Parties make final bids for Crewe and Nantwich voters

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The late Gwyneth Dunwoody (above) had held the seat of Crewe and Nantwich since 1983 with a majority of 7,078 at the 2005 General Election.

UK political parties are making their final bids for votes in the Crewe and Nantwich constituency, where a by-election, due to the death of Gwyneth Dunwoody MP, is to be held tomorrow.

A YouGov poll has suggested that the main opposition party, the Conservatives, are ahead at 45%, the incumbent Labour Party 18.8% behind on 26.2%. Polls from the newspaper The Independent and Populus and ICM have also put the Conservatives ahead. However the bookmakers Ladbrokes have deemed the Conservatives "unbackable", with odds of just 16/1.

Crewe and Nantwich by-election
Party Candidate
Monster Raving Loony The Flying Brick
Labour Tamsin Dumwoody
Independent Gemma Garrett
UK Independence Mike Nattrass
English Democrats David Roberts
Liberal Democrat Elizabeth Shenton
Green Robert Smith
Cut Tax on Diesel and Petrol Paul Thorogood
Conservative Edward Timpson
Independent Mark Walklate

The Labour campaign in Crewe and Nantwich has branded the Conservative candidate Edward Timpson, a barrister from the wealthy Timpson family, a "toff", calling their candidate, the late MP's daughter Tamsin Dunwoody, "one of us". Conservative leader David Cameron called the Labour campaign "class warfare" which is "backward looking", "out of date" and "divisive". The Labour Party has received endorsements from soap opera Coronation Street's Elizabeth Dawn (who plays the character Vera Duckworth) and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem) party have sent party leader Nick Clegg, party president Simon Hughes and deputy leader and the party's shadow chancellor Vince Cable up to Crewe and Nantwich to campaign alongside their candidate Elizabeth Shenton. Mr. Cable told BBC's Newsnight that "what's very clear is there is a lot of support draining away from the Labour Party - an enormous amount." Nick Clegg claims that the by-election is a two-horse race between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

The UK Independence Party's candidate Mike Nattrass has been touring Crewe and Nantwich in a converted London Routemaster campaign bus and handing out leaflets. He said "UKIP has never stood in Crewe and Nantwich before because Gwyneth Dunwoody was Eurosceptic and we agreed with her." Party leader Nigel Farage has also attended a meeting in the constituency.

Polling stations will open from 07:00 BST (06:00 UTC) until 22:00 BST (21:00 UTC) on Thursday. The result is expected by Friday afternoon.