There is a new Harris poll reported in tomorrow’s Metro which shows the Conservatives up again but the Lib Dems down 4%:
Conservative 36% (up 3%)
Lib Dem 28% (down 4%)
Labour 26% (up 2%)
When the last Harris poll was published I wrote: “I do suspect that Harris are overstating the Lib Dems at Labour expense”. It seems that this poll has corrected that although tonight’s YouGov daily poll suggests that the Lib Dems are even lower than reported by Harris.
Conservative 37% (no change)
Labour 29% (no change)
Lib Dem 26% (no change)
Remember we are still seeing polls conducted all or partly over the Bank Holiday. The first real post-Bank Holiday polls will be tomorrow night’s eve-of-poll opinion polls. Usually these are weighted and adjusted rather differently than the standard polls as the polling organisations attempt to get as close as possible to the final result as possible.
Every indication is that the Lib Dem vote is very soft and could shift right up until the last minute.
It beggars belief that Labour can even ask for five more years in office.
In an astonishing outburst the Labour Parliamentary candidate for North-West Norfolk, Manish Sood has described Gordon Brown as “the worst Prime Minister” ever. He has also called for more powers to be given to the Queen and the Police, and the return of the death penalty. In an interview on Sky News he broadened his attack to describe the current Labour party and its policies as “a total disaster for the country”.
Sood maybe something of an eccentric but his comments will be a body blow just 48 hours before voters go to the polls. He is undoubtedly echoing the views of many people in the party but most will not have the courage to speak out during an election campaign in such a damaging way.
Last night I was privileged to attend the launch of the Tanzanian Association in Reading. I was asked to attend to represent Alok Sharma who had another engagement. I didn’t know that Reading had a Tanzanian community but was soon put right. The hall was packed with people and the senior guest was the High Commissioner, as well as a number of Tanzanian MPs who are here as election observers.
The community was very welcoming and I was invited to speak to them about the Conservative party and its Manifesto for the General Election. I then took questions from the floor, which mainly focussed around immigration and support for the Commonwealth. There were some concerns about our plan for a cap on non-EU immigration but I was able to discuss those in a friendly way, and the audience applauded our plans to protect international development aid and put a greater focus on the Commonwealth. I also praised President Kikwete’s clean up of Tanzanian politics and suggested that some of our politicians could learn from him. Finally I appealed for people to get involved in politics locally. There are no elected black Councillors on Reading Borough Council and my party would very much welcome new members from the Tanzanian community.
A lot of the meeting was conducted in Swahili and as a “Swahili challenged” Englishman, one or two people translated for me. There were many speeches both before and after the meal, with many of the speakers stressing the importance of the diaspora to Tanzania. One speaker talked about his personal project of sending used computers to Africa. The main focus of the speeches was the launch of the Tanzania Association, which is a personal project of the President to harness the support of the Tanzanian community in the UK. The High Commissioner (who is soon to move to the US to represent her country) spoke in a mix of English and Swahili and I was delighted to be asked if I would become a “friend” of the Association.
I learned a lot last night and was touched by the warmth of the welcome I received. Despite being invited, neither Labour nor the Lib Dems sent a representative to the meeting and it was commented on by several of the senior members around me. For many years Labour has taken the minority ethnic communities for granted and they have noticed. Many are now rethinking their vote and are attractive by the Conservative message of support for small business and families, and lower taxes.
Next time Vince Cable gets on his high horse or pretends to be some sort of sage, just remember this clip: