As the dust settles on the magnificent victory by Labour’s Mustafa Desai in February’s Queen’s Park by-election there were glum faces amongst leading Tories, Michael Lee and Michael Law-Riding at the count. Why could this be?
Sources close to the local Tory party have admitted that they had informed Conservative Party Central Office in London they were poised to win the seat. As a consequence, plans had been made for David Cameron to visit Blackburn on Election Day. However, when by mid morning it became clear that their initial predictions had been a might over optimistic, a mad panic ensued as the visit was hastily called off and a chastened Mr Cameron was told to stay away. In the end the Conservatives finished a poor third with only 15% of the vote. In the supposed Tory stronghold of Guide it is believed that they received barely thirty votes.
The by-election results sent a clear message that the people of Blackburn are continuing to reject Cameron’s Tories. Maybe Mr Law-Riding who previously thought that he had the Blackburn seat “sewn up” will be reassessing his chances after this disaster!