Guido just got off the phone with Electoral Services in Bristol East a couple of hours ago, after being disturbed and puzzled to see a tweet about the contents of postal votes published a short time ago by Kerry McCarthy, Labour’s Twitter Tsar and candidate in Bristol East.
As it was re-tweeted about the twittersphere with queries as to whether this was legal, Kerry quickly deleted the tweet – before it could be stored in the Google cache, but not before Tweetminster picked it up.
The rules are that postal votes are opened in the presence of every candidate’s agent. They are opened face down, but agents can get a peek in. Because announcing these results prematurely can affect the outcome of the whole election, however, they’re under strict confidentiality rules. Bristol Electoral Services are now looking into it as a matter of urgency…
This just in from a Cowley Street co-conspirator:
Labour have just sent out this poster (except it isn’t a poster, it is a amateurish crap graphic). According to Labour HQ tonight is going to be about Style versus Substance :
Guido has altered it for accuracy : Gordon versus the Voters…
UPDATE : Just checked the latest prices at specialist political bookmakers Smarkets:
- Gordon Brown has a 25% chance of winning
- David Cameron 52% chance
- Nick Clegg is favourite with a 55% chance.
Take Guido’s advice and bet against Gordon Brown…
Gordon Brown at a factory in Halesowen…
Gordon Brown tells worker : “Your company’s doing well in China.”
She responds : “Our company’s doing well everywhere but I think it’s in spite of you.”
Mike Smithson reminds us that 313 MPs signed Gordon’s nomination papers 3 years ago today, they didn’t hold a competitive election, they didn’t have a debate in which Gordon would be tested and expected to make his case – a weakness clearly visible in the TV debates.* Guido said at the time they would rue the day.
Like lemmings they followed Gordon and he will lead them over the edge to electoral oblivion. Yesterday the news channels were full of Labour frontbenchers looking constipated with pain, even accomplished TV performers like Andy Burnham couldn’t find a way to spin it – Gordon had just unfairly and without reason called a Labour voter, with legitimate worries, a bigot. Neither Mandelson, Campbell or Maguire could find a way to put a positive spin** on it, our Kevin seems to have thrown in the towel.
They knew Gordon had just guaranteed Labour activists hell to come on the doorstep.
Steve Richardson, a long-time apologist for Brown, writes in the Indy this morning
Goodness knows what is going on in Brown’s exhausted mind when he makes these wholly misjudged, angry exclamations. We can only guess… the mystery at the heart of yesterday’s drama. Why was Brown so angry in the first place?
Gordon was angry because he is a malevolent weirdo, unable to relate people like a normal human being, unable to interpret the emotional signals and body language that we all do instinctively. He is a bonkers, not like an eccentric old aunt, but like a dangerously paranoid political psychopath. Privately aides were grateful yesterday that he hadn’t launched into a foul mouthed tirade or hit anything other than the car “it could have been worse” they were saying yesterday. The voters have now heard a little of the real Gordon, they won’t find it attractive.
*Punters on Political Smarkets currently rate tonight’s TV debate winner probabilities Clegg 54%, Cameron 52%, Brown 12%.
**For a while Mandelson and Whelan tried to blame the Murdoch press / Sky News. When that didn’t work they Mandelson dropped out of view. Whelan and Prescott, in what is pretty disgraceful lying, are now claiming Mrs Duffy is bought and paid for by Lord Bell and the Sun. It is as if Damian McBride had never gone away…
Gordon has just sent this email to Labour Party activists:
As you may know, I have apologised to Mrs Duffy for remarks I made in the back of the car after meeting her on the campaign trail in Rochdale today. I would also like to apologise to you.
I know how hard you all work to fight for me and the Labour Party, and to ensure we get our case over to the public. So when the mistake I made today has so dominated the news, doubtless with some impact on your own campaigning activities, I want you to know I doubly appreciate the efforts you make.
Many of you know me personally. You know I have strengths as well as weaknesses. We all do. You also know that sometimes we say and do things we regret. I profoundly regret what I said this morning.
I am under no illusions as to how much scorn some in the media will want to heap upon me in the days ahead.
But you, like I, know what is at stake in the days ahead and so we must redouble our campaigning efforts to stop Britain returning to a Tory Party that would do so much damage to our economy, our society and our schools and NHS, not least in places like Rochdale.
The worst thing about today is the hurt I caused to Mrs Duffy, the kind of person I came into politics to serve. It is those people I will have in my mind as I look ahead to the rest of the campaign.
You will have seen me in one context on the TV today. I hope tomorrow you see once more someone not just proud to be your leader, but also someone who understands the economic challenges we face, how to meet them, and how that improves the lives of ordinary families all around Britain.
Animation credit : My Left Peg on the Football 365 forum
In the first Prime Ministers’ debate, the candidates were asked to answer a question on immigration: