Hopefully my focus on the Loughborough seat helps understand why its important to look beyond following the national polls. This is an election that hasn’t quite turned into a straight 2 way fight yet!
However, I do think this seat is a more traditional fight than others where there are strong leave/remain votes with Lib Dem and Brexit to take into account. In that sense Loughborough is less exciting – but at 66 on the Target list for Labour it is vital to get anywhere near the magic 326 majority territory it desires. So we will see plenty of effort from the Parties who need this seat!
As I write on Sunday 17th November the vote projections based on the poll of polls don’t look good for Labour – even on those sites helping constituents make decisions about voting tactically.
So we have fairly typical party list for Loughborough standing. It is strange not to see another right wing party like Brexit UKIP or BNP this time round. Their vote has never been enormous but they have generally been around trying to make noise!
I will write more about the individual candidates in due course, but generally we are lucky to have a group of people who I genuinely think are putting themselves forward for the good of the local community and who could do the job. There should never be personal attacks on candidates but especially at this election the personal motivation of the individuals shouldn’t be questioned. This allows us to concentrate on the policies of the parties and anything the local candidates say about how they will approach both national and local issues.
The Tories start out as the favourites I’m afraid to say. But as I keep saying there are always things that happen during elections that can change things dramatically. I have seen the mood of a nation change over the course of an election of 6 weeks. Losing Nicky Morgan as their candidate will be difficult to calculate. There will have been a personal vote built up, but her positions and inconsistency on Brexit will have confused voters over the last 2 years. So this element is difficult to work out. The Brexit Party standing down is estimated to help the Tories more than Labour – but I am not sure in what proportions.
Labour is in second place and the most obvious challenge. Behind them are the Lib Dems in a distant 3rd place and the Greens in 4th.
In the past there was a time of an informal understanding. I know from some friends that there are differences of opinion about standing if the seat is so marginal and 1000 Green votes meant a Tory government.
It’s one of the reasons I support PR. Each vote should count. Having to decide to vote for a Party you don’t support to stop an outcome doesn’t feel right.
Lastly I have to mention Tea Queenie. I am tempted to leave it at that. Using a really important General Election for ‘art’ is certainly not my cup of tea. I will refrain from saying too much in fear of upsetting my art friends!
Next week I will write up something about the candidates as people are asking. I get the impression there are so many in the Don’t Know category that a strong personal candidate could help many of them vote for a Party they don’t usually vote for. It’s going to be a fascinating few weeks ahead.