What does this say about Labour and the Lib Dems?
At the election he’ll be defending Newcastle upon Tyne East from the Lib Dems which would fall to Clegg’s party on an 8.7% swing
So what are we to make of his extraordinary comments suggesting that the Lib Dem run Newcastle City council could not be trusted with keeping the ballot boxes secure overnight because the votes in the city will be counted on the Friday morning?
This has caused
council officers a Lib Dem councillor to hit back at what he describes as “vile” accusations.
In the report the cabinet minister is quoted as saying: â€œLeaving blank ballot papers and lists of those who havenâ€™t voted and the ballot boxes all together in the same place overnight is not a reassuring prospect. The scope for fraud is obvious.â€
Clearly there is a danger but to start what appears to be an attack on the Lib Dem suggests a high level of nervousness about his own position which perhaps won’t do him much good.
At the 2005 election 35.7% of the Newcastle East electorate were issued with postal votes – making it the fifth highest in the whole of the UK.