THEY are veterans of the campaign trail – and reality TV.
Neil and Christine Hamilton brought some showbiz glamour to the Eastleigh by-election – much to the surprise of residents in one Hampshire village.
The couple were knocking on doors in West End, canvassing support for the UK Independence Party candidate Diane James.
Former Tory MP Neil, who lost a safe Conservative seat after getting embroiled in the cash-for-questions scandal in the 1990s, believes there is a good chance it could be a watershed moment for the party he now supports.
Describing Eastleigh as a “three-way marginal”, he said this was the most high profile UKIP had been in an election contest.
“Previously we were treated as a fringe party and we have long since gone past the age when someone like David Cameron could call us fruitcakes and loonies,” he told the Daily Echo.
“Now he’s the one looking the odd one out because people like him are totally out of touch with the people. Clearly we’re in with a chance. If people get out and vote you may well be surprised.”
Neil, who is a member of the party’s national executive, said UKIP’s policies were about the right of Britain to govern itself rather than be controlled by the European Union and removing red tape and administration that was costing businesses, forcing some to close or pass on the cost to the customer.
As someone who was involved in a political scandal, he was asked whether he had any advice for Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard, but declined to comment.
Christine, who is best known for her stint in the jungle on reality TV show I’m A Celebrity, said she was pleased to be back on the campaign trail and delighted that UKIP was fielding a female candidate.
They knocked on doors of homes in roads including Old School Gardens and Princess Close, surprising a few unsuspecting homeowners. The latest opinion polls put UKIP third, behind the Liberal Democrats.