Lib Dems win Hedge End by-election

Ray Turner & Paul Redding

Candidates Paul Redding and Ray Turner square up before the election but in the end it was 'no contest'

The Lib Dems have won yesterdays Hedge End Town Council by election with a whopping 63% majority over nearest rival Conservative Paul Redding.

The Independent candidate Ray Turner came third and the UKIP candidate Michale O’Donoghue a distant fourth with only 22 votes.

Victorious Richard Effeney polled more than all the other candidates combined in what was in what was a low 24% turnout .

An unusual feature of the election was that two of the candidates local blogger (and Eastleigh News contributor) Ray Turner and Paul Readding are neighbours who work for  the same company.

Total electorate 1753. Total votes cast 433 plus two spoiled papers.

Richard Effeny (Lib Dem)       263

Paul Redding (Conservative)  96

Ray Turner (Independent)       52

Michale O’Donoghue (Ukip)     22

  4 comments for “Lib Dems win Hedge End by-election

  1. Stephen Slominski
    March 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Phew! That’s a relief. For a minute I was worried you might actually win Ray.
    I would certainly miss your input!
    I trust this temporary set-back is not going to stop you in your quest to topple our Great Leader?

  2. March 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Er thanks Stephen. I think. LoL.

    Seriously now, I was pleased not to come last and pleased to have beaten UKIP. That’s an achievement, as they are a well established party with a lot of support. The fourth party nationally, so they claim…!

    If I’m disappointed this evening it is because we clearly haven’t persuaded enough Hedge Ender’s that a 19 to 1 majority for the Lib Dems (or anybody else actually) on Hedge End Town Council is not a healthy situation for local democracy. But what better way to rectify that than by my continuing to write for Eastleigh News…!

    What I’m really pleased about, and proud of, is that we made the Lib Dems work hard to retain the seat. They weren’t handed it on a plate via an uncontested election and they weren’t allowed to simply co-opt one of their chums onto the Town Council.

    For the record, my election expenses were £31.50 funded out of my own pocket. One can only do so much on limited means, and that’s the perennial problem faced by all independents…

  3. Peter Stewart
    March 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    UKIP considered long and hard before contesting this election. In the end, we decided to field a paper candidate. Well done Michale for sticking your head above the parapet when you knew it was probably going to get knocked off. That said, to get 5.3% of the vote under these conditions was about what I expected. Our view was that the LibDems were far too powerful to beat. As it happens, the cost of £6.93 per voter is a small price to pay for democracy and I’m sure the 22 people who voted for Michale would agree. Finally on behalf of UKIP, I congratulate Ray for beating us into 4th place. It was a well deserved victory.

  4. March 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks Peter, for your generous comment.

    It was interesting to read that Michale was a paper candidate, as that explains why I hadn’t seen any UKIP leaflets. I thought my moles in Shamblehurst might have missed them, but obviously not.

    It is an interesting point you raise about the Lib Dems being too powerful. The results support your argument, I agree with you Peter, but I am also aware that if nobody stands against the Lib Dems and they are allowed to take the seat without any sort of challenge, the Lib Dems become even more powerful.

    So it is worth somebody standing even if they are only a paper candidate. Thanks for doing so Michale. It was good that Hedge Enders were given a choice of four candidates for a Town Council seat. That doesn’t happen very often…

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