Well, now we know the way the election's going to pan out on the doorsteps (not my doorstep you understand, neither hide nor hair has been seen of anyone nor of any leaflet). Labour's building up the fear of the BNP and the Tories. They're desperate to get out the vote. The LibDems are playing their usual long game. The Tories are relying on fear, and aiming at the elderly. The BNP are turning everything they can into a racist incident, and spreading rumour after rumour (well, it works better than a ground team I guess).
Some random observations from a lot of conversations over the last few days:
1) The Tories are having trouble with their ground-work. They can't get enough good canvassers. Poulsen is bright and capable, but he hasn't got good enough support. There are fears that the vote in Ilkley won't be getting out.
2) Cryer's team are really concentrating on fear of the Tories. They barely mention Blair or the government (which is sensible). They're struggling to overcome a lot of resistance amongst the BritAsian community, particularly the young, who may not vote at all. Blair is universally disliked (I know, tell you something you don't know).
3) However, fear of Tories and BNP will be getting the Labour vote out; they'll be picking up a lot of unexpected votes in high Tory areas (contributory votes one might say) from Labour supporters who wouldn't normally bother to go to the polls.
4) Immigration is not the main issue for anyone outside of the Keighley wards. However, it comes up on the radar as associated with other issues (usually crime).
5) But, the BNP is an issue. Voting patterns are altering because of people's response to them
6) From lack of a proper ground team, the BNP message isn't spreading. Outside of Keighley Central, East and West, they're not gathering votes at all. They're pretty well stuck. I've only spoken to a few people from Worth Valley ward, and they're suggesting swings to Labour--can't confirm that at all.
7) The LibDems are doing better than anyone thought. Quietly. Whether it will be enough to cost Labour the seat I'm not sure. I think Poulsen might start praying for that.
Week Two predictions--Ann Cryer by 1,000 votes. BNP to get <4,500. LibDems to increase votes. Turnout over 65% this time.