ONE of the great mysteries of last year’s general election can finally be put to bed today: why didn’t David Cameron join the frontline of the attack against Glenda Jackson in Hampstead and Kilburn with a personal visit?
While Glenda and Lib Dem near miss Ed Fordham both enjoyed visits during the country’s most tightly-fought election campaign from their party leaders (Nick Clegg sparked up his battle bus here, Gordon Brown swooped in late), Conservative candidate Chris Philp never got to pound the streets with his top man? This even though the Prime Minister’s sis-in-law is one of Glenda’s constituents. It left the lasting question: Could a visit from Cameron have lifted Chris’s campaign beyond the 42 votes he ultimately lost by?
A very reliable source tells me that Conservative central office did offer a visit from Cameron as their polling suggested Chris was powering through Glenda’s fragile majority in the final days. “They said he could make it but the only day was a Friday evening. That was the one day that was no good for us,” the briefing goes. Not the best time of the week for Hampstead’s large Jewish population to meet the soon-to-be Prime Minister.
HQ went away to find another date but time ran out on them. Chris, who was on the TV jousting with Tessa Jowell at the weekend about the aims of the Big Society, made do with a visit from the man who went on to become chancellor, George Osborne, on Hampstead High Street instead. Still. 42 votes.