Category Archives: Parliamentary by-elections

Team EastLY – making a difference

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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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    +++ Neck and neck: first Eastleigh constituency poll

    That 3 point gap is within the margin of error on the poll, and so it is, as they say in the US about such results, a statistical dead-heat.

    What is clear is that this is a contest between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. Nigel Farage was right it would seem to back out of fighting the seat – and Labour too are clearly out of it in Eastleigh.

    The Labour vote share is particularly interesting as we’ll see how well the party can do at squeezing a clearly third-place Labour in a Parliamentary by-election. The pre-2010 record is of course very good …

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    Bad day in Black Rock… and Croydon North and Rotherham…

    It is perhaps a sign of the times that three Parliamentary by-elections took place yesterday, and even your day editor mentally filed them under “not that interesting”. After all, all three were safe Labour seats at a point in the electoral cycle when the other two major parties are doing a bunch of unpopular things. Naturally, Labour held all three easily, although had they managed to lose even one, the media would doubtless have found room on their front page somehow.

    In Croydon North, Marisha Ray did at least have the consolation of beating Respect’s Lee Jasper into sixth place, coming …

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    Tim Farron MP emails party members: Thanking our candidates on this tough day

    Party President Tim Farron MP has just emailed Liberal Democrat members with a message of thanks and encouragement on this day of election results.

    I wanted to put on record the party’s thanks to our candidates in yesterday’s PCC elections, by-elections and Bristol mayoral election.
    We had many excellent candidates and teams who worked very hard to fly the flag for our party. I thank them all and I’m sure you would like to do the same.

    It was a tough day, and whilst we may not have gained anything the hard work we’ve put in lays the foundations for the challenge ahead.

    However

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    George Selmer selected for Lib Dems in Middlesbrough

    Middlesbrough Liberal Democrats have selected a local jobs expert as their candidate for the upcoming Parliamentary by-election in the constituency.

    George Selmer, who grew up and went to school in Middlesbrough, has outlined his plan for the town – focusing on jobs, housing and safeguarding local facilities under threat from Labour cuts.

    Commenting on his selection, George said:

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    Marisha Ray selected for Lib Dems in Croydon North

    The Liberal Democrats have tonight selected Marisha Ray as Parliamentary Candidate for the Croydon North by-election, caused by the death of Malcolm Wicks MP.

    Marisha, a married mother of one, is a former IT professional. She spent much of her childhood with close family friends in Croydon. Marisha served as a councillor in Islington between 2002 and 2010, and was an executive member with special responsibility for tackling crime (2006-08), implementing a groundbreaking gang prevention strategy.

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    Jenny Willott MP writes…Get behind Bablin Molik, Cardiff South and Penarth by-election candidate

    In the aftermath of the Cabinet re-shuffle, a lot has been made of the shortage of female representatives within government. This is a particularly painful allegation for us as Liberal Democrats.

    It is of course good news that some of the great women in our party have been promoted:  Jo Swinson MP is now Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, Baroness Jenny Randerson is taking up a role in the Wales Office, Lynne Featherstone MP has moved to the Department for International Development and Lorely Burt has become Parliamentary Private Secretary to Danny Alexander MP.

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    Lords reform, Boris Johnson and Louise Mensch: Guardian podcast

    This week’s Politics Weekly podcast from The Guardian features, ahem, myself alongside Martin Kettle, Nick Cohen and Tom Clark. Lords reform, Boris Johnson’s political future and the Corby by-election (so far, dreadfully lacking in jokes about trouser presses) all feature.

    Nick Cohen made a particularly good provocative point about Boris Johnson – saying he’s the only Conservative in the UK to have won a major election since John Major won the 1992 general election. It makes the Tory right’s view of him rather contradictory: they really dislike some of his policy preferences (such as on immigration) yet also love him as …

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    Opinion: Can Corby smelt a new Coalition?

    Louise Mensch’s resignation on 6 August has triggered a by-election in Corby on 15 November. Initially treated as a silly-season oddity, the likely Labour victory exposes the Coalition’s fragility post Cameron’s dropping of Lords Reform.

    A tight Tory-Labour marginal, Corby has been a reliable bell-weather constituency since its creation in 1983. Retaken for the Conservatives by A-lister Louise Mensch in 2010, it has a Conservative majority of 1,951 on a swing of 3.6% – less than the 5.6% swing from Labour to Conservative across England as a whole. Given current national opinion polls, and the fact that the seat will be …

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    Welsh Lib Dems select Dr Bablin Molik to fight the Cardiff South & Penarth by-election

    Dr Bablin Molik  selected for Cardiff South and Penarth

    Cardiff South and Penarth Liberal Democrats have selected Dr Bablin Molik as their candidate for the Cardiff South and Penarth by-election at a hustings with local party members.

    Dr Bablin Molik, a researcher and mother of two, plays an active part in the community. She has helped set up a Saturday school in the area and she had worked with organisations helping women gain confidence and skills to be able to take an active role at every level in their communities.

    Bablin …

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      No Michael1, it really is much more than just a very clear message and massive massive hard work as Kingston shows. It is having a...
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