Where’s the 2004 version of the late Vincent Hanna?
We very much agree with the lament by the Guardian political writer, Michael White, this week.
Byelections are not the thriving political industry they used to be. No more rowdy public meetings, no daily press conferences where the candidates were made to squirm by the BBC’s legendary Vincent Hannah. There are not many byelections anyway. MPs no longer routinely die in harness.
How things are different ahead of next week’s Birmingham and Leicester by-elections with no new Vincent Hanna and hardly any coverage in the media. The only people who are interested seem to be the party activists and political geeks. Maybe that explains why there are so few betting markets apart from William Hill for Birmingham and Leicester and why the other bookmakers seem to be ignoring what’s going on.
To help fill the news vacuum we are starting to get some really interesting comments and reports from party workers who are out there in the the constituencies and are getting a good view on what is happening. Between now and next Thursday we’ll provide regular round-ups.
These maybe biased reports and we have no way of checking whether the writers are even supporters of the party they purport to be. Site users will have to make their own judgements.
This was posted by “A party worker” – we assume a Tory though could be Labour trying to talk down the Lib Dems – last night and suggests that there might be value on the 10/1 Tory price in Birmingham.
Having spent today yesterday in Leicester and today in Bimingham the one thing I can safely say is Leicester will go Lib Dem and Birmingham is a straight Labour-Cons fight. The Lib Dems have picked a very poor candidate who is not going down well on the doorsteps – she is a lobbyist for a mobile phone mast company. Our canvass returns show little appetite for Liberal votes here, and it is only the Conservatives who might beat Labour
Another party worker, Forky who we think is a Lib Dem, noted the following:-
Having had a good sniff at Leicester South I share Mike Smithson’s concerns about Respect. They are campaigning hard and it is possible if say around a thousand extra younger Muslim voters go their way, it might be enough to enable Labour to squeak home. I wonder if this is what George Galloway really wants!
Wayne writes in with further detailed information about Leicester South:-
it’s gotta to be the lib dems in leicester south i then fancy blair to resign leadership. The student vote is vital to the lib dems but 10000 postal votes have been applied for out of the 70000 voters. Tories counld not win if it was just them and the BNP they are very very poor and losing support all the time the opposition party should be destroying such a poor goverment as labour esp. with the iraq war issue
Other reports from those working in both campaigns are very welcome. In particular if there are any Labour or RESPECT actvists we would love to hear how the elections are going from your point of view.