— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) January 7, 2017
If it’s a LAB hold then it will be in spite of JC not because of him
Even though the sitting MP has yet to resign and no candidates have been selected campaigning has already started in the Copeland by-election – the first such contest in a LAB-CON marginal in this parliament.
The Tories have been made strong odds-on favourite even though you have to go back decades before you find a governing party winning a seat from the main opposition in a Westminster by-election. That, of course, is a reflection, of current national poll standings and a view that Corbyn’s party might be vulnerable.
One factor is that by far the biggest employer is the huge nuclear centre at Sellafield. This constituency is one where not being supportive of nuclear energy could prove challenging for a candidate espousing such a view. The outgoing MP is leaving to take up a post at the complex.
So it’s not really a surprise that the first Tory leaflet featured above highlight Corbyn’s position on things nuclear.
This is clearly very sensitive for the red team and how it is handled could determine the outcome.