HUDDERSFIELD'S top Tory has dropped a bombshell to troops and voters only weeks before the election, admitting: "We need a miracle."
Huddersfield party chairman Stephen Baines admitted blue hopes had all but gone west after the Examiner confronted him with the fact that their town candidate had hedged his bets by standing as a county councillor 180 miles away.
David Meacock will be defending his council seat in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, on May 5 - the same day as the General Election.
But he promised to be at the Huddersfield count.
Mr Meacock, who has been a councillor since 2001, said: "I like politics so much, I thought by standing for two seats it would increase my chances of being involved."
He said he was in Huddersfield for five days last week campaigning with his wife Kate. He has recently married and the trip was a "second honeymoon".
He also travelled to Huddersfield yesterday for a further visit involving at debate at the Methodist Mission on Sunday.
"Huddersfield has many of the same problems as Buckinghamshire. The council tax has gone sky high and pensioners have been treated badly," he said.
Tory chairman Mr Baines, who is a Conservative councillor in Calderdale and lives in Halifax, denied that Mr Meacock was just there to make up the numbers.
He added: "He is a real candidate."
Mr Baines said they were happy with their choice of candidate.
He added: "You have to admit that Huddersfield is a safe Labour seat. We are not going to overturn it.
"Being realistic I don't think we have a great chance of winning Huddersfield.
"It would be a miracle at this point if we were to win Huddersfield."
But Mr Baines said there was a period when he did not know Mr Meacock, who works as a conductor and pianist, was defending his seat but would not say when he realised this was the case.
He added: "He was honest with us and it's a case of I didn't look into it carefully."
Mr Baines said other parties also put forward candidates who seemed unlikely to win.
Liberal Democrats seized on Mr Meacock's double candidature.
Clr John Smithson, Liberal Democrat deputy leader of Kirklees Council, said: "This shows that the Conservatives have thrown in the towel before they have even started.
"They realise they have no chance and certainly show no expectation or ambition."