Farage could stand in Eastleigh

Ukip have not ruled out their charismatic leader Nigel Farage  contesting Eastleigh should a by-election be called at short notice.

There has been much speculation in the press over the weekend after Conservative party chair Baroness Warsi said the conservatives had targeted the seat and that she believed Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne – soon to be tried on charges of perverting the course of justice – could stand down even if he is not found guilty.

“I think we would fight it (Eastleigh) hard and we would fight it to win. I don’t think the Lib Dems are dug in there. It’s winnable. We will do everything we can to win it.

“The by-election could be called because Chris might stand down irrespective of what happens at the court case”

It was also reported that the Conservatives had flooded the area with up to 2000 activists for a campaigning weekend.

But a source close to the Ukip’s leader told Eastleigh News:

“Ukip have a very strong branch in Eastleigh and Nigel has stood in Eastleigh previously. It wouldn’t be entirely out of the question for him to stand here again”

In 2005 the conservative candidate for Eastleigh Conor Burn lost to Chris Huhne by just 500 votes – a result Burn attributes to disaffected Tories splitting the conservative vote by trurning to Ukip. (see here)

In the last general Election the popular Ukip leader polled 8,500 votes in Buckingham after a 14% surge in support for Ukip due to the ’Farage Factor’ a result which would be fatal to Conservative aspirations if repeated in Eastleigh and would almost certainly return another Lib Dem candidate.

Nigel Farage seems to  favour high profile election campaigns which give a platform for Ukip to publicise their euro-sceptic message regardless of whether the seat is winnable or not.

Mr Farage who currently represents the area as an MEP, has often said he has a soft spot for Eastleigh as he contested his first election here in 1997 – also a by-election.

A spokesman for Ukip Eastleigh branch said:

“No decision has been taken regarding a possible parliamentary candidate yet”

Last year Chris Huhne compared Baroness Warsi unfavourably to Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebebles.

Photo by Dweller

see also:

Nigel Farage on Cats and Human rights

Nigel Farage: Still time for an  EU referendum

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  8 comments for “Farage could stand in Eastleigh

  1. Peter Stewart
    March 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    The Conservative candidate, like the Labour, will find to their horror, that they are caught in a pincer movement.

    On the one side there will be Labour voters who, realizing the threat of a Tory victory, will easily be persuaded to vote LibDem (to keep the Tories out). This strategy has worked very effectively since 1994.

    On the other side, there will be UKIP, siphoning off vital votes. This will be a VERY marginal seat and the scales will be so exquisitely balanced. It only needs a gadfly to come along and land on the wrong side of the electoral scales and BANG!

  2. March 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Two by-elections in fifteen years. I wonder how many constituencies have been subjected to that (if it happens).

    I’m not sure that a by-election while the coalition is in force would be as bad for Labour as Peter suggests. The Lib Dems wouldn’t be able to squeeze the Labour vote as easily as they did in 2010. Let’s face it – a vote for either Lib Dem or Tory would be a vote to keep Cameron and Osborne in charge. An ideal opportunity for Labour to win back tactical voters.

    On the other hand this month’s town council by-election in Hedge End indicates that locally Lib Dems are still able to buck the national trend – and they do seem to be the only party that can organise a campaign at the moment.

    • Stephen Slominski
      March 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      It was the Labour swing to Lib Dems that did it last time after Chris Huhne offered Labour supporters a beguiling mix of progressive policies on the doorstep.
      Opposition to VAT Rises, Nuclear Power, Trident, rises in University fees and a promise to keep David Cameron out of no 10.
      They can’t fall for it a second time can they?
      Well,some old school Labour voters have such an antipathy to the Conservatives – which they have nurtured since Thatcher – that they will still vote Lib Dem if they think its the best way to stop the Tories regaining Eastleigh, even though they recognise they were stabbed in the back by Mr Huhne and that you can’t put a cigarette paper between the Tories and Lib Dems in cabinet.

    • March 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      By-elections are strange affairs, attracting more candidates than is usual, from the minor parties, independents and the publicity-seeking nutters.

      At the last by-election in Eastleigh, I took the chance to vote Monster Raving Looney.

      Its not an opportunity that happens very often in Eastleigh, and is certainly one of those things to do before you die…!

      • Peter Stewart
        March 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

        To think the Party you voted for Ray, failed to win Eastleigh by just 569 votes!

  3. March 12, 2012 at 8:25 am

    So Nigel Farage is looking to stand in Eastleigh. Its good that Conservative voters will have the choice of two candidates to pick from.

    Fortunately there will be an alternative to these tired well worn parties. The English Democrats will be contesting this seat.

    We shall not be deploying a pincer movement, just offerring common sense polices that are niether left or right.. just English.

  4. Peter Stewart
    March 12, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Shortly after the Coalition was born, I asked Labour and LibDem voters in Eastleigh whether they would back Chris Huhne again if it meant it was the only certain way of keeping out the Tories. They RELUCTANTLY said YES!

    From this, I believe it is clear that the LibDems will do MUCH better in a by-election, than their opponents would wish for.

    Worse still for the Tories, many disgruntled Tories will use the by-election as an opportunity to register a protest vote against the anti-conservative policies which the Tory party now embraces, courtesy of Cameron et al. Such protest votes often happen in by-elections. Many of those Tory protest votes will go to UKIP and some will also go the the English Dems. It matters not! The point is, the Tories will lose around 2,000 votes at least.

    If the electoral scales are as finely balanced in Eastleigh as appears to be the case, then once again, the UKIP EFFECT will cost the Tories the seat.

    If only the grass roots Tories had the guts to force the long overdue TRUE CONSERVATIVE REVOLT. Then they would win the next General Election by a landslide. But they DON’T have such courage and so they will continue to see that once great party rot silently into the barren earth.

  5. maureen
    March 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    the Libdems must love Nigel Farage and his single issue party. He helps the Europhiles get elected time after time after time………….

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