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Mon Feb 4, 2013, 06:27 AM

Chris Huhne admits perverting the course of justice, will step down as MP

Former cabinet minister Chris Huhne has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice over claims his ex-wife Vicky Pryce took speeding points for him a decade ago.

The Lib Dem MP, 58, changed his plea on the first day of his trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Mr Huhne said he will be standing down as MP for Eastleigh.

His former wife, Vicky Pryce, has pleaded not guilty to the same offence on the grounds of marital coercion.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21320992


It's the next door constituency to me (we might have been redistricted into it, but obviously nothing will change before a by-election). The Tories were catching up to him in the last election; although Eastleigh Borough Council is overwhelmingly Lib Dem, I'd say they'd have a good chance of taking it, after this.

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Reply Chris Huhne admits perverting the course of justice, will step down as MP (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 OP
T_i_B Feb 2013 #1
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #2
T_i_B Feb 2013 #3
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #4
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #5
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #6
T_i_B Feb 2013 #7
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #8
T_i_B Mar 2013 #9
LeftishBrit Mar 2013 #10
non sociopath skin Mar 2013 #11
fedsron2us Mar 2013 #12
non sociopath skin Mar 2013 #13
T_i_B Mar 2013 #14
non sociopath skin Mar 2013 #15
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2013 #16
non sociopath skin Mar 2013 #17

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 07:08 AM

1. I was about to ask you about how a by-election will go in Eastleigh!

What sort of constituency is it?

I notice that the Lib Dems won a by-election there in 1994 after strange, tragic death of the Conservative MP Stephen Milligan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Milligan

Prior to that it appears to have been a safe Tory seat.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:37 AM

2. It's fairly non-descript - a town with a bit of industry

but not as much as it used to have (there used to be more railway work, and a large Pirelli cables factory, which has been savagely cut; the Ford plant that built Transit vans, on the edge of the constituency, has just announced it's closing down). Most of the population is there, but there are also posher bits, like Hamble. The borough council (which is roughly the constituency plus Chandler's Ford, which is where I am) is incredibly Lib Dem - the only 4 Tory councillors are from Chandler's Ford, and all the rest is now Lib Dem. So you'd think it'd be an easy Lib Dem constituency, but Huhne only won it by about 1% in 2005 (his first time). He won it by a bit more in 2010 (I was wrong about them closing in on him - I was thinking of him winning it by less in 2005 than the previous Lib Dem), but the Tories have always been able to get a sizeable vote for Westminster; the Lib Dems collected Labour votes that decided that was the way to stop a Tory MP, I think. And, with the coalition, and without a known candidatem I think quite a few of those will go back to Labour.

The only well-known local Lib Dem is Keith House, the council leader; but he also has something he can be attacked on - the council has controversially invested money in the (Rose) Ageas Bowl, which is the Hampshire Cricket Club ground. It wants to get more international cricket, but it's a bit of a gamble if the money poured into it will ever come back (it's hard to say that the borough gets much extra tourist income from it, since it's actually south of the M27, so in many ways it's more closely linked to Southampton).

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:25 AM

3. Let us know if how it progresses.

I'd much rather hear how a by election is going from somebody local then some "commentator" from London who hasn't been anywhere near the constituency.

Hopefully the Lib Dems select a good local candidate. Chris Huhne always struck me as wildly over ambitious. Even more over ambitious then Nick Clegg as it happens.

If Farage stands for UKIP as well that might have an impact. The mere suggestion that he might stand in Eastleigh may lead the Tories to select the most right wing candidate they possibly can.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 08:29 PM

4. So far: by-election will be 28th Feb; Tories have 3% lead in a poll

commissioned by Lord Ashcroft (1,006 polled).

http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Eastleigh-poll-summary.pdf

The Tories are standing their candidate who came 2nd in 2010, Maria Hutchings. She looks a bit more right wing than Dave would like in his candidates who are going to have their moment in the media spotlight: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/02/how-tory-election-candidate-maria-hutchings-attacked-asylum-seekers

The polls results looks quite believable to me. UKIP have no base in the area, and Labour has been fading in Eastleigh, so I don't think their stronger support in Southampton and Portsmouth would be enough to make them contenders. I don't know who the Lib Dems will put up (they are choosing them on Saturday, apparently), but they made the decision to go for as quick an election as possible, so they don't seem to think they need time to get the candidate known. They hold all borough council seats in the area, so there's a good base; it may depend on if the Tories can persuade people who don't vote in local elections to come out for the by-election.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:39 PM

5. John O'Farrell selected for Labour

Mr O'Farrell announced his success on Twitter and later wrote: "There is a great deal of hard work ahead. But first I am going to the pub".
...
Councillor Mike Thornton , who has been a parish and borough councillor since 2007 and has lived in the area for 19 years, is to stand for the Lib Dems.

Maria Hutchings - who came second to Mr Huhne in the 2010 general election - will represent the Conservative party while Diane James is standing for the UK Independence Party,

Earlier today, Ms James said Romanians were associated with crime and called for a temporary halt to all immigration.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-21401530


If I were in the constituency, I'd vote for O'Farrell. He's good. And UKIP have shown their colours (all-white ...) very quickly.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:59 PM

6. Eastleigh byelection: Tories' 'Sarah Palin' in row over state school jibe

The Tory candidate in the Eastleigh byelection was struggling to maintain a credible challenge for the Liberal Democrat stronghold after she suggested local state schools were not good enough for her 12-year-old son, who has ambitions to become a surgeon.

The comments from Maria Hutchings, described by Lib Dems as a Sarah Palin figure for her trenchant views and tendency to speak off-message, provoked a storm of protest as political opponents and state-educated celebrities, said she had insulted state schools, including two local ones with glowing Ofsted reports.

Hutchings, who lives in the constituency and is seeking to overturn a 3,800 Lib Dem majority following the resignation of the former cabinet minister Chris Huhne, said on Friday her son was too clever for local state schools. "William is very gifted, which gives us another interesting challenge in finding the right sort of education for him impossible in the state system. He wants to be a cardio-respiratory surgeon."

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, said Hutchings had insulted "every pupil and teacher at our state schools, including those in Eastleigh. The idea that you can't be a surgeon if you go to a state school shows total ignorance of what a great job so many state schools are doing." The Lib Dem leader of Eastleigh council, Keith House, said the daughter of Mike Thornton, his party's candidate, had left a local state school and gone on to study medicine at Imperial College, London.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/feb/16/eastleigh-byelection-tories-maria-hutchings

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:14 AM

7. Polls open right now.

Seen or heard much about the election or the candidates Muriel?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21610596

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21418431

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:04 AM

8. Well, the main story has been the rise of the UKIP candidate

despite her being no more local than John O'Farrell for Labour (she's a councillor in Surrey), somehow he's been attacked for being a 'carpetbagger', while no-one seems to worry about her. The Telegraph is now wondering if UKIP could take second place from the Tories (I suppose the one bright side is that they'll being siphoning votes mainly from the Tories). I called that completely wrong - I thought UKIP would get nowhere.

I had assumed that, since Hutchings had stood in 2010, and I hadn't heard of any gaffes then, she knew what she was doing in a campaign. That now seems untrue; as well as the state school kerfuffle above, she quickly said she'd join the awkward squad in the Tory backbenchers, and would have, for instance, voted against gay marriage. Which may please some Tories, but can't endear her to the high command.

Whether the party pulled her out, or she decided not to, she didn't take part in a BBC debate last week, and then again this week for a 38 Degrees one:


http://politicalscrapbook.net/2013/02/tories-eastleigh-candidate-fails-to-show-up-for-yet-another-debate/

5 polls have been taken; 3 show Lib Dems in the lead, 2 the Tories (2 to 1 in the 3 polls taken last weekend); Ashcroft's poll showed a Tory lead change at the start of the campaign to a Lib Dem one, while the Survation/Mail on Sunday one went in the other direction. So who knows what will happen. The details of the last Ashcroft poll show what seems to me to be a lot of undecideds who are nevertheless adamant they'll vote - first page:

http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Eastleigh-25thFeb-30Realloc-BPC1-copy.pdf

Absolutely certain to vote: Tories 96, Labour 39, Lib Dems 114, don't know/refused to specify, 168.

The bookies put the Lib Dems as a firm favourite - 2/7 or 1/4, with the Tories between 7/2 and 5/1, and UKIP 5/1 to 7/1.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 03:06 AM

9. Results in full

Good for Lib Dems & UKIP, not good for Labour and terrible for the Conservatives.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21625726

Mike Thornton (Liberal Democrat) 13,342 (32.06%, -14.48%)
Diane James (UKIP) 11,571 (27.80%, +24.20%)
Maria Hutchings (Conservative) 10,559 (25.37%, -13.96%)
John O'Farrell (Labour) 4,088 (9.82%, +0.22%)
Danny Stupple (Independent) 768 (1.85%, +1.56%)
Dr Iain Maclennan (National Health Action Party) 392 (0.94%)
Ray Hall (Beer, Baccy and Crumpet Party) 235 (0.56%)
Kevin Milburn (Christian Party) 163 (0.39%)
Howling Laud Hope (Monster Raving Loony Party) 136 (0.33%)
Jim Duggan (Peace Party) 128 (0.31%)
David Bishop (Elvis Loves Pets) 72 (0.17%)
Michael Walters (English Democrats) 70 (0.17%, -0.30%)
Daz Procter (Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts) 62 (0.15%)
Colin Bex (Wessex Regionalist) 30 (0.07%)

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 04:04 AM

10. Very relieved at Hutchings' loss

While I am no fan of the LibDems these days, I would have put a clothes-peg on my nose and voted for them if the alternative was Maria Hutchings. It's not just that she's a Tory; it's that she is an exceptionally vicious Tory. Very likely she'd have been a Nadine Dorries clone! And you can imagine how it would have been used by the right-wing to push the agenda that 'The Tories can win if they move back to their right-wing roots!' So a PHEW of relief at dodging that bullet.

I believe that Labour always loses badly in that constituency, but it's a pity that UKIP did so well. Not unknown in by-elections, though.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 05:07 AM

11. I have to say I'm concerned ...

... at the way that immigration became a key issue while vital issues like the economy and NHS privatisation didn't seem to get the lickings of a dog.

I wonder whether we're really beginning to see a polarization between the South of England and the rest of the UK. It's already been said that a Tory government in 2015 would fuel Scottish separatism. I wonder whether the rise of the Baggy Trousered Brigade - and the Tories almost inevitable drift to the right to combat them - will intensify disaffection in the North as well as the Celtic Fringe.

Remember you heard it first on Radio Skin ...

The Skin

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Response to non sociopath skin (Reply #11)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 08:11 AM

12. I would not put too much money on UKIP not garnering votes in the North if I was you Skin

They polled about 21.7 % of the vote in the Rotherham by-election in 2012 not far off their share of the vote in Eastleigh and they got nearly 12% of the vote in the Middlesborough by-election. There are still Labour voters who remember that it was the stronghold of the anti European sentiment in the 1970s and when Tony Benn and Peter Shore were leaders of the No campaign in the 1975 referendum on membership of the EEC. While UKIP are electoral death to the Tories the Labour party would be ill advised to think non of their core voters might support UKIP at an election even if they only agree with their policy on ending EU membership and nothing else.That said there is no doubt that last nights vote was a total disaster for Cameron as it will probably encourage other disgruntled Tories to vote for UKIP in the upcoming Local Elections. If UKIP can only hang onto a third of these defectors in a General Election that would still be enough to dish the Conservatives chances of forming a government as even a 5-6% decline in the Tory vote would see a loss of something in the region of 50 Lab-Con marginals even if Labour were to do no more than retain the share of the vote they had in the last election.

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Response to fedsron2us (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 1, 2013, 09:31 AM

13. We'll see.

One of the advantages that UKIP currently have is that - rather like the Lib Dems in their pre-Government days - most voters don't actually know what most of their policies are. So there's an element of the disgruntled projecting what they reckon they want onto them.

When they get a higher profile and folk wise up to the idea that what they stand for is more right-wing Toryism, we'll see what happens.

Poujadist bubbles have a habit of exploding suddenly and magnificently. Ask Sarah Palin ...

The Skin

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Response to non sociopath skin (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 05:49 AM

14. I can see UKIP doing OK in the North as well.

My main concern however, is the strong possibility of the Tories obsessing over how to win over UKIP votes and ignoring everyone else. Maybe if they'd worked more on disaffected Lib Dem's they might not only have beaten UKIP but won the seat as well.

One thing that UKIP seem to tap into is the sense that mainstream politicians are totally detached from the rest of us and oblivious to our concerns. I don't like people choosing UKIP as a party of protest as all they are offering is a more ideological, extreme and impractical version of what the coalition is already doing. They are also getting a free ride from large sections of the UK media. Were they to get any sort of real power I think a lot of their supporters would get some very nasty surprises.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 07:53 AM

15. Depends what you mean by "The North"

I find it hard to envisage what's essentially a right-wing breakaway movement (with a leavening of National Front/BNP/EDL racism and xenophobia) doing well in those parts of the North which are virtually Tory-Free Zones. Unless, of course, you think that the reason they're Tory-free is because modern Tories aren't right-wing enough for our tastes.

That UKIP can tap into the "you're all victims and we'll put it right for you 'cos we're not REAL politicians" is hardly surprising. The far-right have been playing that game since pussy was a kitten.

As I said, the bubble will burst.

The Skin

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 09:00 AM

16. An interesting analysis of Ashcroft's post-election "why did you vote like that" poll

The section headings:

UKIP won more votes from former Lib Dems than from former Tories

Dave is popular, Nick is loathed, Ed is mediocre, and Kippers hate everyone

UKIP owns xenophobia; Labour and the Tories own real issues; Lib Dems empty the bins

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/03/02/ukip-steals-the-xenophobe-breaking-down-the-eastleigh-result/


Only applies to Eastleigh, of course; but there are plenty of places with similar situations.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 01:28 PM

17. Thanks for that, Muriel. I enjoyed it!

The Skin

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