Anarchy on the South Coast – Is anyone actually running the Tory campaign in Eastleigh?

February 22, 2013 5:45 pm

Yesterday I noted that the Tory campaign in Eastleigh was in meltdown – but I’m starting to think that might have been an understatement. The whole Tory campaign on the south coast seems almost anarchic – as of no-one is really in charge at all.

Take Michael Fabricant. Yesterday he was tweeting about “suck jobs” rather than focussing on his work as Vice Chairman of the Tory Party with responsibility for election campaign (like…Eastleigh). So it was interesting this morning to see an almost contrite tweet from Fabricant saying that he had decided against going on Any Questions tonight and would be staying in Eastleigh. I asked him if he had decided personally – or whether it was a CCHQ decision (after yesterday, I wouldn’t have blamed them for pulling him from all media appearances – he clearly can’t be trusted). Yet Fabricant claimed that CCHQ had no idea he was meant to be on Any Questions.

To be clear – the Vice Chairman of the Tory Party says he was going to be doing a major media appearance less than a week before a key by-election, and Tory HQ had no idea. And this is the party of government.

And then this afternoon he was at it again – tweeting about “twanking” and sex. Not massively appropriate – but more than that, it doesn’t exactly look like he’s running the Eastleigh campaign. So who is?

Add to that the fact that Maria Hutchings – having been hidden away from a national radio debate yesterday, turned up to a local radio debate today fifteen minutes late, and the PM’s visit to the constituency became mired in a row with the BBC about an empty chair – even the basics are falling by the wayside.

If they win (and they should have done, easily – but it’s looking less likely every day) it will be in large part due to the shambolic campaign that they’re run. Omnishambles isn’t just a way of running a government it seems – it’s a way of running a by-election campaign too…

  • robertcp

    The worrying thing is that the Tories might still win if Labour does well. FPTP is such a wonderful system!

    • NT86

      According to a news report by the BBC, Diane James the UKIP candidate is picking up stream in her campaign. That could prove vital in keeping the Tories out.

      • JoeDM

        And pushing Labour into 4th place !!!

        • robertcp

          The problem with FPTP is that we do not know how much support the parties would have if people could just vote for who they like without worrying about tactical voting etc.

  • Monkey_Bach

    It’s a wig! Eeek.

    • rekrab

      On a whig! ouch!!!!!

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      He is odd, I think we probably all agree. It seems to be a defining characteristic of most politicians that they have an element of narcissism, and a politician wearing a wig would not appear to be in the small minority of those not narcissistic.

      Has anyone told him that he looks completely ridiculous, and that any story about him is going to concentrate on the wig?

  • AlanGiles

    For all those who remember “Round The Horne” Fabricant is rapidly turning it to the Conservative Party’s very own “J. Peasemould Gruntfuttock” (‘I am a dirty old man of MANY years standing…….and crouching looking through the keyhole”.
    I suppose he is the author and his account has not been hacked?. These seem extraordinary double entendres for a senior politician to be essaying.

  • AlanGiles

    For all those who remember “Round The Horne” Fabricant is rapidly turning it to the Conservative Party’s very own “J. Peasemould Gruntfuttock” (‘I am a dirty old man of MANY years standing…….and crouching looking through the keyhole”.
    I suppose he is the author and his account has not been hacked?. These seem extraordinary double entendres for a senior politician to be essaying.

    • postageincluded

      Wasn’t he a regular LL poster at one time? Gruntfuttock, I mean, not the dirty old man with the world’s most implausible wig.

  • AlanGiles
  • Quiet_Sceptic

    Well with the bookies and some of the papers predicting Labour will be coming in 4th behind UKIP perhaps we should be worrying about our own campaign.

    • Monkey_Bach

      Not exactly a massive surprise given the constituency.

      Here’s an example of the flip side of the same sort of phenomenon :

      “The Conservatives came fifth in Rotherham, after Labour, UKIP, the far-right BNP and the far-left Respect. The LibDems came an embarrassing eighth, behind a local clergyman running as an independent candidate.”

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/11/30/uk-britain-politics-ukip-idUKBRE8AT0D720121130

  • John Ruddy

    Maybe Grant Shapps thought Michael Green was doing it, and maybe Michael Green thought Grant Shapps was in charge?

  • TomFairfax

    Anybody else notice this mornings news that Lord Ashcroft has supposedly decided to refrain from providing financial support at the next general election for the shower of amateurish, daft, and plainly idle Tories, seemingly bereft of motivation or direction. You can hardly blame him. Sticking his dosh in the fire and burning it would be less of a waste.

  • TomFairfax

    Anybody else notice this mornings news that Lord Ashcroft has supposedly decided to refrain from providing financial support at the next general election for the shower of amateurish, daft, and plainly idle Tories, seemingly bereft of motivation or direction. You can hardly blame him. Sticking his dosh in the fire and burning it would be less of a waste.

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