After the results come out it's likely that all the parties will be declaring they've received a good result, well, all of them except Labour. It's always been a little bug bear of mine that politicians do this when hours before they were claiming they were going to win they still feel able to justify how halving their vote was a great victory in the circumstances.
Anyway, as my tiny contribution against this tendency I thought I'd lay out what I think would be a good or bad result for the parties in Norwich North. Feel free to disagree - but only before the final result comes out!
Probably the simplest to judge. For the Tories a win is a good result, anything else will be gutting for them. I don't necessarily think it matters how convincing the majority is but second place for Chloe Smith (right) would tarnish Cameron's armour no end.Labour:
Out of interest Iain Dale writes about the parties lowering expectations.
We all wish Labour's candidate Chris Osterowski a swift recovery from his swine flu but what would a good result for Labour look like? Frankly a victory would leave most Labour supporters over the moon despite the fact that they have held the seat for many years.Lib Dems:
However, the real question will be how badly will they lose. Second place won't be a good result for Labour but they could weather it. Third or below would be absolutely humiliating, especially if they are beaten by the Greens.
Gordon Brown doesn't seem to have high hopes though.
The Lib Dems can't win here. But then we knew that. Having said that if the Lib Dems are able to beat Labour and gain second place I suspect they'd be very pleased indeed. If they do that by getting more than, say, 20% rather than a total collapse of Labour's vote all the better for them.Green Party:
The humiliation zone for the Lib Dems will be to get beaten by the Green Party, who achieved just one sixth of their vote at the General Election in this constituency. One election leaflet claimed that the Lib Dems were on track to beat Labour and the very last one claimed the result would be a "thrilling finish" between the Tories and Lib Dems. This is all well and good if the result bears out that that was a possibility, but if they're beaten by Labour it will make the claim look foolish and once again they will hope for the voters to develop amnesia.
All credit to Lib Dem Darrell for making a sensible prediction.
At the last election the Green Party received just 2.7% of the vote in Norwich North. Normally I would say that any increase on this would be a good result and a decline a bad one, but this election is different. Circumstances have changed, the Norwich Green Party has grown in that time and of course this time we have an actual campaign in the constituency so we have to set the bar higher.Craig Murray:
I think I'll be disappointed if Rupert Read does not get at least 10% of the vote (almost four times what we received last time) especially when you consider the press coverage. It would be a very good result if we beat the Lib Dems. Second place would be fantastic, although that's less likely than some Greens seem to think.
This is the first time that Murray has stood in Norwich North so there's no telling what kind of support he might get. His campaign, Put An Honest Man in Parliament, sets the bar high by focusing on winning the seat so anything under that might feel like a slap in the face to him, but it shouldn't.UKIP
The people of Norwich can be a surprising lot when they put their mind to it and it would have been good for Craig to have been on more of the official hustings, especially the BBC, putting anti-war, progressive arguments with Rupert, but he has won a certain amount of name recognition so 5% and his deposit back is not impossible and where I would set the level for a 'good result' for his campaign.
As you might expect UKIP's campaign has been bizarre, hyperbolic and bigoted. I'm tempted to say that a good result for the candidate is not getting a smack in the face for his anti-immigrant bullshit but I shan't in case someone thinks I'm advocating violence.Let's see what happens tonight. Good luck my team!
Anyway, UKIP have given us an indication of what they think the result should look like (right) so given it's their propaganda and we should take them at their word and any result where Labour, Lib Dems AND the Greens beat them will expose their utterly miserable political judgement.