WHEN it comes to passing the hat round, East Lancashire's Tories prefer, it seems, to pass it on - as so little cash has been stumped up by the party faithful for the Conservatives' campaigns.

Behind the catalogue of missed targets set by Central Office for the constituencies' money-raising, there is, surely, another sort of opinion poll.

It is one that says that the feel-good factor is also in short supply in the Tory grassroots.

And when, as we see today, even the well-heeled, recession-proof Ribble Valley can only stump up three per cent of the Tories' cash target, it suggests that the party is staring at electoral beggary, for all the rallying calls it will make this week.

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