Have just been reading Tom Bodden's blog, where he reports on ITV Wales's latest poll results for the next General Election. He makes the point that the Tories in Wales came first in 17 out of the 40 seats in the European election, as though this is indicative of the General Election result. And one seat on that list is Montgomeryshire.
Yes, the Tories did top the poll here in Montgomeryshire at last year's European election. BUT, and this is one thing political reporters continue to ignore - they also topped the European poll in the county in the previous European election only to be thrashed by Lembit Opik in the following General Election. One win doesn't necesserily mean another.
Journalists have certainly bought into the Glyn Davies hype, which has largely stemmed from the popularity of his blog and the confidence he has in his campaign. He's also campaigning hard, and has been for ages, and is lucky that the media give him as many opportunities as when he was an elected official. If not more! His campaign is certainly quite effective, and he is doing everything possible to win. But will this be enough in the end? Personally, I wouldn't place a bet on it.
Whatever I think of Lembit Opik, he does have one things that every politician would like to have within the county (but not for the same reasons I hasten to add!) - name recongnition. Everyone, from young to old, know who their MP is, and how many other politicians can boast of that? Yes, Glyn is well known in all the right circles. But do those people who aren't interested in politics know who he is? And what about the young? Does he appeal to the majority? What can he offer them? And how is he different from any typical middle-aged politician? That's definitely not clear. To overturn Lembit's majority, Glyn will have to appeal to these people and I'm not sure, personally, if he will be able to do so. He is a man of his generation, with traditional views and a traditional approach to politics. Yes, like Lembit, he is a bit of a maverick and he doesn't just toe the party line. But he is in general quite safe, and his ideas not that radical and different. And though he may think its manly not to use deodrant, as he confessed on his blog, sweat doesn't really appeal to the electorate!
It's an interesting battle for me to be involved in. Obviously, there isn't the same amount of pressure on me as Plaid traditionally come fourth in the seat. Yes, I'm determined to increase the vote, I'm running to win and I'd love to do so. But by being in this position, I can be quite objective in looking at the race between Glyn and Lembit. Those who are predicting publicly that Glyn will definitely win should spend time in the seat and actually speak to the electorate, rather than just observe via the blogosphere. I think you'd find a different reaction to both Glyn and Lembit there - one which would probably surprise you. Which is exactly why I think there's still everything to play for, and that I'm asking for more volunteers and fundraising ideas to be sent my way for anyone who's interested in helping my campaign.
Election night should certainly be interesting and I honestly think the result will boil down to the campaigns once the election is called. Roll on the comments anyway. And Glyn - sorry. Just being honest!
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