Mike Thornton (politician)

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Mike Thornton
Mike Thornton MP at Brighton 2013.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Eastleigh
In office
28 February 2013 – 7 May 2015[1]
Preceded by Chris Huhne
Succeeded by Mims Davies
Majority 1,771 (5.26%)
Personal details
Born Michael Douglas Thornton
(1952-05-01) 1 May 1952 (age 65)
Farnham, Surrey, England
Political party Liberal Democrats
Spouse(s) Peta Thornton
Children One daughter
Alma mater Charterhouse School
Manchester Metropolitan University

Michael Douglas Thornton[2] (born 1 May 1952)[3] is a British politician and former Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Eastleigh in Hampshire. He was elected in the Eastleigh by-election held on 28 February 2013, a seat which he lost at the 2015 general election.

Early life[edit]

The son of Sir Peter Eustace Thornton, Thornton grew up in Farnham in Surrey and was educated at Charterhouse School, before reading law at Manchester Polytechnic. He has had a range of jobs, including spells in the United States (his mother is from Tennessee). Thornton spent a significant period of time working in financial services.

He has lived in Bishopstoke, Hampshire since 1994[4] and was previously a parish councillor in Bishopstoke[5] and a borough councillor[6] in Eastleigh.

Political career[edit]

Following the resignation of the previous Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne, he was chosen as their candidate at the 2013 Eastleigh by-election to replace him. This took place on 28 February 2013 and Thornton was declared the winner in the early hours of 1 March.[7]

In Parliament, Thornton joined the European Scrutiny Committee, the Work and Pensions Committee and the Bill committee for HS2,[8] which he argues "would benefit the country as a whole, not just the cities that link to it"[9]

His defeat at the 2015 general election was unexpected. Although he only defended a small numerical majority of 1,771, the Eastleigh constituency was otherwise a stronghold, with the Liberal Democrats holding almost every seat on the council for many years. During the 2013 by-election it had been reported that whilst the local Liberal Democrats commanded a vast database of supporters on the ground that enabled them to get their vote out, the local Tory organisation in the constituency was practically non-existent. Indeed, at the 2013 by-election the Conservatives had been beaten into third place by UKIP.


  1. ^ "Dissolution of Parliament". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Eastleigh Parliamentary By-Election 2013 Result". Eastleigh Borough Council. 1 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Mike Thornton Liberal Democrats". Southern Daily Echo. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  4. ^ About Mike on Eastleigh Lib Dems site
  5. ^ "Bishopstoke PC profile". Bishopstokepc.hampshire.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-31. 
  6. ^ "Profile on Council web site". Eastleigh.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-31. 
  7. ^ Wintour, Patrick; Morris, Steven (1 March 2013). "Lib Dems hold off Ukip surge as Tories drop to third in Eastleigh byelection". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Mike Thornton". Parliament UK. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "HS2: Cameron hails 'vital programme' as MPs approve funding". BBC. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Chris Huhne
Member of Parliament for Eastleigh
Succeeded by
Mims Davies