Wake up to the pleasant news that Liberal Democrats had pushed the Tories into third place in Sedgefield and improved their second place in Ealing Southall.
It is a terrible result for Cameron – particularly as on the actual ballot papers in Ealing their candidates was described as “David Cameron’s Conservatives” rather than simply “Conservative”. This was very much his personal campaign, with the message being “David Cameron wants you to vote for this man”. Reputation on the line – reputation very damaged! Serves him right for hiking someone to stand, Tony Lit, who wasn’t a Conservative but was someone who Cameron thought could attract votes. Poor judgement and poor practise.
Labour majorities were slashed – but they didn’t lose – which is also one in the eye for the Tories. Though still don’t think Gordon will rush into a General Election – having waited all his life to get where he is today would he really risk losing it all so soon?
UPDATE: There’s a good round up of what the press are making of the by-elections over at Lib Dem Voice.
Surgery in the morning followed by my regular meeting with police borough Commander Simon O’Brien. I raise the issue of gangs, the parks constabulary and the need for even more Neighbourhood Policing. The parks constabulary now are on the same radio band as the police. I had been concerned that the two systems were making a farce of the parks police chasing a criminal, for example, who runs out the park – but they cannot radio the Met to catch him. Simon assured me that the radios were now all up to modern standards and working together on the new Airwave system.
I discussed some ideas I have for youth diversion – and am putting some proposals together on this. And I also asked whether Haringey Police and PCSOs had any capacity that could be used (if paid for) to deploy to particular projects or areas of need – and the answer is yes. So my council colleagues will be pushing to use this capacity to tackle the persistent areas of anti-social behaviour.