The Tory GE2015 expenses probe could have been the reason that the party’s been polling the LD seats it gained

April 11th, 2017

The blue team taking precautionary measures in case of possible by-elections?

Last week there were a number of stories sparked off first by George Eaton in the New Statesman about a series of private Crosby Textor polls that the Tories are said to have commissioned in many of the 27 seats that were gained from the LDs at GE2015.

The reported polling results suggested that the Tories would struggle to hold onto all but a small handful of them. The hugely successful message that the Crosby campaign used at GE2015 about not letting in a Miliband government that was in hock to Alex Salmond was not now relevant and the Tories would find it hard to develop a new message with anything like the same potency.

The assumption was that Tories had carried out the polling ahead of a possible early election and this was merely scoping the ground.

    Now PB is being told that the reason for polling these seats was nothing to do with that but out of worries about where the expenses probe, first highlighted by Channel 4 News, was going.

If these went to court it is possible that some GE2015 seat outcomes could be discarded and there would have to be fresh elections in the constituencies. Mrs May’s majority is so small that it wouldn’t take many such losses for that to be wiped out.

Decisions on the next stage of the probe are expected soon from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mike Smithson