I’m on my way down to London and have just seen here on Iain Dale’s blog, and here, confirmed by the telegraph, that David Davis will be stepping down from the shadow cabinet, resigning as an MP and triggering a by-election in his constituency.
According to the telegraph, Davis will then stand as a Conservative candidate, but on a platform based on his opposition to the 42 day detention limit.
The telegraph is billiing it as a disaster for Cameron. I disagree. Cameron’s biggest flaw (electorally speaking) is his lack of appeal “up north” people up here think he’s a bit of a slick southerner and seem to have a soft spot for Davis’ hard man persona. Imagine the effect of Cameron whole heartedly supporting his home secretary’s principled stand?
What if the CCHQ line reads something like: “There aren’t enough men of priciple in politics today. David Davis is an examplary public servant and doesn’t feel he can carry on as an MP unless he has his constituents backing to cotinue to oppose this disatrous policy. He has our whole hearted support.”
Then, Cameron gets on a bus and spends three weeks in Hull working his magic. Davis gets re-elected with a hugely increased majority and the labour vote collapses. All of a sudden the DD “is principled” poll question starts to rub off on Cameron and labour’s last line of attack is shut off.
OK, there are alot of “what ifs” there but challenge or opportunity, this is certainly Cameron’s biggest judgement call to date. Interesting times…