David Cameron has dismissed claims that voters will not be able to get behind the Conservative Party in the Corby by-election, saying the public want the Government to carry on making difficult decisions.
Asked how he could expect people to support the Tories when some of his own MPs had voiced their dissatisfaction with him, the Prime Minister avoided a direct comment on their criticisms.
Last month Northampton South MP Brian Binley branded Mr Cameron a "chambermaid" who let the Liberal Democrats run ragged over the Government, while Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries called for a "kill Cameron strategy".
Speaking at Tata Steel in Corby, Northamptonshire, Mr Cameron said: "I think people in this country know that things are difficult and tough right now but they don't want the Government to back off difficult decisions, they want the Government to stick with the programme to deliver the change that's necessary and recognise that we are beginning to see rebalancing in our economy."
The election in Corby was called after Louise Mensch, who is also a novelist, decided in August to stand down as the Conservative MP for the constituency.
Mrs Mensch, who is moving to New York, won the marginal seat in 2010 with a 1,951-vote majority.
Mr Cameron was joined on his tour of the steel works by the Conservative candidate Christine Emmett.
The Labour candidate Andy Sawford said the Prime Minister was out of touch with voters.
– Andy Sawford, Labour candidate in Corby
“The Prime Minister showed how badly out-of-touch he is with the impact of his failed economic policies on people in Corby and East Northamptonshire. Youth unemployment is at its highest level for a generation – and this complacent government needs to change direction to kick-start the economy."
The date for the by-election has not yet been set but it is expected to be held on the same day as elections across the country for new Police & Crime Commissioners on 15 November.
So far, there are four other candidates standing in the by-election: Jill Hope (Lib Dem), Margot Parker (UKIP), James Delingpole (Independent) and Toby Jug (Monster Raving Loony Party).