by Christian Wright
It may be that the imperative driving Ed’s statements ruling out any deal of any sort with the SNP last night, had a lot more to do with the returns from internal polls and focus groups in the English marginals, showing fear of the SNP was likely to cost him the election.
UPDATE – New information in today via the editor of Labour Uncut, Atul Hatwal, that in fact the panic may have originated with an illegal count of postal ballots in the english marginals that indicated impending defeat – (Wings has a related article here )
Atul Hatwal: “Uncut has learned the real reason for Ed Miliband’s sudden night-time visit to Russell Brand’s Shoreditch home: panic caused by the early tallies of postal ballots being fed back to party HQ, from marginals around the country.
Although the parties are legally not allowed to tally votes at these events, they all do and the constituency teams then dutifully pass their field intelligence back to HQ.
These are not opinion polls results or canvass returns but actual votes, hundreds of thousands of votes, from across Britain. Numbers have been flowing from each marginal to party strategists to give the most accurate picture of the current state of play…
Labour insiders familiar with the latest figures have told Uncut that the picture for Labour in marginal seats, where it is fighting the Tories, is almost uniformly grim…
The tartan scare is working with the fear of McLabour shifting large numbers of wavering Lib Dems and Ukippers into the Tory column.“
That would make sense. Dispositive evidence of impending defeat requiring drastic action from Miliband.
Miliband would have to try to soothe the concerns of that electorate at all costs, then deal with any damage done by later reneging on his commitment to eschew the SNP. It looks for all the world like an exercise in back-to-the-wall crisis management.
‘Course we could be entirely wrong about that, and it may be that he really does mean it. But to believe that would mean believing Ed tells the truth, and to be fair, there is little evidence to accuse him of that.
Still, we did channel truthful Ed and had him provide a summary of his plans for Scotland
We just find it unimaginable that a career pol like Miliband would refuse to grasp the golden chalice if it came within reach, under any conceivable circumstance.
A case by case, vote by vote, arrangement with the SNP could offer plausible deniability of any agreement in the eyes of the gullible, but it’s doubtful Labour thought that far when confronted with an existential threat.
The issue would be to stem the hemorrhaging of support in the marginals. Period.He had to do what he had to do. The damage done to his and Labour’s relationship with the Scottish electorate may be irreparable but that was unavoidable collateral damage.
Certainly it will be irreparable if he actually is true to his word and imposes an apartheid on Britain’s largest ethnic minority, by barring their duly elected representatives, the embodiment of their express will, from participation in the legislative process.
He surely can’t be that cosmically dumb.
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