Nevin's Notes: (10/04/2010)

An alternative take on the election
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The Independent Online

*Chips! Worrying news from that doyen of political correspondents, Mr Chris Moncrieff, of the Press Association: despite my confident early predictions, he has disclosed a distressing absence of baby kissing in this election so far.

For goodness sake, candidates, pucker up: do democratic traditions mean nothing to you? Besides, the baby is a highly useful guide to political personalities. I remember seeing one on the Shetland Islands burst into tears even though the rapidly closing Mrs Thatcher was still a good five yards away. Some consolation, though, I thought, from Stevenage, where the Labour candidate, Sharon Taylor, was reporting on her website that the Prime Minister, in a gracious nod to hallowed campaign ritual, visited a fish and chip shop yesterday. But when I contacted WJ Rowe in Bedwell Crescent, they said they hadn't seen him. You decide, as you must on 6 May, what this means.

*Identification Parade. Disappointingly, a clear identikit target voter belonging to a crucial demographic, successor to the famed Mondeo Man and Worcester Woman, has yet to emerge. This is my exclusive popularity poll of the current candidates, obtained by manual inputting, prime digital activity and exhaustive electronic research. 1. Morrisons Mums (it's a supermarket, Sam). 2. Motorway Man. 3. Lambrini Lady (S: it's a perry favoured by young females north of Badminton, available in a handy three-litre box). 4. Wii Woman (small, pale, faraway look, bruised knuckles). 5. Remote Bloke (sofa prices crucial). 6. Wonder Woman (rapidly revolving voter). 7. Milk Man. 8. Burger King. 9. Harman. 10. Labour-Supporting FTSE 100 Company Boss.

*Flushed! If you had any doubt about the influence of these jottings, please note that I had only to mention the worrying absence of Sir Peter Gershon, the Tory efficiency adviser, for him to rush forward and cough. Let's see if it works with the following: Stuart MacLennan, Geoff Hoon, Damian McBride, Sir Peter Viggers, Norman Scott, Shergar, Commander Buster Crabb and Chris Grayling.

*Celebrity News. We are still waiting, in varied degrees of excitement, for the endorsements of Jordan, Peter Andre and The Wurzels. In other updates: the Vicar in Emmerdale, Labour; Mick Jagger's brother has been pictured with Paddy Ashdown; and this, from Heather Mills: "Many people love the Liberal Democrats but think, 'What's the point?' But if they all voted they would make a difference." Nick: don't go there, please. But wait: this just in, from Lib Dem HQ: "Daniel Radcliffe, Colin Firth, Brian Eno, Floella Benjamin, Dr Brian Cox, Jonathan Ross's wife Jane Goodman, director of hit film KickAss, and Sandi Toksvig." Crikey. No wonder Labour has gone quiet.

*Ominous. The Prime Minister, who definitely did visit Stevenage, had clearly been swotting up on the town's successful Conference Premier football team, due to defend their FA Trophy at Wembley two days after the Election. This is a worrying, given his renowned anti-Midasian effect. Unsurprisingly, when I spoke to Colin Peake, vice-chairman of Stevenage Borough's opponents today, Forest Green Rovers, he confirmed that the news of Mr Brown's interest in Stevenage had given his boys a lift: so much so that they will be focusing on it in the dressing room before the match. But will it be enough to make up for a 20-place difference in the league, away? See you on Monday.

c.nevin@independent.co.uk

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