Administrative details don’t give away general election plans

Slightly out of character (!), Iain Dale initially missed a chance to put the boot into Labour in his recent post about Labour’s leaflet printing arrangements. Iain went (at first) for the “this could mean we’re about to have a snap election” line, and only really getting to the real story in a subsequent update.

That’s because what the email about Labour’s leaflet arrangements really tells us is that lots of Labour candidates had finalised key parts of their general election artwork, but now Labour is getting a new slogan and they are having to redo their artwork. In other words, change of mind means previous work wasted.

Good for a passing chuckle (if you’re of another party) or expression of sympathy(if you’ve been there yourself), or both, but nothing more. Administrative details like this don’t tell us about general election plans.

Party leaders don’t let their big decisions, such as when to call an election, be constrained by issues such as whether or not some poor sod of an activist is going to have to redo several hours of work or some electoral administrator somewhere is going to spend several panicy hours desperately trying to confirm the location of a polling station.

Good leaders recognise these issues and minimise their impact, but even those in the end don’t let such issues fetter their decision making.

So all the gossip about these administrative details can be fun, but it tells us sod all about general election dates. After all, even having several millions of items of election mail sitting in the Royal Mail warehouses and specially hired cars circling Westminster ready to pick up Cabinet members and take them on the campaign trail didn’t stop Brown cancelling his election plans when it suited.

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This entry was posted in General Election.
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