Westbourne by-election: it could all be down to the weather this evening

Folklore has it that the Tory vote comes out in the morning and early afternoon, with Labour and Green voters turning out after 4pm. If that is the case, the Tories must be pleased with the glorious weather so far today, and must be feeling some optimism.

I will be watching the weather closely in the early evening. If it rains then I think the Tory candidate, Graham Cox, should edge it.

The Greens had a real boost to their campaign yesterday evening when the Tories declared it a two horse race between them and the Greens. Voters undecided between Labour and the Greens might just, as a result of this leaflet, decide to go with the Greens. It won’t take many, perhaps just a couple of dozen, to go Green rather than Labour.

The postal vote turnout was pleasing from a Green perspective, with around half of those with postal votes not returning them. Given that the Greens have never really worked Westbourne until this by-election, the majority of postal voters will have been for the other parties. Having said that, the Greens did run a postal vote campaign and have been expressing quiet satisfaction that the Green postal voters have returned their ballots.

The Tories have pulled out all the stops to hold on to this seat and get their candidate, Graham Cox, elected. The Labour campaign has been one that characterises Labour in recent years, a small, dedicated band of activists doing what they can, but not setting the election on fire. The one high point was the arrival of Hillary Benn who brought much needed publicity for LOLA, Labour’s Leave Our Loos Alone campaign. No matter what might have been suggested, this isn’t an election winning issue, it is a good hook to hang some campaigning on, and could, in due course, capture the imagination, but LOLA won’t be enough for Labour’s Nigel Jenner.

Both Labour and the Tories have been keen to have a go at the Greens Louisa Greenbaum, suggesting that both parties believe she is the candidate to beat. Weather permitting, the superior Green organisation should see Louisa home. There may be glorious sunshine right now, but there are rain clouds on the horizon. That is no metaphor for the fortunes of the parties, just a meteorological observation!

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12 Responses

  1. A 47% postal vote indicates a generally good turnout contrary to what was expected.BPB you believe the Tory literature saying its a 2 horse race with them and the Greens. Don’t you think they say that because it stirs up their own to vote anti-Green even if they really might think Labour could come second? Being anti-Labour isn’t a sufficient bete noir whereas being anti-Green B & H Council probably is.Machiavelli is alive and well and residing in B & H.

    The high postal vote probably gives a built in Tory margin of comfort, boosted by the good daytime weather but it won’t be long to find out. Happy Christmas to all readers.

  2. When I stood in Westbourne Ward in 2003, it had, in the previous election, been a split vote between Labour and Conservative that made it a marginal.

    I stood as a LibDem (with Brian Ralfe as running mate) and the effect of that was to split the Labour vote in half and leave the Conservative vote entirely untouched. So the Conservatives prevailed.

    So how much has the demographic altered? Enough to change that basic pattern? Seems unlikely. This time the Greens and Labour might well share half of the vote with the Conservative winning again (and the also rans picking up crumbs).

    But you never know. People get a bit giddy and perverse at Christmas. They might have impulsively voted UKIP in the end!

  3. ‘The postal vote turnout was pleasing from a Green perspective, with around half of those with postal votes not returning them. Given that the Greens have never really worked Westbourne until this by-election, the majority of postal voters will have been for the other parties. Having said that, the Greens did run a postal vote campaign and have been expressing quiet satisfaction that the Green postal voters have returned their ballots.’

    So which is it? Pleased or happy? Win or not lost? Talk about hedging your bets.

  4. I’ve got the Tories as favourites, but I wold love a Green victory to silence the haters.

  5. BPB you got almost every part of your prediction wrong…
    It didnt rain but Tories won; Greens came third; Superior Green Organisation (MP’s, super agents and even MEPs) didnt deliver…ahem back to North Korea with you!

  6. Anyone got any election leaflets they can scan for that election leaflet site? I’m away from Westbourne and would be interested to see what they all put out.

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