2.24am: Guardian: We’ve had the results. Here are the key ones.
Mike Thornton, Lib Dems – 13,342
Diane James, Ukip – 11,571
Maria Hutchings, Conservative – 10,559
John O’Farrell, Labour – 4.088
02:00: They say 3 a.m., can’t wait up, LD’s to pip UKIP and Tories 3rd. Diana James looks quite good – Nigel would have been wrong to stand – he has to show it’s not a one person party. Nigh nigh all.
01:38: LDs say 2-3000 votes win, Telegraph says UKIP won the day vote, LD’s postal scam getting them over the line. End of Cameron? One can only hope. 2007 – it’s been a long time.
23:54: Guardian: “The Lib Dems and Ukip are both saying that it’s looking as if Ukip has come second, but they are not making firm predictions yet.” Much talk about the amazing number of postals – 14000 from 68000.
23:32: Just read: “Eastleigh and Southampton are renowned as being of the poorest, most backward areas of the South East. Full of benefit scroungers.” Ah, I was forgetting the benefits issue. That does explain a lot and yet reports were that UKIP had done well in the day votes.
23:22: LDs have won the postal voting by going to the homes of the elderly and supervising them voting. UKIP either have much to learn or else they have some principles. As for the postal voters, how can they be such sheeple? Don’t they care about their country or do they see it as some sort of protest against Cameron?
22:43: Camilla Long said in the Sunday Times : “It is obvious that [James] should be the Conservative candidate, and … Hutchings, a mother-of-four with unpalatable views on abortion and gay marriage, should be standing for UKIP.” Unpalatable views, eh? Perhaps there’s more to her than meets the eye. Plus she’s staunchly anti-EU. Hmmmm.
This is the tragedy of the sane side of politics now, that Cameron has forced true conservatives out but there are still a few left inside the Pink Dave Party and so conservative is fighting conservative in this by-election.
21:56: Prefer to write this before rather than after.
Indications are that Lib Dems will get back with a reduced majority, possibly Tories next and UKIP on their heels.
What will that prove? Not a lot. Lib Dem stronghold – sleaze and scandal doesn’t alter the tribal vote, Davites should have done better but most in the community down on them now, UKIP still with that Farage factor – loved by many, disliked by many.
Hope I’m wrong. Hope UKIP have taken it but the numbers don’t quite look that way. How anyone could waste a vote on the Lib Dems with that parliamentary face is beyond me. Interesting that Labour are so far down.
Filed under: Politics & economics