A reaction “Do as we say not do”?
A week today the Tories will be defending the by-election – a seat they won with a majority of 40%+ over LAB at GE2019 when the LDs were in third place – 53% behind the Tories.
That the LDs should be in contention is remarkable in itself but Ed Davey’s party decided to target it even before Owen Paterson had resigned. Initially, they put the resources in the expectation that Paterson would be suspended for a month when they hoped that a recall petition would attract enough signatures to force him out.
Then, of course, Johnson made what will go down as one of the biggest mistakes of the year and tried to postpone the suspension and review the recall rules. This was too much for many MPs in his own party to stomach the Commons motion got defeated. Then Paterson decided to resign.
The LDs have the ability to throw huge numbers of activists from outside into a seat if they think there’s the possibility of a gain as we have seen in the past five weeks. Initially, the objective was to make them the clear alternative to the Tories in spite of their general election third place.
I backed the party from the start and make £660 if they do it with an overall stake of £117.