Did you notice? It’s over the great by-election battle of Haltemprice and Howden concluded early this morning with a victorious David Davis set to return to Westminster, but not to the shadow cabinet. I’m not sure a lot of people noticed.
In the end it was all fizzle and no bang. A “hollow” victory the Daily Telegraph called it as did the Independent. It must have seen like a good idea at the time, but it ended as an exercise in vanity with no real opposition and few outside of the local newspaper bothering to mark its passing.
The former shadow Home Secretary faced no competition from Labour or the Liberal Democrats and with a turn-out of 35% it was a one-horse race with the issue of 42-days detention slipping from the radar as economic woes dominated recent headlines.
So much for Davis and his desire to make this a crusade. Amusingly because the election attracted 26 candidates the count took until gone 3am meaning he missed the deadlines for the national morning newspapers ensuring that any last gasp of publicity he might have received has dribbled away online. No sympathy here.
Most of all, I feel sorry for Miss Great Britain, Gemma Garrett who not only lost her deposit (along with the fourth placed National Front) but as The Times points she was left with her “jaw aching from a night of being beautiful” as the count dragged on into the small hours. That’s hard work, but Garrett did take a moment to stop smiling and declare herself “happy to be locked up for 42 days if I am a suspect”.
She wasn’t the only one, Monster Raving Loony Party candidate, Mad Cow Girl, told the BBC: “I may be a loony but I’m not mad enough to want dangerous people to be walking the streets.”