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Weekly newspaper enjoys media focus ahead of vital by-election vote

The Crewe Chronicle has found itself at the eye of a media storm as politicians battle to win the Crewe and Nantwich by-election.

National attention has been focussing on the Cheshire constituency ever since the by-election was announced.

The seat was occupied by Labour MP Gwyneth Dunwoody for 34 years before she died last month. After the party’s poor show at the recent local elections, opposition members are hoping the tide is turning in their favour.

As a consequence senior politicians are sensing the importance of tapping into local opinion so the Chronicle has been granted an audience with David Cameron and Nick Clegg as well as Labour heavyweights Jack Straw and Harriet Harman.

Meanwhile, editor Dave Fox and news editor Antonia Merola as well as Chronicle reporters are being called upon by the national media for their local knowledge as Newsnight, Sky News, Channel Four and the BBC descend on the area to record the build up to Thursday’s vote.

Antonia said: “It’s been really busy, not only with us doing our own work on the by-election but being called up to do television and radio interviews on almost a daily basis.

“We obviously haven’t been able to do them all but it’s been very interesting being in the centre of a media storm.

“The editor has been asked to do Newsnight and Channel 4 etc but has only been able to take up the BBC Politics Show and other BBC interviews as it’s getting too hectic now.”

For the electorate seeking a little more glamour in their politics, model Gemma Garrett is also canvassing for votes for the Beauties for Britain party in the hope of making politics “less sleazy and more sexy”.