About me
About me

Swing Update


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Today’s swing figure:

» 2.14% swing to the Conservatives «

There’s a new ICM/Guardian poll out today, which reduces Labour’s lead two points on the last ICM poll, to 39/33. This has obviously aided Michael Howard’s bounce factor, and he does appear to be back on the way up again. Of course, the field work for these latest polls was done at the beginning of the week when Howard was being advised to change his strategy due to poor poll performance, and he insisted on sticking to his guns. The fact that, as the polls show, he was actually on the way up at the time he was being told to change his strategy perhaps shows that he’s a better electioneer than people take him for. Interesting.

Less interesting, but far more significant, is The Sun’s decision to back our mate Tony. It’s the biggest paper in the country, and as such holds a lot of sway. The suddenly viciously-Conservative Mail leads on Mr Blair’s terrible, seemingly close to violent, performance with Jeremy Paxman last night. I always wonder why politicians avoid the question in such an obvious way – like when it’s asked twenty times – because it not only makes them look guilty as sin, it also gets them in the papers far more than a simple answer would have done. Asked if he knew how many illegal asylum seekers there were in the country, which Mr Blair could easily have guessed he was to be asked, one of his apparently marvellous spin doctors should have written him a nice couched answer, with an explanation of why, and a ‘no’ somewhere in the middle, so that the soundbite of ‘I don’t know’ couldn’t have been taken without the explanation, and possibly a jibe at the Tories too.

It’s matters like this, and silly slips like ‘Council tax are at their lowest levels for decades’, that really make you wonder how proficient these spin doctors are. They’re clearly not well prepared, some of the writing is terrible, and if any of them could just come up with a little thought to do things differently, they could cream everyone. Think about it – if Michael Howard, for example, had gone with a slightly different set at Conservative HQ, perhaps without a lectern, and giving him the freedom to walk about and point at things on an impressive looking projected PowerPoint, or even just to get disenchanted ex-Labour voters up on stage with him, and given him the opportunity to use the hand guestures he loves so much without them being obscured, he could have looked brilliant in comparison to Labour, who would be doing the same old thing with a couple of locked-off cameras. And this would all come at minimal additional cost. All they have to do is make their press-conference sets as versatile and impressive-to-camera as their conference sets, which can’t be too difficult. Instead, they do it all on the cheap, and make it all look samey and, frankly, cheap.

Anyway, I wandered somewhat off the point there, but, to return to the polling data, it seems like Michael Howard is bouncing back like a tiny rubber ball. Hurrah.

This 526th post was filed under: Election 2005.

Some recently published posts

The Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnels: eight years on / January 2020, 8 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / January 2020, 7 minutes long

Faber Stories / December 2019, 4 minutes long

My favourite books of 2016 / December 2019, 26 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / December 2019, 12 minutes long

Some random old posts

War, no peace / February 2006, 1 minute long

The private sector will always be involved in the NHS / January 2015, 11 minutes long

National shock as 75% fail A-Levels / August 2006, 2 minutes long

A Special Month / May 2004, 1 minute long

Make Poverty History / February 2005, Less than a minute long

Of by-elections and discrimination / June 2008, 4 minutes long

Comments and responses

No comments or responses to this post have been published yet.

Compose a new comment


You may use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> .

If you would like to display a profile picture beside your comment, sign up for Gravatar, and enter your email address above.

By submitting your comment, you confirm that it conforms to the site's comment policy. Comments are subject to both automatic and human moderation, and may take some time to appear.

The content of this site is copyright protected by a Creative Commons License, with some rights reserved. All trademarks, images and logos remain the property of their respective owners. The accuracy of information on this site is in no way guaranteed. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided by this site. This site uses cookies - click here for more information.