Labour Launch General Election Campaign

Eastleigh’s Labour Party officially launched their election campaign this weekend and a good number of local activists turned out to support candidate Mark Latham.

Also helping out was Southampton Itchen MP John Denham, who will be retiring from Parliament on March 30.

Labour’s Leigh Road office has had an election facelift with new display sinage featuring Mark Latham himself.

Morale seems high and local party workers say they are confident they canbuild on their performance in the by-election when they managed to increase their share of the vote while the Lib Dems saw their share go down – despite winning – as did the Conservatives.

After posing for a group shot Denham joined Latham and a group activists to canvass local householders.

Being a Saturday lunchtime not many people were in – turnouts for elections in Eastleigh Central ward are low and this probably reflects the high percentage of tenants which makes for a transient population who see little point in voting.

Reactions from those who came to the door were mixed some said they supported Labour – one man was Polish and said he couldn’t vote while another said he wouldn’t because he was a Jehovah’s Witness:

“But thank you for knocking on my door”.

One woman told an activist “I don’t vote Labour because Labour can’t win here” echoing a familiar refrain of Liberal Democrat newsletters.

While it’s true that Labour have never won the constituency they have previously held seats on the council that were subsequently lost to the Lib Dems but have also come close to winning some back.

In past campaigns the Lib Dems have successfully squeezed the Labour vote by telling Labour supporters ‘Labour can’t win here’ and by insisting that elections were a two horse race between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

Labour supporters were advised to vote Lib Dem “to keep the Torys out”.

But Mark Latham told me that the Lib Dem vote was collapsing nationally and that the “two-horse-race” was between Labour and Conservatives.

He said he believed that voters were influenced by opinion polls and that Labour voters who may have voted Lib Dem tactically in the past were coming back to Labour to “make sure the Conservatives don’t take Eastleigh”.

In what could be one of his last media press interviews as an MP I asked John Denham what he made of David Cameron’s apparent reluctance to meet Ed Milliband in a TV debate.

On Friday the Business minister Matthew Hancock had defended the Conservative record in government and said David Cameron debated Ed Milliband every week in the House of Commons but John Denham said:

“Parliament finishes in two or three weeks time, David Cameron is going to spend the whole election campaign running scared of Ed Milliband”

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  34 comments for “Labour Launch General Election Campaign

  1. Sue
    March 10, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    If people vote Lib Dem this time “to keep the Tories out” then they must be mad? It was the Lib Dems in 2010 who put the Tories in and then voted for all the Tory vile policies including the break up and privatization of our NHS.

    • Me4Eastleigh
      March 11, 2015 at 4:01 am

      It was Labour who just about bankrupted the Country.
      Let them in again and that will happen then we will have no NHS!

      • Sue
        March 11, 2015 at 3:56 pm

        and did they also bankrupt the rest of the world including the USA? There was a major collapse of the (criminal in my view) financial system. However good news for the super rich as this Tory Lib Dem govt have ensured that whilst we have all suffered and lost our services etc etc they have doubled their massive wealth over the past 5 years!

        • John Milne
          March 11, 2015 at 11:25 pm

          Gordon Brown helped the rich get richer with QE.

  2. March 10, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Lets not forget that it was Labour who introduced the PFI into the NHS and also more recently, it was Labour who were arguing for a charge to see your GP. One only has to look at the Labour run Welsh health service to see what an utter mess they have made of that job.

    Both Labour and Conservative (with their Lid Dem lapdog) have had their chances to get this country back on its feet. The deceit and lies that have been peddled over the NHS is shocking. If you consider that the Scottish govt now run their health services as do the Northern Irish, thats not a national health service as it once was.

    The coalition govt have given greater Manchester autonomy to run their health services. How can the so called English NHS still be called ….’a national health service’ when that too has just been effectively broken up?

    As for the two horse race between Labour and Conservative, its clear that Mr Latham has delusions of grandeur or does he really believe all of his party’s propaganda, which appears to suggest that a pact with the SNP will propel Miliband into No 10.

    The only two horse race here in Eastleigh is between the Lib Dems and UKIP. My money’s on UKIP, how about you?

    • Me4Eastleigh
      March 11, 2015 at 7:17 am

      Only problem is UKIP has a lame horse!

      • March 11, 2015 at 8:16 am

        Really, hows that then?

        • Me4Eastleigh
          March 11, 2015 at 8:20 am

          Does not know if their coming or going.
          The horse has been given no clear running instructions as they keep changing.

    • Ted White
      March 11, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Private Finance Initiative is what it says on the tin provide the state with hospitals fit for purpose and then when the public think they are getting a good deal you rip them off. Public servants negotiating big, inflexible and unchangeable contracts up against companies employing the sharpest lawyers and accountants will always be at a disadvantage. We are paying for it, and Tony Blair was in some respects responsible in his remit to engage the Private sector, but these are changed times and its not Labour who need to be afraid. Outsourcing in the NHS,is akin to putting in a miner to see if the air was safe for the canary. The Health and Social Care act was not part of the last Tory manifesto and was part of a long partnership before the last election between Andrew Lansley and U.S health companies to rip the NHS apart, ideology in stark contrast to the lies in 2010 that the Cameron portrayed “safe in his hands”.
      If the Tories think that the NHS is safe under this act then why are they suppressing the Stewart Rose investigation into the state of the NHS which Jeremy Hunt ordered in 2012 until after the election excusing the delay as further work to be done on the report.
      As for Mark Latham we in the Labour Party know we have an excellent candidate when people like you attack him, bring it on I say.

      • March 11, 2015 at 8:21 pm

        Outsourcing in the NHS = privatisation.

  3. March 11, 2015 at 12:14 am

    One elderly lady came over to say she was going to vote Labour because she was worried about the NHS – the perception is Labour will protect the NHS.
    Elderly people who are infirm and have a limited income don’t want to hear talk of ‘efficiency led savings’ or Health insurance schemes.

    • March 11, 2015 at 8:11 am

      UKIP are committed to providing a fully funded national health service at the point of delivery. No privatisation or health insurance schemes, something the other parties at this point, have failed to rule out.

      Don’t forget that it was UKIP who first stated that all visitors to the UK should be in possession of health insurance before arriving here, something the Coalition govt has cut and pasted into their health policy.

  4. Sue
    March 11, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I believe that Labour have committed to reversing the destructive Health and Social Care Act which is the legislation which is breaking up the NHS as I type and passing it to private hands. Now at the moment it is still free but private companies are in it for the money and not our health! They will suck out more and more of our tax pounds as profit and the yells that we can no longer afford free health care will grow louder. If that Act is not reversed we have lost a free NHS. It really is that simple.

  5. March 11, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    On the couple of occasions that I’ve met Mark Latham, I have felt that he could be a very good MP for Eastleigh.

    Sadly, I do not think that a Labour Government with Ed Miliband as Prime Minister would be good for the UK.

    And therein lies the problem…

    • Sue
      March 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      I like Ed Milliband. To me he comes across as sort of unpolished in a way so I am able to trust him more. I do feel he means what he says and will do as he says. And so far what he says he will do is fine by me.

      • John Milne
        March 11, 2015 at 11:28 pm

        As the saying goes ‘you can’t polish a turd’.

      • kev
        March 14, 2015 at 8:03 am

        You must be the only one – he comes across as a complete muppet and I wouldn’t trust him anymore than any other politician.

  6. March 11, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    The dilemma facing voters in Eastleigh is wether they prefer another 5 years of austerity? To what end? We have again sold off many of the jewels and blamed the weakest for the debt we are in. The Tories have introduced the sciver/striver devide, foodbanks, unpaid work, the bed tax, univeral credit, non-medical disability tests.
    The cuts imposed on Local Authorities are truly shocking and services provided are being privitised or simply ended.

    The Libdems are complicit in these policies

    What a Local MP should be concerned about is housing, infrastructure, employment, health and social care, the arts.

    UKIP are pointless in these areas.

    The amount of change imposed on the ordinary voter in the name of “balancing the books” is staggering. Labours approach is slower and longer, why? Because the voter should not be responsible for the callous efforts of greed (HSBC, VODAPHONE, STARBUCKS, CIRCLE HEALTH). If you are really concerned about the local populus, understand their points of view, we are concerned about housing, air quality, health and well being, the road links, the apprenticeships, our High Street shops, the police, fire and GP appointments.

    That is of course if you have registered to vote, another change imposed on the electorate which many are unaware of.

    • March 11, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      Sorry about the spelling, Red wine and big thumbs.

      • Sue
        March 11, 2015 at 11:21 pm

        Yes I agree and re the current increase in apprenticeships I know people who have been forced to do them in street cleaning and filing?! This is just slave labour and not learning a trade. Re the cuts to local social care and support I am well placed to judge this as I help care for elderly parents and have an adult very disabled son. The cuts are very real and devastating to many. After two world wars we had to ask ourselves what type of country we wanted to live in. The result was the welfare state and security for most for most of the time. Compassion and helping our neighbour. Now we are at a real turning point because the values that existed back then have been eroded to almost nothing. We have to decide if we want to live in collective security or if we want a “every person for themselves” society.

    • Matthew Myatt
      March 12, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      Hold on a second.. Did Peter just say “Labour’s approach is slower and longer, why? Because the voter should not be responsible for the callous efforts of greed (HSBC, VODAPHONE, STARBUCKS, CIRCLE HEALTH).”

      Slower and Longer.. Yes, Labour could not have been any slower at dealing with the greed of banks and bankers, or taken any longer to tackle the tax avoidance of the companies he has mentioned above..

      Sorry James, but the days of looking the other way and hoping the problem will ignored by the electorate are over. Politicians should be accountable to the people that vote, not the other way round…

      Vote Labour in Eastleigh = FibDem
      Vote Tory in Eastleigh = FibDem
      Vote FibDem in Eastleigh and we are doomed..

      Vote UKIP and get crazy fools with crazy ideas but at least they are what they say on the tin. All the other hide their worms and relabel the tin.!!

      Better the devil you know.??

      • March 13, 2015 at 12:50 am

        The tin that the Silly Kippers place there views on changes quicker than my underwear, they are Idiots, vote wiith your heart, dont vote tactically vote in what you believe will deliver a better society. Voting for the devil will deliver a fire you cannot extinquish.

        • March 14, 2015 at 4:30 pm

          And voting Fib Dem will support a group of self interested, lairs and cheats..

  7. John Milne
    March 11, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Lets not forget that if Labour hadn’t encouraged us to become the most indebted population on earth by deliberately creating and sustaining a housing bubble whilst at the same time secretly running up 100s of billions of off-balance sheet debt we wouldn’t have needed any austerity and young people would be able to afford to get on the housing ladder.

    Add to that the fact that they allowed the banking sector to grow by almost 500% relative to GDP (so it was approx 4X the size of the banking sector in America relative to GDP) and encouraged record bonuses, as these were easier to collect tax on than asking any bank to pay its fair level of corporation tax, then you have to say that labour were the party of rich bankers. They also taxed them at a lower rate than they do today.

    The bankers who helped cause the financial meltdown were egged on at every stage by Labour. That is why no one was prosecuted for the financial crisis, including Fred Goodwin. The real master criminals of the disaster were in the treasury, the Bank of England and the FSA (who admitted to being ‘asleep on the job’ their own chairman’s words) . They saw what the banks were doing and let them carry on year after year after year because it made people feel richer so they could get a bigger mortgage.

    Oh yes, the regulatory system in place at the time was the brainchild of Gordon Brown. Remember when he told everyone that he was Prudent, well he wasn’t. In fact he was the biggest gambler the Treasury has probably every seen.

    I will not and never will vote Labour.

  8. March 11, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Cllr Bicknell “Local Roads and Local Footpaths”

    Why is it- South Ward residents have to complain year after year asking the council to remove leaves on the bridge at Nightingale Ave. If some-one trips and have a serious injury, the council may end up paying compensations.

    Might I suggest” after reading my comments “Cllr Bicknell” will ensure sweepers are out every year without residents having to remind the council.

    I am really concerned that council do not regularly inspect and repair
    local pavements, and as a result, residents are at risk.
    Sam Snook

  9. Double Aspect
    March 12, 2015 at 10:28 pm


    This is a dissolved responsibility of HCC not EBC. Perhaps your should aim your comments at HCC councillors. Asking anything of Cllr. Bicknell is a waste of time and pointless as he cannot speak without Mr House’s permission or FibDem script.

    • March 14, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      He might come and sweep them him self. (or at least pose for a photo with a brush) – he’s up for election in May.

  10. March 13, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Once again UKIP Has launched an attack against the NHS and its hard working staff. Nigel Farage and his mob of little Englander’s regularly
    launch broadsides against the NHS, for them to “backtrack” after they receive “criticism” from the public and the media.

    Nigel Farage speaking on The Murnaghan Programme on Sky News said
    “That UKIP would weed out all foreign NHS workers who “cannot speak
    English properly”, claiming they shouldn’t have been employed in the first place.

    When Mr Farage was asked if he intended to “winnow out” all NHS workers who could not speak English properly” the UKIP” leader replied Well of course-don’t we want to live in a country where we speak the same language?”

    He also confirmed the UKIP intended to implement cuts on the NHS, something that will not go down well with the voting public.

    “UKIP” disdain for the NHS is clear to see as is Farage’s antipathy towards its staff.
    Sam Snook

  11. March 14, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Sam, who should we vote for.??

  12. Sam
    March 14, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Matthew nice to hear from you, lets say, I have not spun a coin yet.

    UKIP claim to be on the side of working people, but truth is they are more
    Tory than the Tories.

    UKIP is a party of Tory people and Tory money. Now they want to go even further than the Tories, by giving another tax cut to millionaires.

    This multi-billion giveaway to the richest at a time when families are struggling exposes Nigel Farage’s fraudulent claims to be friend of hard working families.

    Ex-Tory, Ex-banker Nigel Farage is showing his true colours.
    “Have spun the coin Matthew Its Labour”

    • March 15, 2015 at 12:51 am

      Vote Libdem- get a Tory.
      Vote Silly Kipper- get a Tory.
      Vote – Labour, get Labour.

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