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The truths they don't want you to read....

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Lurching to a tedious conclusion

As the local election descends into a farcical battle of the insults in Heb News, there is certainly more heat than light being shone on the whole process.

Is it just me, or is this the least issue-driven, least-interesting and lowest-key election campaign in decades? There has not even been any of the usual smear tactics to enliven and muddy the waters.

Election material has been sparse, and generally uninspiring, and my hopes that one candidate would pull something out of the hat (either by making a wonderful pledge or by shooting themselves in the foot) has come to nothing. Posters are sparse, except on lampposts; car stickers are difficult to sport; and I spotted a lot of people who style themselves 'party activists' bunking off from the campaign on key campaigning days.

So here is my take on the outcome - disclosure: I've already voted by post - heavily laced with cynicism. Remember, we get who 30% of the electorate vote for, and not necessarily the best candidate.

Sheena Norquay: rumoured to have finally found her way here, and been escorted to the Rangers Club last night by senior Labour activists (!). Launching the campaign at Achmore pier on Friday. No hoper, and knows it.

Jean Davis: you know that she should win this election, having put forward sensible policies and (mostly) stayed out of the slanging match. Working hard on the campaign, but not getting great press coverage, as I suspect the election team is very small. Profiting from the impact Clegg has made, and will dramatically improve on past results. Should really be the winner, but likely to come a close 4th.

Murdo Murray: I'm not seeing much overt activity from Murdo, but that is because I suspect that I am not part of his target group. The word is that he is working very hard on his potential voters and making a great impression, and pulling in lots of votes from young and old alike. The real grassroots candidate, and with Jean Davis he will decide the result. Likely to be 3rd with close to 15% of the vote; but is he taking the votes from Labour or the SNP?

Donald John MacSween: it all started well, but the impetus has slowed noticeably over the past two weeks. Failed to land a killer punch so far. Desperately handicapped by Gordon Brown behaving like an under-medicated day-release patient. Some sensible and ambitious proposals, but they are being lost in the general noise, and I haven't seen them properly fleshed out. Election team working hard, and this campaign has noticeably reinvigorated the local Labour Party.

Angus B MacNeil: started slowly, but his supporters are dominating the letters pages with repeated attacks on Labour. Not that all of them necessarily help the cause. Low-key, highly confident (?) perhaps even cocky, attitude to the whole affair. Sole promise is to oppose removal of RET, which is a devolved SNP policy that isn't up for removal (unless you know different) but which gets him support from across the board. Campaign workers appear small in number but very vocal.

Undecided voters: lapsing into a coma at the election coverage and turned off by most of the politicians. There are more of them than I have seen since 1987, and many of them just want to be enthusiastic enough about any party to bother to cast their votes. Many have gone LibDem, and the rest are still making their minds up.

So who is going to win?

The SNP very confidently point to national trends which indicate that Labour will lose votes, meaning they are guaranteed to hold. That is being just a lot over-confident.

Labour have the activists working very hard and they believe that they are pulling back in the votes that they lost in 2005, and are very close to winning. Hmm, not convinced by this.

The utter unscientific and skewed polls on this blog put Labour ahead, as did the Gazette poll which has suddenly had an enormous number of SNP votes* and given MacNeil the lead. However, I think that any lead MacSween might have had has been narrowing. this concurs with the trend I am finding from speaking to people throughout the islands, that Labour are falling and the SNP rising.

Both are losing votes to apathy and the other parties which is going to make for an interesting count, and no-one should be resting on their laurels until it is all over.

* I think I know who has been blocking/deleting their cookies before returning to vote early and often.


Anonymous said...

Hello from the mainland. It's nice here. I can travel cheaply, there's things to do on a Sunday, broadband works 24/7 at fast speeds (streaming high quality TV programs without stop-start is nice), and there's a choice of what to buy, and where.

What isn't nice are the large numbers of tory supporters and canvassers. Very large. Speaking to them - and more crucially, those of other parties, it's looking a foregone conclusion. Either:

1. Cameron wins an outright majority, or

2. He doesn't, but is PM either in a minority government, or in partnership with the unionists - he won't use the Lib Dems as there's too many conflicting policies.

Either way, in a few days, we - us, you - are going to have David Cameron as the Prime Minister and the Tories running Britain.

Get used to it.


1. Legalise fox hunting.
2. Remove inheritance tax for homes up to a million pounds in value.

(Not sure how either of those benefit the outer hebrides?)

Then, the axe will fall on education, health, credits and social security.

Enjoy your last few days of life with adequate front line services...

Anonymous said...

I've already sent my postal vote for the Liberal Democrats, as I would. The Labour and the SNP btiching does not appeal.

The islanders could have really made a difference to politics by voting Lib Dem, but it would seem that no, petty setty squabbles and local disputes ar ehte order of the day.

If the Labour and Tories are just going to keep swapping power, then we the intellectuals will just leave Britain and live in Europe, where they acually ahve a concept of that vague idea called Democracy. Of course many in Scotland would probably get sick of it all and vote for independance, as may the Welsh, the N Irish and even the northern English will throw off the shackles of Westminster..

Anonymous said...

Hello from the Isle of Lewis.

Anonymous said...

Hehe. Think I recognise 10.58. You tell him, 3.42.

Anonymous said...

A good friend of mine 'went out' with Gordon Brown at university. She referred to him ever after as a 'neuter'. I think that much the same might be said of Labour policies now.

Anonymous said...

Angus, you haven't actually said who you think is going to win.

Who do you expect to be elected as MP for the Western Isles?

Anonymous said...

I think - unfortunately - that Angus is predicting ABM to win the election.

I think DJ MacSween could really have made a difference by uping the anti in his campaign. He should have focused on the local candidate, local campaign and less on the Labour but he has failed to do this and I think this will be his downfall. I'm starting to suspect that he never really wanted it. His campaign has been wishy washy and non-existent, as has ABM's but a vote for him won't be a personal affirmation of his abilities and accomplishments it will just be an anti-labour vote.

Have just seen David Cameron campaigning on the TV and am now extremely depressed.

If there is anyone out there that still cares, please remember, a vote for the SNP is a vote for the Tories and many of us still remember Maggie!!

Where are the emigration papers?

Pedant said...

Anon 8:05 uping the anti

I think MacSween did plenty of the 'anti' SNP.

He should have upped the anti-SNP ante.

Eating shoots and leaving the building......

Pedant said...

Anon 8:05 uping the anti

I think MacSween did plenty of the 'anti' SNP.

He should have upped the anti-SNP ante.

Eating shoots and leaving the building......