Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in political blogging.
David Herdson at polticalbetting.com asked; “where have all the billboard posters gone?”, while Jonathan Isaby at ConservativeHome scotched any idea of the Tories working towards a Lib-Con coalition (but Coffee House says the Tories are planting coalition ‘seeds’ and Guido reckons it’s a good possibility), and Dizzy Thinks looks at the reasons for and against a hung parliament. Alistair Campbell commented on the importance of trends rather than media stories of the day.
Iain Dale looked at the Lib Dems’ candidate make-up, and Mark Pack examined at an unexpected impact of technology in this election. Jon Bernstein at The Staggers commented on David Cameron’s apparently waning popularity, while Will Straw at Left Foot Forward took a look at the growing Lab-Lib ‘progressive majority’ – pushing the Tories below 35 per cent for the first time since 2007, but Iain Dale finds it a very important point that Labour may come third in this election and Mark Pack agrees – it may be Labour’s poorest showing since 1918. Gary Gibbon at Snowblog looked at Nick Clegg’s ruling-out of a Lib-Lab coalition if Labour was the third largest party; Sunny H at Liberal Conspiracy says that this is because Clegg wants to be PM in a Lib-Lab coalition.
Sunder Katwala at Next Left gave an in-depth critique of the Tories’ new plans to prevent Prime Ministerial changes without elections. Guido continues his campaign to target Ed Balls’ seat with tactical voting, while John Bernstein at The Staggers queried the motives for the Tories’ multi-audience message,
Nick Wood, blogging at ConservativeHome, says that a hung parliament means ‘paralysis’ for the country.
Martin Kettle at Guardian Politics says that the Labour party is incapable of removing Gordon Brown, while Will Eaton at Left Foot Forward outlined how a Clegg-Cameron coalition would face too many policy differences to be viable – Daniel Korski at Coffee House said in a similar vein, that a Con-Lib coalition would be ‘minimal’ government in any case. Alistair Campbell reckons that Clegg may be over-reaching himself in his coalition demands – the Lib Dem bubble still might burst. Martin Kettle at Guardian Politics did some thinking about who the next leader of the opposition might be. David Blackburn at Coffee House was a little concerned at the potential for some of the Tories’ new marketing to be seen as ‘scare tactics’.
Dave Hill at Guardian Politics commented on the Lib Dem surge in London, and Christopher Montegomery at Guardian Politics says that Labour and the Lib Dems are essentially two parts of one party – a coalition might take the UK back to a two-party system again. David Blackburn at Coffee House observed Labour’s steady poll decline – and asked “is it terminal?”. On the other hand, Ed West at The Telegraph said that the Tory party had 10 days to save itself – as the Lib Dems have stolen their ‘party of change’ mantle.
George Eaton at The Staggers looked at the collapse in Tory gay support, from 39 to 9 per cent in less than a year, while Ros Taylor at Guardian Politics contemplates the dilemma for a left-leaning voter of a Clegg-Cameron coalition. George Eaton at The Staggers says that the Tories ‘decapitation strategy’ to remove key Labour Cabinet-members is likely to be ineffectual, Sunder Katwala at Next Left agrees.
Hopi Sen examined how the Tories’ proposed free schools aren’t free at all.
Sunder Katwala at Left Foot Forward fact checks David Cameron’s claims that a move away from First Past the Post would stop the electorate from “throwing out governments”, while Paul Goodman at ConservativeHome runs through three options for the Conservatives in the event of a hung parliament, while Stuart White at Next Left says Labour should ‘get real’ if it thinks it can hang on as a minority government.
Lee Griffin at Liberal Conspiracy ran the numbers, and found Tory support throughout the country to be collapsing, while Paul Sagar is confused by the Lib Dem’s immigration policy. Will Star at Left Foot Forward examined the accuracy of Chris Grayling’s crime statistics that say that crime has increased iunder Labour.
Gary Gibbon over at Snowblog comments on the IFS’s report on potential spending cuts – we are ‘in the dark’ as to the true extent of what they might be.
Kerry McCarthy at Shot from Both Sides is sick of talk of a hung parliament, and says that if voters ‘vote for Clegg’, they’ll get a Tory government. David Herdson at politicalbetting.com looks at Gordon Brown’s future in the event of a hung parliament.
Aside from, ‘bigot-gate’, which was the big, big news story today, Peter Wrigley at Keynesian Liberal suggested that a 25 per cent tax rate (as existed in the 1980s) would help the public deficit, but no parties were willing to discuss it; Jonathan Isaby at ConservativeHome talked the deficit (the ‘big issue’ for Thursday night’s debate) too. Sunny H at Liberal Conspiracy spoke of his desire for a hung parliament and a Lib-Lab coalition, while the same blog also suggests an approach from the Tories to the SNP and Plaid Cymru for their support to avoid the need to go with the Lib Dems. Guest blogger at Left Foot Forward Mary Thorogood, looks at Tory councils as examples of what a national Tory administration might look like.
George Eaton at The Staggers talked higher turnout.
As could be expected, ConservativeHome made considerable hay over ‘bigot-gate’ today. Guido was gleeful; Peter Hoskin at Coffee House calls it ‘toxic’ for Labour; Gary Gibbon at Snowblog calls it a ‘Jekyll and Hide’ moment; Iain Martin at the Wall Street Journal is the master of understatement, saying ‘it could have gone better’; Paul Waugh at The Evening Standard calls it ‘political suicide’; and Hopi Sen calls it part of the ‘Thick of it’ election. Sunny H at Liberal Conspiracy says that it is symptomatic of Labour’s approach to immigration – it ‘hides from confronting the issue’.
Mike Smithson at politicalbetting.com opens Thursday with tabloid covers of Brown’s gaffe, and John Snow has a very in-depth analysis of how it may affect decisions in the polling booth. George Eaton at The Staggers finds an unreported Sun poll, that stated that 50 per cent of respondents felt that bigot-gate was a ‘storm in a teacup’.
Peter Wrigley at Keynesian Liberal encouraged us to stop worrying about the threat of a ‘hung parliament’, while Nick Robinson looks at each of the parties’ proposed cuts ahead of tonight’s debate, while Giles Wilkes examined the economic situation in general, and Sarah Mulley at Left Foot Forward took a close look at the Lib Dems’ policies on immigration, including their asylum amnesty polices. Sunny H at Liberal Conspiracy pointed out that Labour was still ahead of the Tories in Labour marginal seats.
Iain Martin at The Wall Street Journal examined how it might actually be better for the Tories if Ed Balls kept his seat. Guido reports that Labour PPC (and blogger) may have illegally posted postal vote results on Twitter. Kerry herself is publicly repentant.
Dizzy Thinks reckons Cameron won the debate – just, but Nabidana, found Cameron to be exceptional. Alistair Campbell, reckons Brown won the debate (he’s very suspicious of the instant polls).Similarly, John Bernstein at The Staggers takes a close look at the accuracy of the post-debate polls.
Mark Pack takes a historical view, looking at polls this close to previous elections – the Tories are in a better position than Labour.
Sholto Byrnes says that Labour’s tactic of bringing in Tony Blair at this late stage is a desperate measure; Michael White at Guardian Politics says that it’s ‘too late’ for this tactic. Mike Smithson at Polticalbetting.com thinks it’s likely that the Tories could be on even odds for a majority.