A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Why a November election would have been a bad idea

Look out of the window (assuming you are reading this soon after I posted it and reasonably near London).

It's absolutely bucketing down rain.

Would you have wanted to canvass in that, let alone expect anyone to go out and vote in it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but Comrade Gordon can control the rain. Can't he?

3:15 pm, October 09, 2007

Blogger Hughes Views said...

No and no - even though it's stopped raining and the sun’s coming out now in Gloucestershire...

But it might have been amusing to see Tory canvassers mistaken for nasty apparitions at Halloween; children would not have slept well for weeks...

3:17 pm, October 09, 2007

Blogger Tom Freeman said...

I agree. I've just had to walk to my bank to get a replacement card sorted out, and by the time I arrived I was in such a bad mood that I was ready to close my account and stab the cashiers with my brolly.

And look what happened last time we had an election in a month famed for its rainfall...

4:41 pm, October 09, 2007

Anonymous Mark Trotter said...

1. Ginger Twat

a more common term for a red-headed being (not human) who have no soul and therefore nobody has, does or ever will love them. Other characteristics of a ginger twat include loudness, annoyingness, arrogance and ignorance (even to the point that they think they have friends and people actually like them)

Sod off you ginger twat

Fuck off you ginger twat

Piss off you ginger twat

5:20 pm, October 09, 2007

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Your right to point out the rain as a factor. There is a bright side to all this, the tories were forced to rush through a manifesto we can pick at for 2 years.
However I do worry about the economic forcast, most of which the tories will stick to Gordy.
To me it looks like he could not make up his mind (again) and appears, as we say in Scotland like a "wee feartie".

5:25 pm, October 09, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sunny in the key marginal or Warwick and Leamington. And haven't you heard of phone canvassing?

5:26 pm, October 09, 2007

Blogger susan said...

Luke, I thought you couldn't wait for an election.....has Gordon changed the line ??????

6:45 pm, October 09, 2007

Anonymous David said...

Leafletting is particular fun in the rain....

7:18 pm, October 09, 2007

Anonymous GW said...

Yup I just love shoving paper mache (or however you say it) through doorways on wet winter days.

I suffered my first heart attack leafleting on a cold,soggy November day in 1999.

8:41 pm, October 09, 2007

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

I assume that we must have sometime had a modern General Election held in the cold/the rain/the snow? Does anyone know if there was any real analysis on the effect on the turnout and the way the vote went?

Or is the 'do not hold an election in the cold and wet' simply a bit of received wisdom?

By the way, up here in metro Glasgow we have had a smashing sunny afternoon and now a cold but not unpleasant dry evening:)

10:06 pm, October 09, 2007

Anonymous tim f said...

Quite apart from the fact that I think we'll beat the Tories by more in 18 months time than we'd have beaten them by this time, if we want to build trust between voters and politicians again we need to reverse declining turnout, and the way to do that is not to hold the election in the cold and in the dark, nor without a drive to get people on the register beforehand.

11:02 pm, October 09, 2007

Anonymous GW said...


Yes - The Canterbury Labour Party tried some controlled experiments on these lines in the 1980's.Paper throwing v knocking.

In the Herne Bay -West Bay by election a sitting tory Concillor resigned as a personal protest about (if I remember corectly) the Tory Controlled Canterbury allocating council houses to N*****r's - Ah yes! Memory DUMP Dennis Poole, the only man that I met who thought that Enoch Powell was a dangerous left winger.

Well West Bay was a funny mixture, retirement Bunglows, Old terraces, trailers (as in Trash), and some Council Houses. It had three seperate Polling Disticts.

We called the bye election, and tried to time it for the worst weather possible. ( This was in the days before automatice Postal Votes) for we had a registered Doctor (he worked for Welcome Labs) who was happy to sign RPA7 or RPA 8 forms in blank.

The registration office was not a happy bunny when myself (as Agent) and Brian Lake (Regional Agent) pointed out that as the RPA Act went there was no legal obligation for the certifying Doctor to actually examine the subject.

To get back to the main theme.

We conducted a paper throwing exercise in the Senior Cirizen Polling Districts, and the Council House areas.

We came withinn 100 Votes of taking West Bay, and 5 years later took all three Seats.

Marshside - An Old Coal Mining Seat was taken by similar tactics, though I suspect the killer was the late Jack Collins arranging for the NCB buses dropping off the Lads outside the Hersden Institure (Polling Station)

The County seat of Canterbury South in 1985, similar tactics - Swamp the Baah - Lambs with Paper

The Tories, and the Liberals did not like this. 14% swing to Labour

Luke or mor probably his mum can confirm the facts if you think otherwise.

The point of this ramble is that paper throwing execises can and do work, as the Lib Democraps have also proven, but they are no substitute for a door to door canvas with the results and attitudes recorded


12:04 am, October 10, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More to the point, would any of us want to see you lot electioneering so soon after the last one?

7:52 am, October 10, 2007

Anonymous Dan said...

It is often claimed that poor weather depresses the Labour vote disproportionately, but I'm not aware of any evidence that this is so.

Someone with a bit of time could do the math fairly easily - tabulate a few hundred by-elections held on days that can be identified as wet/dry and then run a regression against the change in Labour vote.

10:17 am, October 10, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

It's not that the weather affects Labour's vote more - it's that Labour voters, according to all the polling evidence, have a lower likelihood of voting than Tories (for obvious socio-economic reasons) so any time that turnout is reduced, the net gainers are the Tories.

10:41 am, October 10, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are Labour voters big girls blousers. Since when did a bit of rain put people off?

9:41 am, October 11, 2007


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