Give Up the Ghose

Just why is perennial Labour loser Katie Ghose finding it so impossible to find a seat? Ghastly Ghose has been rejected by Brighton Labour, Grimsby Labour and York Labour, but with her Electoral Reform Society hat on, she reckons she’s found the answer:

Dear Guido

Today we’re pleased to launch our new report, Women in Westminster: predicting the number of female MPs.

We’ve found that the number of female MPs is set to rise after this year’s election – but progress is slow. Why?

In large part, it’s because of our broken voting system.

Definitely nothing to do with the Oxford-educated parachuting southerner bagging up her carpets and rolling up at seats across the country without even bothering to change her website from her past failed attempts…

Ghastly Ghose Stretches the Truth

Aspiring carpet-bagger Kate Ghastly Ghose just popped up on Sky News with her Electoral Reform Society boss hat on, having her usual pop at anyone but Labour:


In an extraordinary exchange, Ghose refused to declare she is a committed Labour activist and clearly stated she was not a candidate.

Not for want of trying.

Ghose has been turned down by Brighton Labour, Grimsby Labour and York Labour. No one wants her to be their MP.

“You’re absolutely right, I’m not a candidate for a party”. Nor should she ever be.

Ghastly Ghose Goes For Parliament

Regular readers will remember Katie “Ghastly” Ghose, who spent her whole time as chairman of the Yes to AV campaign trashing the ‘old political parties’. You would have thought that the woman who turned a 27-point lead for AV into a 36-point victory for the No campaign might have moved on to pastures new, but no, she’s back. And she’s in the running to be a Labour MP…

Her controversial company Electoral Reform Services Ltd won’t be counting the votes this time, but Guido takes some pleasure in knowing that as it’s a shortlist of two, her fate will be decided by First Past the Post. No doubt Ghastly Ghose will gain plenty of support from those Labour MPs who refused to deliver her Yes2AV leaflets that branded them lazy. Best of luck Katie…

ERS Criticised Over Messed Up Mayoral Count

The complex London vote on May 3 saw Londoners cast four votes on three ballot papers, each using a different electoral system. IntElect a joint venture between Data Research Services (DRS) and Electoral Reform Services won the contract to do the count. The services company set up by the Electoral Reform Society has been widely criticised for messing up the count taking more than 24 hours to deliver a result. They promised a result within 12 hours…

This is despite the electronic system costing even more to implement than a manual count. The same group messed up the Scotland’s 2007 STV vote. Just imagine how bad it would be if this was done nationally..

Snow Blind

Some surge, “No” got 13,013,123, “Yes” 6,152,607…

Off To Tease The Progressives

Guido is off to the Excel centre to watch the No Campaign votes pour in. The Prime Minister said this morning that “there will be no celebrating, there will be no congratulations.” He also made it clear on Thursday that he wasn’t part of the official No campaign, so Guido’s not sure they will  be acting on that particular memo…

With YouGov polling people who voted yesterday and finding a 62%/38% No win it could be a long night…

Quote of the Day

Ed Miliband admits Labour didn’t introduce AV because it…

“…had no desire to change a system that had served it so well.”

Huge No Lead Opens

In the final furlong, ComRes have the “No to AV” Campaign on 66% and the “Yes to AV” Campaign on 34%.

It’s going to be a long day…

The Blame Game Briefing Begins

And so it came to pass, the Yes campaign are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of their campaign. Unfortunately it’s an oncoming train. 

Their people, most likely to be spinner Jon Bartley, have already begun briefing against Chris Huhne and his political game playing:

“Nothing Chris Huhne has done in the last few weeks was authorised by us or useful to us. The difficulty from day one was that we didn’t want the referendum to be seen through the prism of the coalition.”

Looks like the number one slot on the Guilty Men list has been filled.

UPDATE: Turns out that it’s everyone hates Chris day, as Osborne’s scathing put down from the Cabinet duff-up has mysteriously found it’s way in to James Forsyth’s ear:

“This is the Cabinet, not some sub-Jeremy Paxman interview.”

Looks like Osborne wouldn’t mind Huhne walking…

Huhne's No Tarzan

Chris Huhne’s posturing at Cabinet has been well reported elsewhere. Apparently he cares so much about the AV campaign that he openly challenged the Prime Minister at Cabinet. He then fully briefed hacks within minutes that he’d done so.

He certainly seems wound up, and there is even speculation that he could walk on Friday when the LibDems are decimated locally and in all likelihood the “Yes to AV” Campaign is defeated. This anger feels fake to Guido though. Perhaps Huhne’s mistress, Carina Trimingham. who is on the “Yes to AV” campaign, has him on a Lysistrata-like no-win-no-lay policy. 

There wouldn’t be much love lost if the manoeuvring Huhne did walk. It would solve the where to put David Laws problem in one. Though Huhne could stir from the backbenches, he should remember that Helseltine was actually popular and liked before he wielded his knife. And he had better hair too…

Humphrys Stumped Thrice

Christmas came early for those who enjoy a good John Humphrys cock-up, as this morning three came at once. He went to pieces in his discussion about AV.  ‘As opposed to First Past The Post, which is used by no other major democracy…’ Wrong.

‘It simply isn’t true that you count votes more than once’  he went on the batter Cameron with. Wrong.

The whole point of AV is that you count the votes more than once until someone gets 50%. Not only couldn’t he get his head round the system, but the campaign is clearly a bit of a struggle for the ageing presenter too: “There’s broadly two campaigns, Tories against Lib Dems/Labour and some Labour are on the other side as well’. Wrong.

More than half of Labour MPs, more than 80% of Labour councillors, plus two thirds of Labour peers and the major unions are all backing the “Labour NO to AV” campaign. If one of the most politically engaged people in the country can’t get their head round AV, what’s your average punter meant to be thinking? Either that or old Humphrys is back to his spinning tricks…

Wonk Watch: Blond's Swerve

Steve Hilton’s cipher-wonk Phillip Blond is often a good gauge of what is going on at the no shoes, blue skies end of the Downing Street operation.  There was the briefest point back in 2010 when it looked like some of the more “progressive” bunch might back “Yes to AV” and Phillip, in his position as pope of the Tory wets, set out the reasons that Conservatives should not fear AV” 

“AV or not the Tories will still be able to win that game gain a majority and govern from a position of strength” he declared, after furiously attacking First Past the Post.

But with the winds of change, a new haircut, and a surge in the polls for the “No to AV” campaign, Phillip has spent the morning furiously backtracking and fighting AV all over Twitter. Guido didn’t see any “No I believe 1st preferences count more than 2nd or 3rd – and I fear government by 3rd preference” in the old report. The new haircut must have bought new sense.

The NO Campaign's Secret Weapon

As polling day approaches, the No campaign have deployed their most devastating attack on AV yet.

Signed, sealed, delivered. 

The Guilty Men

Poor Patrick Wintour, just a couple of weeks ago he has was gleefully preaching the merits of the AV system to the Guardian choir, yet today he has almost begun naming the names of who is to blame for Yes running such an antiquated campaign.

Bad news for Huhne. His less than subtle leadership politicking has has gone down badly with the Yes team saying it “went on too long for self-serving purposes”. The campaign had until then had taken the decision not to rebut all the accusations put to them by No, but this may prove to have been their fatal mistake. But all is not lost, they do have one big trick up their sleeves: “The yes team are even scanning the 10-day weather forecast in the hope that God will prove to be a late convert” Desperate times…

Rich & Mark's Monday Morning View

Tories Enlist Karate Kid Against AV

The latest Tory referendum advert seems reminiscent of the Karate Kid…

State of the Race Double Poll Boost For No

After yesterday’s thumping in the ICM/Guardian poll the Yes campaign are extremely grumpy this morning. Just take what one patronising Cambridge boffin supporter had to say about the electorate:

http://twitter.com/beccy1606/status/60268533740863488

Charming.

Well Guido has more bad news for Yes. In a the biggest survey yet, Saga has polled 11,801 people over the age of 50. No is on 50% with just 32% for yes. And remember kids, old people are the most likely to vote…

Standard Back No2AV

Given that the paper said at their debate last week that they didn’t care who you voted for, as long as you went out there and engaged, it’s no surprise that the Yes campaign are a little put out that the Standard have announced in tonight’s edition that London should say no “to this flawed, unwanted, unnecessary piece of tinkering with our constitution.” Crucially the endorsement comes with not only millions of free sheets, but also the thousands of headline placards at every tube station that worked wonders for Boris. 

State of the Race

Alan Johnson is alive. In his first trip back into the political limelight since his “problems”, he joined the Yes campaign rally with Miliband and Cable, but no Nick. Somewhere in a cupboard in Cowley Street, the Deputy Prime Minister is desperately  trying to break out and campaign for his beloved voting reform. It’s quite hard to spin that this isn’t referendum on Clegg when you ban him from the stage. 

The Yes campaign’s tactics have come under attack even from their own side today. Total Politics carries a raging piece from industry experts who accuse Yes of re-running the failed Euro campaign of the nineties:

“‘Yes’ has run a classic establishment campaign. Lots of prominent places for Westminster insiders; a nice smattering of the usual (boring) B-grade celebs who bang on about politics between filming reality shows, and ads in comfortable shades of pastels that look like every second Department of Health campaign or those posters the council puts on bus shelters up to tell you which day to put out your recycling.”

Meanwhile twenty minutes later Cameron popped up with Lord Reid. The former Labour Home Secretary accused the “moaners and losers”  in the LibDems of wanting AV purely for political reasons. Well someone had to say it…

Elsewhere No2AV head Matthew Elliot put the boot into Clegg this morning:

“he claimed that we are having this referendum “because of the expenses crisis”. Given Nick’s role in the coalition negotiations, this is a frankly bizarre lie. We are having this referendum for the one and only reason that the Lib Dems demanded it.”

Guido has already commented on the IPPR push poll and their squiffy results. Yesterday’s balanced and professional ComRes poll said that only 37 per cent of people backed AV. With 43 per cent against. 17 days to go…

UPDATE: Nick Robinson is wondering where Nick is too.

State of the Race Yes Campaign's Smoking Gun Memo

Yesterday can’t have been fun for the Yes campaign. Ed Howker was leaked a document from the the campaign’s biggest donor the Electoral Reform Society, that proved, despite the legal threats to the contrary, that they were set to profit from a Yes result.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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