General election on 8 June is very different in many ways:
As far as the Labour is concerned, social justice is high on the agenda, replacing the Blair era with people’s leadership as Theresa May acknowledged at the last PM question time, “I lead the country, you (Jeremy Corbyn) lead protests” – the protests not only involve working class people now but essentially the middle class professionals who challenge the arrogant ruling class policies and practices. This renders Jeremy Corbyn people’s leader, an alien concept for some.
The public mood is also to reject Trump and UKIP ideology.
On the Tory side, Theresa May gives a sense of a ‘presidential election’ as she asserts, “Every vote cast for the Conservatives will strengthen my hand in the Brexit negotiations” and that “The choice facing people at this election is clear – strong and stable leadership with me”!
Gareth Thomas: sitting MP since 1997, Mr Thomas is a local man – was born and educated in Harrow as well as he was a Harrow councillor. He held ministerial and shadow ministerial positions.
He supported Tony Blair’s deception about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and voted for Iraq war!
He initially increased his majority but at the 2015 general election Tory candidate Hannah David produced a swing from Labour to the Conservatives, reducing Gareth Thomas majority to 2,208. Many say voters wanted a fresh and warm representative (he was MP for eighteen years then).
Mr Thomas supported Liz Kendall for the Labour leadership. He voted for the Cameron motion to bomb Syria despite strong public protest and the Labour leader voting against – even some Tory MPs, including David Davis, voted against!
Mr Thomas has not really denounced Trump/ UKIP far right ideology.
Therefore, it is not obvious how well Mr Thomas fits within the Labour era of social justice under Jeremy Corbyn leadership!
Hannah David: a well resourced and somewhat humble looking outsider Hannah David was praised by her party for achieving a 5.2% swing to the Conservatives in 2015.
She managed to bring Tory hierarchy to Harrow, including the then prime minister, home secretary and London mayor. But her chances were not helped by the boorish Tory group on the council! This election, there is not enough time for the group to spoil her chances.
After the 2015 election, Hannah David left Harrow to progress her career and is now National Director of the Conservative Policy Forum.
She has remained active in the Conservative Friends of Israel.
Kenton East by-election outcome shows the merit of the Tories accessing temple devotees for votes, and they are most likely to repeat this at the constituency level.
There is nothing specific that Hannah David could offer to Harrow, except the party rhetoric.
Mr Thomas has some time to give a sense of humble, down to earth and social justice approach towards local, national and international situations, respecting the aspirations and changed mood of the public, especially the majority of the people in the Labour party.
If both Hannah David and Gareth Thomas practise the same middle ground politics, then why should people vote for Mr Thomas or even bother to come out to vote?