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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

Bradford Calling

The Bradford West by-election is beginning to attract more interest as all the parties step up their campaigns. The PM was there yesterday, Ed Miliband is there today.

And one local has sent me a copy of a Tory pamphlet that is being sent out in the constituency with an arresting headline: "CONTROLLED IMMIGRATION".

 

The above leaflet has so far been spotted in the white working class ward of Clayton and Fairweather Green, described by some as perfect BNP target territory.

My source says that for some inexplicable reason the same material has not been received in every other part of the Bradford constituency, notably the heavily-Asian populated Manningham ward (where the PM campaigned yesterday).

Some Lib Dems think this is not so much a dog-whistle as a full-throated shout.

Well, when I put this to the Conservatives, they categorically deny there is any deliberate attempt to send different wards different material.

A party spokesman tells me that the party relies on canvassers to distribute its election messages and cannot guarantee that every street in every ward gets every leaflet. However, he stresses that the party's material (including the calling card at the top of this blog) is being handed out in all areas that are canvassed.

"As in the Feltham by-election, we are doing anything but shying away from the subject. Immigration is raised in the Bradford West constituency across all communities," the spokesman says.

In fact, some Tory strategists say that Asian voters are as concerned about uncontrolled migration as other groups.

Tory sources point out that Ed Miliband has not been on many Labour leaflets so far and Nick Clegg has featured on no Lib Dem material.

With George Galloway claiming he is second place (though there is no evidence of that), it looks like Bradford West could be more lively than most by-elections...

 

 

 

*UPDATE: As Rob Oxley points out, the leaflet above has the name of the Clayton and Fairweather Green ward on it.

 

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