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Glad all over

June 12th, 2017 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · No Comments · Politics

Now the election is finally done and I am not feeling so much “Glad all over” like the Dave Clark Five sang but “glad its all over”, and I’m sure I am not alone in that. There does seem to be a bit of election fatigue round here. Because we elect our borough council by thirds and have a county council election in the odd year, there is an election every year in Crawley already. After a recent general election and then a very divisive referendum, we really didn’t need a totally unnecessary hubris-driven snap general election this year.But we got it, and now it is over it seems like everything is less certain than it was before. Everybody lost, but everybody is claiming they won, and we are all just wondering what the hell just happened? The Tories look like they are getting into bed with the Monster Raving Unionist Party, UKIP have disappeared up their own Farage, Gove is back in the cabinet, and the Italians are starting to make jokes about the instability of our government.

As far as Crawley is concerned we know that we did lose, and that is particularly disappointing, but entirely understandable. Our candidate was very good, both in terms of his potential as an MP and as a candidate, but the Tories had the huge advantage of incumbency. Our MP has had seven years to get his face and name known, while Tim only had a few weeks. Also, an incumbent MP has, by definition, nothing better to do than campaign, while challengers usually have to try and hold down their day job at the same time.

Of course, Tim put in a lot of hours, and must have used up huge chunks of annual leave and goodwill at work to do a lot of campaigning, but it would have been so much easier if the party was in the habit of selecting candidates right after an election rather than at the last minute. If a snap election is called you want to be able to start immediately and not wait a week or two to select somebody – unless you are going to run a presidential-style campaign based on the leader, but that didn’t work out too well for Theresa May. Maybe we can learn that lesson for the future.

It would also have helped if we had known how well we were going to do. Way back in the distant past of two months ago, we really thought there was a good chance of losing our only local seat, down in Portslade. If we had known that we would not only hold it, but increase the majority, perhaps we would have been importing activists from Brighton to Crawley instead of sending people from Crawley down to the coast.

If another election does get called this year, I hope we will be confident enough to actually put some resources into Crawley and then we would stand a good chance of winning, especially if we can keep Tim’s profile up by having him as official spokesperson.

Right now I am conflicted about whether another election would be a good thing. On the one hand it is disruptive, and can’t do the country any good, especially as we start negotiations with Europe, but on the other hand I would love to see Crawley constituency turn red again.

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