Friday, June 06, 2014

The urgent necessity of rebuilding constituency associations

Having stayed up until 4.15am I feel exhausted.  The Newark by-election simply fizzled out with the Returning Officer faffing about aimlessly and the BBC studio panel growing more and more fractious.  At one point we saw Michael Crick (Channel 4 News) wandering about in a daze.

But the result could be described as an ideal scenario - Tory win, UKIP replacing Labour, Labour and the Lib Dems reduced to the fringe with the Loonies (and so ashamed of themselves that they would not appear on Daily Politics this lunchtime).

Ideal for the Conservatives as it brought home to them the urgent necessity of rebuilding constituency associations (this was an election won on the doorstep not by telephone calls and national PR).  It got the elected party (all of them, it seems) off their backsides and out meeting voters - and hearing from voters.  Will they finally drop their faux liberal attitudes and realise that all they have to do to win elections is a complete canvass in every constituency?

Ideal for UKIP as it may have been a mistake to have won this constituency.  UKIP does best when it is working away on the ground, out of notice, talking to ordinary people while the media elite airily dismisses them (John Rentuel has already been telling Voice of Russia UK that UKIP's vote is on the slide).  Surprise is their best weapon for 2015 - they now need to have canvassing teams working in their best prospect constituencies signing up new members (as the Conservatives have benchmarked in Newark, it takes 500 workers to be sure of winning a seat).

Ideal for Labour as like the Tories it has made a lot of activists go and talk to ordinary voters and they would have heard some unpleasant (for them) verdicts on their immigration record. That will have a sobering impact on the Labour leadership.  UKIP are achieving one of their target objectives of choking off mainstream support for immigration - and for that we all must thank them.

Shaping up for 2015 - Labour the pro-immigration pro-EU party; UKIP the anti-immigration anti-EU party; the Conservatives true to their core role of strengthening and defending government through national institutions.

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