While Eastleigh’s Liberal Democrats celebrate the elimination of the opposition Independent group by recapturing both their undefended seats, Eastleigh Ukip members are also celebrating progress of their own as their share of the vote increased for the third year running.
In 2010 they polled 4%, in 2011 8% and this year a total of 2876 votes were cast for them in the borough giving them an 11% overall share.
In contrast both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat share appears to be standing still.
The conservatives took 26% (+1% yoy) and the Lib Dems 46% (-1%) although it is a share of a dwindling turnout. In 2010 54,000 people voted (General election year) and this year only 29,000 bothered to brave the slightly damp weather.
Labour’s share of the vote has dipped slightly from 18% to 15% contrary to the National trend although it is still an improvement on their share in 2010 of 9%
It’s possible that Labour’s result was impacted by the Lib Dem leaflet campaign to convince core labour voters that supporting the party in Eastleigh was futile.
Despite the increase in Ukip’s popularity they have so far been unable to translate it into seats , although they came second beating labour and the conservatives in Bishopstoke East and Netley.
Although the Lib Dems only won 45% of the vote under ‘first past the post’ system of seat distribution they have taken 91% (40) of the seats in the chamber with just four going to the Conservatives.
Last year Eastleigh News calculated how the seats would have been distributed on a straight percentage based proportional basis – this year Hedgeendblogger Keith Day got in first with the calculator as follows:
Lib Dems 20 seats, Conservative 12, Labour 7, UKIP 5
Compared to the 2010 proportional calculation, both Ukip and the Conservatives would have gained a seat while Labour and the Lib Dems would have lost one each.
This year’s most popular candidate was Liberal Democrat Andrew Cossey who pulled in 1,087 votes at Fair Oak and the candidate with the fewest votes was English Democrat Mark Lancaster with 42.
HedgeEndBlogger: Ukip “Best election ever”