Eastleigh by-election, 2013

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Eastleigh by-election, 2013
United Kingdom
2010 ←
28 February 2013
→ 2015

The Eastleigh seat in the House of Commons.
Triggered by vacation of seat by incumbent
 
Candidate Mike Thornton Diane James
Party Liberal Democrat UKIP
Popular vote 13,342 11,571
Percentage 32.06% 27.80%

 
Candidate Maria Hutchings John O'Farrell
Party Conservative Labour
Popular vote 10,559 4,088
Percentage 25.37% 9.82%

Eastleigh2007Constituency.svg

Map showing the Eastleigh Parliamentary constituency within the English county of Hampshire.

MP before election

Chris Huhne
Liberal Democrat

Subsequent MP

Mike Thornton
Liberal Democrat

The Eastleigh by-election, 2013 was a parliamentary by-election held on 28 February 2013 for the United Kingdom House of Commons constituency of Eastleigh in Hampshire.[1]

The election was triggered by the resignation of the sitting MP, Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne, which took effect on 5 February 2013.[2] The resignation coincided with his guilty plea on the eve of a court case in which he and his ex-wife were to be prosecuted for lying to police about a historical speeding offence (committed in 2003 but which only came to light in May 2011). Huhne had already stood down from his position as the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in February 2012 when first charged.[3]

Mike Thornton retained the seat for the Liberal Democrats, though with a reduced majority compared with the 2010 general election. UKIP came second with a greatly increased share of the vote, the Conservatives came third, and Labour fourth.[4] Following the election result, UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings each blamed the other party for splitting the vote and allowing the Liberal Democrats to win.[5]

Selection of candidates[edit]

The Statement of Persons Nominated was published on 13 February and confirmed 14 candidates for the by-election.[6] The defending party, the Liberal Democrats, nominated Eastleigh Borough Council councillor Mike Thornton.[7][8]

Maria Hutchings, the Conservatives' candidate at the General Election, was chosen as the candidate for the by-election on 7 February.[9] Hutchings came to prominence in 2005 when she interrupted a live television phone-in with the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.[10] She said that she would vote for Britain to leave the EU and would have voted against gay marriage.[11] She also identified as "pro-life" and says that she is not a "Tory toff".

The Labour Party chose author and broadcaster John O'Farrell as its candidate on 12 February.[12][13] Having received during the campaign negative coverage of selected quotations from a book he wrote in 1998, in which he recalled the Brighton bomb attacks against the Conservative Party and then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher,[14][15] John O'Farrell reflected after polling day that the experience was enough to put him off electoral politics for good.[16][17]

UKIP Eastleigh selected candidate Diane James, a Councillor from Ewhurst in Waverley, Surrey, who was elected there as an independent and subsequently joined UKIP.[18][19][20][21] The party's leader, Nigel Farage, previously contested the seat at a by-election in 1994.[22][23][24] While he initially said he would consider standing again, he decided not to after much media speculation.[25]

The English Democrats fielded Michael Walters, the South East Area Secretary of the party.

The Christian Party candidate was Kevin Milburn. He said "I am standing in this election to allow voters the opportunity to show their disapproval of this Government over many issues, including their attack on marriage. The Government has upset vast swathes of the population with this ill-conceived Bill."[26]

The Monster Raving Loony Party, which stood in the 1994 by-election, selected its leader Howling Laud Hope as its candidate.[27]

On 8 February, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition announced that it had chosen Darren Procter, secretary of the Southampton Shipping branch of the RMT union, as their candidate.[28] Procter also serves on the National Executive Committee of RMT. He stood on an anti-austerity platform.

The National Health Action Party, a new party founded in 2012 in response to the Coalition Government's healthcare reforms, selected Dr Iain Maclennan, a local doctor and former Royal Navy medical officer, as their candidate.[29]

Independent candidate Danny Stupple stood in protest at gay marriage and what he describes as the party "machine" pushing it through Parliament.[30]

The Wessex Regionalist Party fielded the party's president, Colin Bex, as its candidate.

Polling[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size Lib Dem Cons UKIP Lab Others Lead
28 Feb Eastleigh by-election, 2013 Result 42,649 32% 25% 28% 10% 5% 4%
22–24 Feb Populus/The Times 1,002 33% 28% 21% 12% 6% 5%
21–22 Feb Populus/Sunday Times 1,001 33% 28% 21% 11% 4% 5%
18–22 Feb Survation/Mail on Sunday 543 29% 33% 21% 13% 4% 4%
6–8 Feb Survation/Mail on Sunday 504 36% 33% 16% 13% 2% 3%
4–5 Feb Populus 1,006 31% 34% 13% 19% 3% 3%
6 May 2010 Results (Eastleigh only) 53,650 47% 39% 4% 10% 1% 7%

Result[edit]

The Liberal Democrats' win was their first in a by-election since Dunfermline and West Fife seven years earlier. It was also their first win under current leader Nick Clegg. The UKIP vote was their highest yet in any parliamentary election (in both share and number of votes), and was the fourth time the party had come second in a by-election. It was also the closest they have come to winning a Westminster seat.

With less than 7% of the vote separating the top three candidates, it was the closest three-way result in an English by-election for over 90 years (in Penistone in 1921 there was 6% between the top three). It was also the first time since the 1989 Richmond by-election that Labour had come fourth while in opposition.

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
Eastleigh by-election 2013
Resignation of Chris Huhne
Turnout: 41,616 (52.8%) -16.5
Liberal Democrat hold
Majority: 1,771 (4.3%)
Swing: -19.3% from Lib Dem to UKIP
Mike Thornton Liberal Democrat 13,342 32.1 -14.4
Diane James UKIP 11,571 27.8 +24.2
Maria Hutchings Conservative 10,559 25.4 -13.9
John O'Farrell Labour 4,088 9.8 +0.2
Danny Stupple Independent 768 1.8 N/A
Iain Maclennan National Health Action 392 0.9 N/A
Ray Hall Beer, Baccy and Crumpet 235 0.6 N/A
Kevin Milburn Christian 163 0.4 N/A
Howling Laud Hope Monster Raving Loony 136 0.3 N/A
Jim Duggan Peace 128 0.3 N/A
David Bishop Elvis Loves Pets 72 0.2 N/A
Michael Walters English Democrats 70 0.1 -0.3
Daz Proctor TUSC 62 0.1 N/A
Colin Bex Wessex Regionalist 30 0.1 N/A

Previous election[edit]

Election Political result Candidate Party Votes % ±%
General election 2010 [31]
Turnout: 53,650 (69.3%) +4.9
Liberal Democrat hold
Majority: 3,864 (7.2%)
Swing: 3.0% from Con to Lib Dem
Chris Huhne Liberal Democrat 24,966 46.5 +8.2
Maria Hutchings Conservative 21,102 39.3 +2.1
Leo Barraclough Labour 5,153 9.6 −11.5
Ray Finch UKIP 1,933 3.6 +0.2
Tony Pewsey English Democrats 249 0.5 N/A
Dave Stone Independent 154 0.3 N/A
Keith Low National Liberal Party – Third Way 93 0.2 N/A

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Date set for Eastleigh by-election". BBC. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Press Notice – Three Hundreds of Chiltern". HM Treasury. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Chris Huhne admits perverting the course of justice". BBC. 4 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Eastleigh by-election: 'Great honour' for winner Mike Thornton'". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-03-01. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  5. ^ Robin Brant (2013-03-01). "Eastleigh by-election: Lib Dems hold on despite UKIP surge". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  6. ^ http://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/Docs/StatementofPersonsNominatedNOPandPolling%20Stations2013.doc
  7. ^ "Profile – Cllr. Mike Thornton". Eastleigh Borough Council. Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Eastleigh by-election: Mike Thornton chosen as Lib Dem candidate". BBC. 9 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Eastleigh by-election: Maria Hutchings to stand for Conservatives". BBC. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "The moment the Tories' Eastleigh candidate ambushed Tony Blair". Political Scrapbook. 8 February 2013. 
  11. ^ Tweedie, Neil; Dominiczak, Peter (8 February 2013). "Eastleigh by-election: Why Eastleigh could soon turn beastly". The Daily Telegraph. 
  12. ^ Eastleigh – The Shortlist LabourList
  13. ^ Ferguson, Mark (7 February 2013). "Labour's selection Timetable for Eastleigh announced". 
  14. ^ Ed Miliband’s pathetic silence over Labour candidate’s sick attack on Lady Thatcher shows poor leadership The Daily Telegraph
  15. ^ Fury over 'moral reprobate' Labour candidate who wrote of disappointment that Mrs Thatcher didn't die in the Brighton bomb The Daily Mail
  16. ^ My Eastleigh experience was enough – I won't stand for election in 2015 The Guardian
  17. ^ Labour's John O'Farrell Won't Stand In 2015 Election, After Eastleigh Fourth Place The Huffington Post
  18. ^ Profile – Councillor Diane James Waverley Borough Council
  19. ^ "Diane James, our choice for Eastleigh". UKIP. 11 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "UKIP hope". Eastleighnews.co.uk. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  21. ^ "Eastleigh by-election candidate list". BBC. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  22. ^ Landale, James (4 February 2012). "Huhne triggers coalition by-election battle". BBC. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  23. ^ Farage, Nigel (5 February 2013). "Why I will not fight the Eastleigh by-election". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  24. ^ Maddox, David (4 February 2013). "Nigel Farage to decide on Eastleigh by-election". The Scotsman. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  25. ^ Hope, Christopher (5 February 2013). "Exclusive: Nigel Farage will not fight Chris Huhne seat". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  26. ^ "Kevin Milburn – Christian Party – VIDEO (From Daily Echo)". Dailyecho.co.uk. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  27. ^ "Twitter / LoonyPartyNews". Official Monster Raving Loony Party. 6 February 2013. 
  28. ^ "RMT executive member Darren Procter to stand in Eastleigh by-election". Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. 8 February 2013. 
  29. ^ "Former Local Lib Dem activist and ex-NHS chief defects to National Health Action Party". National Health Action Party. 10 February 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  30. ^ [1][dead link]
  31. ^ "Statement of persons nominated, notice of poll and situation of polling stations". Eastleigh Borough Council. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 

External links[edit]