Sport and the campaign so far

There have been plenty of sporting analogies during the campaign so far.

The safety-first strategy from many of the parties has been likened to a Chelsea team under Jose Mourinho.

With the polls so tight, candidates are reluctant to give their opponents any potential ammunition and, with the prospect of a hung parliament on the horizon, they're also reluctant to box themselves in with a commitment that could get in the way of a deal with another party.

I came across a cricketing one on the weekend to describe the parties as like a batting team on a fresh morning with the ball swinging around and not wanting to give away a wicket.

The Conservative election advisor Lynton Crosby, who is reputedly paid £1m a year according to one internal angry email exchange in Aberconwy, doesn't allow many to stray from a tightly delivered message about the economy.

Behind the scenes

There were mutterings during the weekend that some Conservatives, behind the scenes, were unhappy with the campaign so far.

David Cameron appeared to ramp things up this weekend in style at least, as he appeared to let go of any restraint in his speech in Yeovil.

I don't think we can expect much to change in the Tory approach - they will be reluctant to alter anything mid-way through a match.

The Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has said he feels around a fifth of voters have still not tuned into the campaign yet.

That view wasn't shared by some activists out in Wales' most marginal seat of Cardiff North, who told me they felt this was the "sweetspot" in the campaign where many of the undecideds will be starting to make up their mind.


There are some constituencies where it feels a lot more like we're in a general election campaign than others.

You couldn't miss it driving through the centre of Whitchurch in Cardiff North on the weekend, with one side of the road full of red-rosette wearing campaigners with a loud speaker and the other side full of blue.

There was plenty of activity in Ammanford on Friday when I was out with the First Minister Carwyn Jones as he pitched his appeal to the non-Tory majority in Wales to support Labour.

While he may be right about the anti-Tory majority, the problem he's got is that not all of them want to vote for his party, and still the big question for Labour in Wales is whether they can win more seats outside of Cardiff?

Ask them the question and the inevitable positive response tends to be followed up with talk of Arfon, and Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, which are both held by Plaid.


I think many sporting coaches would approve of one aspect of the campaign so far which is how disciplined it has been.

The parties have focused first and foremost on getting their core vote out and the simplicity and consistent nature of their messaging has at times been impressive across the board.

Plaid, and Leanne Wood in particular, has not deviated from getting her point across that she wants an end to austerity, and parity with Scotland.

The buzz words are austerity and parity and you don't have to wait long for them to come up when the Plaid leader is interviewed.

As for the Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams, so far she has gone through the entire campaign without giving an inch on who she would prefer her party to be in coalition with.

Rumours are flying around constantly that particular parties are pulling their teams out of certain constituencies in order to concentrate on areas where they feel they have a better chance.

This is all standard fare in an incredibly tight election as we enter the last full week of campaigning.