With less than a week to go to the election, the coalition is on course for a stunning victory in Cornwall. A week ago Nick Clegg closed the door on a possible non-Tory agreement by refusing to have anything to do with anyone who might rely on those nasty Scots nats. Then yesterday, Ed Miliband made it crystal clear he’d rather have a Tory Government than any deal with the SNP . Dealing with the separartists would lead to our great country either being smashed into smithereens, losing its great Trident nuclear capacity or ending austerity. And you can’t allow any of that to happen, obviously.
Unless the polls show some sudden movement in the last six days of the campaign, given the numbers Clegg’s only option is to prop up another Tory Government. Labour’s only possibility is equally a grand coalition with the Tories. Cameron must be sleeping soundly. And those investors who sold £1 billion of UK bonds in the past few weeks, because of their fear of Labour’s red in tooth and claw redistributive intentions (if only), should buy them back immediately while they’re going cheap.
This general idiocy and caving in to the politics of fear stirred up by the Tories and their press has effectively made the election outcome in Cornwall utterly meaningless. Whether you vote Tory or Lib Dem, you’re likely to get the same coalition government. Voting next Thursday is just a popularity contest between Tories and Lib Dems. Of course, as the chances of a Lib Dem victory in Camborne-Redruth, South East Cornwall, St Austell or Truro/Falmouth recede into the distance, any residual appeals to ‘tactically’ vote in these seats lose their purchase, even if they had any to begin with. In most of Cornwall the 60-65% of voters (or 75-80% of the registered electors) who don’t want to vote Tory might as well now vote as their conscience, gut feeling or tea leaves dictate.
The election forecasting sites are at present in the main predicting that Andrew George and Dan Rogerson will narrowly squeak home at either end of Cornwall, while the other four seats look safe for the Tories. Only the Electoral Calculus site begs to differ. This predicts a clean sweep for the Tory wing of the coalition. Here’s its predicted results …
|Camborne & Redruth||North||South East||St Austell & Newquay||St Ives||Truro & Falmouth|
|1. Eustice (Con) 33%||1. Mann (Con) 36%||1. Murray (Con) 40%||1. Double (Con) 35%||1. Thomas (Con) 34%||1. Newton (Con) 37%|
|2. Goldsworthy (LD) 23%||2. Rogerson (LD) 33%||2. Hutty (LD) 24%||2. Gilbert (LD) 28%||2. George (LD) 28%||2. Rix (LD) 26%|
|3. Foster (Lab) 19%||3. Lingard (Ukip) 17%||3. Monk (Ukip) 18%||3. Mathews (Ukip) 16%||3. Calderwood (Ukip) 18%||3. Hyslop (Ukip) 17%|
|4. Smith (Ukip) 18%||4. Whitby (Lab) 7%||4. Lloyd (Lab) 10%||4. Hopkins (Lab) 10%||4. Olivier (Lab) 11%||4. Roden (Lab) 13%|
|5. Garbett (GP) 8%||5. Pennington (GP) 6%||5. Corney (GP) 8%||5. Slade (GP) 7%||5. Andrewes (GP) 9%||5. Westbrook (GP) 8%|
|6. Jenkin (MK) 0.3%||6. others 0.2%||6. others 0.2%||6. Cole (MK) 4%||6. Simmons (MK) 0.2%||6. others 0.3%|
There’s something a bit odd about their extremely sophisticated model, to say the least. It’s a bit like those ONS and DCLG models that insist on forecasting huge rises in Cornwall’s population and household numbers, rises that never actually appear. Electoral Calculus’ s model for example predicts that outside St Austell/Newquay, MK will get around 400 votes in total, down from 3,300 last time. Meanwhile in Truro/Falmouth, MK, the NHAP, the Principles of Politics Party and Independent Loic Rich are set to amass a huge 143 votes between the lot of them, Even the most pessimistic observer of minor parties would hardly rate their chances that poorly.
Could it be a coincidence that the founder of Electoral Calculus, the only forecaster predicting a Tory clean sweep, writes for the Telegraph?