Coalition partners still fighting in by-election

By Marina Kim

Despite “cooperation, not confrontation” between the two governing parties, the Tory and Liberal Democrat candidates are still fighting in the delayed Thirsk and Malton election.

The by-election in North Yorkshire, postponed due to the death of the Ukip candidate John Boakes, will take place on May 27th.

The main candidates are Conservative incumbent Anne McIntosh, Labour’s Jonathan Roberts, and Liberal Democrat Howard Keal.

The new Ukip candidate, Toby Horton, is a former aide to the Conservative foreign secretary William Hague.

Mr Keal spoke of the need to strengthen the Lib Dems’ position in “moderating the Conservatives”.

He does not view any negative impact on their campaign as a result of the Tory/Lib Dems’ coalition, but warned of the danger of the Tories being in charge alone.

“Had the Conservatives been let to govern on their own their policies would have not been restrained,” he said.

“Liberal Democrats were given a real voice when the alternative would have been to leave the Conservatives to their own devices, unchallenged. Had we not joined together, we would have had no prospects of achieving the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto goals.”

Earlier in the day Mr Keal urged Labour supporters “to vote tactically to help deliver a shock result in Thirsk and Malton”.

Ms McIntosh is, however, confident in her results. She claims they are getting “one or two Liberal Democrat switchers to the Conservatives”.

Labour candidate Jonathan Roberts accused the Liberal Democrats of “propping up the Tories”.