Back last year when we had two Parliamentary by-elections going on at the same time, in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield, there was a concerted online campaign by Conservatives making comments around the web to claim that the Liberal Democrats were struggling in Ealing, had given up on winning and were instead concentrating on Sedgefield. My favourite was the supposed eye-witness account from someone in Ealing who claimed they saw people in the Liberal Democrat HQ there preparing lots of letters for Sedgefield.
It all seemed to dry up rather after the Grant Shapps 1234 incident but it looks as if the fairy tale is raising its head again. For once more we have two Parliamentary by-election on at the same time (well, nearly – Boris Johnson has said he’ll quit as MP though he hasn’t announced his resignation yet), once again the Conservatives are worried about the Liberal Democrats, and once again the fairy tale comes out to play.
In this case, it’s Edward Timpson and his campaign blog, which spins the fairy tale that:
Chris Rennard, who runs all the Lib Dem campaigns, has also been spotted briefing journalists. The talk around all the journalists up here is that he doesn’t think the Lib Dems can get anywhere in Crewe and Nantwich and so he wants to divert all their resources to Henley instead.
Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Oh, and I think you’ll find that none of the journalists in Crewe who spoke to Chris Rennard today mentioned this at all. So much for it being what they’re talking about!