Lib Dem support slips in Eastleigh

Ukip's solo councillor, Hugh McGuinness, breathes a sigh of relief

The latest local election results show support for the Liberal Democrats in Eastleigh is slipping.

Although Eastleigh Lib Dems scored a notable result last week gaining seats in both Borough and Parish council elections despite the parties fortunes elsewhere in the country, overall their support has dipped from 51% of the vote in 2010 to 46% this year – a 5% drop .

At the same time their coalition partners the Conservatives fared even worse slumping to 25% from a 35% share in the Borough local elections last year.

The latest results show a surge of support for Labour and Ukip across the borough.

Despite the failure to translate the extra votes into seats. Ukip’s share went from 4.4% to 7.8% – possibly benefitting from a swing by Conservative voters disillusioned with the coalition.

In Hedge End St John, popular livewire Tory activist Jerry Hall lost by only 177 to a previously unknown Lib Dem Mick Wheatley while Ukip’s share increased by 100 votes.

That was the closet the Conservatives were to come to taking a seat.

The Labour vote which had swung by 8% in the general election towards Mr Huhne swung back again by 9% putting Labour on 18% of the vote – which could have less than favourable implications for the MP if there is a snap election any time soon.

Only the Lib Dems gained seats re-taking two of the seats they had lost to councillors defecting to stand as Independents as well as Eastleigh South from Labour following the departure of Brian Norgate who unsuccessfully stood in Southampton’s Harefield ward.

Former Wildern councillor Keith Day, who had defected from the Lib Dems, failed to retain his seat as an Independent but was still elected to the parish council displacing Lib Dem George Fraser .

The Liberal Democrats also dominated the Parish council elections.

A total of 23 seats on nine parish councils went completely uncontested.

Lib Dems claimed 16 of the uncontested seats while the rest went to independents. Of the contested seats 34 were won by Liberal Democrats, 12 by Independents, one by Labour (Dianne Andrews, Burseldon) and one retained by UKIP (Hugh McGuiness, Fair Oak East)

Two of the independents – Colin and Lorna Atterbury -are conservative supporters who stood unsuccessfully as Tories in the borough elections but went on to win seats in Fair Oak East as independents!!

In Fair Oak West Parish election, Martin Lyons – tipped as a possible future Ukip PPC – narrowly missed beating Lib Dem councillor Trevor Mignot by just 10 votes.

Veteran labour councillor Pete Luffman came close to retaining Eastleigh South – the boroughs most deprived ward – for Labour following the departure of Brian Norgate who unsuccessfully stood in Southampton’s Harefield ward.

Paul Bicknell took the seat for the Lib Dems by 176 votes.

Outside the borough Catherine Ovenden who had campaigned in Eastleigh with local Lib Dems against Conservative county councillors cuts to sure start funding failed in her attempt to win a Parish council in west Totton for them.

Local activist Sam Snook had previously contested borough council wards for Labour, Ukip and as an independent but his latest attempt to stand for a seat on West End South parish council as a Lib Dem saw the septuagenarian former sewer man wind up bottom of the poll.

In Grange Park East Parish Council the Independent candidate Jenny Schwausch – another Lib Dem defector – was beaten by Caitlin Bloom the daughter of Cabinet member Louise Bloom.

It’s great to see how a tradition of selfless public service runs through some Eastleigh families.

Ms Schwausch wondered to Eastleigh News whether she might be able act as Hedge End councillor as job share in view of the low attendance figures for certain Hedge End councillors which Eastleigh News recently published.

In the Post Mortem following the results several candidates have pointed out of the particular iniquity of the ‘first past the post’ voting system in local council elections.

While the Lib Dems share 46% of the vote – they have 86% of the seats.

If seats were distributed on a proportional basis of the total votes cast the make up in the chamber would be quite different.

The main question seemed to be ‘How did the Lib Dems in Eastleigh mange to avoid the coalition backlash which had cost the party dear in other parts of the country?’

Keith House says formula is simple:

“We work hard all year, don’t take voters for granted, manage the council’s finances well, keep Council Tax down and still improve services.”

Most people I put Mr House’ comments to agreed – the Lib Dems work hard for votes and based on that alone probably deserve the result but questions have asked about claims in some of the literature.

Independent Party of Eastleigh Councillors Candidate Andy Moore – who was the sitting councillor in Central ward – has objected to the leaflet distributed on behalf of the inexperienced Keith Trenchard who won the seat for the Lib Dems.

Other parties reckon the Lib Dems set out to target the postal vote this time– anticipating a low turnout.

Pre-printed requests for postal ballot application forms were distributed by the Lib Dems using a database they have compiled on Eastleigh voters based on canvas returns

They also own their own risograph printer and envelope stuffing machine – last year a correspondent in the FT referred to Eastleigh’s Lib Dem constituency party as “ruthlessly efficient”

The full results for the Borough can be accessed on the council website here

The Parish results are here

Unlike other councils Eastleigh does not publish details of rejected ballot papers.

Twitter links:

Follow CllrKeithHouse

Follow Eastleigh_news

  20 comments for “Lib Dem support slips in Eastleigh

  1. Dead parrot
    May 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Hard work? The Libs had no opposition at all in half the parishes.It can’t be that much hard work to fill in a form.
    The real story here is a collapse in the Tory vote. Where were they? Even though they had a candidate in my ward – I didn’t get a single leaflet

  2. May 12, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks for this thorough analysis, which I enjoyed reading.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      May 12, 2011 at 10:45 pm

      Thanks for dropping by Ray.
      You are welcome here anytime ;)!

  3. Charlie Keene
    May 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Keith House: “We work hard all year, don’t take voters for granted, manage the council’s finances well, keep Council Tax down and still improve services.”

    Eastleigh Council is not bad. But they have so few areas of responsibility that are not regulated by law, how bad could they be? I have lived under Labour and Tory local authorities before and they were no worse (or better).

    House is far too coy about what really sets this lot apart: the election machine that the others simply cannot/will not match. By the time the election comes, the one candidate you will be able to name is the Lib Dem, courtesy of the endless supply of Focuses, etc. where the only thing they use that is recycled is the content.

  4. Charlie Keene
    May 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Forgot to add that I agree with Dead Parrot about the lack of Tory representation (No literature in Eastleigh South). Wast that to help their Coalition partners?

    And I very much agree with Ray about the quality of this article.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      May 12, 2011 at 11:12 pm

      Thanks Charlie.

      I must admit – the lack of a Conservative campaign in Eastleigh made me also wonder if there was some sort of coalition pact going on but there is no doubt that guys like John Milne, Jerry Hall and Chris Rhodes want to win.

      For my my part I would like to see a strong opposition elected to the chamber – I really don’t mind who it is as the current situation isn’t at all healthy.

      There is also the sense that the Lib Dems have become victims of their own success.

      With 38 Borough Councillors and a gazillion parish Councillors there are signs they have been forced to scrape the barrel as regards the calibre of fresh candidates.

  5. May 12, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    “With 38 Borough Councillors and a gazillion parish Councillors there are signs they have been forced to scrape the barrel as regards the calibre of fresh candidates.”

    You not referring to that bloke who said he was a councillor before being elected and also claims he has been to Solent University and also claims to have an operators license by any chance.??

    If so, I could not agree more with the above statement and he is clearly a Class A Bullsh1tter.!!

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      May 12, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      No, not just him.

      I mean in general.

      What about your ‘mate’?

      • mm
        Eastleigh Xpress
        May 12, 2011 at 11:47 pm

        I know who you mean though –
        the guy who had ‘Thumbs up’ photos taken outside recent council projects in order to take credit for achievements he had no part in bringing about.

        • Keith Trenchard
          May 17, 2011 at 12:09 am

          Just to clarify a few points:
          (1),at no point the words operators license have been used ,operations manager yes (2),you don’t have to be on the Vosa site if there is a nominated transport manager already.Thats not to say i could at any point in time apply for O licences with my CPC Certificate Numbers A1030170 and A1115957 and operate my own Company, i neglected to put the centre number down 59719 (solent Uni)
          (3), Im a very nice chap when you get to know me.

          Kind Regards

          Keith Trenchard

          • mm
            Eastleigh Xpress
            May 17, 2011 at 12:44 am

            1) You’re not the operator are you?
            2)I know you don’t need to have a CPC to be on the O licence- but you would need to employ someone who does – that would appear to be you right?
            3)OK, we’ll have to meet up for a cuddle some time! 🙂

  6. Peter Stewart
    May 13, 2011 at 10:43 am

    UKIP cost the Tories Hedge End St Johns for sure!
    From the 2006 Eastleigh Central statistics we calculate around 64.5% of UKIP's support comes from angry Tories.  
    This year UKIP took 268 votes in Hedge End St Johns.  Working on that 64.5% figure would mean 173 of those UKIP votes came from angry Tories.  Jerry Hall needed only 178 votes to win!
    But times have moved on from 2006.  There are even more angry Tories now.  Anyone Tory activist who still does not grasp the significance of this result ought not to be a Tory activist.
    What this shows is that UKIP's power lies mainly in destroying Tory marginal seats.  Indeed this is what happened in 2005 when Conor Burns just failed to win by 569 votes.
    The same UKIP EFFECT devastated Tory chances last year in the General Election.  It is easy to calculate that the combined UKIP + BNP + English Democrat + all other anti-EU parties cost the Tories between 40 and 47 seats (depending on your method of calculation).  The Tories failed to win the election by just 20 seats!
    My advice to the Tories is REVOLT!  Throw out your treacherous leaders!  Reform your party now before it is too late!  Commit to an in-out referendum on the EU.  If you do not do this, eventually you will become so weakened by UKIP that you will never again win another General Election.  Then the only way you will ever taste power again will be by crawling on your knees to the LibDems.  That is surely a most ignominious picture?

  7. Peter Stewart
    May 13, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I should add that I was a Tory activist for 20 years before becoming one of the "angry Tories".  I was angry  with the traitors who had taken over the Tory party and angry at the way they had sold us out to Europe.  So I joined UKIP in 1994 and have thankfully been able to vote according to my conscience.  How anyone can have the nerve to campaign in politics on behalf of a political party which believes we should be governed by foreigners is beyond me.  In fact it disgusts me.  These people need to do some serious thinking.  

  8. Rob Byrne
    May 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Voted Labour for the first time in many years, have always previously voted lib dem because of their hard work but can't stomach the fact that in the general election I voted for them to keep the tories out and got the exact opposite result. I like to think I'm  a socialist so will be wasting my vote on Labour in future if only to be true to myself. HOWEVER !!!! Come on Eastleigh Labour Party you need to work a least a little for votes, not one leaflet or door knocker in the Bishopstoke area ? You threw away your big chance !

  9. Tory Realist
    May 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    So what are the UKIP guys doing for us… Nothing. They are as guilty as the LibDems in vote stealing. They should be ashamed of themselves for allowing an Unknown candidate to win Hedge End St. John's .  Poor Guy looked totally lost at the count!
    UKIP have NO policiy other than than to blame every thing on the EU… By the way many Conservatives DO NOT support the EU
    But are realists
    I Trust that all those Voters who voted UKIP now feel rather sad , that they wasted their vote.
    Lib Dems still in power.
     
    Shame on them.

  10. Anne Romaine
    May 14, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Didn't receive one Conservative or UKIP leaflet in Bishopstoke.  Only heard from Labour and the Lib Dems, and only Labour knocked my door

  11. May 17, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Just to clarify a few points:(1),at no point the words operators license have been used ,operations manager yes (2),you don’t have to be on the Vosa site if there is a nominated transport manager already.Thats not to say i could at any point in time apply for O licences with my CPC Certificate Numbers A1030170 and A1115957 and operate my own Company, i neglected to put the centre number down 59719 (solent Uni)(3), Im a very nice chap when you get to know me.Kind RegardsKeith Trenchard

    (1) No your not.!! Your a total lair. You claim to have been to Solent University when in fact you did a few days on a Training Course. Thats not the same as going to Solent University.

    (2) Your election leaflet was a total lie claiming that your were an experenced councillor. Which you were not.

    (3) You had pictures taken of you outside council projects you had nothing to do with in a bid to lie to the people of Eastleigh that you were working for the ccommunity when you were not.

    (4) Why in the name of god would we want to get to know you. I could do without your stories of how you sailed single handed around the world twice the wrong way or how you were the first man on the moon..!!

    (5) If you really care about this town and its people do us all a favour and resign from being a councillor.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      May 17, 2011 at 12:46 am

      Don’t hold back BB!

      • May 17, 2011 at 2:53 am

        Sorry EE but he asked for that. My god, how dare he come on here and spout his rubbish and continue to try and fool us. We see him for what he is. I guess being at the bottom of a barrel makes him a bottom feeder.

  12. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    May 17, 2011 at 12:48 am

    I would be interested to know Keith, if you were aware what was on that leaflet? Did you distribute any yourself?

Comments are closed.