Page last updated at 19:51 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 20:51 UK

Davis's seat to deliver verdict

By Danny Savage
BBC North of England correspondent

Andrew Percy
Andrew Percy says what Mr Davis is doing is 'important'

You could be forgiven for not being able to stick a pin in a map if asked to find David Davis' constituency of Haltemprice and Howden.

It covers a big area, mainly countryside in east Yorkshire. About 66,000 people live here, most of them in west Hull.

The rest of the patch takes in pretty villages and towns including Howden, to the north of the Humber, through to the county boundary of North Yorkshire.


The Tories won the last general election here with a majority of more than 5,000. The Lib Dems came second.

But with their announcement today that they will not be contesting the forth coming by election here, Mr Davis theoretically looks to be on a safe wicket.

I cannot see what he has got to gain apart from an awful lot of airtime
Wesley Paxton, Willerby resident

Quite a few people I spoke to today admired the stand he is taking.

Dorothy Jackson, who lives close to the constituency office in Willerby, is right behind him.

"He is a thoughtful man and if he feels so strongly about it, that's giving out a message. I think people have given up on what the government stands for.

'Out of fashion'

"This word 'principle', it seems to be rather like 'morals' - it's going out of fashion in a big way."

But that's not the view of another Willerby resident, Wesley Paxton. He is a card carrying Lib Dem and is frustrated that his party is not contesting the by-election here.

''I'm somewhere between amazed and exasperated. The Lib Dems should be taking advantage of this to unseat David Davis.

David Davis
Mr Davis will be favourite to win the by-election

"Everybody knows the stance the Tories have on 42 day detention and it seems to be an empty gesture what he is doing. I cannot see what he has got to gain apart from an awful lot of airtime."

Another local man, who in the past has voted for Mr Davis, tells me he feels that holding an election in this way is a "waste of time and money".


That's a view disputed by Andrew Percy, who is fielding calls at Mr Davis' constituency office.

"What David is doing is much more important than just this one issue," he says.

"And as for the money, this by-election will be a lot cheaper than the bribes the government offered to the DUP and their own side last night to win the vote."

Some people in Westminster have described today's developments as "jaw dropping".

But the ultimate outcome of the drama will be decided here in the country villages of east Yorkshire and the more affluent area of Hull.

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