PM aims to win wavering voters in Uxbridge
Thursday 24 July 1997
The unprecedented appearance of the Prime Minister in a by-election was seen in the constituency as a last-minute attempt to swing the final wavering voters to Labour in a contest which is too close to call.
He dismissed the convention that Prime Ministers should not enter by- election campaigns. "I am the elected Prime Minister and it is my government that is seeking the approval of the people of Uxbridge on 31 July. That is why I want to visit the constituency myself to explain to local people why Uxbridge needs Andy Slaughter as their next Labour MP," he said.
Andrew Lansley, the Tory candidate's "minder" and a former head of the Conservative Party research department, said Mr Blair was making a mistake. "If they felt sure they were going to win, they would not bring him here, because it's a hostage to fortune for every future by-election.
"They will have to bring him in at every future by-election. I have sat in on discussions on whether the Prime Minister should go to by-elections ... and always you end up coming down to the same answer, which is no.
"If you lose, you put the Prime Minister on the line. If you win, you have committed the Prime Minister to going to every by-election."
Sir Edward Heath told local Tories that he had never visited a by-election when he was Prime Minister. The no-show convention also applied to Baroness Thatcher and John Major.
The by-election was caused by the death of Sir Michael Shersby, whose majority was slashed at the general election from 12,368 to 724.
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin wedding: The famous congratulate actor and human rights lawyer after Venice nuptials
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£21500 - £31500 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work...
£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required to teach Furthe...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...