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Monday 11th February 2013 | 12:03
The Eastleigh by-election is “a chance to drive a wedge between the Coalition partners”, John O’Farrell has argued.
Speaking after announcing his candidacy for selection as Labour's candidate in the Eastleigh by–election, the comedy writer, said he believed he could win in the February 28 vote. He argued voting for Labour in Eastleigh was an opportunity to make a “protest vote” against the Coalition government.
“If you vote Liberal here, you’re voting for Cameron as Prime Minister. This is a really interesting by-election it’s a chance for Labour to really drive a wedge between the Coalition partners and I’m attracted to the whole set up,” he added.
Moreover, Mr O’Farrell recognised the need for the Labour party to gain support in the South. “I think part of what appeals to me is that Labour needs to make in roads into the South of England.”
“I was going round an area where I wouldn’t expect people to meet me. I’m someone who writes books and writes in newspapers and it’s those contexts that I think will be useful in raising the profile of Labour in Eastleigh and the whole of the south east. And if we only manage second and I think we could win, we would make a big noise about the kind of party we are in neighbouring constituencies too.”
When asked about the 2015 general election, the prospective candidate said he thought the Labour party “have a chance of winning”.
“I think the Tory’s are unpopular, I think the Lib Dem vote is going to collapse and I think it could collapse in our direction. No one thought Maggie was a serious candidate, and no one saw John Major coming. And John Major got more votes than any Prime Minister since universal suffrage. It’s never the people you expect and I think Ed Miliband has a massive intellect.”