Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Career move

Tomorrow, the good voters of Eastleigh, and indeed the bad ones, go to the polls to elect their new MP. Usually a brand new MP makes not a scrap of difference to anything but the MP's own career, but there are nationally significant propaganda coups to be made in this case. Possibly lasting till the weekend.

The by election candidates are listed here in case you haven't seen them. Bit of a motley crew if you want my honest opinion. A fine body of dependable men and women if you want the dishonest version.

However, some well-known points must surely obtrude themselves into the mind of any budding psephologist foolhardy enough to publish in-depth electoral calculations.

  • The previous Lib Dem incumbent has left for reasons of personal dishonesty which have the potential to land him in clink.
  • The current Lib Dem leader has admitted to lying for years about his knowledge of allegations against Lord Rennard, the Lib Dem's then Chief Executive.
  • Many Eastleigh voters will still vote Lib Dem.

So that gives us our starting point. Unless there is a really monster upset, we can be pretty sure that a significant number of Eastleigh voters are insane.

Satisfactory though it is to reach solid conclusions in the midst of these difficult times, it still leaves us with a problem when it comes to constructing our multi-million pound computer model of voting probabilities. Voter insanity is difficult to factor into the model due to its inherently stochastic nature.

Therefore, because of the insanity angle we are stuck with the usual mess of rumour, bias, fantasy and the betting markets. I tend to prefer fantasy in these situations, because although fantasy is hopelessly unreliable and therefore solidly mainstream, it has the merit of conforming quite tightly to one's modes of political analysis.

If well chosen, it may even be convincing, although too often conviction is yet another symptom of fantasy.

How about picking those candidates who show a faint but potentially useful interest in moral verities? Fantasy though it may be to posit such an outrĂ© basis for selection, let's give the tombola of pure reason a whirl - to misquote Kant..

Hmmmm... Hmmmmmmm... Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Tough choice innit?


Sam Vega said...

I think that the voters of Eastleigh have been driven mad by fear that their already slipping comforts will disappear altogether. They just want the school bully to sort things out so they don't have to worry. No matter if the bully's mates are criminals, perverts, liars, and morally bankrupt. There probably are some morally decent people among the bunch (the ex-doctor, maybe, or even one of the religious nutters - who knows?) but could they pull strings to keep our Tyler's job going at the local white-goods distribution depot?

Wouldn't it be great if not one single person voted? Short story material there, AKH....

Angus Dei said...

A part from "them" does anyone really care AK?

A K Haart said...

Sam - I wondered about a story along those lines, but I couldn't imagine what might happen next, unless the lack of votes is the twist.

Angus - not really. I don't unless there's lots of amusing upset and anguish.

Sam Vega said...

Actually, forget the fiction. The world of Up Pompeii and Carry on Politicking has already intruded into reality.

I have just discovered that Clegg's Chief of Staff is called Jonny Oates. I'm not sure whether to be delighted at the serendipitous brilliance of this. Or depressed at the thought that years of being ridiculed and bullied in expensive private schools because of his name would give a chap the determination and skill required for such a position.

A K Haart said...

Sam - that may explain a lot. The desire to be School Bully or his mate. Jonny "Rubber" Oates the Fifth Form's flexible fag may be getting his own back.

James Higham said...

Unless there is a really monster upset, we can be pretty sure that a significant number of Eastleigh voters are insane.

Yes and if that does happen, Farage has to come under the microsope too.

Anonymous said...

If the voters of Eastleigh return an il-Lib-non-Dem MP I will not have a word said against them because it might - just - be the catalyst needed by the mass of timid Tory MPs to get rid of a man who couldn't win a three-legged race if he was alone and on a bike!

A K Haart said...

James - I'm not sure Farage would stand up well to that either.

David - I think a major upset is the only glimmer of light. Doesn't matter what at this stage.