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Thursday 23 January 2014

Toby Young’s Fantasy Pact

The writ for the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election has been moved by Labour, and the party has opted for a short campaign, with polling to take place on 13th February. This, for the loathsome Toby Young, has been the cue to use the platform given him at the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs to peddle his “Country before party” campaign, a doomed effort at Tory and UKIP collaboration.
Get out of cellar before pontificating

Tobes has got it into his metropolitan and London-centric head that Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his fellow saloon bar propper-uppers can win the seat. Sadly, this is weapons grade bullshit, as anyone who had ventured to Euston for the two-hour trip to Stockport would have told him (they’re every 20 minutes Tobes, you’ve no excuse). For starters, his geography is lamentably bad.

On voting UKIP in Wythenshawe and Sale East, he tells “local Tories are unlikely to do this in large numbers unless they get something in return. For that reason, the Country Before Party campaign is also encouraging the Ukip association in the neighbouring constituency of Bury North to announce it won't be fielding a candidate against David Nuttall in 2015”. Neighbouring constituency?

Bury is several miles the other side of Manchester from Wythenshawe. Would Tobes describe Barking as a “neighbouring constituency” of Putney? Of course he wouldn’t. Then he fails to notice that UKIP’s candidate in the upcoming by-election is a former Labour supporter. Tory voters – mainly concentrated in the relatively prosperous east of the constituency – should vote for a former Labour man?

It gets worse: the last Parliamentary contest in the area was in Manchester Central two years ago. Labour’s Lucy Powell secured 69% of the vote and UKIP came fourth, behind the Lib Dems and Tories (although this was an improvement on the party’s sixth place in 2010). True, the turnout was a lousy 18%, but if there had been any appetite to see UKIP do well, they would have done.

Worse still for Tobes, there was a council by-election in Broadheath – just outside the Wythenshawe and Sale East area to the south-west – last Thursday. In a ward that had returned a Tory councillor in 2011, Labour won and UKIP were a distant third. Farage’s representative improved his vote share by 3%, but the victorious Labour candidate improved hers by 4%.

All of which leads to one conclusion: Toby Young should stop pretending he knows any more than diddly squat about what’s happening in the southern Manchester suburbs until he’s got off his arse and done some research – like making a visit and seeing the place first hand, rather than pontificating from 180 miles away. Right now, his “Country before party” idea is a dead duck.

Stick to shilling for Michael “Oiky” Gove, Tobes. You’re useless at that, too.

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