Tuesday 3 December 2019

If the Tories Really Want to Win, Why Are They Standing Such Poor Candidates?

Don't mind me as I could just be having a private wobble at the moment, but I have to ask the question, just how serious are the Tories about winning this damned election? I ask because to win the Tories need to take a goodly number of Labour seats and looking at the campaign overall in many of them they do not seem to be putting in all that much effort.

Let's take Bradford South to begin with. According to Electoral Calculus, this seat should swing Tory based on the result of the 2016 referendum, but Richard North, a Brexiteer of long-standing does not think that it will. According to him:

But with the real give-away is that the Tories are not even trying to win the seat. They've parachuted in the son of a millionaire Indian property developer, a man who has no economic ties with the constituency, doesn't live in the area and has not even bothered to campaign. So far, in the entire period, we've had one leaflet and an electoral address from Labour, and that's it. None of the other parties has bothered to leaflet us. 
Of course, the fact that around 12% of the vote in Bradford South is made of Pakistanis who are hardly likely to vote for a Sikh, whether he can be bothered campaigning or not doesn't help matters. That simple fact forces me to ask the question why the Tories chose to stand a candidate that a big chunk of the electorate will not support under pretty much any circumstances if they were serious about winning the seat?

Let's move over to Bolsover, the Lair of Dennis Skinner, the Breast of Bolsover, who has seen his majority reduced over the past few elections to a fairly close 5,000 or so in 2017.

Dennis is now 87 years old and unable to campaign owing to hip replacement surgery just last month. That more than anything should give the Tories a boost as it reminds people of just how old Dennis Skinner now is and how unlikely it will be that he will be able to finish a full five-year term as Bolsover's MP.

The Tories seem to be incapable of grasping that working-class people in places like Bolsover are social conservatives who believe in state-directed, collective answers to the economic issues facing the country.

They also seem to be unable to understand that historically they did well when they stood candidates who were ample-bottomed local worthies who were well-known in their areas and had agreeable wives who could run the constituency office when the MP was in London. Such candidates would use the saloon bars of every pub in the area and make speeches how much better it was for England to be drunk than England enslaved. Oh, and they supported what started off as Imperial Preference, and then morphed into basic protectionism after the Second World War.

Seats like Bolsover and Bradford South could very well return Tory MPs next week, but it would be much better for the Tories if they had chosen candidates who could appeal to the local population on cultural grounds at least, rather than rely on the people's visceral dislike of the modern Labour Party.

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