|UK Independence Party
|Mr Sadiq Khan
Tooting (100 %)
Battersea (1.9 %)
Transposed 2005 Result:
Source: Electoral Calculus
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|10 04 28
|Math alone gives the Tories an edge. What local concerns there are will end up swinging it one way or another.
|10 04 25
|Labour candidate standing again, the first British Muslim cabinet member. Repaid 2.5k in greeting card expenses.
Irish Times Apr 19
Tooting in South London, a Labour-held seat in the Tory borough of Wandsworth, currently held by Labour minister Sadiq Khan, is another that would indicate if the Conservatives are on course.
Khan is vulnerable given Labour’s general lack of popularity and the demographic changes that have taken place since 2005, with the Balham and Earlsfield districts becoming more gentrified.
Ladbrokes Con 4/6 Lab 11/10 LD 16/1
One for closer to election night.
Times Tooting Focus group:
A Times focus group, run by the pollster Populus, shows the scale of David Cameron’s task in reversing the Liberal Democrat surge. It indicates that those attracted to Nick Clegg believe that he offers a less risky version of change than that on offer from the Conservatives.
Efforts to raise the spectre of months of damaging interparty haggling after an inconclusive election, meanwhile, are having only limited success.
Although the Conservative theme of the ‘big society’ is getting through to voters, there is scepticism over how devolving power might work. Fears that Mr Cameron does not represent ‘working families’ can be heard even among those who accept that his party has been modernised.
We need to explain policies better, say Tories
Sought-after Clegg spurns Labour's advances
The findings from the panel of nine undecided voters in the marginal seat of Tooting, southwest London, which met for the second time on Tuesday night, suggest that Mr Cameron lost ground in the first full week of the campaign.
At the end of the initial session, three were leaning to the Tories, two to Labour, one to the Lib Dems and the three others were undecided. One week on, none of the nine said they were considering voting Conservative. Six were leaning towards Labour or the Lib Dems, with the rest still undecided.
Ash, 30, who works for a property consultant and had been considering the Tories, expressed fears about the party’s main message. ‘Tory change seems quite strong, like it’s going to happen straight away, but with the Liberal Democrats you also get change but they’ll tread more carefully.’
Dean, 28, a retail manager, was strongly in favour of a hung Parliament.’This would be best rather than another government coming in that we are not sure of.’
Mark, 35, an auditor, said he was attracted to a coalition government ‘to put key Lib Dem MPs in key posts and see how they perform’.
‘It will make them work a bit harder,’ agreed Yvonne, 26, a bank worker. ‘If there’s more controversy around something, more debate, it raises more questions, it gets people more interested.’
Adrian, 46, a structural engineer who had been leaning towards the Tories, was in two minds about a hung Parliament. ‘I think it would be extreme change. In that sense it would be more interesting than the Lib Dems or the Conservatives getting into power.’
However, all nine said they would be happy to see another election this year in the event that a minority government failed.
Asked if they could recall the main message of the parties’ manifesto launches, the phrase ‘big society’ was used unprompted. They also raised the Tories’ plans to help parents to set up their own schools, suggesting the party has communicated its main campaign theme and policies successfully.
Gerard, 31, a housing officer, is attracted to the devolution of power from the State, as is Tony, a business manager, and Adrian, though he had reservations. ‘To me it’s just spin,’ he said. ‘It’s a nice idea but I don’t know who’s going to realise it.’ Tony thought many of the proposed new schools would fail.
Lib Dem proposals to raise the income tax threshold to above £10,000 was also raised unprompted, suggesting that Mr Clegg, too, is getting his main policies across.
The panel has been selected to reflect the ethnic mix in Tooting, currently held for Labour by Sadiq Khan with a majority of 5,169, and 118th on the Tory target list.
Mark was among several with concerns that the Tories do not represent non-white voters. ‘I think the Conservatives have changed but their voters haven’t,’ he said.
It was clear, also, from the panel’s favourable reaction to Labour’s election broadcast that the accusation that the Tories represent an elite remains a potent weapon.
Six had watched last Thursday’s television debate and all agreed that Mr Clegg had put in the best performance. All said that they would be watching the second debate tonight to see how he coped with weight of expectations.