I’m one of those people who thought, the minute they heard about the Bromley by-election, that it was worth firing up a browser, logging into Betfair and punting a wodge of Dunfermline profits on the result. It was long odds at the time, what with the Lib Dems being in third place and the Tories looking way ahead.
Just recently, newly blogging Lib Dem peer Eric Lubbock, now Lord Avebury, weighed in to show up how similar the situation is now in Bromley and Chislehurst to the very nearby seat of Orpington, which was won by the Liberals in a by-election in 1962. Wikipedia says this was the start of a great Liberal Revival, that Eric Lubbock went on to hold the seat for eight years, and within months, the Liberals became the most popular party in the country.
Winning is no longer looking completely impossible now. People on the doorstop are responding positively, I hear from impartial sources (and of course from HQ who send me daily slips as a previous by-election attendee to remind me that it’s a two-horse race, every effort needed, send cash if you can’t come yourself). Apparently no-one mentions Cameron when you knock on doors, but they do seem to agree with the outrage in our leaflets about “Three Jobs Bob” the Conservative candidate. Poor Dave also got villified in the local press when he visited.
And now, in an amusing twist, it seems that one of those jobs might actually be a bar to the Conservative taking office, and moreover mean his declaration form was fraudulent. RecessMonkey is reporting that, as a member of a Strategic Health Authority, the Tory candidate is barred from standing for election under a 1975 act. Even attempting to stand means he’s filled in a fraudulent declaration.
Time will tell. So far, it’s only Recess, and people reading Recess running with this. The truth will out.
I haven’t been able to go this time, and come polling day, I will be away, abroad. I’ll just have to hope some kind soul texts me the result.