It’s tougher because LAB, at least, has worked out how to fight them
We’ve heard a lot from Nigel Farage and others Kippers in the past day or so about the difficulty of fighting what they describe as the “ruthless” Labour machine.
The very high proportion of votes cast that were done by post is one of the things that they’ve highlighted as though it was somehow unfair. It may or may not be but that is the current electoral system and the purples should have been ready in those first 72 hours after the seat become vacant to be working hard on a postal operation of their own.
It is sensitive when the sitting MPs has just passed away but there is a very tight time-table and UKIP HQ should have been ready with a plan and resources to get things moving fast.
In the days when the LDs and its predecessor parties were the “by-election kings” Chris Rennard and his team would have been travelling to the constituency within hours of the vacancy occurring. Speed kills.
The LAB Wythenshawe campaign was noteworthy for its hard anti-UKIP leaflets in the closing stages. This was not about making converts but getting its supporter base out to the polling stations.
An insurgent party needs to be moving forward all the time. The big lesson from Wythenshawe is that UKIP have stalled a touch.