a bit more understandable that the Tories should be treating Oldham East and Saddleworth as if there was already a key by-election under way, as we see on ConservativeHome:
Judges declared void the result of the general election in Oldham East and Saddleworth, and the man who was elected as Labour MP, Phil Woolas, is awaiting the result of the judicial review he sought on the matter.
However, all the expectation is that the election will have to be re-run in a seat where the Conservatives were a very strong third behind the Liberal Democrats with 26.4% of the vote (Labour and the Lib Dems being on 31.9% and 31.6% respectively).
Whilst a Conservative candidate is not technically in place, Kashif Ali (pictured) - who fought the general election - has been readopted as parliamentary spokesman and it would seem unthinkable that he will not stand in the re-run election.
And although the fact that the local association website currently appears defunct is less than ideal, the Conservatives are nonetheless working away on the ground, knocking on doors and delivering leaflets.
Party co-chairman Baroness Warsi told ConservativeHome:
“Our campaign in Oldham is underway and we will be fighting for every vote. We have an excellent local campaigner and spokesman in Kashif Ali who has been working hard for the area for some time, and we look forward to the battle ahead. We’re building up our team in the area and we are already surveying local opinion. I look forward to pounding the streets of Oldham East and Saddleworth myself.”
Anyone wanting to help the Conservative campaign in Oldham East and Saddleworth should visit the association office at 66 Chew Valley Road, Greenfield, Oldham, Lancashire OL3 7DB or email Caroline Dickinson or Dorothy Wonnacott.