Owen Campaign’s Strategic Divide

OWEN-DILEMMA

Owen Smith is particularly desperate to try and win Wales and shore up his vote on home turf to avoid personal humiliation. When it comes to events and phone banking his campaign is very Welsh-centric – he’s focusing on South Wales disproportionately. Make that a hell of a lot of effort for a small part of the electorate.

In the latest of many South Wales campaign events Owen made a “keynote” speech in Rhondda yesterday to a handful of people – he just can’t break out of the Valleys. If you look at his campaign pictures (see below) from the event they are all tight on him because the crowd was so small.

oily-close

Truth is he’s not liked much in Wales. Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones has been silent and no Welsh minister has backed him. His own Pontypridd Assembly Member and Welsh Government Counsel General, Mick Antoniw, is backing Corbyn. Former Pontypridd AM and Welsh environment minister Jane Davidson, who knew Owen and worked with him closely when he was first elected, is also backing Corbyn and tweeting Owen attacks. Reportedly the only CLP in Wales to nominate him was fixed

In private the campaign knows it has lost and fears it may lose by over 60% to 40%. His campaign manager Dugher is said to be arguing for a strategy shift to a tough bare-knuckled fight, hitting Corbyn hard, perhaps having learnt his lesson from managing Andy Burnham’s disastrous soft-left leadership campaign. The whole idea of projecting Smith as a “competent Corbynista” has been disastrous from the off because nobody believed thechildishly transparent lie. Owen Smith does not however want to tack to the centre and tell the membership hard-truths, because he needs to “protect my brand” for the future. Oh boyo…

Could this dilemma within the campaign explain the vitriol of that Dan Hodges polemic on Sunday against spineless, incoherent, incompetent Owen? Hodges is close to Dugher…

UPDATE: A source gets in touch to clarify that initially Dugher was for all the full-on lefty campaign because he thought that’s where he/Andy screwed up last time, “If Andy had been more left-wing Jeremy wouldn’t have had space to emerge. Problem is it’s the right strategy for twelve months ago. Doesn’t work now Corbyn is out of the bottle which they now accept.”




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond uses a trip to Berlin to mock the Foreign Secretary:

“A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece. Wise words with some applicability to the Brexit negotiations although I try to discourage talk of “cake” amongst my colleagues.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Meltdown After Nuclear Power Plant Holds Bikini Contest to Choose Interns Meltdown After Nuclear Power Plant Holds Bikini Contest to Choose Interns
DUP Deal Signed DUP Deal Signed
Watch: McDonnell on Grenfell ‘Murder’ Watch: McDonnell on Grenfell ‘Murder’
Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
The Economist’s Lack of Intelligence Unit The Economist’s Lack of Intelligence Unit
Happy Independence Day! Happy Independence Day!
Sun Cleared by Hospital Sun Cleared by Hospital
Exporters Order Books at 29 Year High Exporters Order Books at 29 Year High
Corbyn Refuses to Bow to The Queen Corbyn Refuses to Bow to The Queen
McDonnell Repeatedly Backed Far Left ‘Day of Rage’ Group McDonnell Repeatedly Backed Far Left ‘Day of Rage’ Group
“Soft” and “Hard” Brexit Terms Obsolete “Soft” and “Hard” Brexit Terms Obsolete
Hammond’s “Sound Money” Speech Sadly All Spin Hammond’s “Sound Money” Speech Sadly All Spin
Tommy Robinson Called British Muslims “Enemy Combatants” Tommy Robinson Called British Muslims “Enemy Combatants”
Corbyn Praised at London Hezbollah Rally Corbyn Praised at London Hezbollah Rally
Government Understaffed – Key SpAd Vacancies Up for Grabs Government Understaffed – Key SpAd Vacancies Up for Grabs
Clive Lewis: “Burn Neoliberalism” Clive Lewis: “Burn Neoliberalism”
Corbynista Ultras Involved in Storming Kensington Council Corbynista Ultras Involved in Storming Kensington Council