Tag Archives: mike thornton

Tales from the seaside…

A few observations from the weekend in Brighton.

Lib Dem Voice luxury

The Liberal Democrat Voice office was the loveliest we’d ever had. Normally we are stuck in a broom cupboard in amongst bottles of Domestos. This time we had proper desks, bottles of water and sweeties. And do you know what else was lovely? The Conference Office had factored us in and booked us a room without us having to ask. Our thanks to the person who did that.

Rumour had it that the professional media’s quarters were not quite as plush. I’m not saying that there was straw on the floor …

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Mike Thornton MP’s maiden speech

The newest Liberal Democrat MP spoke for the first time in Parliament yesterday in a debate on the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill, paying tribute to the work of his predecessors David Chidgey and Chris Huhne. As is traditional, he praised his constituency and described its history as a bustling industrial and railway town.

Mike Thornton began by thanking all those who campaigned with him during last month’s by-election, and the voters of Eastleigh for putting their faith in him.

Mike’s full speech, as recorded in Hansard:

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to make my maiden speech during this important

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Conference Rally: Confessional, motivational and defiant

A conference rally without Tim Farron is a bit like strawberries without cream. When he wasn’t there telling his bad football jokes, I wondered if he’d been put on the Naughty Step for his interview earlier. But, no, he hadn’t even arrived in Brighton.

What we did have was a sense of almost cleansing, confessional, cathartic and heartfelt speeches tackling the pain of the last few weeks head on.

Nick Clegg made clear that he wanted to change the culture in the party. What he said is not new for him. He’s always been very pro equality, but this was a new …

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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,

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Willie Rennie and John Prescott crack a joke on Twitter…

The last two big Liberal Democrat by-election winners have not let their place in Liberal Democrat legend go to their heads. Mike Thornton MP (I am not going to get tired writing that in a hurry) was interviewed on BBC News this morning while, as he told us, he was heading to buy a new head for his shaver.

Willie Rennie, who pulled off a spectacular victory in 2006 and has gone on to become leader of the Scottish Party was not too grand to make the tea for us the other night as we were phone banking for Eastleigh.

Willie …

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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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Mike Thornton says thank you

Hundreds of activists from across the UK have been part of a fantastic campaign in Eastleigh. Tonight, as we wait nervously for word from Hampshire, it’s gratifying to know that our candidate has impeccable manners, sending us this within minutes of the polls closing.

 

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How are you spending your lunch hour today?

This man has a suggestion…

Every call makes a difference. Hit those phones to send Mike Thornton to Westminster. Instructions on how to do it are here.

 

 

 

 

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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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++ 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 …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections and Polls | Also tagged , and | 56 Comments

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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Missing out on history

mike thornton eastleigh jon aylwinIn 1990, I always intended to help in the Eastbourne by-election.  But I was busy, so I kept putting it off from one weekend to the next.  And then, it was too late.

Like all Liberal Democrats, I celebrated the stunning victory.  Like most of the country, I was relieved by the following resignation of Margaret Thatcher.  But my failure to help left a hint of bittersweetness.

Of the by-elections I have attended, the one I remember most is far from famous.  The West Derbyshire by-election of 1986 was held on the same day we won the Ryedale by-election.  A double-victory, one year before the 1987 General Election, would have been a massive boost to our credibility.

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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 (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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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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Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: “From Eastleigh to Africa – and back again!”

Nick’s latest weekly missive focuses on two places: his visits as party leader to the Lib Dem by-election campaign in Eastleigh, and his visit as Deputy Prime Minister to Mozambique and Ethiopia to focus on ‘the three Ts’ – tax, transparency and trade. Here’s his letter in full…

libdem letter from nick clegg

Like so many of you, I’ve been to Eastleigh this week. I was there to visit a local college with our excellent candidate Mike Thornton on Monday, and after a brief stop off to see the kids, I headed straight

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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.
  • Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 5 Comments

    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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    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 …

    Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 39 Comments



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