Eastleigh by-election: 21 February round-up – the Maria Hutchings show, encore

Eastleigh by-election: 21 February – the Maria Hutchings show, encore

Storified by Mark Pack· Thu, Feb 21 2013 12:31:53

Yes, there’s much more to the Eastleigh by-election than just the travails of Tory candidate Maria Hutchings:
Make no mistake, Eastleigh byelection is a pivotal political eventVincent Hanna, thou shouldst be living at this hour. Parliamentary byelections, which Hanna transformed into memorable TV fiestas in the …
And there’s even a nice little report from the BBC that’s well worth a watch:
Eastleigh battle enters final weekCandidates in the battle for the former seat of ex-Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne are entering the final week of campaigning.
But even the Prime Minister can’t get far in Eastleigh without getting ensared in the media-dodging record of the Tory candidate:
David Cameron attacks BBC over ‘stupid’ Eastleigh by-election coverage – TelegraphThe Prime Minister said: "She was with me at a very important meeting in a business that’s the sort of beating heart of Eastleigh… and …
This time it was the absence of Maria Hutchings from Radio 5’s hustings that was causing problems. Radio 5 even went so far as to ’empty chair’ her at the event:
Tory Eastleigh candidate under fire for missing BBC hustingsThe Conservative candidate in the Eastleigh byelection, Maria Hutchings, is under attack for not attending a BBC hustings. Hutchings has …
No wonder then that the media continues to paint a bleak picture of the state of the Conservative by-election campaign in Eastleigh:
Have the Tories lost Eastleigh?Monday morning. Grant Shapps, the enthusiastic Tory party chairman, is sitting in a people-carrier, putting the final touches to a scathi…
The lesson from Eastleigh is simple: the Conservative leadership has lost control of the partyWithin moments of the previous MP, Chris Huhne, announcing his resignation, the contest was seen as a very big challenge for the party le…
Or as one journalist mischievously put it:
"Lib Dem HQ to Double Agent Hutchings. Over. Maria to return to base. Over. You’ve wrecked Con Eastleigh campaign. Over and Out."Kevin Maguire
In other lighter notes:
Grant Shapps has accused the LibDems of running a "misleading" campaign in Eastleigh. At least their candidate is using his real name.Primly Stable
Just heard that the campaign genius behind the Eastleigh by-election has a new nickname. Grant MishappsJohn Prescott
And finally, here’s my take on the by-election campaign, courtesy of The Guardian‘s Politics Weekly:
Politics Weekly podcast: Eastleigh byelection and mansion taxThe byelection next week in Eastleigh is the first time the two coalition partners have gone head-to-head in a genuine marginal constitue…

Read the previous round-ups from the Eastleigh by-election

All the previous daily round-ups about the Eastleigh campaign are here.


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