This just in from the Lib Dems on the upcoming by-elections in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield:
Labour are scared of the Liberal Democrat challenge.
Really? What were the figures for Lib Dem support in the last couple of opinion polls? 15% or so?
In recent years they lost Brent East, Leicester South and Dunfermline to us.
That was then, this is now and you’re deep in the shit in the current polls…
They have called the Ealing Southall and Sedgefield by-elections at very short notice to try to stop us building momentum.
Given the way things have going of late, their best chance of ‘building momentum’ would be to put their campaign team in a shopping trolley and push the fuckers down a hill – just make sure there’s a canal at the bottom.
Ealing Southall has the second largest Asian community in the country.
Right… so the Tories have picked the son of the owner of a local Asian radio station, Tony Lit, who, its been alleged in the comments at Iain Dale’s, may have only just joined the Tory Party specifically to run in this seat – his father stood in 2001 as a independent.
It’s been reported in discussions about the possibility of Labour using an all women shortlist for selecting the candidate for this seat that Khabra wished the candidacy to go to an Asian woman candidate on his death/retirement.
And now the Lib Dems are making a big deal out the size of the local Asian community, which I’d guess puts them down for a South Asian candidate as well.
Stepping back from the general issue of ethnic minority representation, is anyone else feeling just a little queasy at the blatant, obvious and very naked play on communal politics that’s starting to play out around this seat?
We came second here in the General Election and must aim to repeat the successful campaign that won Brent East for Sarah Teather.
That”ll be the usual ‘Winning Here’ and ‘Only we can win’ leaflets in use, complete with the obligatory dodgy bar graphs.
Khabra’s majority in 2005 was about 11,500, on a swing of 6.6% to the Lib Dems, whose vote went up from around 4,700 to 11,500, but on its own that doesn’t tell the real story.
Khabra polled 22,200 votes or so in 2001 and 22,900 votes in 2005, while the entire ‘swing’ to opposition parties came from the absence in 2005 of four independent Asian candidates (including Avtar Lit) and an Asian candidate who ran as ‘Socialist Labour’ from the previous election.
But we have to try and do it three weeks – not the three months that we had for that campaign.
Sedgefield is next door to Hartlepool where Liberal Democrats came close to seizing Peter Mandelson’s former constituency in the 2004 by-election.
Fuck me, that’s getting pretty thin.
At the last general election, Labour held Hartlepool with a 9,500 majority against a Lib Dem vote of 10,500 a big chunk of which came by way of a 6.5% swing from the Tories.
As for Sedgefield, the Maximum Tone had an 18,500 majority running against a field of 14 other candidates, including Reg Keys.
Our MPs have cancelled their regular parliamentary meetings in order to free up time for the campaigns. Many other party meetings are being cancelled in order to allow party members to come and help the campaigns.
Does that include the guy who concocts the dodgy bar graphs, do you think?
Still you have to give them credit for their optimism – its dumb as fuck, but at least its optimistic.