Here’s a tip: Hampstead and Kilburn is a three way contest

A BIT of cheeky – but predictable – leaflet sport on Chris Philp’s latest despatch in Hampstead and Kilburn. It includes the bold claim that ‘local newspapers are tipping a Conservative gain’. This in the week that the Ham & High ran a hustings report with a blazing ‘Glenda triumphs’ headline. Maybe be I’ve missed something but it seems to me that rather than ‘tipping’ any one candidate, both the Ham & High and the New Journal have been pretty clear about the three way nature of the constituency. It’s too close to call – that’s what will make it one of the most intriguing areas in the country come May 6. You won’t see me down Ladbrokes seeking a flutter on this one.

There is of course the small matter of our graph which has been reproduced on Chris’s leaflets without any consent that I know of from our offices (all the parties do this, there’s not much you can do about it). Now, it does show a Tory lead and is based on genuine polling in Hampstead and Kilburn. But let’s be clear people: the survey took place more than 18 months ago and despite showing good Conservative support, the party was almost immediately stunned by the Lib Dems in a by-election in Hampstead Town. It’s been back and forth ever since, and it’s a huge leap to jump from those early indicators to a claim that ‘local newspapers are tipping a Conservative gain’. We’ve seen choppy swings back and forth on the national scene. Expect just as much turbulence locally.

All the parties are guilty of a bit of spin and distortion on their leaflets. The ‘they can’t win here’ line is the most tiresome of the lot. Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems all have a great, battling chance in Hampstead and Kilburn – don’t be fooled by the leaflet drops into thinking otherwise.

1 Comment on Here’s a tip: Hampstead and Kilburn is a three way contest

  1. Local Tory // April 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm //

    To be fair, Richard, Chris wouldn’t be having to draw attention to this report if the LD campaign consisted of anything other than “474 votes to win “Its So Close Round Here” (copyright every Lib Dem campaign ever, yes, even the ones where they they come third)

    The LD claim is based on data that is five years old, so Chris looks up to the minute with 18 month old data. That’s enough to knock the LD claim dead, but to make it worse its extrapolated on the basis of dodgy assumptions. (For the record, they are (1), that we know where within the old seats of Ham and High and Brent East people voted Tory, Lab, or LD, which we do not know for a general election and (2)that people would have voted the same way in 2005 on the H and K boundaries as they did in H and H and Brent East. That assumption conveniently ignores the fact that the Tories had no chance in Brent East, and that there was a sitting LD MP who has made a chicken run to Brent Central this time. You can draw your own conclusion about what she thinks of the LD chances from that…)

    So, yes, its dull, but short of allowing the LDs the stage with their highly implausible claims to be close to winning, what can Chris do?

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