Monday, 4 February 2013
Lies, damned lies and politicians.
A politician lying. Don't hold the front page. Except in this case it's a must. For the said politician lied to the courts. Ex-cabinet Minister Chris Huhne has pleaded guilty to the charge of perverting the course of justice.
Bad news indeed for him. Whatever the sentence, his political career is finished - gone, kaput, down the drain.
This is the guy that in every interview swore his innocence but now admits that he was lying through his teeth.
He lied and will take the consequences. But his party will also now face a by-election and could also suffer some collateral damage.
He was a prominent Liberal Democrat. A party that in the minds of many have a problem with “trust.” Having broken their pledge on tuition fees many felt they’d been mislead. Huhne’s behaviour just reinforces this.
Not the best of circumstances for the party to defend the Eastleigh seat.
Although that said, they do have a formidable local presence. In the local Council they greatly outnumber the Conservatives. It is certainly not going to be a shoe-in for the Tories.
It is a genuine marginal seat. The two coalition parties have got to slug it out here.
Indeed it offers as much danger to Cameron as it does for Clegg. For it’s a seat Cameron has got to win if he’s to silence the critics within his party that he’s a loser. He’s got to show that he’s still got ‘it.’
‘It’ being winning ways, the wow factor. If he loses we’ll hear more talk about stalking horses. So high stakes indeed for him.
But how easily will it be. Not easy at all. Why? In one word UKIP. UKIP have being making the running in recent polls.They now have to demonstrate that the force is still with them. In other words, momentum.
A seat in Parliament would be a prize indeed. They’ll be obliged to push hard in the seat. With their leader, Nigel Farage as the candidate, who knows. By-elections are strange things.
Whether they win or not, they could certainly ‘do’ for the Tories. They chances are that they’ll eat away at the Tory vote. Enough to ensure the Liberal Democrats hold on to the seat? Maybe.
The real winner, Ed Miliband. All his party has to do is maintain their vote. Not even the most optimistic party supporter would expect them to win. But to bring back to the fold those that have in the past voted Liberal Democrat as a tactic to keep the Tories out would be a good result for his party.
So we have the prospect of Liberal Democrat votes going to Labour. Tory votes going to UKIP. What an intriguing by-election prospect Huhne’s fall from grace will give us political anoraks.