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Newark campaigning strategy cheers up Tory activists

2 June 2014

One of the spin-offs of Grant Shapps’ cheesy-sounding yet quite impressive ‘Team 2015’ strategy for campaigning in the local elections and now in Newark is that the energetic campaigning atmosphere seems to be making activists and MPs very happy.

This sounds like a minor consideration when by-election campaigns are for winning seats, not counselling party members. But given the rather fractious few years that the Tory party has had, this is rather important. Activists and MPs need to feel  they’re sailing with the wind behind them as they approach the election, and so gathering large numbers of campaigners together at once, rather than leaving them to canvass and deliver in little motley groups, is a good way of creating the impression of momentum.

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Activists returning from the constituency say they are genuinely impressed by the campaign, which they think has improved leaps and bounds on the way the Tories ran things in Eastleigh. But there are a few gripes. Some MPs point out that they’re being asked to deliver leaflets, rather than go round canvassing. This seems, they argue, a little pointless, given MPs do tend to be able to articulate themselves reasonably well, given their own success in getting elected (although anyone who sits in the House of Commons press gallery will point out that this is certainly not a hard and fast rule).

But a good Newark campaign (assuming the Tories win, which as Seb says, is looking increasingly likely) is important to the general election campaign for the Conservatives because it will give activists and MPs the impression that their party can win and that its campaigning machine is capable of doing so.

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  • Sapporo

    Its easy to flood a by-election with activists and politicians. It hides the fact that the Conservative Party is decimated. All, but a handful of local associations are dead, with very few members, no activists and no money. They have no capability to campaign in most areas, as the more motivated activists have switched to UKIP.

  • Lucy Sky Diamonds

    Let’s look back to the Eastleigh by-election for a minute.

    The first Ashcroft poll suggested UKIP would get 13%.

    The second Ashcroft poll put them on 21% exactly the same as Populus and Survation.

    The actual result was 27.8%.

    Ashcroft is going to look pretty stupid on Friday morning, the poll was conducted before the truth about the Tory candidate became general knowledge. It aint over yet by a long chalk

    “Never count your Chickens before they are hatched”. m’ Lord.

    • Brigantian

      I still can’t work out why the Mail did an expose on Robert Jenrick and his American wife Michal. Still, being a multi-millionaire at 32 must be nice for him. It will help him to relate to all the other 32 year olds wondering whether they will ever own a home or pay off their student debt.

      • Lucy Sky Diamonds

        Plenty of 33 year olds wonder too.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Frankly I’m staggered by the sheer deceitfulness of Lord Ashcroft’s poll, I thought that he was better than that but it turns out that he’s just another tribal Tory who will do whatever it takes to support his party against UKIP.

      He asks people in Newark how they will vote in this election and from those who give him a definite answer he finds that attitudes have shifted massively since the general election in 2010.

      But apparently this massive shift of attitudes doesn’t apply to those who can’t or won’t say how they intend to vote, because he then makes an “adjustment” in which he distributes those indeterminate people among the various parties according to their shares of the votes in 2010, when UKIP got only 4% while the Tories got 54%.

      He says that “interestingly” this adjustment has little effect on UKIP’s rating, but it does significantly boost the Tories – well, what a surprise!

  • Makroon

    Now that Cameron has decided to stick his oar into the “great Qatar football debate”, I guess we can kiss goodbye to those huge infrastructure investments and lucrative markets, that the Emir was offering.
    Cameron just can’t learn to shut it !

  • Lucy Sky Diamonds

    National weekly poll = Conservatives on 25% & UKIP on 19%

    Nothing to be cheerful about whatsoever!

  • Hello

    Ha! Who’d have thought equality would find it’s way to the heart of the Conserv— get back to work, George, those leaflets aren’t going to deliver themselves!

    • Lucy Sky Diamonds

      Newark, you have my sympathy.

  • Tom

    The difference in the GE is they won’t be able to flood everywhere with MP’S and hundreds of activists.

    • Makroon

      And neither will UKIP, Farage will be exhausted by week two.

      • Tom

        The tories are scared stiff of losing Newark hence Camerons visits etc.
        Bury your head in the sand if you want but come the GE you will have to make do with the local activists just like UKIP.

        • Kitty MLB

          The Conservatives are not as scared stiff
          as UKIP are at the thought of still not
          gaining their one seat.

          • Lucy Sky Diamonds

            They are scared stiff of many safe seats becoming marginals….

            Its a melting pot……

            • telemachus

              Fortunately the mechanics of the the constituencies are such that this really only applies to Tory marginals
              43 of these will be delivered to Labour
              You should think on this as you crow
              Vote Ukip
              And deny the UK a referendum

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …exhausted by what? How much energy does it take to pose for his stock pub photograph and chat up the locals? For him, that’s easy, him considering himself a frontline sorta guy and all. I’d gather it’s the internal squabbling and horsetrading that wears on him, and is the reason he’s talked about moving on at some point.

        • you_kid

          No no no! The great leader cannot move on, he needs to lead us into the bright future that Little England brings, once the news of Scottish non-compliance with Westminster milking machine regulation and procedures hits and then sinks in in the Home Counties.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …can any other of you socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

    • John Dalton

      Isabel I’m sorry but I hope your beloved Tories go down in flames – and I speak as an ex-Tory voter. I no longer recognize the party and it no longer speaks for me on any of the big issues. UKIP is our last chance and I hope the good people of Newark understand what’s at stake.

  • you_kid

    My fellow UKIP amigos, our time has finally come!

    Another European Monarch resigns as he has had enough of this fatuous game of
    ‘representing’. He was pivotal as THE facilitator of Spain turning from a dictatorship into a respected European democracy within one generation.

    The Magna Carta elite in Britain however continues on its ill-conceived path of national tyranny.

    Vote UKIP, vote for change! Newark could lead the way. Newark could be that silent and peaceful revolution from within, the vote that changes everything.

    Vote UKIP, vote for radical change!

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …ok, but what does your goat sockpuppet say? That’s what everybody’s interested in, lad.

      • you_kid

        He probably thinks you’re all fake sheep waffling all day about how frrustrated you are with this and that and foreign secretaries taking your jobs and other fatuous non issues. Yes, I guess that will sum it up for now – why don’t you ask him?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …no “probably” about it, lad. Your goat sockpuppet. is your creation, like all the rest of your sockpuppets.

          • you_kid

            Where is the ominous sock, you muppet? Go probe and give it a rest, will ya? Oh great creator, will this loon now go spastic?

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …can any other of you socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

              • you_kid

                there we go – the chappy’s in a trance, now the spasms are about to set in …

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …nope, still impenetrable gibberish, lad.

                • you_kid

                  … yep, impenenetrababble gibbibberish.

                  Now, to ease the pain of cramping your doctor might want to prescribe dope.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …hmmmmm, does your goat sockpuppet require a veterinarian, lad?

  • Kitty MLB

    Good heavens not another picture of Boris Johnson, is he my esteemed leaders
    shadow now.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    MPs delivering leaflets? How infra dig.

    • Alexsandr

      good. at least they cant f*ck up anything important.

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