Eastleigh Election Round Up

declaration election 2010 eastleigh

Chris Huhne is now in London taking part in talks to try and form a government between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party.

Earlier on Friday morning he had secured re-election as MP for Eastleigh with an increased majority while Liberal Democrats in the neighbouring constituencies of Romsey and Winchester lost to the Conservatives and the newly created constituency of Meon Valley was taken by Tory city councillor George Hollingberry.

Eastleigh’s Labour vote collapsed under the weight of tactical voting to prevent a conservative victory.

Labour supporters who did so now face the irony that Chris Huhne could end up sitting in a Conservative cabinet as part of a power sharing deal.

Whether or not such an arrangement would prove acceptable to Labour voters in the eventuality of another General Election would have to be seen.

Nationally, the much talked about swing to the Liberal Democrats failed to materialise and instead of a predicted increase of up to 100 new Lib Dem seats they lost 5 seats – although paradoxically they are still in a position to determine which party will govern.

I had spoken to Chris Huhne during the period of ‘Clegg mania’ which had followed the first televised debate and he had had cautioned against trying to predict swings from poll results saying previous swing forecasts had failed to materialise during the three party elections of the 1920’s and ‘30s.

That same morning I accompanied Chris Huhne as he canvassed and saw firsthand, for myself, overwhelming support for the Liberal Democrats in former Labour areas.

Even so, the Conservatives had run a strong campaign and increased their vote

They knew they had done well and started the evening at yesterdays count in a confident mood – Maria Hutchings made an almost regal entrance with a retinue of party workers and film cameramen buzzing around her – however after the verification stopped and the votes started to stack up, the confidence slowly ebbed away.

Ukip’s Ray finch was easily the most despondent man of the evening. He had spent a large portion of the campaign canvassing in Buckingham on behalf of former Ukip party leader Nigel Farage who had been injured in a plane crash earlier in the day.

Ray said he had been due to take a flight in the aircraft himself.

Ukip had hoped to repeat their most recent local and Euro performance by pushing Labour into fourth place and retain their deposit – but although  they polled more votes than last time (partly due to a 4% higher turnout) they were still stuck on 3.6% of the vote.

On hearing the result Ray commented that if Nigel Farage won in Bucks then he would feel vindicated at having spent so much time away from his own constituency.

However Mr Farages’ chances seemed to have crashed with the plane as he could only manage third place despite the absence of Liberal Democrat and Labour opposition.

Ukips ambition of beating Labour in Eastleigh was not quite as fantastic as it sounded.

In the end 3000 votes separated them. In 2005 it was 8500 votes.

Labour party workers blamed Lib Dem tactics for the collapse in their vote and also their former PPC Dan Clarke who they said had left them in the lurch by defecting to the Lib Dems – although this was over a year ago.

They praised their candidate Leo Barraclough for stepping in at short notice and said they were pleased with his campaign. However I had spent some time talking to voters at hustings in order to find out what they thought of the candidates.

All the people I had talked to felt that Mr Barraclough appeared to lack confidence.

He also said a few things I found to be remarkable – here is link to story which I published on the Politcs.co.uk website following the Fair Oak hustings.

In his victory speech Mr Huhne thanked his supporters and described becoming a Member of Parliament for Eastleigh as ‘The proudest moment of my Life’

“I can’t imagine a better place to serve as a Member of Parliament and I am delighted to be able to serve again.”

Congratulating Mr Huhne on his win Ms Hutchings said it had been:

“A Huge privilege to represent the Conservative Party in Eastleigh”

Thanking party workers and her family, she went on to describe Eastleigh as:

“‘One of the most wonderful places in the country.”

Walking out I was able to chat with Independent candidate Dave Stone who was quite pleased to see he hadn’t come last – that honour falling to the National Liberals.

Neither the National Liberal nor the English Democrat attended the count.

Late Friday morning saw the results of the local elections declared.

The Liberal Democrats tightened their grip on the council by winning two more seats – one from the Conservatives and one from Labour.

Dan Clarke won back West End South for the Lib Dems after Joyce Sortwell had defected to the Conservatives and Steve Sollitt beat Labour’s Peter Luffman in Eastleigh South.

This means there are now 39 Liberal Democrat Councillors, 4 Conservative and only 1 labour Councillor.

Full borough results here

  9 comments for “Eastleigh Election Round Up

  1. Matthew Myatt
    May 8, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Who is it that keeps voting for the BARMY Lib Dem in the local’s. Come on, I want names..!!

    • David
      May 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

      Well Matthew I think we have a Lib Dem sickness here in Eastleigh,probably caused by Brainwashing from the Lib Dems colourful ‘smiley’propoganda!

  2. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    May 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Well? Come on then! What do you Tories think of having Chris Huhne as a conservative cabinet member?

  3. Matthew Myatt
    May 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Well? Come on then! What do you Tories think of having Chris Huhne as a conservative cabinet member?  (Quote)

    I think it is so funny that all the people that voted for Huhne to keep the Tories from getting into power in Eastleigh will end up wishing they had voted for Maria. Chris Huhne, a Tory by proxy.

  4. Davo
    May 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm


  5. John Haddon
    May 9, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Vote LibDem, Get a Tory government. What kind of tactics to do you call that?

  6. Peter Stewart
    May 9, 2010 at 8:59 am


    UKIP’s Ray Finch should feel ELATED. Despite the tightest squeeze since the 1997 Referendum Party effect, the UKIP vote increased in Eastleigh from 3.4% in 2005 to 3.6%. Although disappointing, these figures are reflected nationally.

    For many “Kippers” the long and winding road to Westminster must now look almost impassable. But who cares about Westminster in the light of Dr Richard North’s UKIP EFFECT?

    In 2005 Dr North first described the UKIP EFFECT (minority parties splitting the Tory vote). A day after the Election he issued a tentative list of 21 seats where UKIP alone split the Tory vote. From that it seemed UKIP had cost the Tories their 4th successive defeat!

    BUT THERE IS MORE! A newly expanded list shows the number of Tory seats toppled by the UKIP EFFECT (UKIP plus the BNP) is over 40! Without doubt the UKIP EFFECT has cost the Tories their 4th successive defeat.

    Tories can never be sure of winning another General Election while UKIP exists. There are already whispers of unofficial grassroots cooperation between UKIP and the BNP. Matters can only get worse for Tory prospects if this “cooperation” develops into something more concrete.

    LibDem MP Chris Huhne (in Parliament courtesy of the UKIP EFFECT) has INCREASED his majority despite the same squeeze which hit UKIP.

    But despite a desperate electorate and despite Tory activists’ best efforts, the Tories still could not oust Huhne. Casting political bias aside, Huhne has a first rate command of marketing. He is a prominent figure in Eastleigh and no less prominent in Westminster. Now he looks to become even more prominent if he accepts this Cabinet post.

    BUT THERE IS MORE. I believe the LibDems made a strategical error in electing Nick Clegg as their leader. Had they elected Huhne, who has the gravitas, I believe they would have translated the surge in popular support generated in the live debates, into actual votes and possibly won the Election. I predict Huhne will be LibDem leader within a year!

    Far from alienating tactical Labour support, Huhne will INCREASE it. Some Labour supporter will revert to Labour in misplaced disgust at Huhne’s apparent treachery in serving with so-called “Conservatives”. But people love to be represented by a celebrity. With the extra gravitas of a Cabinet post, and if he becomes LibDem leader, Huhne WILL attract massive floating Tory support which will more than compensate for any small loss of tactical Labour support.

    Tories better pray for the long overdue TRUE CONSERVATIVE REVOLT. If it comes off rapidly, then you will see a commitment to either outright EU withdrawal or an in-out referendum. Either of these will completely neutralize UKIP and the BNP and produce an instant Tory landslide victory. This could happen within two years! Assuming a referendum within a year of such a Tory victory, then we could be free of the EU within 3 to 5 years. That would be a massive relief for Britain and indeed the first step in the British economic recovery. Without it, British industry (and particularly the British manufacturing base) will continue to be undermined by EU globalists and one day we will face a situation as bad as the Greeks are now facing.

  7. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    May 9, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I hardly think that ‘co operation’ with the BNP is going to improve Ukip’s standing -Jeez Pete, I’d keep that one quiet if I were you!.
    Under Farage’s leadership Ukip moved towards the centre and improved their performance in the Euro’s and locals last time – under new leader Lord Pearson they just moving further and further to the right.
    If your PPC Ray Finch spent more time canvassing in Eastleigh rather than running Farages campaign in Buckingham Ukip would have got over 4% – maybe even 5%. The 8,000 votes Farage got in Buckingham were at the expense of Ukip votes elsewhere.
    Ray shoud have been touring Pubs in Eastleigh not Bucks.
    (Ray probably spent less time here than Leo Barraclough!)
    Still, there is no doubt that a lot of your vote here is from disaffected Tories and if Chris Huhne loses the support of the Labour tactical voters by sitting in a tory cabinet than things will be a lot tighter in the re run and the Ukip vote will be critical.
    I certainly can’t agree that a tory/lib coalition would increase labour support for Huhne as you suggest!
    A tie up with the BNP will however lose you votes. The BNP lost 12 seats on Barking council Thursday night. There is no support for the extreme right in Eastleigh which is why those essex National Front guys could only muster 94 votes.
    If the next election is tight then ‘the Ukip effect’ may well cost the Tories dear – but your PPC will really have to campaign a bit harder.

  8. Peter Stewart
    May 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Dear Editor,

    You may well be right about the BNP being bad for UKIP. All I am doing is reporting what I’ve heard on the grapevine. I know there have been “talks” to see if some kind of loose “cooperation” can be achieved to prevent mutual vote splitting. Whether it comes to anything is entirely another matter. Chances are it probably won’t, because the trouble with independent minded people is getting them to work together.

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