03.01.13 1:42 PM ET
Problems on the Home Front for UK Conservatives
The British Conservative Party's grassroots are withering, writes Paul Goodman at ConservativeHome UK after the party's humiliating third-place finish in the Eastleigh by-election yesterday.
Eastleigh is an extreme example of a problem that has haunted the party for years, and is coming home to roost now we're in government. We are feeling the consequences of the decline of political party membership - in my view, more than Labour, which has the trade unions to fall back on in election campaigns. (They ran an effective 'ground war" in 2010, despite Brown's dire "air war", helping to hold a vital tranche of midlands and northern marginals.)