Come back Vincent Hanna!
It would be nice if the interest in electoral contests, renewed by last week’s events, would revive the reporting of by-elections. By-election campaigns were well reported by newspapers in the past. They would send star journalists to the constituency for two or three weeks before polling. Their dispatches were a readable way of interleaving national concerns with local issues, which is how voters think about things. They taught the reader a great deal about the texture of the nation. In recent years, these reports have died away, partly because, thanks to better medicine, there are far fewer by-elections than in the past, and partly because the results had become much more predictable than in the days of the great upsets of the Sixties and Seventies. Two by-elections are now pending. One result — in Boris Johnson’s Henley — is almost a foregone conclusion, but the other, and more imminent — in the late Gwyneth Dunwoody’s Crewe and Nantwich — will be exciting. Please let us read the story as it unfolds.
UPDATE: As if on cue Jonathan Isaby has a series of reports from Crewe on THREE LINE WHIP.