No Solid Crewe

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The most amazing thing about the Crewe and Nantwich by-election is the sheer amount of column inches it has generated in the national press. As a by-election veteran (I confess, I haven’t gone to this one), I’m used to fighting the great fight in eminently winnable seats (which of course, we went on to win) and yet have the media completely oblivious to the fact right up until the day before polling day when they finally get around to sending a monkey up to see what is going on.

Not that I’m complaining, mind. The more they ignore a by-election in the run up, the bigger the splash on the front pages when we win. The fact that the Tories are being presented as a near-certainty will dampen the impact if they win and make them look silly if they lose. The fact that Labour’s dirty by-election tricks are finally getting a good airing is also gratifying, although it is a shame it is being presented as a one-off when they play this game every single fucking time.

What is bizarre is the way journalists keep calling it a “safe Labour seat.” Dunwoody only had a 7,000 majority and when you’ve been an MP as long as she has, most of that will be down to a personal vote. I don’t know the area’s political history but the Tories have completely eclipsed Labour in local government.

If the Tories had had as good a prospect as this to fight during their doldrums in 1998, it would still have been amazing if they had gone on to lose.

Make no mistake: this by-election is for the Tories to lose. If they can’t win this, they will be back to where they were last summer. I’m not making any predictions either way here, but let’s not kid ourselves about them having a massive job ahead of them, eh?

9 thoughts on “No Solid Crewe

  1. What rubbish – the Conservatives will not be back to where they were last summer. 7,000 is hardly a small majority and running Labour close to the wire will still show how their support in the ‘heartlands’ is dwindling.

    A Conservative victory would humiliate the government and I sincerely hope this comes to pass. The fact that the Lib Dems have given up on Crewe might help!

  2. Have to agree with LFAT, a loss here would not signal a fall back to last summers standing for the Tories.

    I’m not convinced the Tories will win it, a real and likely victory would be for them to soften the seat up ready to take at the next GE.

  3. 7,000 is hardly a small majority

    Snigger! Such poverty of ambition! In the context of a by-election in the middle of a third term of office, 7,000 is wafer thin. Surely you don’t think it is big?

    Compared to Brent East (15,000 majority over Lib Dems)? Leicester South (16,000 majority over Lib Dems)? With the Conservative Party’s resources?

    Delighted to hear the Tories are so nervous, but don’t try and pull a fast one here, sunshine. You’re having a giraffe.

  4. Leon – don’t let him fool you. The Tories are entrenched in Crewe and Nantwich. They should be able to do it in their sleep. For them to lose this by-election would be apocalyptic for them. They will end up fighting like cats and dogs amongst themselves if they lose.

  5. James, it’s not him fooling me, just been thinking this over and chatting to a few people that know the demographic breakdown well…I’m not expecting a Tory victory and certainly not a huge one either.

  6. The increased national media aspect is something I fear we may have to learn to live with; I still wonder how Ealing Southall would have gone had there not been so much “Resurgent Tory Party” rubbish going around nationally.

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