Labour targets tactical votes
Here’s the postcard Labour is sending to 850,000 homes in Lab/Con marginals over the next couple of days. Does it look desperate or focused?
Peter Hain has hardly been off the 24-hour news channels this morning repeating his message that voters should vote “intelligently” – i.e. you may prefer the Lib Dems but if you’re in a Lab/Con marginal lend us your vote one last time.
It’s “not orchestrated” according to Mr Brown’s team and he as leader of the party can’t go near it, but with Ed Balls sending out signals as well (in his New Statesman interview) this is not something the leadership is unhappy about.
Prof John Curtice estimates that tactical anti-Tory voting got Labour an extra 20 or so seats in 1997 and possibly more in 2001.
More recently, everyone could see it was “unwinding” as the psephologists put it and now Labour needs to wind it up again. But the Lib Dems have never had more at stake, coming second in the poll is a prize beyond their dreams only a few weeks ago but, they think, now within their grasp.
(Tories, by the way, tell me that West Worcestershire, Wells and Eastbourne may have fallen to the Lib Dems already.)
To find out how the Lib Dem votes would fall if their vote fractured you normally look at their second preferences in polls where the question has been asked – they fell about 46 per cent Labour second preference to 31 per cent Conservative second preference in one recent poll…. but these times are unusual.
The Labour postcard in full: