The Tory campaign in Eastleigh has gone into meltdown

21st February, 2013 5:22 pm

Many of you will be familiar with Michael Fabricant, the Vice Chair of the Conservative Party with responsibility for campaigns. He was in charge of the Tory campaign in Corby (which they lost, of course) and is now heading up their efforts in Eastleigh. So it was bizarre a week before the by-election (which the Tories need to win if they are to have any hope of proving Cameron can win a majority) that Fabricant decided to send this tweet:



I’m all in favour of MPs being themselves on Twitter – in fact I encourage it – but this is (at best) unbecoming for the Vice Chairman of the party of government, and perhaps suggests that Fabricant doesn’t have his eye entirely on the ball that is the Eastleigh campaign.

And to a certain extent, can you blame him?

So far in this election the Tory candidate has proved to be a disaster, who disagrees with Cameron on Europe, Abortion and Gay Marriage, has attacked local state schools, has been unmasked as someone who tried to attack Tony Blair – and was such a liability that she didn’t turn up for the BBC hustings in the constituency, leading her to be empty chaired. Hutchings is a Tea Party Tory – and as a result, the party are hiding her from public view.

It was supposed to be so easy.

What should have been an easy win for the Tories. This is happening in one of their target seats, with a year to plan and execute the campaign if/when the time came, with more money than the Lib Dems and a disgraced Lib Dem MP stepping down in a trial that was major national news. If they do manage a win now – which seems less likely by the day (the Lib Dems are now solid favourites with the bookies) then it certainly won’t be the resounding one that the Tories were after as recently as two weeks ago. Here’s how the odds of a Tory win have slumped on Betfair. They’re gone from a 50% chance of winning to less than 20%:


Even the Spectator thinks that the Tories have lost.

No wonder Fabricant is tweeting smut – he has probably given up. But I bet CCHQ won’t be happy – and if I were  Tory activist (god forbid) I’d be furious at how those who are meant to be running campaigns are behaving. They’ve probably thrown Fabricant in the same cupboard they’re hiding obviously Maria Hutchings in – and since he’s shown so little remorse, they might even throw away the key. Or at the very least, his phone.


  • Alexwilliamz

    If that really is his twitter account it also has an odd avatar for a senior mp.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Anybody who has managed to give birth to a twelve year old aspirant surgeon can’t be all bad, surely? And as far as Michael Fabricant goes, well, it’s a wig isn’t it? Or possibly a Yorkshire Terrier? Eeek.

    • JoeDM

      There’s nothing wrong with ambition. Our daughter decided that she’d be a barrister at the age of 12 or 13 after watching Rumpole on TV. And she achieved it last year.

      • Monkey_Bach

        And your son is some kind of a big wig trainee in the city isn’t he? I seem to remember you boasting about him on another threat. Talented family you lot aren’t you? Or at the very least imaginative, eh? Eeek.

        • JoeDM

          Yes, two successful children. Both have been to good Universities and established in careers as well adjusted responsible members of society. What’s wrong with that? I think it is something, as very traditional parents with very traditional family values, we can be very proud of.

          • aracataca

            I would argue that both your children are the intellectual giants of the modern era, they can be compared with Aristotle in Ancient Greece or Immanuel Kant in Enlightenment Germany.One can tell that they come from powerfully intellectual stock by reading your ever insightful, intuitive and informative remarks on here.

          • JoeDM

            What a silly reply !!!

          • Monkey_Bach

            You nose must be quite long by now I would imagine. Eeek.

          • JoeDM

            Never heard of repeats?

            There are rather a lot of them !!!!

            And don’t forget the books either.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Methinks the righty doth protest too much! But maybe one day he’ll be a real boy. Eeek.

        • aracataca

          Joe DM is an intellectual colossus and his son is the new Wittgenstein Can’t you tell a genius when you read his words?

          • JoeDM


            Oh dear.

        • JoeDM

          Why is individual success so difficult for trendy lefties?

          • Monkey_Bach

            Why is bullshit so important to ossified righties? Eeek.

  • NT86

    Thank god I’ve already eaten. Michael Fabricant making references to oral sex is enough to put one into a seizure.

    As for the rest of today I love comedy, but after reading what went down I have never laughed so hard at a political story before.

    This is a by-election with candidates from the Monster Raving Loony Party, Elvis Loves Pets and Beer, Baccy and Crumpet (never heard of them, but there you go). Surely Ms Hutchings should be added to that list of comedians. A report in the Guardian said that she was at a cable manufacturer in Eastleigh at the time, thus couldn’t make the hustings.

    Turning out to be a PR debacle for the Tories. Anything to wipe the smile off the faces of people like Grant Shapps.

  • JoeDM

    The Tory candidate seems to be much closer to the average Tory voter than ‘Dave’ and his wet Cameroonian chums. ‘Dave’ is going to end up with egg all over his face from this one.

    It will be interesting to see how the Cameroonians try to explain their loss next Friday morning.

    Of course, there is the possibility of Labour coming 4th behind UKIP. Now that would be even more interesting.

    • robertcp

      Maybe the explanation will be that the candidate is not a Cameroonian. To be fair, she cannot be all bad if she tried to attack Tony Blair!

      • JoeDM

        The writing is already on the wall. Maria Hutchings is going to find a significant number of her core supporters either sitting at home on polling day or voting for UKIP.

        The Limp DemoPrat has it to lose.

    • reformist lickspittle

      It is only “even more interesting” in your dreams, pal 😉

  • Graeme Hancocks

    If the Tories cannot win Eastleigh easily in such circumstances, then Cameron is doomed. Although no fan of the libdems anymore, it is important that whilst Labour pick up northern, midland. Welsh, Scottish and London seats from them, they hold off the tories in the south and south west.

  • John Ruddy

    I thought it was Grant Shapps who was running the campaign? Or was it MIchael Green? I forget.

  • AlanGiles

    You do begin to wonder if these increasing “foot in mouth” moments by Tories – the silly woman in Eastleigh,with the would-be cardio surgeon, and now this “Round the Horne” type double-entendre from Michael Fabricant, the apparent bullying from Gove’s desperate office etc etc etc.

    Take this, for example from London’s Evening Standard, hardly a friend of Labour, regarding disgraced former Tory GLA minister Brian “Bucketmouth” Coleman:-

    If you choose to believe the first part of his message (and you have to wonder why a young professional footballer with the world at his feet would choose to have a dalliance with portly middle-aged Coleman), the very serious allegation in the final paragraph of the article, albeit 6 years old, seems calculated to cause embarrassment.

    If I were Cameron, I would be inclined to adopt a Captain Bligh (HMS Bounty) attitude to the troops: “Back, back, you mutinous dogs!. You see what I have in my hand? – it’s a script of Hollyoaks and I’m not afraid to use it….”

  • Pingback: Michael Fabricant gets smutty as Tories lose grip on Eastleigh (and Maria Hutchings) | The Daily Shame()


  • News More free votes ahead? Labour MPs put pressure on Greenwood over Heathrow

    More free votes ahead? Labour MPs put pressure on Greenwood over Heathrow

    David Cameron is reportedly within days of making a decision on airport expansion, with many expecting him to support a a third runway at Heathrow. This could cause a headache for the Tories, with Boris Johnson, Zac Goldsmith and several Cabinet ministers all opposed to expanding Heathrow’s capacity. However, it could spell trouble for Labour too: Harriet Harman backed the Heathrow expansion recommended by the Davies Report in July, but the party are now committed to examining the evidence again. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured A free vote was always the best Corbyn could have hoped for

    A free vote was always the best Corbyn could have hoped for

    There’s a great Smiths track called ‘I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish’. Actually, I think all Smiths and Morrissey tracks are great, but that’s a column for another website. That phrase sums up the approach taken by Jeremy Corbyn to the Syria vote. Starting an unnecessary fight and then having to climb down. I don’t know if it is Jeremy himself strategising, or persons unidentified in his team, but they are progressively squandering the immense political capital that his big […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Featured News Alan Johnson to promise distinct Labour EU campaign

    Alan Johnson to promise distinct Labour EU campaign

    Alan Johnson will today launch the Labour Party’s official campaign to stay in the European Union, promising a distinct campaign that focuses on jobs, workers’ rights and national security. “The first duty of any government is to keep our country safe and I firmly believe that leaving the EU would fail that test,” the former Home Secretary will say at the launch in Birmingham. “From the European Arrest Warrant to cross-border data sharing on terrorists, the speed of our response […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Labour MPs give Corbyn a “lively” reception after Syria position decided

    Labour MPs give Corbyn a “lively” reception after Syria position decided

    Meetings of the Parliamentary Labour Party are now never unremarkable. This evening’s saw one of the biggest gatherings of lobby journalists outside Committee Room 14 at 6pm on a Monday in a very long time. Just two and a half hours after the Shadow Cabinet met to decide Labour’s position on Syria, leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn stood to address Labour MPs and peers about the outcome. It was, apparently, a bizarre scene. The two appeared […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Europe Featured Leaving the EU would put Britain’s economic security under risk

    Leaving the EU would put Britain’s economic security under risk

    Terrorists bring death and destruction to the streets of Paris… Europe faces its biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War as thousands of refugees flee conflict in Africa and the Middle East… world leaders gather in Paris at the UN climate change conference to find solutions to the looming global climate crisis… These are some of the biggest global challenges facing us today, challenges that require urgent action, challenges that can only be solved at international level, in cooperation […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends