July 08 saw a by election defeat for Labour. Only two days before the election they had seemed to be doing well. To say that it was unexpected is putting it mildly. So why did Labour lose the seat. They appeared to be running a well run campaign. All the polls before polling day thought that they would hold the seat. I remember watching it at home on TV. While the current most talked about reasons is general unhappiness with the economy, houses prices, and the credit crunch. I think it was something else too.
What was very interesting while watching this on TV was the way Margaret Curran the Labour candidate behaved. There has been some speculation that the former Labour MP had behaved in a dishonorable way with relation to his expenses. The by election was called due to him standing down claiming ill health. When the current candidate Margaret Curran was asked about this on TV she tired to ignore the question. She than tried to demonstrate what a strong candidate she was by talking about her own agenda. What she failed to realize was that nobody was really interested in her agenda; they wanted to know about the former MP and his expenses. When repeatable asked whether she had visited the offices of the former MP who was claming it as an expense. She looked most annoyed and carried on ignoring it. She could have done much better to have said the truth. If she did not believe it was ill health than she should have said so. A least people could have warmed to her, or more importantly believed her. Instead she carried on denying it and acting in a most unreal manner. I think it was that moment that people decided they had enough and rightly so. At least with the other party (SNP) they are selling something they believe in.
They are two morals to this story, one sort out your history and two believe in what you are selling.