The Tory plan in Norwich North revealed

It has been clear for some time that the Tory campaign in Norwich North has been to "play it safe", and hope that their core vote turns out over as evenly split an opposition as possible. However, it seems that their plans are becoming unravelled.

From what I have been told the Lib Dems have got clear traction in this campaign, clearly evident from the number of leaflets being delivered and the number of Lib Dem posters going up, and this has clearly got the Tories worried. One party breaking clear from the pack behind them is their greatest threat. So what is their response ? To talk up the Greens.

I had two emails at the weekend from Tories trying to convince me that the Greens were doing well despite the evidence on the streets being clearly the opposite. It was clear that these Tories wanted be to believe something that as a local, living and working in the constituency, was obviously untrue.

So today, the Tories signed the Green's campaign pledge pledging to fight clean campaigns. This would be a great idea were it not for the fact that the person behind this pledge is the Green candidate who tried to disrupt a visit from the Leader of the Lib Dems to Norwich at the last general election. Hypocrisy, it appears, is a word the Greens to not understand, unless this pledge is meant to be ironic.

The reasons behind the Tories signing this pledge ? In my opinion it was about trying to get the Greens some much needed publicity because they have shown themselves completely incapable of campaigning across the whole constituency with leaflets still only seen in two city wards.

What is clear to me is that the Tories are starting to worry. The fact that their campaign pledges so far (and the pledges that they have joined in with the Greens on) are, in many cases, actually the law already (like declaring donations over £1000) seems to highlight that either the Tories are deliberately misleading the public in to believing that the Tory Party are doing something that they are not already obliged to do (and therefore breaking the terms of their own pledge) or they simply don't understand the law.

In any case, the piece on TV tonight on BBC East devoted more attention on the Lib Dems than on any other party and in my opinion actually boosts the Lib Dem campaign.


None of the above said...

What was the eating meat / holocaust comment made by the Green candidate and alluded to in an earlier thread?

I asked but didn't get a reply.

Anonymous said...

This BBC look east report?


Norfolk Blogger said...

I owuld refer you to the article further down the page (showing the Lib Dem leaflet). Click on page two and you can read it yourself.


Mark Reckons said...

Interesting insight Nich. So we are really in with a shout then?

I hope that your comments encourage more Lib Dems to go over to Norwich and help out.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Mark, the Lib Dem campaign is being very well run. Superboards are going up, leaflets are getting out and along with the target mailings I and others are receiving, it is clear the campaign is making good progress.

I cannot stress enough how little of a campaign labour and the Greens are putting in. Absolutely invisible.

Iain Lindley said...

You ran an active visible campaign in Crewe & Nantwich, with far more activists and leaflets than the Labour Party, particularly across the rural and suburban parts of the constituency. What makes this any different...?

Dan said...

Clear evidence is emerging that the Lib Dems are running second. Labour have barely started, the Greens are making no impact outside the city.

It's still early days - the Tory machine were once specialists in fighting the last 5 days of a campaign. The Tory boards have stopped going up - this is because all the ones they have identified during the campaign will go up in the last week.

This will be interesting.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Three main reasons Iain.
1) 12 more months of Gordon Brown.
2) an invisible Labour campaign (with a lot of labour people doing nothing because of general discontent and unhappiness with the choice of candidate)
3) the extent to which labours vote was actually an Ian Gibson vote and how this support is angry at how he was treated by labour.

Rachel said...

Well I have gathered that you loathe the Tories - you have become a real bore on the subject.

But tell me, what's your preferred party's view on an English Parliament then. The ones I have talked to are not supportive - so what about you? An occasional article on the subject might actually be indicated since you use the united distribution lists of other bloggers to try and sell your own political agenda.

Anonymous said...

In this area (Oxfordshire) the Tories were certainly helped in the County elections by the rise in the Green vote which took votes from the LDs.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I have posted stories plenty of times on the unfairness of the status quo and the extra funding Scots receive. If you cannot be bothered to search my archive then that is your choice. I support an English parliament but qa not aware that the witanagemot group was foe Tory propaganda only.

Richard Pope said...

We left them a little note reminding them the internets are watching :)


Psephologue said...

The national importance of the Norwich North by-election is that it will be the last public vote before the party conference season. It is doubly important because the Labour Conference is the final opportunity for Gordon Brown to be replaced as party leader before the General Election.

The by-election should therefore be pitched by the main candidates as a vote of confidence in Gordon Brown as Prime Minister.

There are two 'racing certainties' in the by-election:
- The Tories will gain the seat
- Labour will lose it

However, this simple 'two horse race' result will not shift stubborn stains. What will be decisive is the ranking of the first four parties.

If Labour is pushed into fourth place after the Lib Dems and Greens in either order, then a clear message will be sent to the Labour Party:
- Gordon Brown is unacceptable to the public as Prime Minister;
- The Labour party will be wiped out at the General Election if Brown is retained.

If Labour comes fourth, it is highly likely Gordon Brown will be deposed in October.

The ability of the Lib Dems and Greens to achieve second and/or third place does not however depend on the qualities of candidates and policies. It depends on the willingness of traditional Labour voters to lend their votes to other parties for the purpose of effecting a change in Labour's leadership.

- A Labour voter intending to switch at the General Election should vote for the party of their choice.

- A Labour voter who intends to vote Labour at the General Election but who believes the Labour party would perform better under a new leader should vote either Lib Dem or Green in the by-election.

- A Labour voter who believes that Labour's best result in the General Election will be under Gordon Brown should continue to vote Labour.

The nation awaits the result.