Leaders Question Time
I enjoyed the Question Time on Thursday involving the three main political party leaders. Each leader performed reasonably well under some hostile questioning, and Ed Miliband, no natural performer on television, exceeded expectations. I think though that David Cameron was the better performer and seemed more assured and less taken aback by audience curveballs, a major improvement on his poor showing when interviewed by Paxman.
I am rather sceptical of polling, which can be manipulated and aimed at narrow, deliberately targeted segments. I have never been polled in person, by phones or online, and nor has the majority of people I know.
I am sure they have a degree of accuracy, and several polls show little between the two parties. The general consensus seems to be though that phone polling is a more reliable indicator of results than online polls, the former giving the conservatives an advantage. I think this, as well as ‘shy Tories’ and undecided voters who find Cameron more presidential than Miliband, will prove current stalemates wrong, with the Conservatives this time next week running a minority administration.
Spoiling of ballot papers
With Social Democratic leanings, but none of the parties inspiring me and holding many of my views in common, combined with living in the safe seat of Conservative Charnwood, I am sorely tempted to spoil my ballot paper. With the absence of a much needed ‘none of the above’ option on the ballot, this for me is the logical next best thing.
Some have thought this stupid and a waste, wondering why bother turning up at all. I think it important and a democratic statement. Spoilt ballots are counted and declared; you have let it be known that you have turned up, considered and rejected your choice. This in my view is far removed from not going at all, where you are presumed to be uninformed, apathetic, or a mindless follower of the Russell Brand creature.
Red Ed: A well meaning joke
While he has exceeded expectations, I think Ed Miliband’s student union leftism will be sufficiently repellent to moderate voters in a presidential style election to deny him the keys to Downing Street. As John Rentoul opines in this piece http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/general-election-2015-win-or-lose-ed-miliband-is-not-ready-to-govern-10221146.html he has moved too far from the centre-ground and holds ideals that are not fit for purpose in terms of building a broad coalition of support.
I think today’s announcement of Labour (literally) setting into stone its key pledges and putting said stone, (the five commandments), and placing them in Number 10’s back garden is a weird and needless gaffe, a symptom of an underlying immaturity that most voters will laugh at. I think if the Labour Party wins this week, it will be in spite of Ed, rather than because of him.