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Elections 2021

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CB27
1383777.  Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:42 am Reply with quote

And?

My point was about how campaigners on the ground would do go to some questionable lengths during campaigns, for all type of elections, it was not about the ones they won.

 
Brock
1383781.  Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:24 am Reply with quote

But the Liberal Democrats were a total disaster before the Eastbourne by-election. The party was formed in 1988 from a merger of the Liberals and the SDP (those members who didn't form their own breakaway party), and officially named the "Social and Liberal Democrats". They then adopted "Democrats" as a "short name", with the result that no one knew who they were. They lost 190 seats in the 1989 local elections and came fourth behind the Greens in the 1989 European elections. It was only after they voted to restore "Liberal" to the party's name that they started picking up votes again.

Not really a tactic designed to win votes at any cost!

 
PDR
1383783.  Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:56 am Reply with quote

I was a political canvasser/activist in the periods I was in the UK the 80s and 90s, and we always found that the majority of the "dirty tricks" came from the Libs/Lib-Dems. I don't suggest for a moment that it was a National policy, or even that the central party organisation was aware of it, but it happened.

It varied between fake claims on the doorstep (and in leaflets) and even some people misrepresenting themselves as canvassers from other parties in addition to general negative campaigning. I can remember being told on my own doorstep that the Labour Party had a firm plan to pull the UK out of NATO to join the Warsaw Pact, and that the Conservative Party were going to force Councils to sell their housing stocks to private landlords who would evict anyone who wouldn't pay commercial rents.

I think it was just that as they had always been the underdogs they felt entitled to pull these stunts to "redress the balance" - they were rather pompous people who seemed to think it was their right.

PDR

 
suze
1383790.  Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:20 am Reply with quote

I've only ever heard untrue statements of other parties' policies from Conservative canvassers, but that's hardly surprising since no other party even bothers to canvass around here. (Labour used to but no longer, UKIP used to but no longer, while the LibDems never did.)

"People misrepresenting themselves as canvassers from other parties" are committing a criminal offence, so call the police if that should ever be repeated.


But coming back to Eastbourne, I find it difficult to criticise a party for contesting a by-election that it thought - correctly, as it turned out - it could win.

While Conservative and Labour have both in the past claimed the moral high ground by sitting out when a by-election has been held in unfortunate circumstances, all they've really done is saved money by not contesting when they knew they couldn't win.

Neither of the two largest parties would do it if they thought they could win, so we can't really criticise other parties for standing in those circumstances.

 
barbados
1383795.  Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:37 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I've only ever heard untrue statements of other parties' policies from Conservative canvassers, but that's hardly surprising since no other party even bothers to canvass around here. (Labour used to but no longer, UKIP used to but no longer, while the LibDems never did.)

That certainly suggests that you've only ever listened to the Conservative party.
There is plenty of truth in the saying "how do you tell when a politician is lying? - their lips are moving"

 
Brock
1383796.  Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:46 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:

But coming back to Eastbourne, I find it difficult to criticise a party for contesting a by-election that it thought - correctly, as it turned out - it could win.

While Conservative and Labour have both in the past claimed the moral high ground by sitting out when a by-election has been held in unfortunate circumstances, all they've really done is saved money by not contesting when they knew they couldn't win.

Neither of the two largest parties would do it if they thought they could win, so we can't really criticise other parties for standing in those circumstances.


In that case, why didn't the Tories contest the 2016 Batley & Spen by-election? They're widely tipped to win next week, so they would clearly have been in with a chance of winning five years ago. They would only have needed a 6% swing.

 

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