With one week to go till polling day, the Tories are throwing the kitchen sink at the Newark by-election. When Patrick Mercer resigned last month, it was assumed the Conservatives would easily hold the seat. But since then, Ukip gave a strong performance locally in the Euro elections, adding an unknown element — a higher turnout in Ukip’s favour? A rise in the anti-politics sentiment?

I visited Newark today to find out how the battle is going. My overall impression is that the Ukip’s operation is being completely dwarfed by the Conservatives. Over 1,000 Tory activists were here last Saturday, with the same expected again this weekend. MPs and ministers are being continuously bussed in. Today alone, five minister have been campaigning in Newark — George Osborne, Sajid Javid, Theresa May, Liz Truss and Matthew Hancock.