Now here’s a thing. The Conservatives have let quite a big cat out of the election bag.
It seems they have inadvertently revealed that the York Central constituency is not a Tory target seat.
Like all the parties contesting the General Election on May 7, the Tories have lists of seats they think are safe, that are winnable and that are most likely out of reach.
Usually they try to keep that a secret.
The Conservatives have never been the most internet savvy party.
And it seems someone at Tory HQ decided to save images of its candidates in certain constituencies with this three-word phrase in the URL address:
This was gleefully revealed on the website of PR man and Liberal Democrat Mark Pack. Here’s an example:
A non-target seat is either one that they think is a walkover – or one they can’t win.
York Central a no-go?
As this seat was won by Labour MP Hugh Bayley with a 6,400 vote majority in 2010 (Labour 40% of votes, Tories 26%), it looks to be labelled a non-target because Tory central office consider it unwinnable.
Incidentally, if you type in the URL for Robert’s Conservative HQ photograph, this now comes up:
Perhaps some hasty deleting has taken place.
‘Fighting for votes’
Robert McIlveen played down the significance of the faux pas when contacted by YorkMix.
He told us:
Labour in York might take this city for granted, but with the incompetence they have shown running the council they might be in for a surprise in May.
The Labour Party is yet to pick a candidate.
Election ‘most open for years’
The Lib Dem candidate for York Central Nick Love had a different take on things. He said:
This election actually seems to be the most open and uncertain for years.
Nick said people are telling him that they don’t want a candidate who sees “being a York MP as just a logical extension of their career path”.
Someone who doesn’t see York as a meal ticket, with recent working life experience outside of politics, who will put theirs and York’s interests before personal political career ambition.
It could be a very interesting contest.