But what happens of the blues don’t take the LAB seat on February 23rd?
Last night a Copeland voter emailed the above copy of a personalised letter that had come to him from Theresa May. The contents are very revealing about what message the Tories are hoping will come from them taking the seat from LAB in 23 days time.
The Tories are looking to the result as a vindication of the strategy outlined in the PM’s speech earlier in the month. Notice how in the letter the PM doesn’t move into any other policy area this is all about BREXIT and getting some mandate for her approach.
If the betting markets have got this right the Tories are in with a 58% chance of what would be an unprecedented outcome in recent times for a ruling party – to take a seat from the opposition.
But the strategy has its risks. What happens if the Tories fail to take Copeland? What would that say about about public backing for the BREXIT plan.
We now live in an era when we don’t have by-election polls. There was one in Richmond Park with 4 weeks to go that had Zac 27% ahead but that’s been the only published one this parliament.
So at the moment there’s little to base any Copeland forecasts on apart from the Tories dominant national polling position. Only problem with that is that it isn’t being reflected in council by-elections.