This may well be the last blog I write before the election; it seem’s like all my election blogs have revolved around this topic one way or another mainly because I find the decision of Labour’s leadership to support tactical voting baffling beyond reasonable belief. Of course, on the surface there is logic too it but let’s think for a second and the fluffy logic collapses revealing a desperate lack of strategic direction.
Surely those at the top can admit that marching your army into an electoral war saying that your ultimate success depends on your flaky and totally uncommitted allies (who have sensibly chosen their words wisely not to appear as desperate as you look) doesn’t really look set to be a morale booster. Maybe I am missing something but it’s hard to answer the charge answer the charge that the latest utterings are a product of sheer desperation with anything other than a despairing shrug of your shoulders. The Daily Telegraph may well want to spin Ed Ball’s comments as not being a product of having ‘given-up’ but read between the lines; the Telegraph wants to scare its readers back to the Conservatives in Con>Lib marginals.
Meanwhile, Gordon Brown decides to appeal for Liberal Democrat votes in Lab>Con marginals; maybe he believes in karma and feels the good grace of his Schools Secretary will find its reward in returned favours in those seats. This is politics and it doesnt work like that Gordon, it’s far more likely the words of Mr Balls will embolden the Lib Dem vote in these marginals and make the task of the Labour Party harder. This is especially true when no senior Liberal Democrat has returned the favour to date nor are they likely too. Furthermore, the recent IPSOS-MORI marginal poll shows only 9% of respondents likely to vote tactically; spread across the 100 or so seats that is nowhere near enough to counteract a 7% uniform swing to the Conservatives (not taking account of the Lab>LD swing in those seats). In those seats all our efforts should be focused on limiting that swing; however, it seems we do so rather than by challenging it, engaging with it but by encouraging it feeding it and nuturing it.
This is a huge miscalculation. I hope the electoral price is not paid on Thursday. Good luck to all my Labour readers.