If reports are to believed, Labour are unlikely to field a candidate against David Davis in Haltemprice and Howden. There is a logic to this line in that it allows Labour to paint it all as a gimmick and one that they are not taking seriously. Likewise, Labour can be accused of cowardice on the 42 day issue by the opposition. Either way though, it becomes a non issue if Labour don't take part. but what if Labour did take part ?
A simple Tory win for Davis will do nothing to halt the Tory momentum they have at the moment, indeed another by-election win and Brown appearing to lack guts will keep everyone thinking that Labour are doomed and that the Tories look set to be the next government.
If, Labour did have the guts to take part, if they did push the 42 day issue and if they really do have the support of the general public on this issue, as they claim, could this not be an historic turning point for Gordon Brown ? Imgaine that Labour found a top notch candidate. One who could make the argument coherently. A candidate who could be seen just as "The 42 Day Candididate", and not simply as Gordon Brown's man. Imagine that David Davis's majority was slashed, imagine there was a groundswell of people who would see this as a referendum on the issue and not a referendum on Gordon Brown and what if Labour took the seat ?
As it appears at the moment Labour are putting off the inevitable. They know defeat will come at the next General Election and they are scared to death of any sort of electoral contest. But if they could give the Tories a bloody nose in Haltemprice and Howden and if it proves that 42 days is an issue voters will support Labour on, could it also not be a potential turning point for Gordon Brown ?
The real problem is that Gordon Brown lacks guts and it would need a brave decision from him to do this.