out to vote for them on the day.

"If they've given up, why should we make the effort?"


DespairingLiberal said...

I agree. Many of the usual Labour talking heads seem comatose in their TV appearances. Baldermort was a sort of bizarre self-parody of what a politician about to lose his job sounds like on the radio the other night. I suspect most Labour ministers are too busy thinking about what to do in their future careers to worry about hitting the campaign trail hard for Brown.

It must be very, very strange for Gordy, out on his own on the battlebus, wondering what the heck he is doing there. Perhaps though he is consoled by his (apparently) total lack of ability to see how others see him.

James said...

Strategic retreat, I suspect.

It suits them very well for this election to be about Nick Clegg versus the Tory press rather than about their record. So they might as well keep quiet, look boring but fairly solid.

Today could have been about unemployment and borrowing figures. Instead, it's about insane Nazi jibes and #nickcleggsfault.

Labour could quite easily be largest party with under 30% of the vote if this rumbles on.

Bill Quango MP said...

Its a Political football

GK - Safe pair of hands - Alistair Darling
Left Back in the bus - Jacqui Smith
Right Back out of sight - John Prescott
Centre Backer - Lord Ashcroft
Sweeper up - Caroline Flint

Centre Half-wit - Hilary Benn
Defensive bureaucratic minefielder - Herman Van Rumpoy
Left Winger - Tony Benn
Right Winger - Nick Griffon

Second Striker - Arthur Scargill
Centre Forehead - David Cameron



Referee - BBC
Commentator - Sky Sports

If match is a draw after extra time - Labour wins.

DespairingLiberal said...

This is interesting. I predicted before the election started that the security services, now totally controlled by the Blair/NewLab culture, are at the disposal of certain forces not entirely distant from Messires Mandleson, Campbell, Brown, etc. Could these thoughts be in any way connected?

It isn't the first time that senior opposition politicians have been "broken into" and notes and laptops "removed for private study" during an election campaign.

canvas said...

Gordon Brown said this week if he couldn't make a difference then he would go.

think in the likely event of a hung parliament Gordon Brown would feel unable to stay on as leader of the Labour Party. Brown does have integrity - despite what you say about him.

This is why I think it's quite possible to Clegg could actually be PM.

I really hope the LibDems get the vote out! I think the public simply do not trust the Tories no matter how much they like DC. The Tories have lost the pink vote and they've lost the female vote... Those votes count.

North Briton 45 said...

What a completely absurd posting. Labour campaigning appears to have continued unabated. Indeed, Darling walked over Cable and Osborne in yesterday's chancellor's debate.

I do accept that unlike the Tory party, Labour are not running around panicking, making headless chickens look composed, doing their darnedest to get their press buddies to print the most ridiculous smears against Clegg. The Tory party knows their campaign has been pathetic and they face electoral obscurity for years if they fail to win this election. Subsequently, they are desperate and resorting to scare tactics, like Ken Clarke yesterday.

You really let your tribal instincts cloud your judgments.

Paul Halsall said...

Perhaps it's rope-a-dope!

Cameron is certainly more bloodied than Brown.

patently said...

Darling walked over Cable and Osborne

Which Chancellor's debate were you watching? Must have been a different one to me...

Ronald said...

North Briton

I was not impressed by Darling. He has not admited that he or his boss have any responsability for the economic mess and he has no more than the other parties a clear strategy to get us out the mess. Or if he does he is not telling us what it is.

He is still trying to give the impression that cutting the deficit, the rate at which our debt is growing,( another 23 billion in the last month) is somehow equivalent to actualy cutting the massive debt.

Janramzon said...

You have just gone to ground,
Like a plane strewn with ash.
Come on Gordon, please something,
Just a policy rehash?
Why not fight back against airlines' caveat emptor,
By singeing their greed with your volcanic temper?

Jimmy said...

There's going to be a hung parliament. One party remains in deep denial about this.

RJF said...

They've run out of money (including ours).

Evensong said...

@North Briton - Darling said nothing, offered nothing and wasted an opportunity to at least reduce contempt for the abysmal conduct of his department under his and Brown's watch.

Thanks for giving us the laugh of the day though. How exactly can you make such polar comments about the two parties and then accuse Iain of being too tribal to be objective?

Eddie said...

I have been thinking the same myself. It seems that Labour have resigned themselves to losing... and that is why the Conservatives will win.

Labour voters will sense there is no point in voting, and many will stay at home.

The Lib Dems, as well as they are performing in the polls, will not transfer that into actual votes in the ballot box. It is one thing to answer a pollster that rings you up, it is another to make the effort to get out and vote.

We all know how important troops on the ground, knocking up voters, can be on election day. The Lib Dems will just not have those troops. They have excellent teams in a few seats, but outside of the seats they already hold they lack the resources.

That will mean that those people that have never voted Lib Dem before, who suggest that they will vote for Nick Clegg this time, will have to both overcome the apathy and the concern of a hung parliament without anyone geeing them up on election day.
Newsnight was in Bournemouth the other day, and it was evident there how the Lib Dems were doing nothing in what should have been a target seat. the troops were all in a neighbouring constituency already held by the Lib Dems. The candidate was eventually found at his Mother in Laws!
My guess is that whilst the Lib Dems will do better in this election than last, it will not be by a great margin due to the lack of organisation on the ground. Much of their apparent support in the polls must be flaky.
So the Conservatives, with a desire to win, and the support and organisation to muster that support, will, in my view win with an overall majority - despite what the polls currently show.

Not a sheep said...

Sorry Iain but I think you made typo - 'Gordon Brown... he repeats the same, tired old lines...'. I think you meant 'lies'

DespairingLiberal said...

Eddie - all the detailed polling evidence in fact shows that canvassing, leafleting, etc, have no perceptible impact on voting behaviour. It's TV, radio and newspapers that matter.

It is particularly true that no Conservative need bother going out for the Party, as paid canvassers are the norm in the Tory Party. In addition, there is no need to give money to the Tories as a supporter, since Lord A will meet all needs.

James said...

The Lib Dems are now the enemy that we need to focus our guns on. But not directly: people need to understand that if you vote Clegg, you'll get Brown. That's the hard fact of the matter.
There's no point going on about how terrible Labour are anymore - they're down to their absolute, core, client vote. We need people to realise that if they want them out, there's no point voting for the Lib Dems because it'll keep Labour in.
I just hope we're getting the message right on the doorstep, not droning on about "the socialists" like most of the octogenarian canvasers tend to...
P.S. Get this right and we can wipe out the Labour Party for good :)