Leading article: The hunt for MPs

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The news, which we report today, that hunt supporters plan to mobilise supporters in the election campaign to unseat Labour friends of foxes, conjures up a fascinating image of men in Barbours, brandishing whips and tally ho-ing through various towns and villages in hot pursuit of the 140 MPs on their electoral hit list.

Unfortunately for the hunt supporters, their apparent keenness to campaign for the Tories is unlikely to do the latter many favours. Some Tory candidates are openly wondering whether summoning the "Cotswold cavalry" and their equivalents will bring them any votes.

The root problem for hunters, as for smokers, is that most people don't much like hunting, so the more they complain about their lost rights, the more opposition to their cause hardens. Indeed, the beneficiary of all this looks likely to the Environment minister, Hilary Benn, now launching a counter-appeal to defend the ban. Election advice for hunters: let sleeping dogs lie.

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