Will voters turn out for an ‘unneccessary’ by-election?
Above is the result for the constituency of Haltemprice & Howden (likely to be known as H&H) from the General Election of 2005. That night, with Michael Howard announcing his resignation, David Davis must have spent the evening’s celebrations wondering if he would in fact become Conservative leader, and in all probability Prime Minister after Gordon Brown.
David Cameron’s victory did not see him banished to the backbenches – David Davis was retained as Shadow Home Secretary in the Cameron frontbench, meaning he has faced four Home Secretaries (Blunkett, Clarke, Reid and Jacqui Smith) across the dispatch box. He is the longest serving Shadow Home Secretary since Roy Hattersley handed the job to a youthful Tony Blair. Davis will now take the role of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds from Blair, which will be awarded by Alastair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Having secured Nick Clegg’s agreement not to contest this by-election, David Davies must be assured of victory and re-election, though his replacement in the Shadow Cabinet, Dominic Grieve, seems to have been chosen as a permanent replacement. Davis will rejoin the Commons as a backbencher, though it seems likely Cameron would seek to bring him back to the front benches at some point in the future.
With Henley the next by-election scheduled, the Telegraph is reporting that the H&H by-election will be held on the 10th July.
Will low turnout reduce his majority? Will Labour stand? How well will the minor parties do against him? Will this hurt the Government over the issue of 42 days, or will it allow claims of a split in the Conservative Party?
This has been a fascinating day in British politics – stay tuned.
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COMING SOON: Guest article by David Herdson
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