Tim’s already done a first class job of pulling The Sun down a few pegs over it’s ‘phone and tell Tony you love him poll‘ and with him having taken the night off for a well-deserved beer or two, I suppose it falls to me to put the final nails in the coffin lid on the Sun’s pretentions that it carries any weight in this debate.
So, here we have Rebekah Wade’s entirely predictable response to the vote against 90-day detentions without charge – yep, you’ve guessed it, she’s decided to name and shame the ‘traitors’ who voted against St. Tony.
So taking the Sun’s figure for its phone poll and Tim’s calculations on the number of people who could be arsed to e-mail their MP after Rebekah’s last bout of naming and shaming then we have a combined total of 103,084 people who could be arsed to respond to The Sun’s exhortations to tell their MP what The Sun thinks they should think.
Ok, so we have to make a couple of assumptions here – first that this figure of 103,084 people is fairly accurate and not a touch on the high side due to a few idiots being so incensed (and dumb) that they phone several times before realising this wasn’t Strictly Come Dancing.
Next we’ll assume an even spread across all 646 constituencies – giving us around 160 people per constituency who could be bothered to either phone The Sun or e-mail their MP.
If we assume that all of these 160 people per constituency are likely to (a) vote and (b) vote against their sitting MP and (c) voted for this same MP at the last general election then the total number of MP’s who would be vulnerable to a Sun-inspired swing against them is…
Tories, Andrew Pelling (Croyden Central) and David Jones (Clwyd West) and Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews (Medway) – and the prospect of losing Bob is pretty slim as his nearest challenger is a Tory who, we can assume, would have followed his own party whip and voted against the 90-day clause.
But, if we assume that everything we to go exactly as The Sun would like, the net effect of their name and shame campaign would be a single gain for Labour from the Tories.
So that, folks, is the sum total of The Sun’s potential to exert an influence on this issue – one vote and a majority of 29 against 90 days instead of 31.
Hardly worth even the effort of giving your husband a fat lip over is it?
UPDATE: Far from taking the night off, Tim appears to have been so full of exhuberence he pulled a late shift.