Comrade Kev for South Shields #KM4SS

There is one obvious candidate already being punted to replace David Miliband in South Shields:

A strong local born candidate, loyal to the party and an excellent media performer. It’s time for Kevin Maguire to make his love of Labour official and throw his hat in the ring. It would mean taking a pretty hefty pay cut mind though…

UPDATE: 

UPDATE II: Adam Boulton has tipped our Kev live on Sky News: “He may be a metropolitan trendy these days, but he is a local boy born and bred.” Big Kev has the big mo.

Eastleigh's Losing Maria Led Away in Silence

Fabricant: UKIP Message Connects, Tory Voice Muffled

Tory vice chairman Michael Fabricant has given his critique of this morning’s by-election result:

“Nigel Farage is right: the UKIP message “connects” with the electorate & it’s not just Europe but crime, immigration, etc too. In Eastleigh UKIP appealed to protest voters but also to Blue Collar Conservative voters… This was ALMOST certainly a protest vote.  But no-one should write UKIP off. They will do well in the European elections (their very raison d’etre). The Conservatives have similar policies to many in UKIP (more than with the Lib-Dems!), but we need a clear and focussed voice. The Conservative voice is muffled and not crisp. It does not clearly project Conservative core policies or principles. Everyone from the PM downwards must focus on the economy, immigration, crime, Europe and not allow other side policies to distract.”

How can the Tories win in 2015? Truly one of the great questions of our time

Voters Jump From Main Three to UKIP

Food for thought for the leaders of the main three parties in Lord Ashcroft’s latest polling. Over a fifth of those who voted Tory in 2010 jumped to UKIP yesterday. Interestingly, almost the same proportion of Chris Huhne’s voters chose the UKIP candidate this time round. Diane James also took 17% of Labour’s 2010 vote. Just 59% of 2010 Tories voted blue and only 51% of those who voted for Huhne backed Mike Thornton. UKIP are taking votes from all three parties…

Tory Deputy Chairman Declares Coalition Victory

Tory deputy chairman Sarah Newton has come out with the spin to end all by-election spin:

“It is good for the Coalition that the Coalition was able to retain the seat.”

A sure fire way to increase mutinous feeling among the Tory right even further this morning. If that’s the best they can come up with…

UPDATE: A Tory spokesman tells Guido:

“I think the Prime Minister’s response is the official response from the Conservative Party. This is a disappointing result. Obviously some people have their different ideas.”

GRAPH: Eastleigh in Numbers

Significantly fewer people turned out for both the Tories and LibDems yesterday compared with 2010; the blues down 14% and the yellows by 14.5%. Labour’s vote was largely unchanged. A huge swing to UKIP…

"If We Came Third It Would Be a Crisis" Get Your Official Tory Leadership Crisis T-Shirts Here

On Wednesday David Davis warned of the consequences:

“I think if we came third it would be a crisis, I think that’s the case, and if it’s a close second with UKIP on our tail it will also be uncomfortable.”

You can get your official Tory crisis t-shirts here:

  

There are only a few left, so order yours while stocks last…

Boring MP, Huge Result

Labour vote up by 0.2%. Tories down by 14%. Good morning, Prime Minister…

Eastleigh Tories Hutching at Straws

They really don’t want to finish third…

H/T @billykenber
[…]

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Your Souvenir Lord Rennard By-Election Stickers

Guido hopes former by-election supremo Lord Rennard will appreciate his Eastleigh souvenir stickers. Back in 1983 Liberal activists fighting against Peter Tatchell in Bermondsey infamously if unsubtly wore “I’ve been kissed by Peter” badges. It’s only fair randy Rennard gets a taste of his own medicine…[…]

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Good Morning, It's Polling Day

The graph above, via Survation, analyses all the Eastleigh polls since Huhne quit with a 5-point margin of error. Guido’s money is still on the yellows, though an upset isn’t impossible. With UKIP finishing strongly, Farage must be kicking himself he didn’t stand…[…]

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Polly's Conspiracy Theory

You can always rely on Polly Toynbee to spectacularly miss the point:

rennard-logo“Their distrust may be justified here, as this byelection follows a familiarly vicious pattern, the air thick with dirty tricks. Where did the Lord Rennard sleaze reprise from 2009 suddenly come from, and why now in the final runup to election day?

[…]

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Who Does Guido Think Will Win in Eastleigh?

Find out who Guido is backing to win Eastleigh, and whether or not he thinks the Rennard scandal could turn the tables in the Tories’ favour. Exclusively over on the Paddy Power blog[…]

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Dave Wades In to Beeb Spat "You're Not the Most Important Thing In This By-Election"

The BBC hit straight back against this morning’s claim from the Tories that they had behaved disingenuously, briefing that they invited Maria Hutchings to the 5Live hustings as far back as last Wednesday. CCHQ sources are citing security reasons as an excuse for the confusion.[…]

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Arf Maria

The Tories are not happy with the BBC over the Maria Hutchings hustings no show. Kicking back, CCHQ say they made clear to the Beeb they were happy for Hutchings to take part in a live hustings, so long as it didn’t clash with Dave’s visit to Eastleigh today.[…]

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Hutchings Hustings No Show

5Live are empty-chairing Maria Hutchings after she bottled this morning’s hustings. Quite how that works on radio we will find out. Unsurprisingly the LibDems are jumping on her no show, Tim Farron is crowing that the Tory machine have kept her away and party HQ has come up with a mildly amusing missing poster.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Boris campaign team member Jake Berry not taking well:

“There is a very deep pit reserved in Hell for such as he. #Gove”

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