— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) July 19, 2019
The Brecon and Radnor Times is reporting that the local Tories are complaining that their poster boards for the August 1st by-election are being vandalised by their opponents. See the Tweet above for an example.
The by-election, the first in a CON held seat this parliament, had been triggered by the successful recall petition against the incumbent Tory MP Chris Davies who had been been convicted and sentenced by the courts of falsifying his expenses. A total of 19% of electors in this huge constituency, largest by land area in England and Wales, had signed the petition which is well above the 10% threshold for creating a vacancy.
The seat was Tory until the old Liberal party gained it in a 1985 by-election only to lose it at the 2015 general election.
Because of the constituency’s size outdoor poster boards, particularity on main road, play a big part and both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats are going to great lengths to maximise their impact.
Voting actually started yesterday when about 10,000 postal voting packs were delivered.
What is extraordinary is that the MP who lost his seat as a result of his conviction and the petition was then selected by the Conservatives to be their candidate. This inevitably means that he himself is an issue. It is as though the Tories are making light of the criminal conviction.
As well as fighting off the LDs the Tories are having to cope with a strong challenge from Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party which, of course, came very close to winning the Peterborough by-election last month.
According to the report linked to in the Tweet above the Tories have seen their offices vandalised with “Bollocks to Brexit” and “Bollocks to Boris” stickers and messages.
Currently the bookies make the LDs strong odds on favourite to regain the seat. Ladbrokes have them at 1/7.