Talk:Newark by-election, 2014

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Sources and crystal balls[edit]

Just wondering what we should do so thought I would ask other editors. The BBC source says there will be a by-election, but our article says a by-election is expected. Wikipedia must be verifiable but it is not a crystal ball. So what to do?

Also, I believe the sentence on the date of the by-election is right - that is, it will be some time after the Euro elections. I think I heard Peter Kellner on Radio 4 last night say just this. But does anyone have a source for this? Otherwise it may look like original research. Thanks. --Wavehunter (talk) 08:34, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

It's tricky. There will very probably be a by-election, but a by-election hasn't been officially called and there are circumstances under which it won't be called (or will be called but not then held). (The most likely is a collapse of the government leading to a new general election.) I feel it's appropriate to go with "expected" until the writ is actually moved. Bondegezou (talk) 13:00, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't think there are any WP:CRYSTAL problems here: it is notable and almost certain to take place. The only way that a Newark by-election will not happen is if the next United Kingdom general election is called first. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 means that the general election will almost certainly be next year, unless the government loses a motion of no-confidence (highly unlikely, as the coalition has an overall majority of >70) or 2/3 of MPs vote for an early dissolution (which is even less likely). Jmorrison230582 (talk) 13:26, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't see any cost in being that little bit more precise with the wording. I'd like to say "expected" until the writ has actually been moved. There can be long gaps to by-elections. Martin McGuinness announced he would resign on 11 June 2012, but the Commons paperwork for that resignation didn't actually happen until 2 January 2013, and the election wasn't until 7 March 2013. The UK Parliamentary by-elections article has many details of the rules and precedents. Bondegezou (talk) 16:32, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I think you're both right: an early General Election is unlikely (unless the coalition collapses?) and the by-election requires a writ and a notice period. However, Wikipedia's not about being right but verifiable. The source says there will be a by-election. I haven't yet seen a source on when it will be. (The citation given looks to me like synthesis.) --Wavehunter (talk) 17:33, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I've given a cite specifically on the date issue to avoid any synthesis. Wikipedia is about being verifiable: if a reliable source says something that we know isn't true, then it isn't verifiable. Errors in reliable sources should not be included in articles. Policy is clear there. Technically, no by-election is yet scheduled, so I think it is justified to be careful in our language, even if one citation given hasn't been. Bondegezou (talk) 20:10, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


I tried to rebalance the article earlier. The media are very interested in the fact that Nigel Farage is not standing in the by-election, but I don't think this is encyclopaedic. UKIP came fourth in the constituency in 2010. We have not mentioned Conservative, Labour and Liberal politicians who are not standing. I think this is undue weight. --Wavehunter (talk) 17:33, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

We should reflect what reliable source citations are saying. The reliable source citations are all talking about Farage standing or not standing and about UKIP. It's not undue weight to reflect reliable sources; it is rather what we should be doing. Bondegezou (talk) 20:07, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Current opinion polling and the prospect of UKIP gaining its first ever seat in the Commons make this the most important issue of the by-election. [1] Jimnik088 (talk) 22:28, 6 May 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jimnik088 (talkcontribs) 22:25, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Alternative Infobox[edit]

Newark by-election
United Kingdom
← 2010 5 June 2014 (2014-06-05) 2015 →

Newark constituency
  Robert Jenrick.jpg
Candidate Robert Jenrick Michael Payne
Party Conservative Labour

Map showing the Newark Parliamentary constituency within the English county of Nottinghamshire.

Incumbent MP

Patrick Mercer

I'd like to propose that we include candidates of an on going by-election in the infobox. I believe it will assist the readers as the infobox summarizes what the article is about. We've had two objections:

  • User:Owl In The House: Since when did ongoing by-elections have candidates and candidate photographs in the info box before the election had taken place? Never seen this done in an ongoing by-election before, why start now?
Whereas this may never have occurred in a by-election, I propose we could perhaps consider from this point on wards. The template Template:Infobox_election#Ongoing_presidential does give an example for a presidential election.
  • User:Doktorbuk: Respectfully disagree. Infoboxes should not become notice boards.
Re the noticeboard rationale, is this part of a policy/guideline or a personal opinion?

I call for a vote:

  • Support - include the candidates in the infobox. Ali Fazal (talk) 12:14, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: I suppose the reason that we generally do not post candidate images before the election is because politicians are not normally notable before they are elected to parliament and therefore do not have WP articles about them (and thus do not have pictures of them saved). In many by-elections, none of the candidates will have a WP article before the election. This is unlike (say) general election articles (e.g. next United Kingdom general election), where notable people (the party leaders) are in the infobox and they really should have a free use image kicking about somewhere. On the basis that we will probably not have images of the other candidates before the election, I would prefer that we do not post the image of any of them in the infobox. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 12:33, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. FYI: I emailed the Labour candidate yesterday requesting that he provide a free image [preferably via Flickr]. Ali Fazal (talk) 12:39, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. If candidates are to be included, it should be done on a neutral basis. That means waiting until the nomination process is complete, and then listing all candidates without any apparent ranking. For example, pictures of all or none; no ranking which appears to indicate some candidates as more significant than others.
However, an infobox is a poor way to present this info. At the last 5 by-elections in England, there has been at least 7 candidates (Wythenshawe and Sale East), and up to 14 (Eastleigh). Including that many candidates in an infobox creates a bulky mess which overwhelms the page. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:51, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Following on from my previous comments and the argument further strengthened by Jmorrison230582 and indeed Doktorbuk I oppose this change.
1. This would be the first time we would be doing this, even George Galloway's photograph wasn't included until after the election (with his being the only photograph) in the Bradford West by-election, 2012. We do not include the names of any candidates (nevermind photographs) in an election box. If we are to change this precedent we should do it in the next Parliament, not now just because someone who appears to be a Conservative activist (not making a firm allegation there) wants to change things.
2. It is wikipedia policy not to give prominence to relatively unknown politicians (especially those without a Wiki Page). For instance, when we have council elections we do not include the name of the local party leader in the info box, that would be an example of violating Wiki policy. After the election, when they have earnt their prominence (by achieving more than 5% of the vote) is when we add candidates to the info box. To add any of the candidates now would be a violation of Wiki Policy. Even if a well known figure such as Nigel Farage did hypothetically stand we shouldn't include him in the info box because of the lack of prominence of the other candidates. Before the election it would be most unfair to include some candidates and not others and for some to have pictures and others not to. Wikipedia needs to stay non-partisan.
3. The By-election hasn't even been called yet, no writ has been moved, no date has been set and no statement of persons nominated has been published. Aside from the above arguments it would be most inappropriate to have anyone in the info box before such hurdles had been cleared. In the mean time there is the candidates box, if parties have announced there candidates, they should be added at the earliest convenience as has been done.
4. There is no plausible reason to change from adding candidates to the infobox after the election to before, the candidate box is more than sufficient. The info box is a summary box, since no election has taken place yet there is nothing to summarise.
There seems to be zero consensus in favour of this change. Indeed there seems to be consensus against it. I have yet to hear a sound and reasoned argument stating otherwise. Owl In The House (talk) 13:04, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Owl, the writ has been moved. Bondegezou (talk) 13:12, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for that. Not that it makes the blindest bit of difference to the argument I'm making. Owl In The House (talk) 13:40, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
COI statement: I'd like to state for the record and for the avoidance of any doubt, that I'm not an activist for any of the UK parties. [Trivia: I'm a Commonwealth national, pursuing my higher education in England]. Ali Fazal (talk) 14:01, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment Wikipedia policy says we should use pictures when he have them, doesn't it? But I take the point that it might seem like political bias to do so before the vote when we only have some pictures available. It also makes the infobox look a bit messy if we have some pictures and not others. So, my gut feeling is: no pictures in the infobox until after the election. Whether we more generally have an infobox before nominations close, I think it's reasonable to do so on the grounds of WP:V. Standard practice, at least with UK by-elections, has been to include all parties who got at least 5% (i.e. saved their deposit) from last time, ordered by performance last time. I think if there's a strong reason to include someone else (e.g. a new party or a resurgent party), then it would be reasonable to include them as well, perhaps at the end of the list. A strong reason would be multiple reliable source citations describing that party/candidate as a serious contender (which would mean including UKIP now), or perhaps an opinion poll. There is no reason to include all the candidates: an infobox is a summary. Obviously all candidates should be listed in the main text. Bondegezou (talk) 13:11, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I oppose adding candidates to the infobox at this stage. However, I would not be against adding photographs of the candidates elsewhere in the article. With luck we can get pictures of all candidates. I imagine we all have a favourite political party (and a least favourite), but we must strive for balance. --Wavehunter (talk) 13:32, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Oppose Wiki is not news, nor a byelection notice board, nor do we promote candidates without notability. We rightly remove, revert or block edits made to promote candidates without significant notability or importance, and would be going against this in the provision of avatars on confirmation of adoption as candidates. It does not provide any constructive element to the article, and could become a dumping ground for unsuitable or unverifiable photographs. We use infoboxes in specific circumstances and in specific ways. I recommend we continue this attitude. doktorb wordsdeeds 13:52, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Further comment - I am not opposed to including pictures in the article before the election per-say, that is on the proviso we can get pictures of candidates from the main contending parties and that they are suitable i.e. no silly grins, or unfortunate facial expressions etc. As per Bondegezou's argument of giving due prominence to main parties as well as insurgent parties (on the basis of reliable sources). As things stand that would mean we would need photographs of the Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and UKIP candidates. Although if our reliable sources point to one or more of those candidates loosing prominence then there is no reason for adding their photograph. We should not include a photograph of one of the main contenders without others. As things stand we don't know all of the candidates and we only have one photograph, so for now lets wait until we do know all the main contenders. This is an election, not a coronation.
doktorb is probably a bit more direct then me about the possible motivations for such edits but I endorse his comments. Owl In The House (talk) 13:59, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Unduly complicating matters. PatGallacher (talk) 14:33, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Palpable nonsense of the highest kind doktorb wordsdeeds 18:52, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Friends of England, Newark By-election 2014[edit]

This is the distributed manifesto of the UKIP membership regarding the by election in Newark of 2014. Due to the resignation of Patrick Mercer, UKIP have put up a candidate for the election. Labour and Conservatives are also known to be fighting the election. The full list of election literature is incoming. Please inform me of any developments regarding new literature. I will be checking google and the locals for news. The UKIP pdf file is listed here:

If there is any literature for Labour or Conservatives, please scan it in with your OCR software then upload it to sendspace. If there is no problem, I will work to upload all of the OCR pdfs to Wikipedia for use in the article. If PDFs are not allowed, I will convert the images to JPG myself. If anyone has images of the election, we are allowed to add them to the article, but in that case, please offer open source versions of the photographs.

We are going to need sources for the names Robert Jenrick and Michael Payne. I am going to do a search. If the sources do not turn up, then we should remove that information. In fact it is possible for someone to add "Mickey Mouse" and "Donald Duck" as candidates on this site. That's why policy asks for direct sources for names. Newspapers articles are ok if they are notable publications. Better still would be official electoral documents. Basically I'm not in favour of deleting, I would rather get the sources ASAP. Please help me out with these matters. Cheers.Theodore inviticus (talk) 07:47, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm not really sure where to start in answering this, other then to say No to everything. Lets at least get the facts straight:
1. Firstly the source you have provided is unverifiable and looks nothing like any official UKIP literature, for one thing it is an A4 word document and secondly it doesn't even have the party logo in the header. Furthermore, I have never known Wikipedia to include images of campaign literature, especially ones that have been "scanned in". There is no reason to change this approach, we are an encyclopedia, not a news organisation, nor are we here to promote literature, the parties should do that themselves.
2. "Friends of England" are not UKIP. If there is a newly formed party called "Friends of England" or indeed an Independent Candidate standing under that name in this by-election, then yes we include them. From what I understand that is not the case/what you are proposing. I'm not sure if you are aware of the potential legal problems that could come from passing off campaign literature of belonging to a political party when it doesn't but I suggest you inform your self.
3. We already have reliable sources stating who the candidates are so far. This BBC source cites both Robert Jenrick and Michael Payne as candidates. Their parties selected them as PPCs long before the by-election was called, indeed there are hundreds of PPCs around the country from all parties for different seats. It seems the Lib Dems and UKIP hadn't got round to selecting one for this seat though. The sources show that both parties intend to stand candidates, so I am not adverse to the idea of adding those two parties to the info box with "To be decided" in place of the candidates name. Oh and if any Disney characters do decide to stand, provided we can reliably source them, we will include them, stranger things have happened in a by-election.
In short, no, no change is needed as a result of your comments. Kind Regards Owl In The House (talk) 10:27, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Are we losing everything interesting?[edit]

This article has ebbed and flowed, as is the nature of articles about current events. We clearly need to respect WP:BIAS and other policy. However, it seems to me that some edits have been overly cautious and we've taken out of the article everything that's actually notable about the campaign to be left with a rather bland list of who's standing. We should be able to do better than that, we should be able to report the actual issues in the campaign, there are reliable sources for these issues: namely, an expectation that UKIP will do well (possibly their first Commons win), discussion over whether Farage should stand, Helmer as a controversial candidate (repeated in the BBC's Politics Show yesterday), and possibly the recent claim that Labour aren't trying too hard in the campaign. Several of these were covered in the article, but have been removed without much discussion. Bondegezou (talk) 12:43, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

If anything I'd say the opposite is the case. The article currently contains three references detailing Helmer's controversies, one of which is not even close to reliable, supporting nothing other than the vague assertion that the man is "outspoken". "Overly cautious" is not how I'd describe the situation. – Arms & Hearts (talk) 13:07, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
I take your point, Bondegezou, about these interesting topics, but I agree with Arms & Hearts. The ebb and flow of the debate can be found on news and current affairs websites. At Wikipedia we should beware of "recentism" (giving undue weight to information just because it happened in the last few days). In the long term, the fact that Farage is not standing and the other issues mentioned may seem insignificant. If they do have some historical significance, they will be picked up by future editors. We do not have a crystal ball, but we are prone to overestimating the import of current events. --Wavehunter (talk) 15:21, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
If we're too wary of writing about the campaign, we don't need 'and campaign' in the section heading doktorb wordsdeeds 16:21, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
My experience of editing many by-election articles is that, 2 days after the result, no-one will be editing the article. Leaving this to "future editors" means nothing will happen. We are left with bland articles listing nothing but raw numbers, whereas I'd rather see articles like this one, Mid Ulster by-election, 2013, which was largely written before the election. I think we do better to edit now, while taking due note of WP:RECENTISM, WP:UNDUE, WP:RS &c. Bondegezou (talk) 17:26, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Voter movements[edit]

In Germany we have something called "Wählerwanderung" (Voter's shift or movement) it shows from where a a party recieved vots and to what party it lost votes.


Tory: 17,431

UKIP x Votes +/ - Labour x Votes +/- LibDem x Votes + / - . . . . etc.

Is there any comparable data for elections in the UK it would be interesting to know the sources of the votes.

-- (talk) 05:29, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

I am not aware of any data for this by-election that would allow such. Bondegezou (talk) 18:49, 26 June 2014 (UTC)