A flight from London to Nice on Easyjet is cheaper than a train ticket from London to Blackpool and it is quicker. The conference facilities in Nice are modern. The hotels are better and cheaper, the food is superb and there is still a chance of some sunshine. It would also show that the Tories are not xenophobic or anti-European. Guido is debating whether or not to go to Blackpool at all – it is so grim up north…
I am writing you this email from our newly created “election war-room” in Cowley Street. We have just had back-to-back meetings of our Shadow Cabinet and Federal Policy Committee to put the finishing touches to our general election manifesto.
Of course, I can’t tell you the details just yet. [TOP SECRET DOUBLE HUSH HUSH] But it will be a very strong document setting our distinctive values with a strong emphasis on the environment.
Throughout this week the General Election Management Team has been planning things like our press conferences and Ming’s extensive tour across the country. [CALL HELP THE AGED]
The reports from constituencies this weekend are very good. We have had thousands of party members knocking on doors and making telephone calls as part of “community canvass week” Ming himself was out canvassing earlier this week in Scotland.
Whether Gordon Brown calls the election next week, the following week, or at any time in future – we will be ready ! [LIKE THE BOY SCOUTS]
With best wishes
Chief Executive, Liberal Democrats
The best entries in the competition for a limerick that wittily summed up Gordon’s conference speech win. Some were very good but didn’t scan properly, others (which Guido particularly enjoyed) were too foul for the sponsors to be seen to endorse.
Guido just stuck even more money on the Tories being the biggest party post-election. Note the bet terms carefully – the biggest party. The prices have admittedly moved further against the Tories since last month when Guido stuck £50 on Betfair. Guido now has a few hundred on ’em at prices up to 3.5, which seems too generous to resist. Crazy?
Last night the Tories took a seat off Labour in Sunderland, elsewhere in Dover there was a big double-digit percentage swing to Cameron, in marginals Labour lost votes. The Tories will also get a bounce from next week – despite the BBC trying desperately to develop a narrative of disillusionment and more defections – which should move the betting prices.
Why take the biggest party bet? Four reasons; Scotland and boundary changes are going to hurt Labour, thirdly the Ashcroft marginal machine is where the real battle is, not in Labour’s heartlands where traditional voters disillusioned by Blair can return to Labour without making a blind bit of difference. Finally, when politics re-starts for real in parliament, Gordon’s big-tent gimmicks will be forgotten in that adversarial atmosphere.
Nick Robinson breathlessly informed us yesterday on his blog that “The BBC has learnt that over the past 24 hours the Labour Party has begun recruiting key staff to work on an election campaign.” Nick is a brilliant investigative reporter isn’t he? Guido read about that on Recess Monkey the day before, who read it in the Guardian.
Guido could be wrong, but something tells him Gordon is bluffing.