Tory MP Douglas Carswell defects to Ukip and forces byelection, reports the Guardian, beating all the other broadsheets by a good quarter of an hour.
He did not have to resign. He could have just crossed the floor and kept his seat, at least until the next election. I rather admire him for re-submitting himself to the voters in his constituency. Of course the chance that they will vote for him while standing for a minor party is much higher in a by-election than in a general election. He may calculate that he can ride in now on a carriage drawn by the two horses of a protest vote and his personal popularity, and then trust to voters’ preference for the status quo come the general election.
This is fun! What does it all portend, for UKIP, for the Tories, for Labour, for the Scottish referendum?