Monday, 27 February 2017

Perfect Outcome

Tim Shipman reports for The Sunday Times on the mood inside the Tory Party after a daring 'snatch and grab' raid on a formerly safe Labour seat.   

"Copeland was the first by-election gain by a government since 1982; the biggest swing (seven percentage points) towards a governing party in a by-election since Hull North in 1966. The last Tory MP in Copeland was born in 1879. You could argue, and Parkinson did, that it was the Tories’ best by-election result since 1878, when the Conservatives won a seat from the Liberals in the Worcester. “We are spoilt for choice,” he said.

The result was perfect for the Conservatives, further weakening the hapless Jeremy Corbyn, but not striking a fatal blow and keeping the Labour in place in the run up to the next general election in 2020.  

Read the full article via the link below to The Sunday Times which is behind the paper's paywall.

Under her heel

Theresa May has Jeremy Corbyn where she wants him after last week’s by-election results. Will a new, centre-left champion step forward?

By Tim Shipman - The Sunday Times

When Conservative special advisers filed into No 10 Downing Street on Friday for their weekly meeting with Theresa May’s aides, they were briefed on the party’s success in Copeland by Stephen Parkinson, the man who masterminded the by-election and ran the “leave” campaign’s ground war during the EU referendum.

Parkinson is an unobtrusive character but he seemed even happier than after the Brexit vote, laughing as he weighed up which historical precedent the Tories should use on their triumphant press releases.