If voters across the country are suspicious of David Davis’ motives his constituents are very supportive. A poll for the Mail on Sunday – by ICM – of 501 voters in his Haltemprice and Howden seat finds that 57% support his decision to hold a by-election. 69% agree that Mr Davis’ actions have been principled. Support is even higher amongst local Conservatives. The poll points to an easy victory for Mr Davis.
The Mail on Sunday reveals other boosts to Mr Davis’ campaign:
(1) "Sun owner Rupert Murdoch disowned Mr MacKenzie’s campaign after he insulted ‘shocking’ Hull." Mr MacKenzie is said to be having second thoughts after Rupert Murdoch’s decision. The same ICM poll suggests that he’d be trounced 67% to 14% in any by-election.
(2) "The chairman of the pressure group Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, praised Mr Davis – and is to help a ‘Celebrities for Davis’ operation." Ms Chakrabarti writes for The Mail on Sunday in support of Mr Davis.
(3) "Labour rebel Bob Marshall-Andrews and other Left-wing MPs will support Mr Davis in the election." The Observer has more on Mr Marshall-Andrews’ willingness to defy Gordon Brown and campaign for Mr Davis. Labour’s Ian Gibson MP is also reported to be willing to help.
But if Mr Davis’ campaign has enjoyed a good start his reputation with colleagues is under strain. Nicholas Soames MP tells The Sunday Times:
"Words cannot express how foolish he has been… Politics is at all times a team game. Reliability is all in politics."