Iain Dale economical with the actualité?
13 March, 2009
Below is the text of the Iain’s post on Thursday’s Bowthorpe ward council by-election in Norwich. I’m sure you’ll agree it paints quite a positive picture for the Tories.
Last night there was a council by election in Bowthorpe ward in Norwich. The Conservatives held it with an increased majority of 154. What’s remarkable in that, you might ask? Well, this is a ward which up until the last few years the Tories came third in. It’s near the university and has a very high level of council housing, including the massive Larkman and Earlham estates. But a few years ago, against all the odds, a young candidate called Antony Little won the seat by sheer hard work and indulging in clssic LibDem pavement politics. Last year the Tories won a third seat in the ward but sadly the councillor died recently.
Both Labour and the LibDems threw everything into this by election. They had dozens of people from outside bussed in and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb was even there last night knocking up. They came third.
Antony Little, who is fighting Charles Clarke at the next election, deserves huge credit. There are now 5 Tory councillor on Norwich City Council, the highest for forty years. His campaign strategy has been one which others would do well to emulate.
I am off up to Norwich today to speak at my old university with Steve Richards about the state of the media. I’m also going to be looking up a couple of old friends, so blogging will be rather lighter today than usual!
Now it’s always useful to make sure the facts match the spin. According to Luke Akehurst the Tory vote was down 10.2% on the one they got previously. For once Labour bloggers can agree with Mr Dale when he says “His campaign strategy has been one which others would do well to emulate.” Come on Iain that’s more spin than Mandy watching a whirling dervish performance on the London Eye.