13 Feb 2013

The return of the nasty party?

The Conservative candidate in Eastleigh, Maria Hutchings has sent out the following email to Tory activists around the country urging them to come and canvass for her in the Eastleigh by-election.

Hutchings (or whoever wrote it for her) writes:

Dear fellow Conservatives,

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped in our by-election already. This is a fantastic opportunity to win a seat for the Conservatives that will be crucial in ensuring that we elect a Conservative Government in 2015.

In the first week we have welcomed help from activists who, in many cases, have covered huge distances to get here. Everyone who turns up is making a real difference to our campaign. I have never stopped working in Eastleigh since I was first selected for the 2010 General Election and I really appreciate the great support you are giving me.

My message of giving Eastleigh a local champion rather than another professional politician is going down really well on the doorstep.

This is a great chance to get over the message that we are;

sorting out Labour’s mess, cutting taxes on hardworking people and tackling the deficit.

Making our welfare system fair so we help those who work hard and want to get on.

Controlling immigration which has been cut by a quarter with a tough target for further cuts which the Lib dems oppose.

Standing up for Britain in Europe and giving the British people a referendum which Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have opposed.

It is vital that we keep up our vigorous campaign and that we don’t reward the Liberal Democrats who oppose a vote on Europe and our target on immigration.

The Liberal Democrats are desperate to hold onto this seat and they are campaigning hard, so could I please ask you to do all you can to help and encourage others to come to Eastleigh. This is one of the shortest ever by-election campaigns, so we need as much help as possible in order to keep up the momentum we have achieved so far.

We are operating every day and night of the week, with an extra push at weekends. Please bring your friends, family and join the winning team. Please contact my campaign centre, details are on the attached flyer. We can win this campaign and with your help we will get a great result on 28th February.

Many thanks,


Note how much Hutchings’ stresses traditional right-wing issues such as immigration, Europe and welfare, as she tries to distinguish the Tories from their coalition partners. And of course these are also the issues which UKIP has been pursuing relentlessly in recent months, with considerable success.

There’s not a hint of David Cameron’s attempts since 2005 to modernise and “detoxify” his party.