Corby by-election, 2012

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Corby by-election, 2012
United Kingdom
2010 ←
15 November 2012
→ 2015

The Corby seat in the House of Commons.
Elected by simple majority using first past the post. Triggered by resignation of incumbent
 
Candidate Andy Sawford [1] Christine Emmett[2] Margot Parker[3]
Party Labour Conservative UKIP
Popular vote 17,267 9,476 5,108
Percentage 48.4 26.6 14.3

Corby2007Constituency.svg

Map showing the Corby Parliamentary constituency within the English county of Northamptonshire.

MP before election

Louise Mensch
Conservative

Subsequent MP

Andy Sawford
Labour

The Corby by-election was a by-election held in England on 15 November 2012 to elect a new Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Corby in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.[4] The election was held on the same day as by-elections in Cardiff South and Penarth and Manchester Central, the first direct election for the post of Mayor of Bristol, and the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections.[5] Andy Sawford, the Labour Party candidate, won with 48% of the vote. The Conservatives' and Liberal Democrats' vote dropped significantly and UKIP came third with their highest-ever vote in a parliamentary by-election to that date.

Background[edit]

Formed in 1983, the Corby constituency had been held by the Labour Party since 1997, but was captured by the Conservative candidate, author Louise Mensch (elected under her maiden name, Louise Bagshawe), at the 2010 general election. In an email to the Prime Minister David Cameron on 6 August 2012, Mrs Mensch confirmed her intention to move to New York to spend time with her new husband, Peter Mensch, whose work is there, and their family. Louise Mensch was appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, thereby resigning her seat in the House of Commons, on 29 August 2012.

All registered Parliamentary electors (i.e. British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK and British citizens living overseas) who were aged 18 or over on 15 November 2012 and were on the electoral register for the constituency, were entitled to vote in the by-election. The deadline for voters to register to vote in the by-election was midnight on Wednesday 31 October 2012.[a] However, those who qualified as an anonymous elector had until midnight on Thursday 8 November 2012 to register to vote.[b]

Election campaign[edit]

Ed Miliband launched the Labour campaign in the East Northamptonshire town of Thrapston rather than the traditional Labour stronghold of Corby.[6]

In an interview with the Northamptonshire Telegraph at the campaign launch in Corby, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said: “We intend to put together a serious campaign here."[7]

A poll conducted 12–18 October by Lord Ashcroft in the constituency found 54% for Labour, 32% for the Conservatives, 10% for the Liberal Democrats and 8% for other candidates.[8]

James Delingpole, who writes for The Daily Telegraph and is sceptical of climate change, stated his intention to run as an independent, on a platform opposing wind farms. Delingpole stated this ambition on 17 September 2012 and met with prospective local voters. However, he never formally applied, pulling out after support from the Conservative energy minister, John Hayes, opposing onshore wind farms, which caused a minor rift between Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers. Chris Heaton-Harris, (Con, Daventry) and campaign manager for the party at the by-election, was secretly filmed saying he had encouraged Delingpole to run as a "plan" whereby Delingpole would say he would stand, though he would never actually do so, in order to "cause some hassle" and thus promote opposition to wind farms. Lewes councillor, Donna Edmonds (Con) set up Delingpole's wind-farm campaign website. Both Heaton-Harris and Edmonds argued they had not broken any party rules on supporting an opposition candidate on the grounds that Delingpole never formally became a candidate. The news of the secret footage broke before the election in the national press.[9][10]

Result[edit]

The total ballots issued were 35,775, and there were 110 spoilt ballots. The result was the second largest numerical majority ever in the Corby constituency (for any party) since its creation in 1983 (only 1997 was higher). In percentage terms, the Labour majority is only slightly lower than that in 1997 (21.8% compared to 22.0%). The result also represented the highest ever vote and share for UKIP at a parliamentary by-election at the time (the highest share record was broken at Rotherham two weeks later, and the record for largest number of UKIP votes polled in a by-election was broken at Eastleigh in February 2013). Corby was also the fourth by-election (out of nine in Great Britain up to that time) of the 2010 parliament at which the Liberal Democrats lost their deposit.

This was the first seat gained by Labour in a by-election since the Wirral South by-election in 1997.

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
Corby by-election, 2012
Resignation of Louise Mensch
Turnout: 35,665 (44.8%) −24.4
Labour gain from Conservative
Majority: 7,791 (21.8%)
Swing: 12.7% from Con to Lab
Andy Sawford Labour 17,267 48.4 +9.8
Christine Emmett Conservative 9,476 26.6 −15.6
Margot Parker UKIP 5,108 14.3 N/A
Jill Hope Liberal Democrat 1,770 5.0 −9.5
Gordon Riddell BNP 614 1.7 −3.0
David Wickham English Democrats 432 1.2 N/A
Jonathan Hornett Green 378 1.1 N/A
Ian Gillman Independent 212 0.6 N/A
Peter Reynolds Cannabis Law Reform 137 0.4 N/A
David Bishop Church of the Militant Elvis 99 0.3 N/A
Mr Mozzarella Independent 73 0.2 N/A
Rohen Kapur Young People's Party 39 0.1 N/A
Adam Lotun Democracy 2015 35 0.1 N/A
Christopher Scotton United People's Party 25 0.1 N/A
  • On 1 September 2012, the Conservative Party confirmed the choice of the Rutland county councillor Christine Emmett as their defending candidate.[15][16] Emmett was a member of William Hague's "Northern Transport Commission" and has been involved in NHS and transport infrastructure projects.[17][18] She believes that it is important for people to "train for the jobs we have".[14]
  • Jill Hope, the Liberal Democrat candidate, said she was standing to deal with unemployment in the constituency as "here the issue is isolation and lack of access to work".[14]
  • On 30 August 2012, David Wickham was confirmed as the English Democrats' candidate through an affiliated blog.[21] Wickham is a father of four who wants to reverse the decline in manufacturing, the establishment of an English parliament, ending mass uncontrolled immigration and removing the UK from the EU.[14]
  • On 6 October, the Green Party announced that Jonathan Hornett had been selected as its candidate following a ballot of local members. He stated, "The Green Party is the only alternative to cuts, climate change and social injustice. Locally we want more wind farms and public services; and no more housing developments, roads, warehouses or nuclear waste."[22]
  • Independent candidate Ian Gillman stood as the UK Independence Party candidate in Corby at the 2001 general election.[23]
  • It was announced on 3 September that Peter Reynolds, leader of Cannabis Law Reform (formerly the Legal Cannabis Alliance) would stand as a candidate.[24] He argues that the cannabis issue shows how the main parties "refuse to listen to public opinion".[14]
  • 'Mr Mozzarella' was a character appearing in advertisements for Just-Eat, a company which helps people order from takeaway restaurants, who set up the 'Don't Cook Party'. The head of brand marketing for Just Eat, Richard Murfitt, was the election agent for Mozzarella.[25]
  • On 2 September, the Young People's Party announced that they would stand Dr Rohen Kapur,[26] previously an independent candidate in the Hornsey and Wood Green seat in the 2010 general election.[27] Dr Kapur would abolish income tax and VAT.[14]
  • On 30 August, it was announced that Adam Lotun was to stand as an Independent candidate[28] with the backing of Democracy 2015.[29] Lotun stood on a platform of a living wage and renationalisation of public transport.[14] The party was first publically mooted on 4 September 2012, and this was the first election in which it was involved.
  • Christopher Scotton, East Midlands organiser, was confirmed as the candidate for the newly formed United People's Party.[30] He describes the UPP as "non-xenophobic" which promotes international co-operation.[14]

Past result[edit]

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
General election 2010
New boundaries
Turnout: 54,180 (69.2%) +3.6
Conservative gain from Labour
Majority: 1,951 (3.6%)
Swing: 3.4% from Lab to Con
Louise Bagshawe Conservative 22,886 42.2 +2.3
Phil Hope Labour 20,935 38.6 −4.5
Portia Wilson Liberal Democrat 7,834 14.5 +1.7
Roy Davies BNP 2,525 4.7 N/A

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The deadline for the receipt of electoral registration applications is the eleventh working day before election day.
  2. ^ The deadline for the receipt and determination of anonymous electoral registration applications is the same as the publication date of the notice of alteration to the Electoral Register, i.e. the fifth working day before election day.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LabourList". Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "BBC News". 31 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Margot and Jim make a bid to impress voters Northamptonshire Telegraph
  4. ^ Louise Mensch to quit as an MP triggering Corby by-election BBC News
  5. ^ Louise Mensch MP quits to care for young family Daily Telegraph
  6. ^ a b Juliette Jowit (9 August 2012). "Labour off to a flyer in Corby byelection campaign". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Margot and Jim make a bid to impress voters Northamptonshire Telegraph
  8. ^ Corby By-Election: Tories Face Major Defeat, Sky News, 23 October 2012
  9. ^ Tory MP running Corby campaign 'backed rival in anti-windfarm plot', by Paul Lewis and Rob Evans, The Guardian, Tuesday 13 November 2012
  10. ^ Metro: Tory MP denies plot to back anti-wind farm candidate in Corby by-election
  11. ^ http://www.lgiu.org.uk/lgiu-staff/
  12. ^ As Louise Mensch resigns - Introducing Labour's candidate for Corby LabourList
  13. ^ Andy Sawford for Corby and East Northants Labour Online
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Corby by-election: Candidates' profiles". BBC News. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  15. ^ Ketton ward councillors Rutland County Council
  16. ^ Conservatives pick Christine Emmett as Corby candidate BBC News
  17. ^ Why small businesses need the Conservatives - and what we must be offering them ConservativeHome
  18. ^ About Christine Emmett Personal website
  19. ^ Margot Parker UKIP
  20. ^ Margot Parker, Libertas East Midlands
  21. ^ English Democrats select David Whickham for the Corby By-Election English Passport
  22. ^ "Corby and East Northamptonshire Parliamentary By-Election Candidate Selected". Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  23. ^ Candidates for 2001 Election Demon
  24. ^ Reynolds, Peter. "CLEAR To Contest The Corby By-Election". Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  25. ^ Farey-Jones, Daniel (1 November 2012). "Just Eat enters ad character in by-election". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  26. ^ http://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/news/local/parties-reveal-candidates-for-corby-and-east-northants-by-election-1-4218630.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ Profile Your Next MP
  28. ^ Lotun, Adam. "Adam Lotun to Contest The Corby By-Election". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 3 September 2012. [dead link]
  29. ^ "A dramatic step forward for Democracy 2015: Adam Lotun to stand in Corby by-election on November 15" The Independent 9 October 2012
  30. ^ United People's Party