Last night’s by-election in Crewe & Nantwich sent several messages to Gordon Brown and the Labour Party. A massive 17.6% swing to the Conservatives saw Edward Timpson beat Tamsin Dunwoody to her late mother’s seat.
There is a clear sense that it is time for change. Some of the decisions made by Gordon Brown as Chancellor are coming home to roost. The decision to abolish the 10% tax band was taken last year. The regulatory system that missed Northern Rock was put in place sometime ago. The electorate did not fall for the concession made by Alistair Darling, borrowing £2.7bn to fund a tax cut for those affected by the 10% change. They railed against the “Tory Toff” negative campaigning when Labour played the man not the ball. Surely after so long in power, they should be able to set out their track record – OK, maybe not.
The LibDems fell back as well. The infamous by-election specialists were squeezed with their vote share going down. People swapped straight from Labour to Conservatives, showing that the Tories have a fantastic base to build on as people are interested in listening to them and discovering more about their policies rather than simply protesting about an unpopular Prime Minister and Government.
Enough crowing. I am pleased to see that David Cameron and CCHQ are determined to see this as a stepping stone and not go overboard. People in Crewe and Nantwich have put their trust into the Conservatives. It is up to us to repay that faith and show that they have made the right decision. We will continue to work to earn votes in Sutton and the country rather than rely on other’s misfortunes and fate. Plenty of work still to be done.