Tag Archives: eastleigh by-election

Eastleigh one year on: the by-election which secured Nick Clegg’s leadership

A year ago today, Mike Thornton was declared the new Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh.

Clegg Thornton Eastleigh

I’ve just been re-reading my first reflections on the result, written minutes after Mike’s narrow victory over Ukip was confirmed. As I pointed out then, despite the horrendous circumstances surrounding the by-election – Chris Huhne’s resignation, the allegations against Chris Rennard – Eastleigh was a good seat for the Lib Dems to contest owing to our long-standing, entrenched local strength there.

The other night’s victors, I noted, were Ukip: “There must also now be …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

Careful, Boris. Remember what happened to the last top Tory to liken the Lib Dems to a bird?

“The sooner we are shot of the great yellow albatross, in my view, the better.” So said Boris Johnson yesterday, taking a pop at both Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems.

But, as a classics scholar, Boris should beware a little thing called hubris. At the 1990 Tory Party conference, Mrs Thatcher poked fun at the Lib Dems’ new logo, the bird of freedom, by performing the Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch:

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged and | 31 Comments

Opinion: 10 reasons that you will not be able to stamp out the Liberal Democrat “Cockroaches”

Since the conception of the coalition government the future of the Liberal Democrats has been one of the biggest talking points in British politics. The conventional wisdom was that they would be annihilated in 2015 as a result of broken promises and the tough decisions of government. Yet the party secured a stunning victory in Eastleigh on the back of 8% national poll ratings, abysmal national council elections and several heavily-reported scandals. Despite these difficult circumstances certain political commentators have claimed that the Liberal Democrats should not celebrate Eastleigh, pointing towards the 14% swing against them. But this is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 25 Comments

Opinion: A Surging UKIP: Implications for Lib Dems in 2015

Against a less than optimal backrop, Eastleigh was a remarkable victory for the Lib Dems. And yet, the by-election was by no means unqualified success –support fell by 14 points relative to the 2010 general election result, with Mike Thornton winning in large part because the Conservative’s share dropped by a similar amount.

Of course, it was UKIP’s performance that caused such a divergence from the 2010 result. The UKIP question, then, is an important one – how will a surging centre-right party affect the electoral dynamics of the 30 or so constituencies in which the main threat to Lib Dem …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 30 Comments

Opinion: A rousing campaigning message from Lord Ashcroft (of all people)

Lord Ashcroft has done another enormous piece of polling, this time into the Lib Dem vote. A few of the more encouraging findings:

    • More people want a coalition including the Lib Dems (31%) than a Conservative majority (30%)
    • 30% of people could see themselves voting Lib Dem at the next general election
    • Only 1 in 5 think the Lib Dems have no real influence
    • Lib Dems outpoll the Conservatives on:
    o“Represents the whole country, not just some”(24% v 21%),
    o “Its heart is in the right place”(47% v 35%),
    o “stands for fairness”(41% v 30%)
    o “Stands for equal opportunity for all”(39% v 28%)
    o “Wants to help ordinary

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Mike Thornton MP takes his seat in the Commons

By-election winning Lib Dems Alan Beith, Simon Hughes, Mike Thornton, Sarah Teather, Mark Hunter and David Chidgey
By-election winning Lib Dems. Photo by Helen Duffett, on Flickr.

From the BBC:

The newly elected Liberal Democrat MP Mike Thornton has taken his seat in the House of Commons after winning the Eastleigh by-election.

He took his oath of allegiance to the Crown earlier.

New MPs are not allowed to speak in debates, vote, or get paid,

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

Opinion: Where do we go from Eastleigh?

Eastleigh railwayman statue - Some rights reserved by Mr. DuckeAfter a superb Eastleigh result, many Lib Dems will be rightly patting themselves on the back for what was a mammoth effort under the most difficult of circumstances. Happy memories came flooding back of the time we used to win by-elections. My first was volunteering in Dunfermline, winning a Labour heartland seat with a 16.2% swing.

After an unprecedented beating, the Tories will clearly take a long hard look at themselves – and hopefully draw all the wrong conclusions, as to why they are in such dire straits in the popularity stakes, by lurching to the right. However drawing all the wrong

Posted in Op-eds | 26 Comments
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