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1. A political candidate who attempts to supplant the current party leader, solely to gauge how much support the incumbent has. He doesn't actually want to be elected—he's just a stalking horse who's trying to see how fractured our party really is.
2. Something that conceals a person's true intentions. I'm afraid that this deal is just a stalking horse for a more nefarious long-term plan.
(one's) eyes are out on stalks
One is looking at someone in a way that indicates sexual interest. Of course he likes you—his eyes are out on stalks every time he sees you!
stalk in(to some place)
to stride into a place, perhaps indignantly. Carl stalked into the manager's office and began his tirade. He stalked in and began to complain.
See also: stalk
stalk out of
some place to stride out of a place indignantly. Jeff stalked out of the store and went straight to the police. Mary got angry and stalked out of the meeting.
a stalking horse
1. If you describe an event or an action as a stalking horse, you mean that it is being used to help someone get what they really want at a later date. The development will act as a stalking horse for further exploitation of the surrounding countryside. Limits on union contributions will be a stalking horse to break the relationship between the party and the unions. Note: This expression is usually used to show disapproval.
2. In politics, a stalking horse is someone who stands against the leader of a party to test the strength of any opposition to the leader. They then withdraw in favour of a stronger challenger, if it looks likely that the leader can be defeated. There was even talk of one of them standing for the leadership as a stalking horse for the real contender. Note: You can also use stalking horse before a noun. The notion of a stalking horse challenge at the autumn party conference seemed highly unlikely. Note: Stalking horses were horses that were used by hunters. They were trained to allow their rider to hide behind them, and so get closer to the birds they were hunting.
eyes out on stalksfull of eager curiosity or amazement. informal
1999 Escape This breathtaking graphics accelerator takes 3D game play on PCI systems to a whole new dimension of excitement with imagery so realistic your eyes will be out on stalks.