It was glorious spring weekend in Eastleigh as eager PPCs took to the doorsteps for their first weekend of Election campaigning.
Meanwhile the Town’s UKIP candidate Raymond Finch was also busy knocking on doors, 85 miles away in Buckingham.
Along with other UKIP PPCs he been drafted in by a central office who are ‘throwing in the kitchen sink’ in their campaign to unseat speaker John Bercow and replace him with Nigel Farage, the MEP who had renounced his leadership of the Party last September specifically to contest the seat.
On Friday Arch-Conservative columnist Simon Heffer wrote an article in the Daily Telegraph entitled ‘It’s time to turf John Bercow out of office’
Not known for mincing his words, Heffer proceeded to label the speaker as being only ‘notionally a Conservative’ and a ‘saponaceous little creep’ while praising Nigel Farage as a ‘serious candidate’ and ‘charismatic’.
He concluded the piece by writing:
“Any Conservative living in Buckingham should vote for Mr Farage”
Traditionally, the main parties do not stand a candidate against the speaker so the only opposition aside from John Bercow that Farage is facing comes from two independents and the BNP.
n a ‘Dry run’ during a local Council by-election in February, UKIP trialled high intensity campaigning to finish runners up to the Conservatives pushing the Liberal Democrats into third place.
Back in his Eastleigh constituency on Sunday night Mr Finch enthused about his weekend’s canvassing:
“It was the best reception I have experienced in five years of campaigning. I am confident we will win it. This will kick in the door for the rest of us.”
He claimed he found widespread dissatisfaction and even core Conservative voters who are disillusioned with Mr Bercow:
“They resent him cosying up to Labour to gain the speaker’s chair but his wife standing as a PPC for the Labour Party, was for many, the last straw.”
People simply can’t stand him”
Mr Finch also reported that while canvassing he had been approached by committee members from Mr Bercow’s own constituency party who had voiced their support for Nigel Farage.
In 2005 John Bercow had a comfortable majority of 14,000 over his nearest Labour rival.