The UK has just had two parliamentary by-elections, in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield. “David Cameron’s Conservatives,” as the Ealing ballot called them, came in third in both. Labour’s share of the vote was down in both places, though, and the Tories’ share was marginally up — by less than 1%.
Cameron didn’t just have his name all over the Ealing election — he visited the district at least five times, and he hand-picked the Conservative candidate, Tony Lit, foisting him on the local party. Lit had been a Labour supporter practically up to the minute he became the Tory candidate. “Rupert Murdoch’s Times” has a useful time-line of the story here. (I think I could get to like the practice of identifying institutions with their awful owners and leaders…)
Time for the Tories to dump Cameron? Their rapid cycling through leaders hasn’t done them any favors. But sticking with Cameron won’t do them any favors either.