The outcome will change the way we look at GE2015
Consider for a moment what is at stake for the coalition party leaders, Dave and Nick, as they prepare to fight the Eastleigh by-election.
This is unlike any of the other by-elections in this parliament because, on paper at least, the battle doesn’t involve the red team as we’ve seen from the latest Populus poll.
Until now the general election hopes for the Lib Dems have been kept alive by their belief that incumbency and proven good organisation on the ground means that they can hold on in seats where the main challenger is the Tory. They point to how, in relative terms they have fared much better in local elections since 2010 in the constituencies that they hold and, of course, the Eastleigh polling
A defeat in the battle to find Huhne’s replacement would shatter those hopes and make their prospects for 2015 look very gloomy indeed.
And what of David Cameron With the main mover in the polling now being Ukip it could be that by Thursday they could take the seat. Where would the PM stand if the purples slipped through and came out as winners.It’s a lot less far-fetched today than it has been.
And what of Nigel Farage’s position if Diane James became Eastleigh’s next MP. He had a chance to fight Eastleigh and flunked it. All the focus would be on Diane.
Farage is not known to welcome anybody else within the party getting more of the limelight than he does.
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