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Wow! Could we win this seat?

Terrific news!

Lib dems claim a defection the other way!

Mr Brij Mohan Gupta, Deputy Chair (Political) of Ealing Southall Conservatives and Vice-Chair of Southall Green and Southall Broadway Conservative ward parties, has joined the Liberal Democrats and backed the Liberal Democrat candidate Nigel Bakhai.

So as not to appear hypocritical, could we call on them all to resign and hold by-elections on the same day as Quentin Davies's?

Top Tory - that is old news and it seems likely this was just someone who thought he had a right to the candidacy who picked up his toys when he was overlooked.

Aside from the boost to Tony's campaign this is also 5 local Labour councillors admitting that the council is better run under the Tories, lets hope Andy Coulson makes the most of this.

"Top Tory" is obviously Chris Rennard given how old the 'news' about Brij Mohan Gupta is. He left the Conservatives over Tony Lit's selection more than a week ago.

In contrast, the 5 defections from Labour to Tory are hot off the press - and sensational!

That's extraordinary. Well done Grant (and Tony).

Labour had twice the number of Tory votes in this seat. Lib Dems had more votes than the Tories. If they think they have a hope in hell of winning they are seriously mad.

These defecting councillors are believed to be Sikhs and there's probably some local reason why theyve fallen out with labour.

It would be churlish not to thank Tom Watson MP for directing ( in-between donut eating a'la Homer Simpson) Labour's p*ss-poor campaign! Should he replace wee Duggie as Gordon's GE campaign 'mastermind'....

Great news, the polls only need to swing a few % points and the wheels are firmly off the Brown bandwagon. I have been amazed at the media coverage given to a government so utterly mired in failure; Brown is not a change he is more of the same. Flood indifference, 3 more deaths in Iraq, terrible PMQ's and now defections. We will be back 5% ahead in the polls by August.

Typical old fashioned asian politicians. They swap sides as soon as it looks like they will benefit with another party. It happens all over the place especially at election time.

This such FANTASTIC NEWS! Welcome indeed to these 5 Labour councillors and the Independent candidate. This is what local politics looks like - they have seen the results of Tories in Ealing and they like it - they reject Labour's imposition, Keith Vaz railroading through his preferred candidate against the wishes of the local party and also the former MP.

Tony Lit is so well-liked that these councillors and the Independent choose to support him.

All the momentum is with us, ConHomers should go down to Ealing and our buzzing campaign room and give an hour to be part of this historic by-election.

WE CAN WIN!

Councillor Singh in particular has a massive personal vote.

This is the end of Brown's honeymoon!

A very good coup for the Conservative campaign though these Asian Politics Defections tend to backfire in the longer run . I look forward to the 5 byelections when the councillors concerned put their new political convictions before the voters who elected them as Labour councillors last year .

Nothing about this story on the BBC's politics page. No surprises there.

Might be a good idea to find out what these people are like and why they left the Labour party before we all start celebrating too much.
I'm not sure we got the worst out of Quentin Davies' defection to Labour. They had a few days headlines and an extra vote in parliament but they've also picked up a monstrous ego, a man with disgraceful ideas on Europe and equally disgraceful ideas on Iraq. Labour may well come to regret welcoming him into their party.
I don't know a thing about these councillors and they may all be very good people. Let's find out.

Unbelievably, there is no mention at all of this on LabourHome. They're not really a real blog, are they?

The bombshell should be nose down as if in free-fall......it looks too much like an airship otherwise

Editor you can't allow Adam comment @10.45

He just smeared a whole group!

A few parish pump nobodies. So what? I mean that's really going to make the front pages - not!

They'll have a nasty surprise when they meed some of the Powellite dinasaurs in the Tory Party.

Nice that we get s few coming our way in the current party hopping that's breaking out all over the shop. With Blair gone, what have Labour got left? A bitterly divided party with predominantly traditonal left wing community-action supporters, and increasingly right wing centralising policies. Cameron might be called Blue Labour by UKIP, but that's all fine and dandy if you are an original Labour voter. In the end of the day, people want better lives, power handing back to local level, not a worn out propaganda machine.

UKIPPERS should be impressed wiuth the prominence Cameron is giving to backing the EU Referendum, and English issues.

Fingers crossed for the poll.

I was excited - until I saw the details. It looks very much like a pre-arranged stunt by the ethnic/tribal equivalent of a 'masonic lodge'

Caring Conservative: I notice you are being negative across the whole site. Can you make your comments a little more constructive please or I'll have to assume you are a troll!

There is no Tony Lit registered to vote in either Chiswick or Richmond (and certainly not in Ealing or Southall). It is true that a Surinderpal Singh Lit is registered to vote in Chiswick, just as he was previously in Richmond. Though not in Ealing or Southall.

The fact is that “Tony Lit”’s six company directorships are not only held at three different addresses but in three different names.

It appears that almost the only time that the Conservative candidate is Tony Lit is when he is campaigning in Ealing and Southall.

In Chiswick, where he claims to live, as in Richmond, where he used to live, it appears that he is Surinderpal Singh Lit.

In his business directorships, he is sometimes Tony Surinderpal Lit, usually Surinderpal Singh Lit, and only occasionally (when working with Himalaya Shows, Events and Exhibitions Ltd) is he Tony Lit.

The Conservatives will not be surprised that voters all over Ealing and Southall are asking “Who is Tony Lit?”.

One of the few things we know about Tony Lit, is that no such person is listed as registered to vote in Chiswick, where he claims to live.

Another is that of the different addresses associated with “Tony Lit”, under his various guises, spread out all over West London though they are, none seems to be in Ealing or Southall.

"Caring Conservative" is a Lib Dem troll. Please delete all of his posts, please.

Caring Conservative

You make it sound like its a big deal. The truth is that nobody apart from you and Tom Watson cares. You wouldn't be Mr Watson's mum would you?

601 @ 10.59

Why not? If you want to see examples of this all you have to do is go to all over the country where there are large numbers of asian councillors and see how many defect to other parties especially between labour and lib dems. Its a fact.

"Caring Conservative" is a Lib Dem troll. Please delete all of his posts, please.


Don't you mean a "desperate" Lib Dem troll?.

Editor, please delete the posts of "Caring Conservative", who is clearly a troll. Adam's comment at 10.45 should also go.

I have literally just come from the announcement of the new recruits and Tony and David's walkabout. Anyone who thinks we are not the main challengers to Labour has clearly not been in this constituency.

The momentum is with us - we can win this seat and WE WILL!

Let's beware of accusing each other of being trolls. For one thing it gives a sort of "Lord of the Rings" atmosphere to the site. For another, it smacks of attacking motives rather than dealing with arguments. We leave the question of motive and character to the extremists, surely. An argument is an independent, intellectual reality and is to be treated as such. As to being negative, one of the greatest conservatives ever, Sam Johnson, frequently began his observations with a firm "No, sir." Conservatism in its essence involves the revision of intial views, which may be extravagant or optimistic or mystical, towards something which more modestly reflects the truth.

Good luck, Tim - I hope you're right

Do keep calm everyone. We will do well to come second to Labour and that will do Brown a power of no good.

Building expectations too high will simply give Labour a get-out, allowing them to claim that "the Tories failed to take the seat".

If it is not a Tory win the story must be "Labour hold on by a whisker: Brown Honeymoon over".

These people are just racists - they are rushing to support a member of their own ethnic group.

"Caring Conservative" appears to be Tom Watson MP, the very worried Labour campaign director in Ealing Southall.

He will find that there are no Powellite dinosaurs (that he cannot spell!) in the Conservative Party.

Since he is a troll, the Editor should ban his IP address.

Clive at 11:31 is sensible. It is probably the case that we have taken over from the Lib Dems as the main challenger in this seat - so anti-Labour forces are right to colsolidate behind Tony Lit. If we get a good swing and a materially reduced majority, that would be an excellent result. We CAN win but we should be clear that it would be a mountain to climb.

A fair point, Clive, and it is worthwhile reminding everyone to keep things in perspective - but surely even a laundrette-full of spin from Labour wouldn't defend their performance if it's anything other than an easy hold

I took a taxi in Southall a few months ago. Taxi driver -a muslim- told me muslims in the area had no time for the M.P. Khabra who was regarded as a tool of the Sikh punjabis.
Dont forget also that 50% of the electorate is British and as they are likely as usual turn out much higher they will be 60%+ of the actualvoters.
The sikh punjabis are the most VISIBLE group in Southall but I doubt they are more than 20% of the voters.
Tory leadership is exhibiting the Indian -South American type of politics played in California-play the community card plus the personality card.
Exactly what are the conservative policies being put forward by the mysterious TONY LIT?

Is Caring Conservative really Tom Watson. What a desperate little man he must be. Got to be worth a story in itself.

It has to be said that Tom is famous for his poor spelling.

Back to the thread please!

Tim,
BBC have a candidates list up for Ealing Southall and it's interesting to note that Tony Lit is running under the banner of "David Cameron's Conservatives". Hopefully this work out in our favour, seeing as the party always benefits when Cameron's name is mentioned. Any idea if this is CCHQ policy for all candidates or a one off?

Good news indeed, no matter how much spin the trolls try to put on it.

The BBC have now put this story up, but the only "Related Internet Link" is to the Lib Dems! What have the Lib Dems got to do with it? It's not the first time they have done this during by-election campaigns - I had a complaint upheld against them last time, although they insisted it was an oversight, rather than bias. To me, it looks like subliminal advertising.

Great news, but the previous results suggest that we need a huge swing?

Labour 22,937 48.8
Liberal Democrat 11,497 24.4
Conservative 10,147 21.6

Is the new Labour candidate so awful? Whatever, I'm delighted that we are now getting clear of the Brown bounce. There were a few who seemed a bit too quick and exited about having a go at Cameron after Brown took over. My impression is that the only way is down for him, he seems out of his depth with the vast PM brief.

it's interesting to note that Tony Lit is running under the banner of "David Cameron's Conservatives".

Really? As opposed, presumably, to the majority of Conservatives who do not consider themselves to be the personal property of Mr Cameron?

He's welcome to it. Indeed I hope all the 'Roons identify themselves clearly in this way so we can distinguish the sheep from the goats.

As to this 'mass defection' I hate to poop the party, but where are the foam-flecked demands for five immediate by-elections accompanied by blimpish harrumphing about 'turncoats' 'five minutes of fame' etc. etc.?

As a one-time committee member of a Conservative association with a strong 'ethnic' input I can confirm the suggestions that events of this sort frequently have more to do with family, religion and (in the widest sense) 'race' than they have to do with UK mainstream politics. Sometimes the causes of the effects we witness are to be found, not here, but on the sub-continent.

Those who remember the enforced demise of the Anglo-Asian Conservative Society, started by the excellent Narindar Saroop, but which subsequently fell into bad company, will know exactly what I mean.

Narindar, incidentally, was exactly the sort of man whom the party should have appointed to the peerage. It speaks volumes that he never was.

I've banned "Caring Conservative".

Editor, I'm very disappointed you've decided to leave the comment "Typical old fashioned asian politicians" from Adam at 10.45.

Hear Hear thanks Sam for 12:27, can his posts be deleted as well? Also agree that naked racism such as that at 10:45 has no place on ConHome.

The BBC story title is "Five Southall councillors defect".

Traditional Tory,
Many voters fail to connect DC to the Conservative party (The reasons you may deduce yourself...). Forced leader questions in polls have produced radically different results from the party question.

Personally I cannot see the harm with displaying the party leaders name on the ballot paper, especially when you consider most people vote according to party not the individual candidate.

'The BBC story title is "Five Southall councillors defect".'

For Quentin Davies the headline was 'Conservative MP defects to Labour'.

Spot the difference.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN BY THE EDITOR FOR BEING OFF TOPIC.

David Cameron made the following response to the defections:

""I'm delighted to announce that five Labour Councillors in Ealing & Southall have come over and joined the Conservative Party and are giving support to our candidate, Tony Lit, who I think everyone now accepts would be the best Member of Parliament for Ealing Southall.

"I think it is a really important moment for Ealing Southall, but also an important moment in British Politics. This is the clearest possible indication that the Conservative Party having been changed and modernised is now a voice for everybody.

"We have broadened our appeal and many more people now feel that they can make their home in the modern Conservative Party. I think particularly for British Asians who share our values and strong belief in family, enterprise and work, the Conservative Party is their natural home.

"I am delighted that such talented councillors have come to the party because they believe that only the Conservative Party can bring the change the country needs."

You're right JohnC and the BBC also give more prominence to the ex-Independant who is now advising his supporters to vote Labour. All a bit pathetic really,but absolutely predictable.
I wonder how the beeb will react to Campbells diaries? Cravenly I would expect.

I didn't read the comment by 'Mike Smith's Milkman' but I'm getting a little tired of this deranged smear merchant's continuing attempts to disrupt discussion using various idiotic IDs

Last week, you may remember, he 'impersonated' my ID.

Is that not a 'banning offence'?

This is fantastic news for the Conservative Party and gives us a real chance of winning.

It is my understanding that it has been a team effort in making this happen and we should recognise all for their efforts.

Well done TEAM.

BBC Radio 4's The World at One mentioned this story in the closing headlines section, the bulk of the programme was about Alastair Campbell's diaries.

We've got ten days or so until the by-election. I hope we're not peaking too early.

why are cchq not pushing this story more? It barely makes the BBC website and doesnt even appear on the Sky News pages. This is news that we should be making a big deal of!!!

Surely there will be 5 council by-elections in Ealing soon. After all when Quentin Davis defected to Labour many leading Tories called on him to resign his seat is not fair to ask these councillors to do the same.

'The BBC have now put this story up, but the only "Related Internet Link" is to the Lib Dems'

They've also duplicated their link to poor Charlie Kennedy's trainsmoking as the top Politics story on both Friday and Saturday: half of it is bias and the rest sheer incompetence.

Why are people trying to get Adam's comment deleted when he's absolutely spot on? It may not be comfortable, but it's an accurate analysis of politics in the Asian communities here.

Gurchuran Singh isn't any old councillor: he was Labour's Deputy Leader - how credible is it that he's now saying that his administration was rubbish and that the Tories are fantastic?

Are you really gullible enough to believe this is some Damascean conversion, or is it far more likely that Gurchuran, who stood for Labour in the Hillingdon & Ealing GLA seat twice, has been on the London Labour Board until recently, and as I say was Deputy Labour Leader on the Council is actually defecting because Labour completely and utterly botched its selection process.

Southall Labour Party has the highest Labour membership in the country (probably should say had, because I suspect Gurchuran Singh has taken about two thirds of it with him) it's not because Southall is more Labour than anywhere else in the country but because of the - I would say corrupt - style of politics than dominates this community.

It's also not a coincidence that the areas that suffer postal vote fraud happen to be areas with large (if not huge) BME communities. Again, we can pretend that the two are unrelated to avoid looking like we're being critical of minorities, or we can be open and honest and confront the problem.

No doubt Cameron Conservatives prefer the former course (and in so doing, prove Quentin Davies right in his comments about the party having abandoned principle).

Labour is very likely to lose Southall now and it has only itself to blame, because Sonika Nirwal should have been their candidate - and the way she was shafted and - indirectly Gurchuran and his cronies were too - caused this entire problem.

To believe that these defections are anything more than the corrupt, behind-the-scenes, personality-driven politics of elders controlling whole communities is simply more evidence of the damage political correctness is doing to free speech in the UK.

Obviously this is to be welcomed - I'm pleased that we seem to be attracting very broad appeal.

If we can fight a General Election like the Ealing Southall by-election, I look forward to seeing our majority!

I agree with Clive above. I was visiting friends in Ealing Common at the weekend and although we are doing well, it is a mountain to climb to win the seat. We should welcome any swing from Brown to us, as the end of his honeymoon; and if we get a bigger swing than the DimLibs then that should be underlined too.
Tony Lit's campaign looks good although I think the speaker van is a bit over-used...

There is undoubtedly a great deal of truth in what you are saying, Peter Coe.

However, the Conservatives are hardly going to look this particularl gift horse in the mouth.

Peter, you paint a very dark picture of the situation. Britain runs one of the most open and fair democratic processes in the world, and Labour politicians are much more likely to 'stretch' the voting rules around postal ballots than Tories going by track record. To slant this to the Asian community is way over the top.

That Conservative councils are by in large much better run than Labour ones is indisputable, that these councillors have decided to jump is no worse than Quentin's defection to Labour and could certainly not be grubbier. That this is good news for Tories and bad for Labour is again true. I am surprised and very disappointed at the way this news has been dragged down into a distasteful racial conversation pouring scorn and slander on a section of our community that add so much and integrate so well into British society. This news should be applauded not flicked over into a shameful damnation of a whole section of our community.

I too have been fairly worried by the clamour to suppress certain comments as "racist". To observe that a person is following certain national or cultural patterns of behaviour involves no reference to race. True, it might be an error; it may well be a narrow minded or an ignorant remark, in which case the proper response is merely to correct it. To suggest, however, that it be deleted as the issue of a poisonous mind is itself narrow and is itself an intolerant thing to say.

Hmmm, Top Tory does look like a mole to me. First he/she claims the defection was to the Liberal Democrats, then he/she says it's not important.

If it wasn't important, why talk about it being to the Lib Dems in the first place?

Busted!

As to winning the seat, making progress would still be good for the Conservatives. I doubt they'll win (too much to do).

Whilst I agree that winning in Southall would take a monumental swing ( I gather around 20%) such swings are not out of the ordinary in by-elections. If you look at the 90's by-elections I can't remember a single one without a double-digit swing. Whatever the result it is clear that the party is playing this by-election better than any in recent memory, which must be good news should any that come up in a more winnable seat in the future. Obviously the news today makes out task somewhat easier, but it raises expectations too which could be a risk.

Tories must not forget that they have to work very hard to bring their supporters to the polling stations on 19th July. All these defections are for perssonal reasons, my personal opinion is that the election among people from India has now turned more religious then party base.

I commend you Paul D at 10.35am. It would prevent you from appearing hypocritical to call for them to resign and fight an election.

We know however, they certainly won't.

As a Labour supporter, I do like reading and posting on both sites but you will always have the distraction of foolish people undermining the debate by being "trolls" or indulging in the nasty, distasteful and unproductive (plus in the case of the Asian slur above - racist) drivel we often see on blogs.

There's a simple solution which will help - require people to put their real name on posts. Behind the unanimity is the safety to be nasty. If you have an opinion you believe in - be accountable and put your name beside it!

Oberon, you're actually reading too much into my comments: of course the defection is a great coup for the Tories. But equally, this really isn't about a genuine belief that the Tories are suddenly brilliant (though it really isn't much of a stretch to see that Lit is way better than the Labour time-server).

Ealing isn't without previous recent experience of Conservative administration - they ran the borough until 1994. Gurchuran Singh didn't believe the Tories were better then, did he?

Of course it's entirely possible that he genuinely now does, and its just a miraculous coincidence that that conversion follows him being shut off the Labour shortlist for the by-election. And that the four others independently chose to switch at exactly the same time as him. But pull the other one.

As for your comments about electoral fraud you're just plain wrong. There is NO evidence that Labour activists commit more fraud than Tories; in fact more Tories have been convicted of electoral fraud than Labour if you really want to get into it.

But BME communities have a far stronger Labour lean to them than whiter areas so when fraud is committed in these areas it does tend not to be Conservatives behind it. I would seriously advise you to accept that this is a cultural, not a political problem.

Excellent news! Someone should tell the BBC. I haven't heard a word from them all day. If it were 5 Tories defecting, it would have lead the 1pm news.

Although it is perhaps not rare to see politicians display their conscience and moral fortitude by defecting to another Party, to witness 5 do so in such a spontaneous and simultaneous way is as rare as seeing David Cameron and David Davis enjoying a quiet drink outside the Red Lion on a Thursday evening! Whatever their motivation in doing so, the timing shows it to be nothing more than a publicity stunt. Will the people of Ealing Southall be converted in the same way as their Labour representatives? Let's hope so, although I have to say that if I had voted Labour at the last election I would be calling for a by-election so these councillors can put their new found beliefs to the electorate. I hope we can win this campaign in Southall by showing what we as Conservatives stand for rather than operating on this superficial level? It really puts people off politics and makes people trust politicians less.

All politics is Tribal - in Britain it was class; in India it is caste and religion (except when the Government was so unpopular that Indira Gandhi was defeated in 1977 by a motly crew); in Sri Lanka it is ethnic. In Britain ethnic minorities voted for Labour enbloc in the sixties and seventies because thats what the Imam or the elder told them to do. But Labour had been patronising the ethnic minorities for too long that people have started to question the status quo in the eighties.

In fact Britain is now becoming truly tribal in the sense that the two major tribes are those who believe in Choice (the right minded) and those who believe in big government (the Stalinists).

I did some leafleting in Southall on Saturday and the reaction was very positive - we can nick this one!!

I wouldn't worry too much about the BBC not covering this story in much depth. It will be very well discussed in the area that matters, Ealing Southall.

There is no doubt that news like this will flood through the community within hours. We have a very good chance of getting a very good result here and the fact that the opposition trolls are having to reheat old news is just proof.

In fairness to the BBC, BBC London news had it as one of their lunchtime reports - showing Cameron meeting the five defectors and saying how Ealing needs a change and the country needs a change etc - which I suppose is more important as it's targeting London viewers.

In fairness to the BBC, BBC London news...

If the BBC had restrained the Quentin Davies story to BBC Lincolnshire, I would have agreed.

Peter, the recent fraud allegations I am aware of are:

Principally: In 2000 Labour introduced postal voting on demand. Despite warnings the Labour Govt failed to act. Richard Price QC, an expert on electoral law, said: “I look at the situation as like a large bowl of water. Previously there were a couple of holes in it — isolated cases of fraud — but suddenly it has become a colander. It is a completely unnecessary crisis.

- Keith Wakefield, Labour in Leeds council elections (complaints went in the year before too), illegal postal voting tactics.

- Six Labour councillors in Birmingham guilty of “evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic”, in the words of the Judge.

- Mohammed Sarwar, the Labour MP for Glasgow Govan, appeared before the High Court in Edinburgh to face accusations of electoral fraud, attempting to pervert the course of justice and a false declaration of election expenses.

- Patricia Hewitt and Labour candidates being investigated by the police in Leicester for collecting postal votes.

All the fault of the Labour Party who introduced a flawed and badly thought through system....

"they reject Labour's imposition, Keith Vaz railroading through his preferred candidate against the wishes of the local party and also the former MP."

The former MP certainly didn't want Singh.

If the BBC had restrained the Quentin Davies story to BBC Lincolnshire, I would have agreed.

I don't think there's any parity between five councillors defecting and an MP crossing the floor of the House of Commons, and as such I would find it strange for the stories to be given equal treatment by any media outlet.

I don't think there's any parity...

I do.

The smear attempt on Tony Lit by Caring Conservative at 11-08 is the exact wording on Tom Watson's blog that I read last night. Tom Watson is in charge of Labour's 'campaign' in Ealing Southall.

Hmmmm

"The Sikh Punjabis are the most VISIBLE group in Southall but I doubt they are more than 20% of the voters."

Try 35%.

As a resident of Ealing (Ealing North) I want the best candidate to be given the chance to represent Ealing in parliament.

I was really shocked and disappointed labour did not give Sonika Nirwal a chance to be selected. However I think Tony Lit would make a good M.P.

If he wants to win he must not neglect any part of the constituency. The last M.P was seen as too Southall proper centered.

As Chairman of Ealing CF I am heavily involved in the campaign alongside Tim who posted above.

Although of course a huge swing is indeed needed, it is not impossible - especially in a by-election. Our canvassing date implies that we have a solid lead and you need only walk through Southall to believe this. There more Conservative posters in windows when compared to Lab or Lib by a factor of 3 at least.

We often do two things wrong in by-elections. Select the wrong candidate and have too many meetings and not enough action! This time we have done both well. Lit is the perfect candidate for Southall and we are delivering a lot of literature and targeting it sensibly.
The 5 defectors will give us on the streets a huge morale boost and hopefully the opposite effect for Labour. Ming will hold back the Liberals to a certain degree with his unpopularity.

We dropped into third last time because our candidate was poor, not because the Liberals ran a good campaign etc. I am confident of a huge swing (even if we do not win) and if you can get down to help it will be much appreciated!

It is naive not to see a tribal/sectarian element to this.

To say so is not racist but realist. The sikh community, in a genuine and positive sense, is generally strong and cohesive. They support each other and the common values they share.

If they see Tony Lit as best for their community then it is not surprising that a number of sikh Labour councillors defect to support him.

This should be seen more about good local politicing by Tony Lit rather than the wider choice between Brown and Cameron.

So has anyone noticed that (according to the BBC, its on their politics page) that Lit is standing for a party called "David Cameron's Conservatives"? Interesting if true. Its the same tactic that the SNP used in the Scottish elections ("Alex Salmond for First Minister") and could pay dividends. How does everyone feel about the party becoming a one man band with the focus on DC? I think its a neat little trick :)

Neat little trick? More like a one-trick pony.

The last CH poll on 'Dave' indicated that a growing number of us are signally unlikely to wish to be branded the property of the Cameron ranch.

I fear that an ocean of 'Roon tears is set to be shed over Ealing Southall.

So sad.

'How does everyone feel about the party becoming a one man band with the focus on DC? I think its a neat little trick'

John, don't you think that question alludes just a little bit much towards support for a continuation of 'Blairism'?

I don't know where you are, but people here want to see a more encapsulating style of politics at national level, not further moves towards a presidential one!

I've been out in Ealing Southall, canvassing and delivering. So far, the response from people to the literature has been very positive. Comments about the Labour Party have been less than complementary, as for the Liberals (Who?). Let's keep the momentum going here. It's looking as if people are prepared to vote conservative and are seriously fed up with Labour.

Brilliant news Stewart.

So has anyone noticed that (according to the BBC, its on their politics page) that Lit is standing for a party called "David Cameron's Conservatives"? Interesting if true.

It is - this has been one of the 12 registered descriptions with the Electoral Commission that each party is allowed, since before the local elections this year. In one of the neighbouring constituencies with which I work, we took this one out for a "test drive" with a paper candidate in a strongly Liberal (that's old Liberal, not LD) ward. For a paper candidate, she came in a creditable second place, comfortably ahead of Labour if well behind the entrenched Liberal incumbent. That's obviously purely anecdotal and probably not representative of anything much, but interesting nevertheless.

Given that in past polls, DC has polled higher than the party based on the named leader question (although you can always question the psephological validity of this in terms of a parliamentary by-election), I think that exploiting this is sensible in a fast campaign where we need to pick up every little bit of boost we can.

As regards today's defections, they're obviously a positive thing in adding to the momentum of what appears to be a highly energetic campaign. You might say it was just today's story, but today's story was about *us*, moving forward and picking up non-traditional support.

Yeah I second that, i went down to help on saturday, and was so suprised by the number of posters, some huge! People gave positive feed back and said they would vote for us and were invited into peoples homes to tell them our policies.... but i really do think we can win this seat, so please go down and help out!!!!!!!!

I hope UKIP don't spoil it for us - I see they've got an ethnic candidate too.

All sounds very chaotic - 1 defection from Conservative to Liberal Democrat, 5 from Labour to Conservative and also 2 Independent candidates in the by election one of whom is urging people to vote Labour and the other urging people to vote Conservative.

It remains to be seen what the actual people voting on the day will make of things, I suspect Labour will hold it, but local factors could make it a 3 way race.

also 2 Independent candidates in the by election one of whom is urging people to vote Labour and the other urging people to vote Conservative.

I understood that the former independent candidate who is endorsing the Conservatives has stood aside while doing so, and is hence no longer a candidate himself. More support, and a good thing. If only the Labour-leaning independent were still standing, however - I can always endorse a spot of vote-splitting among our opposition!

Oberon, you clearly don't understand the difference between unsubstantiated allegations and convictions.

Richard Price is one such example. There has not been an explosion in fraud cases since the introduction of postal voting on demand. If there had been, he'd be able to demonstrate that with statistics to back it up.

Every single case you cited was one of unfounded allegations, not convictions. Activists the length and breadth of Britain, including Tories and Lib Dems in Hackney and Lib Dems in Oldham and St Ives have been convicted of electoral fraud. In the Hackney and St Ives cases BEFORE the introduction of postal voting on demand.

- Keith Wakefield, Labour in Leeds council elections (complaints went in the year before too), illegal postal voting tactics.

Have you actually read the Birmingham judgement? Not only did the judge demonstrate a spectacular lack of grasp of electoral law, and a propensity for attention grabbing instead of attention to accuracy but the one councillor who challenged the ruling was acquitted.

Postal voting on demand is not a bad system - it's a necessary system and the only electoral innovation that has repeatedly proved to increase legitimate participation in elections. The real objection Conservatives have to postal voting on demand is that those who are more likely to vote as a result tend not to be Conservative voters.

There is no electoral system in the world that can prevent electoral fraud...other than not having elections. More - a lot more - can be done to protect the system and there is no argument between us that it should be done. But your claims that fraud is committed by Labour are false - and you've been unable to substantiate any of them.

And besides, this has nothing to do with the ridiculous shenanigans in Ealing Southall.

Dave, in the video, asks voters where they live. Two of them say 'Perivale' and 'Acton'. Neither of those areas are in the constituency. Read your briefing, man!

Peter, Appologies, but I will need to respond when I have time to reply properly. There is no doubt that Postal on Demand was a gift for electoral fraud. The Labour Party have forced this through and supported this system knowing full well what is going on.

If people can't be bovvered to turn out to vote that's their problem. Voting in person doesn't guarantee nothing can be bent, but it's a hell of a lot more difficult.

Labour Home is reporting a 6th Councillor has defected to us Zahida Abbas Noor. Can this be confirmed because I would suggest she is Muslim and that would take wind out of Labour saying it is disaffected Sikhs who did not get nomination

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