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

Monday, April 23, 2007

The election

boredum, dull, politicsI keep waiting for the campaigning to spring into life, but I suspect the politicians are preferring to say nothing, rather than say anything wrong (or right!). As a spectator sport it is dull beyond belief, and that apathy is definitely flowing though into the local electorate.

Because I speak to so many people during a working day on business and for other reasons, I get a lot of feedback about where the election is going, so I'm going to give my personal summary of where I think the constituency election has reached.

I'll start with the easy ones first... and all comments are subject to change when I see the election addresses.

Dave Petrie (Con)
Invisible. Will be lucky to keep the vote that the Tories had last time. Main pitch: "We're not as nasty as we used to be".

Ruraidh Ferguson (LibDem)
Invisible. Should have been in with a good change of increasing the LibDem vote by attracting disillusioned Labour and SNP votes. Possibly hoping for a good outcome at the Comhairle elections as being the best result possible. Deeply underwhelming and missing a great opportunity.

Alasdair Allan (SNP)
Invisible. Unknown to vast sections of the community almost all voters. Even, fellow attendees at St Columba's Church simply don't know who he is. In a twist of synchronicity, the Minister probably won't be voting SNP for other reasons. An open goal is in great danger of being missed as avoiding the public replaces handshaking as an electoral technique.

Alasdair Morrison (Lab)
Almost invisible. Facing the double hurdle of being the sitting MSP and the Labour candidate, Alasdair appears to be sleepwalking to losing. In line for a 'good kicking' (c) Tony Blair just for being, he appeared resigned to his fate until late last year.

My conclusions
Tory and LibDem may save their deposits, but only due to either a low turnout or voter disillusionment with the main contenders. Either way, they will be far back also rans.

My reading of the situation is that both Alasdairs and both parties have each lost at least 1,000 votes, and possibly even more. Morrison for anti-Labour reasons; Allan for not being local or known; and both for the low profile of their campaign.

I would place Alasdair Morrison marginally ahead at the moment, partially because of the advantage of incumbency (which he has definitely not used to his advantage) and partially as the labour voters who turned to Rev Hargreaves in 2005 are being fairly successfully wooed back.

The SNP have the national swing behind them, but they are not seeming to push this in any way.

But, and it is a BIG BUT, I think an enormous number of people have yet to make up their mind about who to vote for, despite what they might profess to telephone canvassers. Certainly, it is more than I have ever experienced, with committed Labour and SNP voters both expressing their doubts and despairs. In my view, the election will be won or lost - not in the last week - but as voters enter the polling booth and have to cast their votes and either party could have a 2,000 majority. I think the outcome might be to within a few hundred votes, but I can't call it yet.

My decision day is just around the corner, when the postal vote comes.


Anonymous said...

I am surprised that you didn't mention the Christian Party. I will not be voting for them - but I know many dissaffected voters will... They might just give the libs a fright and maybe even the SNP(!)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1, Angus is clearly talking about the second vote for the constituency MSP, where the Christian Party do not have a candidate standing. The Christian Party appears on the first vote for list MSPs. This will not affect the constituency result.

Anonymous said...

Your analysis is spot on, which will make every party nervous, which is good. None are bothering too much and for once I don't know what I am going to do when I go into the booth to vote.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1, I think Angus was referring to the constituent votes rather than the list. Anyway have you seen their manifesto?
It makes the SNP look as if they are democrats.
How's the gagging going Angus? I notice that you haven't been allowed back onto Isles FM again yet.
I have to agree with you that the whole campaign has been completely underwhelming.
I was really hoping that the Libs would put up a good fight but they seem to have disappeared off the horizon and now I am one of those who, as you say, will make my mind up when I put those crosses on my ballot paper, unless someone can convince me otherwise in the meantime and there isn't a lot of time left.

Anonymous said...

I saw the spiky haired man being chauffered down the road in his little green tortoise car at 5:09 precisely. No overtime for him.
Obviously having done a good days flexi time work on the tax paying public and campaigning.
The trouble is, I think the SNP are so arrogant that they think they have it in the bag and don't have to try. Let's hope for everyone's sake they are wrong.

Anonymous said...

I see, am also sorry you didn't mention solidarity and the greens - but presumeably for same reason - first anon

Anonymous said...

i think you are a bit unfair to Alisdair Allen - he is not well known in the town but from what i hear he is well known in the quieter parts of the islands - of course i do hear this from the SNP(!) so who knows!