8 May 2005


Lots of froth in the Sundays on the election. But John Rentoul makes a lot of sense in the Independent on Sunday (online but you have to pay, so no link):
Most of the Liberal Democrat vote is still potentially part of the New Labour coalition. As much as 5 per cent of the electorate is parked temporarily on Charles Kennedy's lawn, but they are essentially Labour supporters protesting about Iraq or the nexus of Labour 'betrayals' that it stands for. . . With no sign that anyone in the Conservative parliamentary party even begins to understand the scale of the task of reconstruction required, that means we are heading for a Labour landslide next time.
And Robert Harris is good in the Sunday Times (click here):

Yes, the Conservatives have 33 new MPs, but many performed scarcely better than four years ago, winning only because Labour voters deserted to the Liberal Democrats. If this is the great springboard for victory in 2009, where is the spring? Yet the coverage in the Conservative press has been little short of triumphalist. Reading yesterday’s Daily Mail one might have thought that the Tories had romped home. It was like the scene in Citizen Kane, when two alternative front pages are being prepared for election night. One carries a banner headline: “Kane governor!” The other has a tiny strapline, “Kane defeated”, above the screaming typeface: “Fraud at polls!” “I’m afraid we’ve got no choice,” says the editor, picking the latter. “This one.” It could have been Paul Dacre, the Mail’s editor, speaking.
The Sunday Times also has the best psephological analysis of the election so far, by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, which is unfortunately not online. And The People (also not online) runs a story that appears to confirm my hunch that Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have agreed to a handover after the European constitution referendum.

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