I have never bet on a political candidate, because I don’t know how to. I once went into a bookie in Bangor and asked to put a fiver on Syd Morgan wining in Pontypridd, the lady behind the desk told me that she didn’t think that there was a race track in Pontypridd and that there was no horse called Syd Morgan running anywhere in Britain that week. Good result actually, because Syd lost and I saved my fiver!
Even if I knew how to bet on political outcomes and was a regular betting man I wouldn’t risk 5p, never mind £5 on the result in Aberconwy.
According to the UK Poling Report, the new Aberconwy constituency has a “notional” Labour incumbency with a majority of less than 0.9% over the Conservatives. So it is a tight Labour / Conservative marginal. However in the Assembly elections the seat was won by Plaid Cymru. Plaid also won the Conwy constituency in the European Elections, all be it by the tightest of possible margins. The Liberal Democrats, although failing recently, have a good record of coming close in this area, so they can’t be written off.
The seat offers hope to so many parties that the Westminster election has already started in earnest in this area, despite the fact that the election is yet to be called, and probably won’t be called for another 6 months or more. During the past 2 weeks I have had leaflets from all of the big four; indeed I have had two leaflets from Plaid and the Tories!
Plaid, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have all delivered their leaflets by hand, they have spoken to constituents out gardening, on the street etc, the candidates have pressed the flesh and made themselves known whilst delivering the papers, but the Labour message came by post. The post wasn’t even sent by the Labour Party, it was sent by Tangent Direct a mass mailing company based in Cramlington, Northumberland.
I suppose that the message from Northumberland may mean that Labour is ahead, that it doesn’t need local activists to do the donkey work, because it has the money to invest in alternative campaigning methods. On the other hand it may mean that Labour doesn’t have the activists locally to do the donkey work so it has to pay people to do what enthusiastic activists are willing to do for love of the cause in the other three parties. Whatever the reason, receiving a mailing shot got up my nose. It struck me as a lazy and impersonal way of contacting constituents and very bad form. It added to my feeling that Labour has already conceded defeat in Aberconwy, that the junk mail was an unenthusiastic response to the slog that all the other contenders are putting in with gusto.