Monday, 16 April 2012
Labour are doing well in the UK polls. Due to a lack of polling in Wales we haven’t a clue whether there is a Leanne Wood bounce since she became the Plaid Cymru leader. I guess we’ll have to wait until 3 May to find if her leadership has helped Plaid Cymru gain seats on Councils.
But back to Labour. The latest national YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has top line figures which show Labour 6% ahead of the Conservatives with Labour on 39% Conservatives 33%,and the Liberal Democrats languishing with 10%.
So all would seem to be well with the comrades, or so you’d think.
But hold on, why are they so nervous. Despite a series of own goals over the budget by the Coalition government Labour managed to loose what should have been a safe seat to George Galloway’s Respect party.
So whatever the polls say there is an uncertainty in Labour ranks about their ability to turn poll leads into actual leads when it comes to ‘real’ elections. The polls should translate into gains in the council elections. But if they don't, Miliband will be under pressure again.
The nervousness is also manifesting itself in another way. Labour don't want anymore byelections where they might risk losing to a maverick candidate from the left like Galloway.
So, like Baldrick, they've come up with a cunning little plan. No byelections.
Well, of course, they can't prevent an act of God in the near future. But they think they can stop resignations from their parliamentary ranks.
But the observant amongst you will say, Labour fully intend putting up candidates for Mayoral and Police Commission elections and some Labour MPs have already expressed an interest in standing, so won’t there have to be byelections?
Yes, of course, that is if MPs like Alun Michael get there way and are chosen to represent their party.
But will they get there way? That’s in doubt.
All the signs are that Labour high command are twisting the collective arms of these ambitious parliamentarians. Those intending to stand have been told to desist from their ambitions. The order is ‘stay put in Westminster.’
The party says it's cupboard is bare and there is no cash for a series of byelections. Hmmm.
Now this would be fine and dandy if the MPs decided to have second thoughts and continue to plough the Westminster furrow.
But if these cussed MPs decide not to heed the “advice” and continue to stand, whats to be done? What shouldn't happen is a Labour fix. There should be a definite no, no, to reverting to the old ways of trying to fix the selection contests.
These new posts are important. Labour should be ensuring that they put up the very best candidates forward. They should not be substituting the best with the second rater, simply to ensure that Labour doesn’t have to face the electors in byelections.
If the younger Miliband is not an election winner, now is the time to discover it.
Labour would be better facing up to the Miliband issue. Rather than again drifting into defeat in a general election with a no hope leader.