By jove I’ve got it: now I understand the Tory Eastleigh strategy

It’s been quite a conundrum: what is the Conservative Party strategy in the Eastleigh Parliamentary by-election?

Select a candidate with controversial right-wing views. Spend much of the campaign dodging interviews with the media, generating a slew of negative stories as a result. Slip in the occasional public comment that generates more controversy. And even after all that, leave Lynton Crosby largely out of things, rather than calling him in to sort out such a disorganised mess of a message.

What could possibly be the logic behind all that?

Incompetence, quite possibly.

But wait a moment. Is there an alternative?

Perhaps… it’s a cunning strategy by the Conservative modernisers: have a poor right-wing candidate and a duff campaign, hoping thereby to assist on the quiet the Liberal Democrats in winning so that (a) you can turn round to the right afterwards and say, “See what happens when we run on your dream anti-Europe, anti-abortion, anti-equal marriage, anti-state comprehensives ticket?”, and (b) you hope that a Lib Dem win boosts the party in the polls, upping the chances of Labour failing to win an overall majority at the next election.

Oh well, I guess incompetence it is then.

13 responses to “By jove I’ve got it: now I understand the Tory Eastleigh strategy”

  1. This would be a very clever ploy on the part of people in the Conservative hierarchy – however, I put this plan's cleverness as way beyond the Tories' collective intellectual ability.

  2. I think they're saving everything for 2015. They knew we would send an army not to be messed with (we are the ones trying to defend everything right now including this seat in particular) Also, in 2015 everyone will be focusing on their own constituencies and they might think themselves to have a better chance then.

    • I am known to call the conservatives a million and one things but to call them incompetent? These are smart people. They know what they are doing. They are not at all daft. Maybe ideologically. But even then I think there is an agenda that is beyond Eastleigh. They must be either mobilising or taking a step back to see how we campaign and the tactics we are using. A price worth paying for their long term agenda.

  3. haha – possibly more self-interested than that, like preventing UKIP from splitting the tory vote, forcing Labour to choose whether to push hard to split the LibDem vote as they hope to get a boost in southern seats while making conciliatory noises on a mansion tax.

    Labour and UKIP are the meat in the two-horse sandwich!

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