James Forsyth

Delay in Oldham is good news for the coalition

Delay in Oldham is good news for the coalition
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The longer we go before a date is set for the Oldham East and Saddleworth general election rerun, the better it is for the coalition. This delay allows the Tories to give the Lib Dems a head start; Nick Clegg’s party can pour resources into the seat while the Tories do very little until a date is set.

There will be a Tory candidate in this election, but I doubt that a Tory victory would be a cause for celebration at CCHQ or in Number 10. The Tory leadership knows that a bad result for the Lib Dems would make their coalition partners jumpy and make it harder for the coalition to govern effectively. A confident Liberal Democrat party would make Cameron’s life a lot easier than one more Tory MP.