David Davis’ shock resignation will certainly add some colour to our politics. The Lib Dems decision not to contest the by-election will have him breathing a sigh of relief; they were in second place.
Davis is protesting against the extension of detention without charge for alleged terrorists to 42 days and I’m with him on that one and that it only went through with the support of a famously illiberal Northern Irish party is shameful. But whether I could hold my nose and actually vote for him is quite another matter, so I’m pleased I don’t live in Haltemprice and Howden.
What should Gordon Brown do? Given that the Lib Dems are staying away and Cameron reckons this is a personal campaign (although ‘he and other Conservatives “may well” go up to campaign for him’) The boldest response would be not fight the by-election either, the poor turnout that would inevitably result could then be spun as a victory of sorts; ‘the public has failed to endorse Davis’s stand.’
And much of this is about internal Tory politics. Few belive that if roles were reversed, Cameron wouldn’t be pushing through 42 days, with Brown condemning him for it. This way Davis can ensure the Conservative Party is committed to repeal, should they find themselves in power.