Perhaps the silliest question I’ve been asked about Eastleigh by-election is ‘but who do you really want to win?’! It’s not just that ‘Labour’ is the obvious answer. But it’s a bizarre notion that it’s our job to choose – through activity or inactivity – which coalition accomplice is least responsible for the problems faced by Eastleigh families.
It’s not the question being asked by voters.
Seen from the hard working town and suburban villages that make up the constituency, the Conservatives and LibDems are just trying to blame each other for what’s gone wrong. Last time, the LibDems said ‘vote Lib Dem to keep the Tories out’. But as soon as the election was over, their MP joined the Conservative lead government and supported the tuition fee hike, the millionnaire tax cut and the rest. Indeed, the disgraced Chris Huhne made a number of speeches before the 2010 election warning of the dangers of cutting too far and too fast, only to become a passionate advocate of Osborne’s economic policy straight afterwards.
No wonder the biggest group of disillusioned voters is those who voted LibDem last time (though there are not many Tories who think much of their Government either).
Not that past dishonesty has shamed the LibDems, with their candidate in Eastleigh claiming he doesn’t want tax cuts for millionaires! Has he promised to vote against e Government he wants to join on this or any other issue? Of course not.
Our challenge with just two weeks to go is to reach as many of those voters as we can with a strong One Nation message. By the vigour of our campaign we’ve already shown that One Nation Labour wants to represent Eastleigh and places like it. And that we believe the people of this constituency would be better off if we do.
But there are still a huge number of people to talk to.
If you can come and campaign for John O’Farrell and Labour in Eastleigh, the Campaign HQ address is 69 Leigh Road, SO50 9DF