‘News’ just in:
David Davis has won significant support for his decision to fight a by-election on the issue of 42 days' detention, according to a survey for The Independent. The nationwide poll by IpsosMORI found that 35 per cent of people would vote for the former shadow home secretary if they lived in his Haltemprice and Howden constituency.
That’s one of the most ridiculous ifs I’ve ever seen in an opinion poll. It’s up there with ‘If John McCain were facing Jed Bartlet for the presidency, but Hillary Clinton still refused to accept that she hadn’t really got the Democratic nomination, and terrorists had filled the Grand Canyon with cream cheese, how would you vote?’
Also, the idea that 35% support is “significant” is pretty dubious. In 2005, when his party was nationally a little behind Labour rather than miles ahead, Davis won the votes of just over 33% of his local electorate. The difference is within the margin of error. And it’s bloody irrelevant anyway because the people polled don’t bloody live there!
Ahem. I’ve been pretty critical of Davis’s byelection move, partly because I think it purports to focus on an ‘issue’ but does so by yoking – and subordinating – the issue to a personality. So, just for balance, here’s the website he’s just launched, should you fancy a gander.
Curiously, the word ‘Conservative’ appears only once on the site, several paragraphs down the ‘About David Davis MP’ page. Actually, it’s not accurate – and I’m not entirely sure it’s legal – for him to call himself that, as the whole damn point of the resigning/byelection thing is that he isn’t now an MP.
Sorry, I criticised him again. Oh well. He’s a big boy.
[Update: I am completely and utterly wrong about that last point. See in the comments. Apologies for incompetence and borderline libel.]
[Update 2: It's 5pm on Wednesday, Davis definitely, officially resigned several hours ago, and the 'MP' tag is still on his website. So, much like a stopped clock, I have now become correct - at least until they realise and change it. Think I'll quit on this point while I'm ahead...]