Why have Labour called in the police if its not true?
The very first intimation in February 2006 that something sensational was about to happen in the Dunfermline by election was when it started to emerge that the Lib Dems were doing well with the postal vote – which are opened and verified in front of party officials before the polls open.
At the time I reported that amongst Lib Dems “There was a buzz amongst their workers after the first postal votes were opened yesterday and some heady souls were even putting their money on a win.” The LD price on the day before the election was 7/1.
So it’s no wonder, then, that last night’s “leak” that the Tories and Labour were neck and neck in Ealing Southall should have had an impact on the markets. The Tory price has moved in from 6/1 to 3.2/1. According to this morning’s Guardian the leak showed that the “Tories were neck and neck with Labour and the Liberal Democrats trailing in third place, about five points behind”
If this is a line that is being used to position the Tories, not the Lib Dems, as the main challenger then I would have expected contradictory information to come from other partes. Instead Labour has called in the police which reinforces its authenticity.
The level of postal votes is usually an indication of good on the ground organisation. Thus in Sedgefield there is massive total of 13,000 on the postal vote list which probably indicates the efforts that Tony Blair’s old local party has taken to ensure that he got good results.
In the Southall seat Labour has more members than in any other constituency in the entire country. From that you would conclude that the party would have the lion’s share of the postal votes.
So if the leak has any foundation whatsoever it could be pointing to a sensational result.
One factor with postal voting is that electors usually fill in their ballots and get them off almost as soon as they arrive. So it’s highly possible that many of them here voted before the embarrassing pictures of the Tory candidate, Tony Lit, at a Labour event with Tony Blair hit the streets.
Until that story came out it was widely assumed that having Lit as candidate could give Cameron’s party a big boost in a seat where they came third at the general election.
It is, of course, a criminal offence to reveal information about the postal vote count and the police are now investigating.