By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter
I spent a day in Eastleigh yesterday, canvassing and delivering leaflets. Contrary to what you may have read on Twitter and in some newspapers the Tory campaign is very well supported. We are getting our leaflets out, the leaflets carry targeted messages for different parts of the constituency and the operation has completed a full canvass. More help is needed, however, in the final week of the campaign and if you can spare some time – either in person or via phone please contact the campaign.
I was struck by the extent to which the Tory campaign is focused on Maria Hutchings. The billboard posters all feature her while the Lib Dem, UKIP and Labour posters are much more party-branded. The Tory literature focuses very heavily on Maria and is also quite old-Tory in its themes. There was a lot of emphasis on opposing development, the In/Out vote on Europe, controlling immigration and cutting welfare costs. I wondered if the rationale is that we can win if we hold our vote and don't lose too much support to UKIP. Similarly the Lib Dems believe they can win if they can keep a lid on Labour.
PS On Monday Boris Johnson and I went head-to-head in respective newspaper columns. I write Monday's main political column for The Times and he writes the main column for The Telegraph. He thought that Ed Miliband's mansions tax was a terrible idea. Let's just say that I took a different view. Yesterday, in Eastleigh, we met. And this was the result…!