Saturday, 18 December 2010

Are the Tories trying to lose in Oldham?

There is a good deal of suspicion in many quarters that Tory central office are trying to engineer a poor campaign to the benefit of the Liberal Democrats in upcoming by-election in the three-way marginal of Oldham East and Saddleworth.

Alongside the breaking of the convention on the setting of the date for the election - driven by the apparent desire of the Lib Dems to have an election whilst most students are away from the constituency - the coalition appears to be doing its best to avoid an embarrassing result for Clegg.

The dangers of this strategy are obvious - that although it may please the liberal-leaning centre-right of the party (although with a policy on the NHS and public spending way to the right of even Margaret Thatcher, it's difficult to identify them as such) - there are a good deal of traditional Conservatives very uneasy about such a strategy.

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