Some pundits have trouble with their spin. Others have trouble with their sums. Some are shaky with their spelling. All of these attributes have been combined as the speculation begins as to who might become Tory candidate for Kensington now that Malcolm Rifkind has been left alone with the loaded revolver and bottle of reassuringly upmarket Malt and has done the right thing and resigned.
And the combination of spin, sums and spelling has no finer embodiment than the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, who, along with his colleagues, has been magnificently creative in creating a list of hopefuls, many of whom never knew that they so much as harboured thoughts of going into politics, even if they do support The Blue Team.
Master Cole was clearly concerned that the wrong impression was being given of the Kensington constituency, and especially the thought that London’s occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson might have been a little rash in opting to succeed John Randall in Uxbridge and South Ruislip. It had to be spun that Kensington was, in fact, a less safe seat, which some might find interesting.
Well, here goes: “Can everyone shut up about Boris kicking himself. Kensington majority = 8,616. Uxbridge majority = 11,216”. You sure about this line, Hen? It seems he is: “Some key facts: Kensington and Chelsea is not a seat. Kensington was redrawn to make it not that safe. Uxbridge has a bigger majority”. Well, Kensington and Chelsea is no longer a Parliamentary seat, you mean - it was abolished in 2010.
However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, there is not only size of majority, but the proportion of the vote secured by each candidate, and here Master Cole falls down badly. In 2010, John Randall was elected with 48.3% of the popular vote, which is pretty safe, given the number of hopefuls likely to turn up. But Malcolm Rifkind’s vote share in Kensington was 50.1%, and an absolute majority.
That, though, was not the end of Master Cole’s not very brilliant adventure: there had to be a shonky spelling to round things off. “As if an Etonion hoping to be PM would be so tactically stupid as to run in Kensington. The MP for the 1% etc”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, check your spelling. And two, if you get 50% of the popular vote, you can hardly be the MP for the 1%.
Yes, you can quibble about the myriad possibilities of what might happen with a higher turnout, but it’s unlikely to produce a significantly different result. Kensington is the safer seat of the two on those numbers. And I suspect that Bozza would rather have stood there, but he’s made his bed, and all that.
With that kind of record, a future in the tabloid press looks assured for Cole.