Eastleigh by-election

The party has moved swiftly to prepare for the by-election in Eastleigh, following Chris Huhne’s resignation.

Applications are being sought for potential candidates, with a closing date of 6pm on Wednesday 6th February.  You are warned: “In order to be eligible to apply, applicants need to make sure they are on the Party’s list of Approved Candidates at the closing date for applications.”

Approved candidates will have already received the necessary documents and application form.


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Geoffrey Payne 5th Feb '13 - 12:40pm

    I hope Louise Bloom or Keith House will stand

  • Absolutely Geoff 😉

  • Interesting by-election. Are previous centre-left Lib Dem voters and tactical Lib Dem voters going to switch to Labour and enable the Tories to win? Almost certainly, if you ask me.

  • Alex Harvey 5th Feb '13 - 6:22pm

    If I were you lot, I’d move the writ ASAP before us and the Tories can annihilate you monetarily. Your advantage is the ground war.

    Also, you’ll win – majority of about 6% on 35%. Well done.

  • “Are previous centre-left Lib Dem voters and tactical Lib Dem voters going to switch to Labour and enable the Tories to win? Almost certainly, if you ask me.”

    What about the number of Tory voters potentially switching to UKIP?

  • mark fairclough 5th Feb '13 - 7:08pm

    @Neil, agreed , they,ll be a few fair Tories voting UKIP.
    @Alex , yes the writ needs moving asap & the byelection asap

  • @Neil
    “What about the number of Tory voters potentially switching to UKIP?”

    If the Tories lose a third of their share of the vote and the Lib Dems lose just under half, then Labour will win (If the UKIP effect was as strong as the disaffected Lib Dem effect then the Tories would be on about 20% in the general election voting intention polls). Unlikely, but not impossible, given it’s a mid-term by-election and voters that would otherwise still vote for Lib Dem influence in a coalition in a general election are going to be more inclined to stick the boot in. Also, unlike other by-elections during this term, Tory voters are less likely to switch to voting Lib Dem to try and keep Labour out – they’ll just vote Tory or UKIP.

  • Former LibDem 5th Feb '13 - 9:34pm

    So how do you persuade Labour-inclining tactical voters in Eastleigh to vote LibDem “to keep the Tories out” when you are currently in a national coalition which is keeping the Tories in? Sounds like a tough sell to me. To be able to deal with this effectively you have to understand that a lot of voters on the centre left now regard the Lib Dems as just as bad as the Tories . You may not agree with that (you will no doubt passionately disagree) but unless you recognise just how much the Lib Dems have alienated their former Labour-leaning-tactcal-voters you will not be part if the solution – you will be part of the party’s ongoing problem.

  • mark fairclough 6th Feb '13 - 8:41am

    Labour wont win Eastleigh & why do some people want the LIBDEMS to be Labour-lite

  • “So how do you persuade Labour-inclining tactical voters in Eastleigh to vote LibDem “to keep the Tories out” when you are currently in a national coalition which is keeping the Tories in? Sounds like a tough sell to me. ”

    Maybe, but Blair managed 3 times to sell a right-wing, ie authoritarian, Labourt Party to the electorate. Perhaps we will persuade enough Liberal-inclined voters to wnable us to win; perhaps we won’t.

  • Dave Fawcett 6th Feb '13 - 9:08am

    Yesterdays news that Nigel Farage has ruled himself out of the bye-election as the UKIP candidate raises an interesting question. He has fought the seat before and it is fairly certain that he would poll more votes for his party than any other UKIP candidate so……… Is it just possible that he has already ‘done a deal’ with David Cameron over who will stand where at the next general election?

  • mark fairclough 6th Feb '13 - 9:40am

    Agree with you there Dave, a lesser UKIP candidate to help the Tories

  • Paul McKeown 6th Feb '13 - 11:24am

    Has the by-election writ been issued? I haven’t followed this closely, but I would sincerely hope that the writ has NOT been issued yet. The Parliamentary Candidates of the various parties might wish to refer to the Chris Huhne case during their election campaigns, but they could end up in court were they viewed to have prejudiced an ongoing case, that of Vicky Pryce.

  • Simon Banks 6th Feb '13 - 11:42am

    Former Lib Dem: there’s copious evidence in local elections, particularly by-elections, that voters who are Labour by preference can still be persuaded to vote for us against the Tories if we’re really active and Labour are in third place. It may be more difficult to make this happen at national level, which is why this by-election is so interesting (plus the Chris Huhne factor).

    Actually while I have every sympathy with your position, and have asked myself hard questions over the last few years, we ought to remember that many Labour activists hated us all along and just have new excuses. The swing back to Labour among dissatisfied traditional Labour voters actually began in 2010 before the coalition was formed: the evidence is in the local council results in places like Islington, Southwark and the northern cities. My impression on the ground (we’ll be having a local by-election in my neck of the woods soon) is that the level of hostility is nothing like as high as I’d expected. It isn’t hostility that’s losing us votes, but confusion about what we stand for.

  • Everything to campaign for.
    It just needs the hard focused work of calling a every doorstep in the Eastleigh constituency .
    We have to explain that the only choice in 2010 was either Cons-LD coalition OR Cons-Lab coalition.
    Getting the nation’s debt down is the most important decision in us joining the coalition.

    Given that the nation’s debt has actually increased under the coalition to £1.4billion,
    I sometimes think for party interest it would have been better to let the Conservative form a coalition with Labour in 2010, but that would give us the hardest job in 2015 should we have been elected then.
    Could we avoid some hit at some stage?

    Should the LDs demand that the £ sterling becomes a Gold backed currency and not to rely on debt ?
    One economist has said if we have interest rates between 1% to 5% the GDP would actually grow.
    Do you agree?

  • John Stevens 6th Feb '13 - 12:12pm

    Ernest, I think what you are groping for is that Britain should join the euro. Re Eastleigh, the critical question is why Farage is not standing.

  • “The LibDems will win
    The turnout will be terrible
    Our majority will be lower in raw votes, but the same or higher in %
    The Tories will come second
    UKIP will be third
    Labour coming 4th will be terrible for them as it blows apart their narrative over our defeats in recent by-elections
    Labour will throw money at Eastleigh like it’s water. They will claim it’s to win, but it’s actually to avoid 4th.”

    As people are making predictions, here’s mine:
    The Tories will win, but not with a huge majority.
    Labour will give the Lib Dems a close run for second place.
    UKIP will be somewhere in the teens.

    But I agree it’s difficult to predict what will happen, and it may well turn out quite differently from that.

  • mark fairclough 6th Feb '13 - 2:50pm

    I think Farage is not standing so as to help the Tories

  • Richard Dean 6th Feb '13 - 7:25pm

    You need some clear and attractive policies? Don’t you have some already?

    How about: LET’S JOIN THE EURO

    Then again, if you invent new policies now, just for a by-election, without any real thought, will anyone believe you?

  • May I correct myself: the nation’s debt is actually increased to £1.4 Trillion ! (£ 1,400,000,000,000 )

  • An Eastleigh Voter 9th Feb '13 - 4:35pm

    I normally vote LibDem but am unsure whether to vote at all this time. I don’t approve of things the coalition has done but if I don’t vote LibDem then that could mean the Conservatives will win – which is worse? Went into Eastleigh this morning – never seen it so busy. Only saw UKIP on the streets handing out leaflets.

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