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The LAB-CON marginals: How Lib Dem non-targeting could help Labour

June 17th, 2013

Another headache for Grant Shapps

There’s a wide awareness of the fact that the Lib Dems, who chalked up 24% of the GB vote in 2010, will be putting 100% of their efforts into no more than 75 seats – the 57 they are defending and a few more where they think they are in with a shout.

All the focus has been on what this will do in the LD battlegrounds but it could also make a big difference in the LAB-CON marginals themselves where Grant Shapps is hoping the yellow vote won’t be hit too much thus blunting the LAB challenge.

But the LD plan to have the most focused election campaign ever means that there will be nothing more than token Lib Dem efforts in the remaining 555 constituencies.

The campaigns there will consist of little more than utilising the facility that’s provided to all candidates to have one leaflet distributed by the Royal Mail. Candidates will be put up by the yellows and will be on the ballot but that is about all.

Activists will be encouraged to put their efforts into their targets helped by the party’s new distributed phone-banking system which was put through its paces in Easteigh.

    Thus there’ll be no real efforts to retain the votes of the large numbers who opted for the LDs in 2010 and their support will be squeezed like never before.

    The impact of this, I believe, will be magnified in the 80 or so key LAB-CON battlegrounds where the red and blue campaigns will be going full throttle and more.

Given that the polling is showing that Labour is picking up the lion’s share of 2010 LDs who’ve switched the absence of LD campaiging simply adds to the pressure on the Tories. For the last thing Grant Shapps wants is for there to be any more switching.

The general election in the non-marginals will be very different for everybody. None of the parties will be putting that much effort in where it doesn’t matter.

Mike Smithson

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