Tory Campaign in Full [Howard] Flight
You wonder if this is the one which is "the boomerang strikes back". The tories have brought in an Australian political advisor to run their campaign. He may have said "sack the MP as an MP". Clearly this decision was taken in haste and may be repented at leisure.
I still haven't seen the full quotations that he was sacked for. However, most of them have only been what one would expect tories to say. At an absolute minimum an argument that they would exclude from proposals politically unacceptable ideas is only reasonable. The question, of course, is whether or not they would later implement them.
If he was saying that the tories said one thing in private and another in public then that is a valid area of criticism.
The effect of sacking him as an MP is that it winds up the other Tory MPs. It is also likely to keep the issue on the political agenda. Michael Howard has then got the difficulty that reversing position will also cause problems.
In a sense the whole saga raises more questions about Michael Howard than about the Conservative Party's propensity to cut services.
This was timed with an Independent poll giving Labour a lead of 10%. In any event the "CommunicateResearch" polls come out considerably differently to the other polls. Note that this one was before the "Flight" saga.
On the ground we see the situation quite differently to the polls. There are strong and weak supporters of particular parties. It is what the undecided people decide to do that will affect the result. Historically up to 20% of voters make up their minds in the polling station.
The movements from the last general election to today are that Labour are about 10% down and we are about 10% up and the tories are about 2% down. That is the only substantial indicator at the moment. It will be interesting to see what the impact of Howard's actions over Flight will be, however.