At the next general election which will happen in the next couple of years, the incumbent Tory Party will be facing two very different factions and this was seen in last week’s by-elections. First there will be straight battles with LAB to retain many of the seats won by the Tories in December 2019.
Second, there will be those seats where the LDs now fancy their chances following three major gains from CON in just over a year. This includes the Tory-held Remain seats as well as areas where there is strength at the local government level.
What we saw from the Tories in Tiverton and Honiton was a very different way of dealing with the LDs. Their leaflets were much more focused including their own election day Good Morning one.
In the end this was all to no avail and punters were right when the betting opened with Davey’s party as a 70% chance. The LDs by-election machine is very hard to deal with.
My guess is that at the general election Ed Davey will not make the mistakes of his predecessor and aim to win too many seats. Resources are scarce and their will be far fewer targets than in 2019.