You read it here first;
- Douglas Carswell becomes UKIP’s first elected MP, winning in Clacton.
- Labour hold Heywood and Middleton.
Details to follow…
You read it here first;
Details to follow…
“This is a regrettable and frankly counterproductive decision. As Douglas Carswell said, the only way to get a referendum on the EU is to return a majority Conservative government. The Conservative party will contest the forthcoming by-election vigorously to make sure the people in Clacton have a strong conservative voice in this parliament and the next.”
‘The Conservative Party will contest the by-election vigorously, to ensure that the people of Clacton have a strong Conservative voice in this Parliament and the next.’
“Douglas Carswell’s defection is a hammer blow to David Cameron. Confidence in David Cameron is collapsing inside a Conservative party which is divided and running scared of UKIP. David Cameron’s weak leadership has seen him abandon the centre ground, repeatedly trying to pander to his own right-wing backbenchers rather than concentrate on the needs of the country. Now even his own side are abandoning him.”
With the polls opening in a matter of hours for a crunch by-election, where is the leader of the party that is hoping to break through to Westminster for the first time? Nigel Farage is certainly not in Newark. Instead he was spotted at the Hilton Hotel in sunny Malta, 1,718 miles from rainy old Nottinghamshire. Instead of campaigning, Farage is hobnobbing with Helen Grant and Lord Adonis at the Institute of Travel & Tourism’s conference. A vote of confidence for Helmer!
In further proof that the Tories are in a bit of a flap about Newark, the party chairman has just threatened the six hundred wannabe Tory MPs that they will be booted off the approved candidates list if they do not campaign ahead of Thursday’s poll. In an email seen by Guido, Shapps warns:
“As you know, a condition for being on the candidates list is the requirement to campaign in by-elections. Having spent 10 years on the list myself, I know that this expectation is no different from that which will be expected from you as an MP. Candidates who do not assist at by-elections without good reason may put themselves at risk of being removed from the list of approved candidates. … As a possible Parliamentary candidate, the Party is looking to you to show leadership and to support it in this critical by-election.”
They will not be able to throw this much effort at every seat UKIP are targeting this time next year…
Lord Oakeshott jumped before he was pushed last week, after commissioning unsolicited bad news polling for the LibDems, but has he set a precedent? Nick Clegg said he thought it ‘totally unacceptable’ that a ‘senior member of the party’ was ‘spending time and money to undermine the fortunes of the party’ and that ‘appropriate measures’ would be taken. Will Dave be so bold in standing up to Tory peer Lord Ashcroft? The billionaire former party donor has been commissioning unhelpful polls left right and centre that suggest a comfortable Labour majority in 2015.
Douglas Alexander MP, Labour’s General Election Strategy, commenting on Ashcroft’s last poll in marginal seats, said gratefully: “Lord Ashcroft’s poll confirms that we are making real progress in seats where we need to do well and that Labour can win next year’s General Election.”
There is an Ashcroft Newark poll out at 4pm…
What ‘appropriate measures’ will the PM be taking with his own troublesome peer?
Yesterday Roger Helmer told the Speccie that his glamorous Italian assistant Francesca Salierno was not working on his by-election campaign in Newark, merely supporting him in his Brussels role as an MEP. That said, the lady in the photo below standing a few feet away from Nigel Farage handing out UKIP leaflets in Newark this afternoon does bear a remarkable likeness to her:
Perhaps Francesca has a twin, or like the Tory SpAds the PM ordered to Newark, she is “on holiday”…
“The people’s army is coming”, a senior commander tells Guido this morning. On the back of the Euro Elections, UKIP are turning their attention to Newark and boldly claim they will have 1,000 troops on the ground. Guido understands that every single newly elected MEP is under strict instructions not to head to Brussels until after the vote next Thursday, and every single office holder at every level in the party is expected to invade the Notthinghamshire town. While UKIP sources are pouring cold water on their chances of outright victory, they are relishing “a very close run” and wiping out most of the 16,000 Tory majority: “They won’t be able to send the entire cabinet to the same seat every day in the general election.”
Labour are clearly worried about the UKIP surges in recent by-elections – they have opted for snap poll in Wythenshawe and Sale East after the death of the well liked Labour MP Paul Goggins. The polling day of February 13 gives the parties just over three weeks to try dent the notionally safe Labour majority. After UKIP put the frighteners on in Rotherham and Eastleigh, it will be interesting to see what momentum they can pick up in such a short period of time.
UKIP 6/1 to win Wythenshawe and Sale East, 2/5 favourites to come second.
— PoliticsMarkets (@politicsmarkets) January 20, 2014
Labour are defending a majority of 7,575:
Conservative: 10412 (25.6%)
Labour: 17987 (44.1%)
Lib Dem: 9107 (22.3%)
BNP: 1572 (3.9%)
UKIP: 1405 (3.4%)
MAJORITY: 7575 (18.6%)
UKIP will be wanting that second place…
Labour vote up by 0.2%. Tories down by 14%. Good morning, Prime Minister…
When the LibDems sent out their latest begging email for cash for the Eastleigh campaign, sending it to a Tory MP probably was not the best plan:
From: Paddy Ashdown
Sent: 12 February 2013 12:47
To: ADAMS, Nigel
Subject: Please do this today
When we won Eastleigh in 1994, it was a breakthrough for Liberal Democrats. This by-election can be as well.
To give you just one example, a donation of £25 today will allow us to contact an extra hundred voters in Eastleigh before the weekend. Only Mike Thornton can beat the Conservatives in this campaign, and cannot afford to lose by a few votes.
Give whatever you can afford today, and you’ll make all the difference.
From: ADAMS, Nigel
Sent: 12 February 2013 13:08
To: ‘Paddy Ashdown’
Subject: RE: Please do this today
Dear Lord Ashdown,
Thank you so much for your email asking me to donate £25 to the Lib Dem campaign fund for the Eastleigh by-election.
I have given your appeal very serious consideration and decided that on balance, a donation to the speeding awareness charity BRAKE is a more appropriate donation to make at this time and I have duly done so.
Thanks again for getting in touch and the best of luck in your campaign.
Nigel Adams MP
Conservative Member of Parliament for Selby and Ainsty
Gloves? What gloves. Broom broom!
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Zac Goldsmith: “The hon. Gentleman might like to know that today’s Guido Fawkes quote of the day is the one on drug laws that we have heard cited by a number of hon. Members.”
Mike Hancock: “I am delighted to hear that Guido Fawkes is talking about something other than me.”