We did not expect to win the election. On election day, I circulated two cards, one saying the Tories are already celebrating, one saying Time is running out. These were to go to voters who had previously indicated they would vote Labour. We did not have the canvass data, and we did not have tellers at the polling stations. There was a Tory there when I went to vote, telling.
The card said “Only Beth Miller can hold the Tories to account”. Well, she would speak and vote against a Tory government, question them, and campaign in the constituency, but arguably a government MP is better for the constituency. He might bring home a few bribes. In a Labour-led coalition, the Tories would not need “held to account” as there would be a majority to defeat them. I suppose you could say a Labour government would be showing how badly the Tories had damaged the country, holding them to account in some sense; or defeating them held them to account, or punished them, for that damage; but I would rather Labour reversed some of the damage.
We need a full canvass. I put those cards through a few doors which had a Sun pushed through beforehand- with its vile propaganda. “Today you can rescue Britain from the catastrophe of a takeover by Labour’s hard-left extremists. Jeremy Corbyn would not just reverse seven years of job creation and growth under the Tories. He would chuck our country’s spectacular progress and prosperity over the last 35 years in the bin.” Headline- “Don’t chuck Britain in the Cor-bin” with a mocked up picture of Mr Corbyn in an old metal trash-can. Today it is back to its soft titillation- “Rhian frolics in the Sun”, a picture of a smiling, big-breasted woman in a bikini- with more Tory propaganda.
It works. “I’ve always voted Labour but I could not vote for that terrorist sympathiser Jeremy Corbyn” said one voter to the Labour candidate. Mr Corbyn promoted peace talks publicly as Tory ministers pursued them privately. And consider the DUP’s terrorist present, never mind their past: the Loyalist Communities Council, representing Loyalist paramilitaries, endorsed three DUP candidates, all now MPs. After a UDA murder last month, the DUP leader Arlene Foster met the UDA leader Jackie McDonald. She said all paramilitary groups should disband, yet she gives them credence and acknowledges their power by meeting with them? I give all this detail because voters have been divorced from reality, by the propaganda.
In this constituency the UKIP vote collapsed 6213 and the Labour vote increased by 4873. Unfortunately the Tory vote increased by 5511. Turnout increased by 3463. It is not clear where the UKIP vote went, especially without canvass returns. I hope the Green vote went to Labour, but perhaps people just stayed at home. The LibDem vote increased by a stonking 87 votes.
We could put the work in Corby town itself, but the constituency has a huge area of mostly Tory villages. There are radicals in all those villages- I talked to one yesterday, she was enthused about the campaign- but we have to get the vote out, which means canvassing and telling.