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

22nd February, 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…

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