Tag Archives: crewe and nantwich by-election

Former Lib Dem by-election candidate Elizabeth Shenton defects to Labour

Newcastle councillor Elizabeth Shenton, Lib Dem candidate in the 2008 Crew and Nantwich by-election, has left the party to join Labour. Local paper The Sentinel reports:

A senior Lib Dem councillor and former parliamentary candidate has defected to Labour. Elizabeth Shenton said she had left the Liberal Democrats due to the coalition Government’s ‘damaging policies’. She has now joined the ruling Labour group on Newcastle Borough Council. Mrs Shenton, below, who was the Lib Dem candidate in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election in 2008, had been member of the party for 10 years.

Mrs Shenton, who has also served

Posted in Local government | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

Opinion: The devil is in the detail

On the whole, Lib Dems can probably be broadly satisfied with our current performance. The latest poll I’ve seen (from ComRes in the Independent) puts us on 18% – so, despite a significant Tory revival, we have not been squeezed.

One might reasonably argue that we should have done better out of Labour’s current demise, but my suspicion is that things will tighten as the general election comes closer, and Nick Clegg – who impresses me more and more – gets the greater media attention he deserves.

But that’s a pretty passive approach. How could the party be more …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliamentary by-elections | 5 Comments

Opinion: Winning where?

For me, last week’s Crewe and Nantwich by-election was a disaster. Not a disaster for our candidate, Elizabeth Shenton – who achieved a good showing on difficult ground – but a disaster for the party’s integrity.

I speak of the Lib Dems’ ‘Winning Here’ spin. Whilst I realise that it was important for us to maintain our share of the vote, and for Nick Clegg and the party to get behind our candidate, saying that we are going to win the seat, when we were clearly never going to come close, smacks at best of a level of rose tinted unreality that makes us look like grinning fools, and at worst a total lack of respect for the voters’ intelligence.

Posted in Op-eds and Parliamentary by-elections | 25 Comments

What does Crewe mean for the Lib Dems?

You want my honest view? Not a whole lot.

But, first off, congratulations to the Tories, and their candidate Edward Timpson on a pretty stunning victory. An 18% swing from Labour is an impressive achievement by any measure. And it was good to see a relatively high turnout of 58%, only 2% down on the general election. It’s clear that politics is once again seen as competitive, after almost a decade of Labour near-hegemony, and that can only be a good thing.

It probably seemed like smart politics to Labour to allow only the minimum amount of time to pass between …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliamentary by-elections | 32 Comments

Crewe and Nantwich result

Conservative 20,539 (49.5%, +16.9%)
Labour 12,679 (30.6%, -18.2%)
Liberal Democrat 6,040 (14.6%, -4.0%)
UKIP 922 (2.2%)
Green 359 (0.9%)
English Democrats 275 (0.7%)
Monster Raving Loony Party 236 (0.6%)
Mark Walklake 217 (0.5%)
Cut Tax on Petrol and Diesel 118 (0.3%)
Gemma Garrett 113 (0.3%)

Conservative majority 7,860 (18.9%)

17.6% swing Labour to Conservative
7.1% swing Labour to Liberal Democrats

UPDATE: You can watch Elizabeth’s thank you message in the video box on the right.

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 43 Comments

Crewe & Nantwich: what the result is looking like

The Voice’s Lib Dem sources are saying it is likely to be Conservative 45-50% range, Labour 25-30% and Liberal Democrats 15-20% range, which is in line with what’s been said elsewhere. Big Conservative win, massive drop in the Labour vote, Liberal Democrat vote little changed from the general election.

First verdicts: good news for the Conservatives, bad news for Labour as the defeat will be at the grimmest end of their predictions, and relief for Liberal Democrats that the London elections style two-party squeeze has been avoided.

UPDATE: We hear party is expecting about an 8% swing from Labour to Liberal Democrats. …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 14 Comments

Crewe and Nantwich by-election: open (speculation) thread

There are just four hours til polls close in today’s by-election to decide who will succeed the formidable Gwyneth Dunwoody as MP for Crewe and Nantwich.

Everyone’s expecting a solid Conservative victory, which would be their first by-election triumph against the incumbent party since 1982. The key question seems to be: how big will be their majority? (Though, as this will largely be a factor of turn-out, the percentage swing away from Labour is the figure to look out for. An 8% swing is all that’s needed to change Crewe from red to blue).

Here’s what happened the last time the …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 27 Comments

Conservatives face legal investigation over by-election campaign

Oops indeed as the BBC reports:

The Information Commissioner is launching an investigation after the Conservatives accidentally sent details of 8,000 people to a radio station.

The e-mail sent contained the names, addresses, telephone numbers and intentions of voters in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election.

Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith said the disclosure, to Manx Radio, raised “serious concern”.

The Conservatives admitted a “mistake” had been made.

The information, which had been gathered by the Tories during the campaign for Thursday’s by-election, was contained in three Excel files, and was sent in an e-mail to Manx Radio by accident,

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 8 Comments

Simon Hughes in Crewe and Nantwich

Posted in Lib Dem TV and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | Leave a comment

First tea for two winners

The Sunday Telegraph‘s Mandrake diary yesterday reported the party’s Tea for Two competition for helpers signing in at the Crewe and Nantwich by-election HQ over the next few days.

The party will get in touch with the winners once they’ve all been drawn but we can exclusively reveal the two winners randomly selected so far: Alun Griffiths from Bradford won tea for two in London with Sarah Teather, and local member Ken Veitch from Nantwich won tea with Simon Hughes.

Go and help this week and you could win tea with Chris Huhne, Lord Rennard, Vince Cable or Nick Clegg …

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Would it be better for Labour to win or lose in Crewe & Nantwich?

Paul Linford has drawn an interesting parallel* with the Darlington by-election from the early 1980s which, against the odds, Labour held – so saving Michael Foot’s leadership of the Labour Party.

A defeat in Darlington would have quite possibly led to a change in Labour leader, and so at the very least a less disastrous 1983 general election.

So if you were a Labour supporter in Crewe & Nantwich, would you want to vote for Labour and risk prolonging Gordon Brown’s agony? Or vote for someone else in the hope of ending Gordon Brown’s premiership and getting a new Prime Minister …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 1 Comment

A new way to decide who to vote for

The folks from www.publicwhip.org.uk have just released a vote-match style website for the Crewe & Nantwich Parliamentary by-election. It serves up a number of different policy questions, and then tells you which party is the best fit for your answers.

As their news release says:

While activists are descending from all corners of the country to Crewe & Nantwich to help with their party’s by-election campaigns, volunteers from the Public Whip today launched an online questionnaire to help people make up their minds about who to vote for. The webpage http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/byelection compares people’s opinions to the way each party has voted in

Posted in News, Online politics and Parliamentary by-elections | 14 Comments

Conservative by-election campaign runs into a spot of legal bother

Ah happy memories. Remember the glories of last summer and the Ealing Southall by-election when the Conservatives sanctimoniously threatened the Liberal Democrats with legal action over use of an image in a leaflet, saying that this was an outrageous breach of the law, would result in a huge financial penalty, the end of the world etc etc – all at the same time as putting out a leaflet themselves that, er…, did exactly what they were complaining of others doing?

You might have thought being caught out saying one thing whilst doing another would have resulted in a slight pause for caution …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 7 Comments

Conservative MP uses Parliamentary expenses to promote by-election candidate

UPDATE September 2008: the story below accurately reported that Stephen O’Brien’s website stated it was paid for by Parliamentary funds. It’s since been pointed out that at the time the website was in fact no longer being paid for by Parliamentary funds and the statement to the contrary has been removed from his site.

Trouble brewing for Conservative MP Stephen O’Brien, who has been promoting Edward Timpson – Conservative candidate in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election – on his website. The problem? The website is paid for by the Parliamentary funds. And that’d be funds for which the rules expressly forbid such campaigning. Tsk tsk.

A formal complaint has now been lodged with the Director of Finance and Administration of the House of Commons by Gwyn Griffiths, one of the local Liberal Democrat councillors. The key part of his complaint says:

On his website Conservative MP Stephen O’Brien promotes Edward Timpson, the Conservative candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, Stephen Mosley, Conservative candidate for Chester and Graham Evans, Conservative candidate for Weaver Vale.

He also uses the site to promote the policies and advance the cause of the Conservative Party in breach of the explicit rules laid down by the House.

Paragraph Seven of the ‘Rules and guidance on Members’ Websites funded from the Communications Allowance’ clearly states that it must not be used to fund party political activity or campaigning.

7. You must not use your website:
to campaign on behalf of or against any person seeking election
to advance perspectives or arguments with the intention of promoting the interests of any person, political party or organisation you support, or damaging the interests of any other such person, party or organisation.

On his website, Mr O’Brien states that it is paid for out of his parliamentary allowances.

Please launch an investigation into Mr O’Brien’s use of his Incidental Expenses Provision and Communications Allowance to promote the Conservative Party and their candidates.

Meanwhile, happy news from Tim Farron MP, who has been out meeting farmers and getting a very warm response for Elizabeth Shenton:

Posted in Lib Dem TV and Parliamentary by-elections | 6 Comments

Labour election leaflet unveils anti-foreigner shift in ID cards policy

As I blogged about a few days ago, the Labour Party in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election is attacking the Conservative candidate for opposing “making foreign nationals carry an ID card”. As I said then,

The use of the word “foreign” there seems to come with some rather unpleasant overtones in this context, the implication being that ‘ooh, foreigners – they’re terribly nasty aren’t they – so surely you can’t be against keeping tabs on them now, can you?’

But – as Alex has reminded me – there’s more to this than that. Because, you see, making foreign nationals carry an …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 9 Comments

Conservatives troubles in Crewe & Nantwich

It’s gone largely unremarked so far, but Mark Walklate, who is standing as an independent candidate in the Crewe & Nantwich by-election, is a former Conservative activist.

He stood for the Conservatives in both the 2006 and 2007 local elections. Moreover, his nomination papers look to have been signed by two prominent local Conservative activists. All in all, that doesn’t seem like a happy ship.

P.S. It’s always unfortunate if you get your own phone number wrong in your leaflets. It’s doubly so when the wrong phone number turns out to be for the member of another party. But it’s quite nice …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 5 Comments

A quick report on how it’s going in Crewe and Nantwich

An excellent day yesterday with Nick Clegg and a lot of press interest. We’ve got a big operation going and had a very good number of helpers in today already.

This is a really important weekend – the team proved yesterday that we are well set up to deal with large numbers. We just need lots of people every day!

The news from the doorsteps is encouraging. It’s been a pleasure to be out and about. The big Elizabeth Shenton posters are going down a storm – as is Elizabeth herself with both the team and the public.

I’ve seldom come across …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 24 Comments

Does Labour think it is losing the debate on ID cards? (UPDATED)

An interesting snippet from some of the Labour material in the Crewe & Nantwich by-election: they are attacking the Conservative candidate for the (current, known to have changed a few times) Conservative policy of opposing ID cards.

However, from what I’ve seen of it, they’ve mostly given up on most of the arguments previously used and instead retreated into the following very narrow approach:

Do you oppose making foreign nationals carry an ID card?

The use of the word “foreign” there seems to come with some rather unpleasant overtones in this context, the implication being that ‘ooh, foreigners – they’re terribly nasty aren’t …

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 10 Comments

Crewe neck-and-neck sweater?*

The usually very reliable Times political correspondent Sam Coates’ Red Box blog carried a rather bizarre posting yesterday, alleging the Lib Dems had more or less given up on Crewe. Party chief exec and by-election genius Lord Rennard soon put him right:

Just come to our HQ in Crewe and see us there for proof of our very serious intent! The Labour vote is very weak (as evidenced by our gains in Crewe South in the local elections) – so Lib Dems will aim to repeat earlier by-election successes.

And today the Lib Dems’ director of campaigns, Hilay Stephenson, issued this …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Hip hip hooray, it’s the return of my favourite Conservative election fairytale

Back last year when we had two Parliamentary by-elections going on at the same time, in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield, there was a concerted online campaign by Conservatives making comments around the web to claim that the Liberal Democrats were struggling in Ealing, had given up on winning and were instead concentrating on Sedgefield. My favourite was the supposed eye-witness account from someone in Ealing who claimed they saw people in the Liberal Democrat HQ there preparing lots of letters for Sedgefield.

It all seemed to dry up rather after the Grant Shapps 1234 incident but it looks as if …

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Nick Clegg’s Crewe & Nantwich video message

Surprisingly, he wants people to go and help:

Posted in Lib Dem TV and Parliamentary by-elections | 4 Comments

The curious case of Iain Dale and the truncated news release

A rather unfortunate posting over on Iain Dale’s blog this evening about the Crewe and Nantwich by-election. Iain writes:

It seems to me that the Conservatives should be very careful not fight an aggressive campaign here. They don’t need to launch attacks on the Labour Candidate. They need to be the voice of sweet reason and play up their candidate’s local record – but then go for Gordon Brown’s throat on the 10p tax debacle and other issues. And this is exactly what Edward Timpson seems to be doing. He’s just released this rather interesting letter to the press…

Curiously, he then only …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 46 Comments

Edward Timpson

Edward Timpson, the Conservative candidate for the Crewe & Nantwich by-election, is busy calling himself local. So I thought I’d take a look at his official biography on the Conservative Party website. And here’s what I found:

Edward Timpson biography thumbnail

(Click on the thumbnail to see full size version.)

Update: just to provide a little background as I commented below: the reason for picking up on this is that the Conservatives are running the message that their candidate is local whilst

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 107 Comments

Crewe and Nantwich by-election set for 22 May

A text update from the party’s Twitter service reports that polling day in Crewe and Nantwich will be 22 May according to the BBC.

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | 24 Comments

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