Tag Archives: henley by-election

Chris Rennard writes about the Henley result…

I am enjoying this debate and for the record:

1) I don’t always comment in detail on things read by our opponents – but I do welcome any constructive debate within the party on these issues – especially contributions from those who also work hard in these campaigns.

2) I am not generally “hands on” in the organisation and management of our by-elections these days (unlike when I was Director of Campaigns & Elections 1989-2003 or a member of the team in various by-elections from Edge Hill in 1979 to Greenwich in 1987). But as Chief Executive (in the structure debated and …

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 110 Comments

Not had your fill of Henley analysis yet?

Then why not seek out former Lib Dem media chief Mark Littlewood’s analysis in today’s Telegraph? I don’t agree with it all, but here’s a thought-provoking extract to chew on:

The truth is that the Liberal Democrats have yet to develop a compelling narrative to deal with the threat posed by Cameron – and with many Liberal MPs defending small majorities over the Tories in the south of England, the threat is very real indeed. Many may now conclude that a record of being a hardworking constituency MP and championing local causes will not be enough to save them in

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 45 Comments

What does Henley mean for the Lib Dems?

“A bit disappointed” probably sums up the reaction of most Lib Dems on hearing the result from Henley. But it’s a response that deserves some cool, detached analysis – because the underlying message from Henley is more complex than either Lib Dems who throw up in their hands in despair, or Tories who bray in triumph, are currently admitting.

Reasons to be disappointed:

Well, they’re fairly obvious:

1. The party put in a big effort, fought a vigorous campaign, and had an excellent candidate in Stephen Kearney. We wanted to win – though, realistically, a 15% swing against the Tories in the current …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliamentary by-elections | 41 Comments

Chris Rennard on the Henley result

For those who missed it, here is the result of the Henley by-election:

John Howell (Conservative): 19,796 (57%, +3%)
Stephen Kearney (Liberal Democrat): 9,680 (28%, +2%)
Mark Stevenson (Green Party): 1,321 (4%, +1%)
Timothy Rait (British National Party): 1,243 (4%, +4%)
Richard McKenzie (Labour): 1,066 (3%, -12%)
Chris Adams (UK Independence Party): 843 (2%, n/c)
Bananaman Owen (Official Monster Raving Loony Party): 242 (1%)
Derek Allpass (English Democrats Party): 157 (0.5%)
Amanda Harrington (Independent Candidate): 128 (0.4%)
Dick Rodgers (Common Good): 121 (0.4%)
Louise Cole (Independent Candidate): 91 (0.3%)
Harry Bear (Fur Play Party): 73 (0.2%)
Turnout: 34,915 (50.5%, -18%).

Here’s Chris Rennard’s reaction in an email this morning to Lib Dem members:

Just a

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 83 Comments

Henley by-election: open (speculation) thread

There are just five hours til polls close in today’s by-election to decide who will succeed Boris Johnson as MP for Henley.

The widespread expectation is of a Tory victory – it is one of their safest seats – but there has been a great deal of energy behind Stephen Kearney and the Lib Dem team, so no-one’s ruling out a reduction in the Tory majority, or even a shock result.

Here’s what happened the last time the seat was contested, in 2005:
Conservative (Boris Johnson): 24,894 (54%)
Liberal Democrat (David Turner): 12,101 (26%)
Labour (Kaleem Saeed): 6,862 (15%)
Green (Mark Stevenson): …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 63 Comments

Conservative troubles in Henley: today’s round-up

Not a good day to be on the Conservative by-election team by the looks of it.

In summary, we have legal action threatened over a magazine by David Cameron on Friday, which was within a matter of hours disowned by his media team (who told the media they were backing off it) and then today his candidate denied the threat was ever made. It wasn’t a very convincing denial mind you, what with it being made to the very journalist to whom Cameron had talked about the legal threat on Friday. Oops.

Oh and magazine publishers Archant are getting involved – but …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 17 Comments

Smithson’s view: So what’s the betting on Henley?

Sometimes I get criticism from Lib Dem activists over the way I operate my site, Politicalbetting.com, and the usual complaint is that I am not operating it in the interests of the party.

Well, I don’t run it to further the Lib Dems or any other faction. It’s moved to its position as the UK’s most-read political website (four times the page down-loads of Iain Dale) because it seeks to provide a dispassionate information service and discussion platform for those who like forecasting and betting on political outcomes.

Occasionally party campaigners have found it useful to …

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

A new film from Henley

Featuring a host of stars including Paddy “I never predict the outcome of elections, but this one feels good” Ashdown, Ming Campbell, Julia Goldsworthy, Nick Clegg, Brian Paddick, lots of balloons and several printing machines:

Details of how to help in the Henley by-election at are www.henleylibdems.org.uk


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

A quick political quiz for you

There are two political parties, let’s call them A and B.

Both of them distribute magazines in a by-election promoting their candidate.

Party A’s magazine says on it that it is publised by party A. Party B’s magazine doesn’t say anything similar.

The BBC’s verdict on party A’s magazine is that “It’s not designed to make you think that it’s not from a political party” (Peter Henley, TV news, Thursday evening) .

So which party and its leader do you think has complained about the other party’s magazine?

Yup, that would be David Cameron and the Conservatives saying how disgraceful it is for the Liberal …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 48 Comments

Grant Shapps plays a by-election blinder

Sit back, kick off your shoes and enjoy a quality piece of political timing.

Day One: Conservative by-election candidate and county councillor John Howell misses two key votes on a proposed so-called eco-town in Oxfordshire.

Day Two: Conservative MP Grant Shapps speaks out against eco-towns in Parliament saying what an important issue it is.

But presumably not important enough for John Howell to turn up and vote on the topic?

Classy timing from Grant Shapps don’t you think?

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

Cameron threatens to sue over Henley leaflet (yeah, right)

The BBC is reporting:

The Conservatives are threatening legal action against the Lib Dems over the Henley by-election. They have written to the Lib Dems over allegations concerning a local community hospital, which they say their candidate has always supported.
Unless the Lib Dems withdraw a leaflet and remove claims from their website by noon, the Tories say they will sue. A Lib Dem spokesman said they would not be withdrawing the comments, adding: “We feel we are on firm ground”.

You can read the story on Stephen Kearney’s website here.

Separately, and more bizarrely (well, the story does involve Boris …

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

More trouble for the Tories in Henley

1. Conservative candidate John Howell is asked a dozen questions about his links to developers – but repeatedly refuses to answer them fully.

2. John Howell is a county councillor, but misses two key votes on whether a new town should be built in the Oxfordshire countryside.

3. And then to round it off, John Howell has been talking about how important campaigning to save the local hospital has been to him, but the two key hospital campaigners have pointed out that:

The Townlands Campaign has always been a community based campaign led by local people. The first time I was ever aware of

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | 10 Comments

Henley by-election campaign ups pressure over developer links

The Liberal Democrat Henley by-election campaign has upped the pressure today on John Howell, the Conservative candidate, over his controversial links to property developers.

From the party’s press release:

The Liberal Democrats have today written to the Conservative candidate in the Henley by-election, John Howell, urging him to clarify his links to property developers for the sake of local residents.

Mr Howell has so far failed to deny his links to a firm that helps property developers build on green belt and green field sites.

Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats, Lord Rennard said:

“Local people deserve to know the full facts about John Howell’s links to property developers. Protecting the countryside is a vital issue in this election.

“John Howell’s links to firms that want to develop in controversial locations poses questions about his suitability to be the local MP.

“Many people will think it is hypocritical of John Howell to have such strong links to developers whilst saying on his election literature that he wants to ‘Defend South Oxfordshire’s Green Belt’.”

Text of Chris Rennard’s letter:

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Henley Howell’s developer links

Guardian Politics is currently leading with a story about the Conservative candidate in Henley – who works with a planning consultancy specialising in with a firm that builds on the greenbelt. This is rather unfortunate for a campaign where greenbelt development is particularly controversial.

Henley byelection: Tory candidate lobbying for planning firm while backing green belt

John Howell, the Conservative candidate in the Henley-on-Thames byelection, is campaigning to keep the green belt while acting as a lobbyist for a planning company that advises housebuilders on contentious land and property deals.

Howell, who is citing fighting development in Oxfordshire’s green belt as one of the key reasons to support him in the byelection on June 26, was accused of “grade-A hypocrisy” by the Liberal Democrats.

Coincidentally, this unfortunate fact also appears on the front of the next Lib Dem newspaper, and electronic copy of which also dropped through the electronic letter box of Lib Dem Voice.

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | 9 Comments

Polls closing early in Henley by-election?

If you’re going to do an election countdown clock, you’d have thought you’d set it to hit zero either when polls open at 7am or when polls close at 10pm. But setting it to hit zero in the early evening? Well, if someone in Henley Conservatives is reading this, I suggest you change your countdown clock pretty quickly.

In the meantime, here’s a video of Nick Clegg’s first campaign visit to Henley to support Stephen Kearney:

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

And they’re off…

Boris Johnson has just announced at his London Mayor press conference that he’s standing down as MP for Henley. By-election to follow shortly…

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 19 Comments

The Elephant Interviews: Bloggers 4 Henley

Dear Friends,

Despite Mr Boris still keeping us all wondering whether he will be keeping his promise to step down, Liberal Democrats are FLOCKING to the constituency of Henley, Thame and South Oxfordshire to support Mr Stephen Kearney.

I am sure that you will all understand that Mr Stephen has a VERY busy schedule, but he has very kindly found a time when he can SQUEEZE in an interview with a small number of bloggers! It is this Sunday, 8th of June, at 10am, and we shall be in the campaign headquarters in Thame.

I am SORRY that that means a VERY …

Posted in Blogger Interviews and Parliamentary by-elections | 2 Comments

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