Wednesday 22 July 2009

By election blues

The by-election in Norwich North has received very little press coverage, apart from the fact that Labour’s candidate has swine flu.

Just on that – I wondered whether he might be faking it to make people feel sorry for him. You know, like when the kid that was rubbish at sport kicked the football into his own net by mistake and then pretended he had a hurt leg because he was embarrassed.

Anyway, the lack of coverage is probably because it is clear the Tories will win, so it doesn’t have any ‘news value’ until after it has actually happened.

There is still, however, a significant question over just how big the win is.

From Labour sources in Norwich I hear the party’s voters are so angry with the leadership for cutting down the previous MP Ian Gibson over his expense claims that they are loathe to vote for the new man.

If Labour takes a pasting it will not only suggest that Brown’s re-relaunch efforts over the last few weeks have been in vain, but also that his handling of the expenses crisis was frowned upon.

I suspect though that when they get in the voting booth many will go back to what they know.

But if it’s not a whopping victory for Cameron it will add weight to what many Labour MPs keep trying to convince me of – that the Tories have not yet “sealed the deal” with the electorate.

My money is on a Tory win by about ten points.

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