Sunday, 21 September 2014

Labour bluster over Medway LibDems

Some years ago I saw the last Deutsche wöchenschau, the Third Reich's newsreel dated March 1945. Whilst Messerschmitt fighters took off from waterlogged agricultural fields and streams of exhausted boys and old men in a mixture of uniforms marched past the camera the narrator pronounced ultimate victory would be theres. The Luftwaffe were blasting American planes from the air and the Russians were being turned back at the Oder. Whether the German people took anything from it is debatable but we know it was just noise.

Medway Labour have a lot riding on this election. The Coalition has not always been popular in low income areas where Tory led cuts have injured local services. The normally unassailable Medway Conservatives suddenly look vulnerable, especially as the locals are on the same day as the General election. These marginal seats could swing red again and I believe Gillingham & Rainham will.

Ever since tuition fees Medway Labour have been predicting the death of the Medway Libdems with an alarming frequency but I can assure you that there is still life in them. There are regular Focus deliveries, canvassing, street letters and campaigning just in a smaller area than Labour. Our membership is up and hardly flocking to Labour as they have suggested - I'm aware of only one in the last two years.

That is their weakness. They are pressing on all fronts to get the Tories out locally and in Westminster. Across Gillingham & Rainham, Rochester & Strood and Chatham & Aylesford. Even with Union funding their resources are not endless and they are stretching themselves thin. Although an all out offensive in Gillingham South may turn it red (I'll be moving) they will not get Watling ward. An all out offensive in Gillingham south would come at a cost of taking other fronts like Chatham & Aylesford where a strong MP might do enoug on personal performance over the popularity of Coalition policy.

The other problem Labour are facing is UKIP.

The common opinion is that UKIP are the bane electoral bane of the Tories but we've found that Labour are losing just as much support where as LibDem supporters are less likely to go Purple. Farrage is seen to be more in touch with the common person and their concerns rather than the Tory lite esq Milibamd led Labour. Seats in urban areas like Chatham central, Luton and Wayfield and even Gillingham North are fairly undecided and require shoring up before the election - further blunting their offensive capability. They also have to worry about their own seats from the weirdly popular Medway Tories. Rumour has it that Chris Irvine is on the offensive to take Labour's bulwark Cllr Murray's seat!

Labour, although set to gain ground along with UKIP who are becoming rapid favourites following unparalleled support across the estuary but it may be tempered and not the sure victory they are hoping and predicting. They'll also find the last bastions of LibDem seats a hard nut to crack and the red tide may be halted.

Let's just hope that come May I don't look like King Canute!!!

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