Thursday, April 29, 2010

Could Lardner's suspension impact upon the national popular vote?

A small point, but an intriguing one. With only 59 constituencies in Scotland, the withdrawal of official status from homophobic/climate change denying/Rhodesian white supremacist sympathising/all round Tory good egg Philip Lardner means that nearly 2% of the entire population of the country are now no longer being actively invited to vote Conservative. Given the psychological impact of the national popular vote figures, could this make a small but significant difference to the outcome of the election in Scotland? Not impossible, although I can't rid myself of the nasty thought that Lardner may actually have made himself a more attractive proposition for some voters with his bigoted views (if I can dare to use the taboo word of the moment).

The only comparable situation I can think of to this was in a 1994 by-election, when the Liberal Democrat candidate rather cynically defected to Labour before polling, and just as now, it was too late to withdraw his name from the ballot paper. So voters had the almost unique thrill of two Labour candidates to choose from, one of whom was urging them to vote for the other!

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