Will Dave dare risk losing the seat to the LDs?
It’s been a tough return from vacation for David Cameron. For as well as the Hannan business to contend with he’s also got Anne Main.
The immediate response of Ladbrokes to last night’s controversial decision by St. Albans Conservatives not to de-select their MP was to make the Lib Dem the 2/1 second favourite in the seat.
On the face of it that’s a very tight price for a constituency where the LDs were in third place in 2005 at just 25% behind Labour on 34% and Anne Main, the Tory, on 37%. But the seat has traditionally been a three-way marginal and the LD candidate is rated by many as a potential leader of the party.
Reading the reports from the St Albans Review and you get a real sense of the massive challenge facing the Tories in their defence in a seat that without the expenses affair they could have expected to hold easily.
To have the chairman of the Conservative Association resigning shows the extent of the divisions and the challenge now facing the party. This is something that Cameron cannot, surely, allow to stand?
I’m not familiar with Tory party rules but I guess that a lot of pressure will be brought on Anne Main to stand aside – or maybe even subject herself to an open primary on the Totnes model.
The Telegraph’s expenses exposes look set to claim another victim.