Conservative Party Co-Chairman Amanda Milling has written to Conservatives around the country, stating that elections will take place in May and encouraging them to up their campaigning.
I pointed out in my last report to party members:
As with previous questions about whether elections would be delayed or whether a government would call an election early, a lot of rumours circulate. They often appear to be based on credible insider information – e.g. ‘someone who spoke to a former colleague at the Electoral Commission…’ But in reality they are not nearly as credible as they may seem.
The thing to bear in mind is that the decision to delay an election can be made suddenly by the Prime Minister (in England, similar considerations for other nations). As we’ve seen with the fiasco of children going back to school in England for just one day before schools being closed, there’s no reason to think that an election decision either way will be made carefully, in good time and with all the right preparations in place.
Or for another example, when Gordon Brown was dallying over calling a general election in 2007 the news that Labour had started printing special election leaflets sounded like it was dead-cert insider information showing the election would go ahead… and then he didn’t call it. So what someone says the Electoral Commission is doing, or what Whitehall civil servants are preparing, can sound credible… but really isn’t much of a clue at all to what will happen.
Rumours can be fun to talk about. But don’t be misled by them into thinking someone has the inside track on what is going to happen. They don’t, which is why we need to keep preparing.
So while I wouldn’t treat this letter as gospel, it is a helpful reminder that the Conservatives are not stopping campaigning. (Even if they are keen on putting obstacles in the way of those who don’t have lots of money or aren’t incumbents.)Moreover, these encouragements to Conservatives to keep spending money on campaigning show that the decision to axe funding from Shaun Bailey’s Mayor of London campaign is a sign of how bad a candidate Bailey is being, not a sign of campaigning being wound down due to a secret decision having already been taken over delaying the May elections.
The Conservatives aren’t stopping campaigning. We mustn’t either.
Here is the letter in full: