Monday, March 14, 2005

Missing Mandy?

With 50 days to go to May 5 what is going on with Labour's campaign? Most dead-tree-pundits reckon the Tories are putting up a good fight and the LibDems seem on a fixed course to do better.

The Labour campaign so far has been unconvincing - Blair trying to re-engage with distrustful voters has failed - women voters in particular are rejecting him according to the pollsters. The Terror gambit, which to me looked like an attempt to emulate Rove's political positioning of Bush as the "Security President", with Blair as the "Security P.M." failed - accusing those who voted against it as soft on terrorism might have worked if it had only been the LibDems. But trying to paint Thatcher and Tebbit as soft on terror would never wash with the media or the masses.

I can't believe just how uncharacteristically second-rate Labour's efforts have been, if the election were to be next year I think it possible Labour would be tipped out, or parliament at least hung. Gordon's budget may yet change the polling landscape, if it does, his claim to the succession will be solidified. He is going to pull out all the stops to make sure he gets the credit for changing Labour's campaigning fortunes.

I can't help wondering if the lacklustre campaign, so far, is evidence of Peter Mandelson's evil genius, because it looks to me like New Labour are badly missing Mandy's touch.


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