Saturday, January 21, 2017

Are Labour's "Project Fear" adverts in Copeland a sign of panic?

Labour spent a fortune this week on "wrap-around" adverts for two newspapers in the Copeland constituency presenting a "project Fear" message designed to scare people into voting Labour.

Both Thursday's Whitehaven News and yesterday's News and Star came inside four-page Labour advertising supplements, both designed to look like the paper's normal format but actually consisting of Labour propaganda.

Both supplements were economical with the truth, including allegations about "plans" for cuts to local services which NOBODY is proposing - not the government, not any local party, not the people responsible for running the services.

Could this "Project Fear" campaign by Labour be a sign of panic? A senior Labour source has told the Daily Telegraph here that Jeremy Corbyn’s “incompetence” as a political leader is coming up repeatedly on the doorstep in Copeland and their canvass returns suggest a serious loss of support.

No governing party has gained a seat by winning a parliamentary by-election directly from the main opposition party in my lifetime. The last government gain in a by-election came in 1982 in the closing phases of the Falklands war after the defection of the sitting Labour MP to the SDP. The previous government gain by winning a by-election was in 1960.

So if the Conservatives did win Copeland it would sent a clear signal that Jeremy Corbyn's policies are unacceptable to the voters of West Cumbria.

I do not believe that any party can take the people of Copeland for granted but it is becoming clear that there is everything to play for in the forthcoming by-election.

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