A prominent editor has said the unfolding controversy surrounding Paul Nuttall will "cut through" to people in Stoke.
The UKIP leader admitted in a radio interview on Tuesday that his previous claim of losing close friends in the Hillsborough disaster on his website were false.
His press officer, Lynda Roughley, later admitted responsibility and offered to resign.
She said in a statement: "I am frankly mortified at the distress this issue has caused Paul and may have caused to anyone involved with the Hillsborough tragedy.
"I could not be more sorry."
Matt Chorley, editor of the Times Red Box and newest Press Gallery Chairman, said he believed the incident would have impacts on the UKIP leader in an interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer.
He said: “The Stoke campaign generally has been characterised by Labour and UKIP seeing who can balls it up most spectacularly.
"Making up deaths at Hillsborough is not a good look for an election candidate, so I do think this Hillsborough question will cut.
"They [Stoke residents] probably weren’t bothered about Gareth Snell, but the idea of a political leader issuing untrue statements to associate himself with Hillsborough will cut through, and I think they’ll be appalled by it.
"If they can’t win this one, there are big questions about what the point of UKIP is."
A full list of candidates in the Stoke by-election can be found here.