Could Labour have really been squeezed into third place?
This was the bar-chart that the Lib Dems were using in Norwich North – all designed to make voters think that they were the challengers to the Tories even though the numbers are from the nation local election count on June 4th. Lib Dem bar charts are all designed to show that they are the challenger.
It’s a simple tactic which has been used many times before and, no doubt, will be used again. The Tories got into the act with their own bar chart designed to make it clear that only they were able to beat Labour.
We’ll have to wait until after midday before we find out whether this was correct.
My view is that Labour not making second place would be very bad news for Brown Central providing further evidence of the current massive Labour Voters’ Strike. Would it put pressure on the PM? Well he’s coped with much worse.
Martin Kettle in the Guardian has it like this: “.Norwich North is not one of those southern English urban seats that Labour normally only wins in good years, like Exeter or Bedford. By such standards the site of yesterday’s byelection is actually a fairly safe seat, returning a Labour MP for fully 45 of its 59-year history. Labour won here in bad years such as 1959, 1970 and even 1979. Only in 1983 was Labour’s grip prised open before the seat was regained in 1997…
…It is hard to recall a recent byelection in a supposedly safe Labour seat about which the party has seemed more fatalistic. Right from the start, the high command and many on the ground have been resigned to losing. The almost complete absence of the never say die spirit that usually marks the party even in hopeless contests â€“ and, to repeat, Norwich North should be anything but hopeless â€“ has been hard to miss.”
Anyway – not long to wait though I loathe this practice of holding over counts to the following day.
My bets are on a turnout level below 61% which I think is a certain winner, a Tory vote share above 41% and a spread bet that pays out if the Lib Dems come second but only loses me 10% of my potential winnings if they come third. I also put a little bit on Craig Murray at an early stage – it must have seen a good idea at the time.
I’m expecting Norwich North to be profitable.