Iain Dale has got rather shirty about the Lib Dems selecting April Pond who was the the PPC for Broadlands as the PPC for the by election in Norwich North.
Now there is one thing about by elections that differs from General Elections. Any party that doesn't scour for the best candidate available is stupid. And if there is a good local candidate selected for a more winnable seat already selected they may well be the best person to take the extra pressure of national attention that most General Election candidates do not encounter.
But the irony is that the Tories themselves are the experts in flying in candidates. At least April is from the same county.
For the last Westminster by election in Glenrothes Maurice Golden was parachuted in. He's now the PPC of the more winnable Central Ayrshire seat. Having failed to get selected for Dunfermline and West Fife by election, but was on theMid Scotland and Fife list* he has now abandoned Fife so soon after been proud of saying he was '28 years old and [had] lived in Fife all his life' on his by election literature.
Of course that Dunfermline and West Fife selection caused some controversy as local party members boycotted the selection when Tory Group leader on Fife council Cllr Stuart Randall was not shortlisted. The candidate Carrie Ruxton had stood in 1999 for Dunfermline East for Holyrood but by 2001 had cropped up as Westminster candidate in Northavon where the 34.7% of the vote she gained just wasn't enough to unseat Lib Dem Steve Webb after being parachuted in as a token female in a target. In actual fact the swing was from Conservative to Lib Dem.
As for Glasgow East whoops Iain. Davena Rankin had been selected for Glasgow South before then being selected for East. But guess what Iain she lost and in your own word went 'crawling back to' Glasgow South Conservatives to 'beg for them to have her back'. Oh and they did. Does Iain wonder 'what on earth will' Glasgow South 'voters make of her whoring herself across' Glasgow? No I don't think so either.
There is something about people in glass houses. I'm reckoning the glass house at chez Dale must be very draughty this evening.
UPDATE: There is now a classic comment posted on Iain's blog at 9:31pm that points out that his use of the word 'whoring' once selected as a PPC for somewhere to then stand somewhere else in a by election means he has just called Winston Churhill and Margaret Thatcher whores. Double oops.