Friday, March 1, 2013

Lib Dems hold onto Chris Huhne’s old seat, but the real story of the night was UKIP dealing a serious blow to Tories in Eastleigh by-election, Tories pushed into third place in key target seat, not a crisis but definitely a disaster!

Dear All

Political parties like families rise and fall, the Eastleigh by-election was held by the Lib Dems last night on circa 1800 votes.

If they had lost it, it would have been a disaster for the leadership of Nick Clegg.

But a win is a win.

The seat became vacant because Chris Huhne, a star of the Lib Dems pled guilty to perverting the course of justice.

If the by-election had run another week, it could have been a UKIP win who towards the end experienced a surge in support.

The news, the big story is UKIP getting a 24% swing of the vote; David Cameron has dealt a serious blow as the Conservatives were pushed into third place.

Grant Schapps on the BBC put up a decent defence, but the Tories didn’t use their candidate well, it was a bad campaign by hiding her, at the start of the campaign, the Tories were ahead in polls.

Maria Hutchings should have won, later on in her speech to camera, she was almost crying, there is always another time, if you win you win, if you don’t shrug it off and move on.

Nick Clegg said his party was "on track" for the 2015 general election, this is PR spin, this seat was probably one of the safest seats to fight, their councilor presence and network is very good in the area.

And the used a local councillor called Mike Thornton who had a track record, didn’t seem to be a great speaker, perhaps he will improve,

He won with 13,342 votes, a majority of 1,771 over the UK Independence Party's Diane James.

Ms. James came across as a very good candidate and speaker, perhaps someone to watch in future.

She said beating the Tories was a "humongous" shock that represented a "seismic shift" in UK politics.

By-elections aren’t general elections, true the ground is moving in the right direction but how will things fair at the next county council elections.

That will be a real test for the UKIP, Nigel Farage was over the moon last night with the result, UKIP has pushed themselves forward in the minds of the public.

Tory Maria Hutchings polled 10,559 votes, that is a good block, but her campaign lacked exposure, if you want in, you can’t duck and hide, you have to fight your corner.

She and the Tories have lots of work to do in Eastleigh because it is winnable with the right campaign.

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps tried to play down the significance of the shock result on the BBC, he put up a sterling defence but getting third place is a setback, influential backbench MP David Davis had warned would mean a "crisis" for his party.

I won’t say a crisis, but certainly it will concern those sitting up the back, who will be thinking if they will be coming back at general election.

The Hampshire seat is one of a list of 20 Lib Dem-held constituencies Mr Shapps has said are crucial for the party to win in 2015 if the Prime Minister is to secure an outright majority.

An outright majority isn’t looking good; Lib Dems, Tories and Labour have a new kid on the block to deal with in the shape of UKIP.

Tories down 14 points!

Lib Dems down 14 points!

Labour up 0.2%!

UKIP up 24 points!

The big three main parties had a disaster last night despite the Lib Dems winning, the biggest winner was UKIP and the biggest loser were the Tories.

Pushed into third was exceptional bad, but that is by-elections for you, great funny to do at times, carnival atmosphere and throwing up interesting results and data.

My laugh of the night was when Chuka Umunna of the Labour Party put a positive spin on his party’s gain of 0.2%!

And he tried to tie that ‘success’ to UKIP as one of the two parties who have ‘gained’.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

No comments: