Nick Clegg: ‘We need 60 Eastleighs!’

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg says party can 'confound the polls'

“We need 60 Eastleigh’s” Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg declared yesterday while at a party rally at West End’s Ageas Bowl.

The Liberal Democrats are currently trailing Labour, The Conservatives and Ukip in the polls but Clegg recalled how two years ago, the Liberal Democrat’s secured a hard fought by-election that the party had not been favorite to win, by sheer hard work.

“I think back to that day – it was the last day in February 2013 – just over two years ago, when we defied the odds and confounded the predictions and we won.

“We won because we campaigned as if our lives depended on it.

“What we are going to do, is win not just here, but also up and down the country.

“We are not just running just one Eastleigh by-election but 60 Eastleigh by-elections.”

The Lib Dem leader described the Ageas Bowl as an “extraordinary venue” and an example of how he believes the Lib Dems are serving the community.

The council currently own the cricket and sports ground which is shortly to see a new hotel opening on site.

Clegg said it was important that the Lib Dems should continue to be an active participant in what looks likely to be a hung parliament, warning against the prospect of :

“A hapless minority labour administration dancing to the tune of Alex Salmond borrowing way beyond what our country can afford.”

“A hapless David Cameron administration dancing to the tune of Ukip, the DUP and most chillingly and worryingly of all his own MPs on the right wing of the party.”

Nick Clegg had been greeted by Local Lib Dem candidates and activists including Eastleigh’s Lib Dem leader Keith House, Winchester and Chandler’s Ford candidate Jackie Porter and Eastleigh’s, Liberal Democrat candidate, former MP Mike Thornton,

Thornton told Eastleigh News that he found that the future of the NHS was a major concern for voters on the doorstep.

“Even if they have other concerns they always mention the NHS.”

Thornton insisted that a Lib Dem MPs would be a mitigating force to whichever party found itself in government.

“Whatever we do we believe in democracy and we can put the heart into the Tories and financial sense into a labour government.”

 Eastleigh News asked Mike Thornton about the local elections and if he thought the Lib Dems would continue to dominate the council chamber.

Thornton pointed out the Lib Dems were in favour of proportional representation while “Conservatives were opposed.”

 “If we had PR we would have more Conservatives and Labour in the chamber.

“Ironically we support a system that allows more opposition.”

Listen to Nick Clegg talking to reporters at the Ageas Bowl

While speaking to reporters during a press conference Nick Clegg said he was confident that Mike Thornton would win again in Eastleigh.

“I’m very confident in Mike who is hugely popular not only because of his fantastic work over the last two years as the MP for this area and because of the campaigning that he does for example on something that is close to my heart – on Mental Health.”

“Mike has been an absolute hero – even when it wasn’t fashionable to do so – in speaking up about mental health.

“Regardless of whether people categorize themselves on the right or the centre or the left, everybody says that the Liberal Democrats have done a brilliant job for the local community in the way that they have run the council as well.

“ The local team, Mike’s record and our commitment for doing the right thing for the whole community will mean that we will win on May 7.”

The following candidates are also standing in the Eastleigh Parliamentary Election:

Declan Clune – TUSC

Mark Latham- Labour

Mims Davies- Conservative

Patricia Culligan -Ukip

Ray Hall – Beer, Baccy and Scratchings

Ron Meldrum – Green Party

There will be a public hustings for all the Parliamentary candidates next Wednesday, 29 April at Kings Community Church, Hedge End starting at 7.30 pm.

  12 comments for “Nick Clegg: ‘We need 60 Eastleighs!’

  1. John Milne
    April 28, 2015 at 8:53 am

    60 Mike Thorntons – what a scary thought.

    At the by-election we elected possibly the thickest MP in the country. He even campaigned against the houses he voted to build on greenfields at Boorley Green (at least that’s what his literature said).

    The Lib Dems won because years of Stalinist propaganda has brainwashed the people of Eastleigh into believing that they spend money wisely and will save the local greenfields when in fact the reverse is true. Look at the amount of development that has occurred under the Lib Dems. The audit commission have never given them the top rating for spending our money (but they dod give it to other councils) and everything that is bad is always someone else’s fault.

    As for PR, we had a referendum on this and the people voted in a landslide against the idea. How about giving us the referendum we were promised (by the Lib Dems as well) In/Out of the EU.

    If Mike Thornton wins on 7th May we will be the laughing stock of Britain for electing the village idiot to Westminster.

  2. Keith House
    April 28, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Have you joined UKIP now John? You seem to be a little out of touch. Mike supported the Boorley Green plan before during and after the by-election to provide much needed new homes yet to also save green gaps.

    The Audit Commission was abolished by the Coalition Government.

    There was not a referendum on PR. The referendum was on AV, which is not a proportional system.

    Mike is the only candidate in this election with a record of working for our local community over many years. And of course, unlike the Conservative and UKIP candidates, he lives here.

    • John Milne
      April 28, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      I notice that you didn’t defend Mike’s intelligence.

    • Jb007za
      May 2, 2015 at 1:43 am

      Fully agreed – well said!

  3. Rosie
    April 28, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I am not a member of any political Party and totally agree with what John has said above! How Clegg can say that Mike Thornton wasn’t a favourite to win, when he was replacing a long-term experienced Lib Dem politician and former Cabinet Minister (so the result should have been a walkover for the Lib Dems), I don’t know.
    Diane James very nearly won the last bi-election (and no doubt would have done if more people had seen her and the bumbling Mike Thornton speak at hustings) because she ran rings round all the other candidates and would have spoken up for the Eastleigh Borough in Parliament and had the confidence to stand up to David Cameron. Sad that Diane James hasn’t stood in this area again this year as she would no doubt have won, especially after her appearances on Question Time.
    As for Mike Thornton as the local MP, well, John’s words above say what many people think. Our MP could not even understand the impact the European-US led TTIP (trade) agreement will have (eg huge US corporations being able to sue our Government when they try to bring in laws which protect the public from, eg, harmful products like pesticides which might be killing the world’s bee populations). Let alone the impact of TTIP on our increasingly-Con-Dem-privatised NHS.
    Mike Thornton and the local Lib Dems need to stop claiming that they’re protecting our countryside when they are doing the opposite. All they’re trying to protect (unsuccessfully now?) is the flat and unattractive land alongside Hamble Lane, including the car boot sale site which would be ideal for social housing and affordable units for first time buyers, newly-single people, or those having to downsize their properties due to the current cost of living.
    The Lib Dems’ former Local Plan defined as countryside Bursledon’s ancient wildflower and long-time grazing meadows running down to the River Hamble. Yet in the (now thrown-out) Draft Local Plan, the Lib Dems decided to change that definition from countryside to “urban” so that it could be built on!
    Even while the Draft Local Plan was in consultation and awaiting the Planning Inspector’s approval, the arrogant Lib Dems were steam-rollering through planning applications for building houses on the only remaining countryside between Bursledon Windmill and the River Hamble conservation areas, Boorley Green and adjacent to Manor Farm Country Park (all of which will also increase traffic on the A27, M27 and roads between Southampton and Fareham – also noise and pollution levels – to totally unacceptable levels). Objections and concerns from consulted local groups which represent many residents have been totally ignored, as have individual residents’ objections and concerns.
    The Local Area Committee (headed by Tonia Craig) approved the Bursledon countryside planning applications on the assumption that the failed Draft Local Plan and the change of description of ancient meadows from countryside to urban, would be approved, which is not the case.
    It’s about time the Lib Dems owned up to actually destroying our best countryside, instead of pretending they’re protecting it.

    • April 28, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      Lots of good points, Rosie but must disagree about Diane James. If she’d thought she could win in Eastleigh she’d ve stayed around in Eastleigh. Instead she couldn’t get away fast enough (she was only here for a month to stand and campaign) then went off to North Hampshire to stand there for election. UKIP know that all they got in Eastleigh at the by-election and the Euros was the protest votes. Next week the people of Eastleigh will revert to their factory-programmed setting of voting LibDem and then spend another 5 years complaining about them.

  4. April 28, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Now I get it. Clegg needs 60 Eastleighs so our local Lib Dems are building 60 Eastleighs in and around Eastleigh.

    Is there any truth to the revised revised Revised Local Plan going up to 22,000 homes? Maybe Keith could advise?

    What I have noticed is that the majority of those orange diamonds are attached to land that has yet to be sold to developers? Perhaps these landowners hope not to sell out for vast amounts of money.

    Or maybe not….

    Maybe that’s why my local Lib Dem Councillor has an interest in Bloor Homes and yet campaigns to save green spaces. Thanks Roger, your efforts fill me with joy!

    Other than seeing the comical building here stickers on those orange diamonds I haven’t seen much in the way of honest campaigning at the local level so I certainly wouldn’t trust them at the National level.

    With Eastleigh Borough Cllr Keith House working with a Million Homes, Million Lives

    And Mike Thornton trying to prevent the development of 22,000 homes in the North

    I can only assume that they are trying to make the 60 Eastleighs in Eastleigh a reality.

  5. April 28, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I walked round most of the new developments in Eastleigh last week, leafleting for Beer Baccy & Scratchings. I saw lots of densely packed flats & houses with limited parking, particularly for visitors, and the tiniest of green spaces with a slide and a swing in it.

    The short-sighted Lib Dems are designing in social problems that we will all be cursing them for in the longer term, if not already…

  6. David Knowles
    April 28, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    And yet thousands of people will vote fib dem in the election.They are brainwashed as john Milne so rightly commented above.There is a Lib Dem sickness in Eastleigh that will take years to cure

  7. Louis
    May 2, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Fib dems have ruined Eastleigh, their laughable propaganda is blaming the government for all the wrong doing forgetting that they themselves were part of the government, full of unsubstantiated statements designed to con the low percentage of Eastleigh people who actually vote into voting for these shameless interlopers again. Democracy?? What democracy? Would love to know what the space per person is in eastleigh compared to other boroughs, Winchester? Test Valley? Seems there is a plan to put all us plebs in one area whilst the rich home owners in the countryside keep their idyllic homes…..all the while Mike “greasy salesman” Thornton and Keith “arrogant T@at” House lie and ignore us routinely.

  8. May 2, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Life is far too sweet to have any political change
    housing and politics are co-joined with numerous adhesions
    firstly it is about territory , the power of the state acts upon land , and in our hearts only land , more secure space is everyones dream in this age of plenty.

    All parties are promoting the debt funded housing boom , cheapest mortgages ever and .2% growth , this policy lures the renters into funding the status quo without upsetting the incumbant home-owning baby boomers.

    Politics is control of territory and Planning is control of territory – planning itself, I think, adds 2 zeros to the cost of a home, people would just buy land and build . If there was no planning constraints on land, enough houses would be built. Planning protects the countryside and entwines private development with government infrastructure.

    But ..every agricultural or recreational land owner in the country would sell for the windfall that a housing estate would bring. It is the reverse value of planning constraints that funds a property boom. The cost of living is so low that the fragile system of arbitrage that pays farmers for uneconomical production is wearing thin , a political planning system and a corporatized housebuilding industry that spends billions complying with the regulations that taxpayers spend billions creating and half enforcing.

    It is a proxy fight over territory, with the powerless , the needy offered a choice of one, the bureaucracy provides the income for those in power, on the private side and the public side. Now it even creates the money to fuel it’s rhetorical engine.

    How can a duke or a lord own half of berkshire in a time of ‘free market’ capitalism and equitable taxation ….. and there be a housing crisis……
    why was there not a ‘housing crisis’ in 2007. The credit crunch without government intervention would have corrected house prices the 50yr old + would have lost wealth the under 40’s would have gained economic power.
    All historians will look at from our epoch will be 9/11 -> invasion of Iraq and the city goes nuts and gets bailed out , and in 2015 we are drowning within every arena of life because of these events.
    But in bailout world life is so comfortable that no-one needs confront reality , in housebuilding anyone who you talk to will agree that , for example ‘code assessment’ is nuts apart from planners , they will not be able to say it , but they will think it. If people had enough hardship they would get involved in politics, if they got involved in politics they would have been at the public examination of the local plan, if they had been there on the busy day , they would have heard the QC for Barrett homes explain that everyone renting that pays more than 30% of their income on rent is in ‘housing need’….. that is basically everyone , the inspector agreed that our planners need to allow the building of a house for all of those people renting, and with 3.5% growth around the corner a load more. Cheaper housing through partial ownership is the carrot on a stick for the donkey of our labour.
    If you had been in that room you would have seen that we embarked on a command economy in 2008 and the lib dem local plan, and all others no doubt, were just acts of bureaucracy without any fundamental rationality , upselling their own jobs, all Marxists without realising it ‘building communities’ is state driven social engineering.
    We have one party rule , we have communism today, here and now, and the only reason that there isn’t secret police dragging people away without trial , is the people are such comfortable idiots they don’t present any opposition at all.
    The reason nick clegg wants 60 eastleighs is that the Lib Dems thrive on apathy and new households, when I moved from London to eastleigh I was intrigued by the chance to vote for something other than labour or tory and have a chance of winning. The lib dems look good to migrants from a 2 horse race constituency … ie up north, working class (labour hegemony) or Hampshire posher area (tory hegemony).
    It is not the apathy of people that don’t vote, that benefits the lib dems , but the apathy of those that do. Eastleigh is successful for lib dems because low earning benefit recipient imbeciles vote for them, middle class do-gooding nanny state imbeciles vote for them and elderly uninformed ‘duty to vote but can’t decide between the left/right divide’ imbeciles vote for them.
    If any other party can win it is a question of mustering more imbeciles or turning some , but UKIP is a refreshing change because for the first time imbeciles can vote for other imbeciles. Although not dynamic or dangerous the worm of democracy is very good at going back down it’s hole, for ages I was stumped by the Churchill cliché , democracy is the best of lots of rotten choices… in fact it’s ‘Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time’ , I think mines better , but I’ve realised that the problem with this is that it suggests a competition between discrete and differentiated regimes , but that is not the case is it. If people choose a regime , they would choose a regime of choice over one where choosing was not featured. The fact is that the world , economics , agriculture are all rooted in physical reality, choosing a regime of government that manages these things might involve good management, competent people capable of rational reactions to events but ideologies of freedom and choosing are extraneous.
    This election has been abandoned by people of intelligence, because, we (?) know , no-one capable of the husbandry our world requires could scale the greasy pole of politics , there are too many rainbows and lollipops and faerie rings and people are too comfortable ,for now, to make any difficult choices … we will just cancel each other out and see what happens.

  9. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    May 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Yes that’s about the size of it.
    While the majority – or rather the majority of those who actually vote – are feeling comfortable why would they rock the boat?
    BTW Your comment is a prime contender for ‘longest comment ever posted on EN’ award

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