Herewith the Eastleigh by-election result:
Mike Thornton (Liberal Democrat) 13,342 (32.06%)
Diane James (UKIP) 11,571 (27.80%)
Maria Hutchings (Conservative) 10,559 (25.37%)
John O’Farrell (Labour) 4,088 (9.82%)
In yesterday’s article we stated that a UKIP victory in Eastleigh was not impossible. These figures bear witness to that. It also confirms what the British Gazette said about the understating of voters intentions by the pollsters.
Before embarking upon a commentary of why the Tories did not win, the British Gazette will comment upon why UKIP did not win. The reason was quite straightforward: The Liberal Democrats are very strong indeed in the Borough of Eastleigh. In fact, the Borough of Eastleigh could probably be called the Lib-Dem’s English stronghold.
The Borough of Eastleigh is a local government district and borough in Hampshire, England, bordering the unitary authority of Southampton, Test Valley, the City of Winchester and the borough of Fareham. There are 44 seats on the borough council across 19 wards. At present, 40 of these 44 seats are held by Liberal Democrat councillors, with four Conservative councillors and no Labour councillors. The council is rated as “good” by the Audit Commission.
From the start of the campaign, it was perfectly clear what Mike Thornton and his team had to do: Remind voters that they had a council dominated and run by the Liberal Democrats and to dissociate themselves from Mr Huhne’s criminality. In other words tell the voters that if they are happy with the council, send a Lib-Dem to Westminster. The Lib-Dems sought to try and keep the campaign on their local record. In this they succeeded. Just!
The Lib-Dems had certain advantages to aid them in that task: As the reader will have assumed, the Lib-Dems have a very very strong party base in Eastleigh. This is important for when a by election such as this occurs, the General Public will notice the huge influx of political activists. They will have noted that there were a far larger proportion of “locals” wearing Lib Dem rosettes that those campaigning for the other parties. This will particularly have affected UKIP. Furthermore, it must be remembered that the Lib-Dems are the party of “pavement politics.” Eastleigh was a battleground on which the Lib-Dems knew precisely how to fight. Given this, Diane’s and her fellow UKIPers achievement (1,771 votes behind the winner) has been magnificent and the British Gazette sends its hearty congratulations.
Of course, the focus of the national politicians will be on the dismal result for the Tories.
As long as David Cameron and such as Theresa May (known amongst the trendy “Islington Set” as the “Useful Idiot”) continue to try and re-invent the Tory party as “the nice party” in order to win the approval of columnists such as Poly Toynbee, alienate its core constituency and continue to allow the European Union to rule over us, their fortunes will merely go from very bad to very much worse. All this to win the praise of a woman who is never going to vote Conservative!
The latest EU power grab – the plan to control “bankers bonuses” by EU Directive is one of the most serious attacks on the City of London since Hermann Göring, Reichsmarschall des Grossdeutschen Reiches (Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich) sent the Luftwaffe bombers against London in 1940. Be in no doubt, the British Gazette is not overstating the seriousness of the situation. The simple fact is this: notwithstanding their present unpopularity and poor public image, the City of London’s Financial Services Industry is the goose that lays those many golden eggs on which the Treasury depends upon for much of its taxation receipts. The City’s reaction to the EU Directive is obvious: the City institutions will simply relocate the immensely profitable investment banking operations outside the UK and EU. New York is the most likely beneficiary. Thus the billions of £ of tax presently remitted to HM’s Treasury will in future be remitted to the US Inland Revenue Service!
Will Mr Cameron stand up to the European Union for once in his miserable life?
We very much doubt it.