Went to my Labour Party branch this week. This was Wednesday ie before the wobbly polls. We had a record turnout lured by the promise of Virendra Shrama but he didn’t make it due to a delayed flight. Instead the meeting turned into a general discussion on whether to have an election or not (like we’ll have a say as humble subs-payers). Opinion was fairly divided down the middle with the “go now” people swayed by the predicted economic downturn and seeing Northern Rock as a harbinger for possibly worse to come and the “not now” people pointing out that no-one likes leafletting or leafletters after dark and that a potential low turnout could adversely affect the Labour vote. Some thought it would have made more sense at the moment of transition rather than now. Of course there is no constitutional need while there is a comfortable majority and the last election – only the year before last – took place on a “vote Blair get Brown” understanding. Someone also said the British like an underdog referring to Cameron whose speech was that day.
What do the subsequent polls show then? If one party dominates the media for a week they get a poll blip. Luke Akehurst’s reporting of actual votes cast in by-elections yesterday are more encouraging. I’m glad the decision won’t be up to me this weekend in any case.
If he had been there I could’ve asked Sharma about “the burden of representation” – see Pickled Politics post here.