Category Archives: Parliamentary by-elections

Rochester & Strood by-election: Ukip win, Lib Dems lose 11th deposit

Mark Reckless won his bid to be re-elected an MP under the UKIP banner last night, following his eve-of-conference defection from the Conservatives. That this wasn’t at all a surprise — the swing from the Tories to UKIP was 28% — says something about the febrile dynamics of politics at the moment. Support for Labour in a seat they held until 2010 also slumped. Geoff Juby for the Lib Dems trailed in fifth place behind the Greens, having shed some nine-tenths of the party’s May 2010 vote. This was Lib Dems’ 11th lost deposit of the parliament.

Here are the votes:

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Newark by-election: what I told BBC’s Daily Politics

imageI got a call from the BBC’s Daily Politics this morning asking if I’d be willing to pitch up this lunchtime to discuss the Lib Dem performance, as the party wasn’t willing to put up anyone official. (Labour didn’t either.) I duly did so and you can see what I said below. If you want to skip Grant Shapps and Roger Helmer, I pop up briefly at the 12 minute mark. As ever, you only really get to string together a couple of sentences: I blogged my fuller views on Newark …

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Newark by-election: Tories win well, Ukip falls short, Labour dips, Lib Dems collapse

Phot @bbcalexforsyth newark by-electionA lot of politics is about momentum. At the moment it’s the Tories who have it. Not quite the Big Mo, but a Moderate Mo that’s growing.

Here are the results of last night’s Newark by-election:

    Robert Jenrick (Con) 17,431 (45.03%, -8.82%)
    Roger Helmer (UKIP) 10,028 (25.91%, +22.09%)
    Michael Payne (Lab) 6,842 (17.68%, -4.65%)
    Paul Baggaley (Ind) 1,891 (4.89%)
    David Kirwan (Green) 1,057 (2.73%)
    David Watts (LD) 1,004 (2.59%, -17.41%)
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Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election: Labour win easily, Ukip beat Tories to 2nd, Lib Dems lose deposit

Labour comfortably won yesterday’s Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election, caused by the sad death of Paul Goggins just five weeks ago. Here are the results:

    Labour: Mike Kane – 13,261 (55%, +11%)
    UKIP: John Bickley – 4,301 (18%, +15%)
    Conservative: Daniel Critchlow – 3,479 (15%, -11%)
    Liberal Democrat: Mary di Mauro – 1,176 (5%, -17%)
    Green: Nigel Woodcock – 748 (3%, +3%)
    BNP: Eddy O’Sullivan – 708 (3%, -1%)
    Monster Raving Loony: Captain Chaplington-Smythe – 288 (1%)
    Turnout: 23,961, 28%

It’s clear there were two winners from the election – though the very low-turn-out (barely one-quarter of the registered electorate bothered to vote in what was a foregone conclusion by-election) …

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South Shields by-election: Labour hold solid, Ukip surge, Tories fall and Lib Dems… plummet to 7th. Ouch.

polling dayThe South Shields by-election — triggered by David Miliband’s exit from British political life — has resulted in a solid hold for Labour, which polled just over half the vote, only fractionally down on its 2010 position.

But it’s Ukip which has most to celebrate: in a seat they haven’t contested since 2001, they stormed to a strong second, winning almost one-quarter of the vote.

The Tories lost almost half their vote, slipping to third. Meanwhile the Lib Dems’ valiant Hugh Annand lost his deposit, trailing in seventh place behind the BNP.

Full result below:

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Eastleigh by-election: my first thoughts

Let’s consider the backdrop: we’re polling at half the level we were in 2010; the previous MP, Chris Huhne, was forced to resign after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice and faces a prison sentence; we’ve just endured a week of torrid publicity. And yet we’ve held on.

It’s true that, in some ways, Eastleigh was a good seat for us to have to contest. The party is immensely strong in the area, holding every council seat, and runs a popular council.

However, what has been immensely encouraging has also been the clear evidence Lib Dem activists remain …

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (28 Feb Polling Day Edition!)

Welcome to the final round-up of the Eastleigh by-election campaign…

goodmorning_ld

It was the week when Mike Thornton’s campaign received a boost from former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown on Tuesday:

Then yesterday as Nick Clegg made his final visit of the campaign:

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (26 Feb)

I reported earlier this morning the latest poll from Eastleigh — showing a narrow Lib Dem lead over the Tories — but one finding in it is particularly relevant to this round-up. The question was asked: “We’re interested in the extent to which people locally have heard from the political parties over the last few weeks. Please can you tell me whether Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have done each of the following…” And here’s what they found:

eastleigh contacts

In short, the Lib Dems have out-campaigned both Labour and the Conservatives, with 92% of the voters in Eastleigh having been contacted in some way in the last three weeks. (Though that still leaves a hard-core of 8% for us to find…)

Here’s a few Lib Dem activists explaining in 90 seconds why they’ve been joining with thousands of other party supporters in campaigning for a Mike Thornton victory on Thursday:

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Final Eastleigh poll puts Lib Dems narrowly ahead of Tories – but all within margin of error!

What will (I assume) be the final poll of the Eastleigh by-election was published this morning. Conducted by Populus and commissioned by Lord Ashcroft, it shows the Lib Dems sustaining a narrow lead — significant in itself, but the more so as Eastleigh voters were interviewed over the weekend during which the controversy over allegations against Lord Rennard were prominent. Figures shown are compared with the most recent Populus poll, published at the end of last week:

    Mike Thornton (Lib Dem)

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Team EastLY – making a difference

Some rights eserved by Helen Duffett

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++ Another new Eastleigh poll – and this time it shows the Tories in front by 4%

nick clegg eastleighLast night brought news of a Populus poll for The Times showing the Lib Dems ahead of the Tories by 33%-28%, a Lib Dem lead of 5%.

But tonight a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday has shown the Tories ahead of the Lib Dems by 33%-29%, a Tory lead of 4%.

Survation conducted an Eastleigh poll a fortnight ago — then they found the Lib Dems leading the Tories by 36%-33%. Here’s how the figures compare:

    Lib Dems 29% (-4%)
    Conservatives 33% (n/c)
    Ukip 21% (+5%)
    Labour 13% (n/c)

Only …

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the week’s campaign news

Lib Dem chief executive Tim Gordon summed up the week so far in his weekly email to activists:

Liberal Democrats have broken their own party’s by-election campaign records with more volunteers, more money raised and more campaign literature delivered in the opening days of the Eastleigh by-election campaign than any other.

And today’s been no exception:

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++ New Eastleigh poll: Lib Dems have 5% lead over Tories, Labour trail in 4th place behind Ukip

eastleigh bar chartUK Polling Report has the figures from the latest (and last?) opinion poll to be conducted in Eastleigh ahead of polling day this Thursday — it shows the Lib Dems leading the Tories by 5%.

The poll was conducted for The Times by Populus, the firm which undertook a previous survey for Lord Ashcroft (changes in brackets compare the two):

    Lib Dems 33% (+2%)
    Conservatives 28% (-6%)
    UKIP 21% (+8%)
    Labour 11% (-8%)

On the face of it, this is good news for the Lib Dems. HOWEVER, we know the Tories are mounting …

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Eastleigh Tory candidate “running scared” from hustings

Missing Tory candidateThe Conservative candidate has pulled out of the BBC Radio 5 Live hustings this morning, and is facing accusations of running scared of voters.

From The Guardian:

There is growing concern within the party that with a week to go before polling day her no-nonsense and frequently off-message approach is damaging its chances of seizing the seat from the Liberal Democrats.

Candidates from the other major parties were attending the debate – chaired by Victoria Derbyshire – on Thursday morning for 5 Live, a major set-piece of the week. But Conservative

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (21 Feb)

It was another day when more than 200 Lib Dem volunteers had signed-in by lunchtime to help Mike Thornton’s by-election campaign in Eastleigh. It really is quite amazing to see the party’s by-election campaign in full swing.

The big push will come this weekend, the final one before polling day — you can sign up to help here:

Eastleigh: The BIG weekend
So far our campaign in Eastleigh has broken all attendence records in recent memory – the challenge this weekend is to go even further. Can YOU help us beat the all-time by-election attendence record, and give local campaigner Mike Thornton the best possible boost just before polling day?

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (19 Feb)

thornton hughes browneIt’s been another record-breaking day for Mike Thornton’s team in Eastleigh — well over 200 party volunteers had arrived by lunchtime today, with many more arriving later on.

This follows the 530+ who visited this weekend, and the 1,000+ who campaigned during the first week. The party’s poll ratings may not be sky-high, but the determination of Lib Dem activists to prove wrong those who argue the party’s doomed has rarely been more resolute!

This Lib Dem enthusiasm has been picked up by the press this week:

Tories sniff defeat

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Half a defence of John O’Farrell’s comments on Margaret Thatcher

OFarrell-things betterI wonder if Labour HQ wish they’d read John O’Farrell’s 1998 book, Things Can Only Get Better, a little more carefully before he was selected to fight the Eastleigh by-election?

First there was his call for Labour voters to vote tactically for the Lib Dems to beat the Tories, as uncovered by Mark Pack here: Should Labour supporters vote tactically to beat the Tories? “Go for it” said John O’Farrell. (Incidentally, the Telegraph then ran the story here without any credit.)

And then yesterday, the Mail ran with …

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Eastleigh campaign borrows slogan from Chicago 1951

Ilikecomp

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of all the weekend’s news (18 Feb)

The penultimate weekend’s campaigning was frenetic at the Lib Dems’ Eastleigh HQ…

Over 530 Lib Dem volunteers passed through its doors in just this weekend (to add to the 1,000+ who’d visited in the previous week). Visitors included an upbeat Nick Clegg (BBC report and video here) and others — as this video shows:

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What Google reveals about the current state of play in Eastleigh

The search results thrown up by Google often provide a neat little insight into what angles of a story are dominating coverage and people’s attention. The angles that get the most prominent coverage and the most interaction and responses are the ones that rise to the top of the search results. So what do they tell us about the current state of play in the Eastleigh by-election?

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the week’s campaign news

Mike_ThorntonIt’s only just over a week since the Eastleigh by-election was called. But this first Lib Dem / Tory by-election battle of the parliament has attracted a lot of interest. One aspect that hasn’t been noted much in the media is the level of enthusiasm within the Lib Dems to fight this by-election, and fight it to win.

As the party’s weekly briefing itself noted, Mike Thornton’s campaign has broken the party’s by-election records, with “more volunteers, more money raised and more campaign literature delivered in the opening days of the Eastleigh by-election campaign than any other”.

Here a few of the stats:

  • Well over 1,000 Lib Dem volunteers have visited the by-election HQ since it was officially opened on Saturday morning.
  • On Thursday alone, 2,200 phone calls were made to prospective voters and activists knocked on 1,700 doors.
  • More than 650 individual donations have been received through the party’s website and through email appeals in the last six days.
  • 21 of the party’s 57 MPs have already visited: Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander, Ed Davey, Vince Cable, Sir Malcolm Bruce, Sir Nick Harvey, Tim Farron, Jo Swinson, David Laws, Duncan Hames, Andrew Stunell, Simon Wright, Sir Robert Smith, Stephen Gilbert, Tom Brake, Roger Williams, Don Foster, John Leech, Tessa Munt, Mark Williams, John Pugh and Adrian Sanders.

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (13 Feb)

Here’s a round-up of news from the past 24 hours in the Eastleigh by-election…

Mike Thornton’s campaign in full swing

mike thornton david chidgeyThe Lib Dems’ Mike Thornton — pictured here (by Jon Aylwin) with 1994 by-election victor David Chidgey — has been focusing on how the pupil premium, the party’s flagship education policy, has been helping Eastleigh schools:

Lib Dems boost Pupil Premium (Southern Daily Echo)
The policy introduced by the Liberal Democrats has invested £1.7m in Eastleigh schools, and is aimed at ensuring every child has a fair start in life.

Just one of the reasons why volunteer help has been pouring in to help Mike retain the seats for the Lib Dems:

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Mike Thornton in favour of equal marriage

Lib Dem candidate for Eastleigh Mike Thornton responded yesterday to the question of whether he supports equal marriage.

@Beauchamp74 asked Mike, and the Tory and UKIP candidates, for their position:

Mike replied in favour, which gets @Beauchamp74’s vote:

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (12 Feb)

Here’s a round-up of news from the past 24 hours in the Eastleigh by-election…

mike thornton eastleigh jon aylwinNick Clegg offered Lib Dem candidate Mike Thornton his full backing on a visit to Eastleigh on Monday. Here‘s the Guardian report:

“I am confident we will keep hold of this seat but not because I say so but because the people of Eastleigh are telling us that,” said Clegg. Focusing on the party’s local dominance – it is the only place in the country where every councillor at district and county level is a Liberal Democrat – he said voters would focus on its “record of action” and said the party had “to be quite clear where our differences lie”. … Speaking after meeting students at the local college, Clegg said: “Cutting council tax, promoting more apprenticeships, creating jobs, protecting green spaces – those are things that Liberal Democrats haven’t just talked about, they are things they have actually done and it’s a record of which we are tremendously proud.”

It’s not just Nick Clegg who’s been doing his Eastleigh stint, though. Pictured above (with thanks to Jon Aylwin) is North Devon MP Nick Harvey out canvassing with Mike and some of his supporters.

Want to join the hundreds of Lib Dems who are doing their bit to help get Mike elected as the next Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh on 28th February? Here’s a reminder of how YOU can make a difference:

  • Volunteer to help in Eastleigh itself
  • Make phone calls for the party if you can’t get there in person
  • Give a donation to help fund the campaign.
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    Three things we’ve learned from today’s opinion polls

    Three interesting and important poll findings to report today…

    Big lead for Labour according to ICM

    polling station -  Some rights reserved by Simon Clayson
    First, the Guardian’s monthly ICM poll is out, showing the biggest Labour lead in almost a decade:

      Labour 41% (+3%)
      Conservatives 29% (-4%)
      Lib Dems 13% (-2%)
      Ukip 9% (+3%)
      Others 8% (+1%)

    The movements are more or less within the margin of error. Still, the Tories will be pretty disappointed to see the party get no bounce at all from David Cameron’s promise of a post-2015 EU referendum. Perhaps unsurprisingly it …

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    EXCLUSIVE: Lib Dem Voice supplies secret weapon to Eastleigh campaign

    Eastleigh HQ

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    Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of all the weekend’s news

    A quick round-up of all things Eastleigh — especially for the benefit of those who’ve been in Eastleigh this weekend and as a result have missed out…

    Lib Dem candidate selected: congrats Mike Thornton!

    First, and most important, the Lib Dems have a candidate: Mike Thornton was selected by the Eastleigh local party on Saturday evening.

    You can read about him and his policy priorities here.

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    Maria Hutchings, Eastleigh Conservative candidate, plays hide and seek with the media

    Norman LamontOne of my favourite moments from the 1997 general election campaign came when I was stood on a street corner in Harrogate, talking to a report about the challenge from Lib Dem candidate Phil Willis, who was trying to take the seat from the Conservatives. Suddenly, the journalist looked over my shoulder, muttered ‘excuse me’ and ran off down the street, partially dignified, chasing a van that had driven past behind me.

    The reason? The van was that of the Conservative candidate, Norman Lamont, who had been spending the whole campaign trying to avoid talking to the press. The result? Much of the press coverage was dominated by stories of journalists trying to track him down around the constituency.

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    Mike Thornton selected for Lib Dems in Eastleigh

    .@dannyalexander congratulates @Mike4Eastleigh on his selection by local Lib Dems tonight
    Photo by Helen Duffett on Flickr.

    Eastleigh Liberal Democrats have selected a local Business and Development Manager as their candidate for the upcoming Parliamentary by-election in the constituency.

    Mike Thornton, a parish and borough councillor since 2007, plays an active part in the community. He is involved with the annual Bishopstoke Carnival and is a member of the local church.

    Mike lives with his wife and daughter in Bishopstoke and …

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    5 reasons for Lib Dems to campaign in Eastleigh (just in case you needed any more)

    eastleigh campaignMark Pack has posted last night’s poll findings from Eastleigh, showing the Tories narrowly ahead with both Labour and Ukip out of serious contention. In case you needed some reasons to help the Lib Dem campaign in the next three weeks in whatever way you’re able here are 5 from me…

    The Lib Dems can win…

    Lord Ashcroft’s poll is pretty ideal for the party: it piles the pressure on the Tories as early front-runners, while confirming how tight the contest will be. The Lib Dems’ local strength is significant …

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