David Miliband Back in South Shields

The real David’s majority has been almost halved…

Via Sky.

Awkward Ed Miliband By-Election Moments

Ed’s been out on the campaign trail in South Shields today. A gem from the PA write up of his day up north:

“Mr Miliband was greeted by Labour supporters as he arrived by Metro in the town and spoke to various members of the public as he walked along the high street.

Occasionally correcting people who called him David, he asked them what the issues were in South Shields.”

One Miliband was probably enough…

UKIP Bullish Over South Shields Second Place

The maths does not look great for anyone except Labour in the rotten borough of South Shields, but then that’s what was said about Rotherham where UKIP managed to come second last year. A spokesman for the party was boisterous about their chances in the seat.

“UKIP expect the momentum that has been gathering over the past year to become apparent in South Shields, where we will be selecting a candidate who will work hard to highlight how the ordinary people of South Shields have been let down by the old three parties and Labour in particular. Those who want to send a message to both front beches know the best way to do it, and that is to vote UKIP.”

Sources in the party are hopeful of a second place: “it is well within our grasp”And the bookies agree…

UPDATE: Keep an eye on John Tennant’s  website. He works for UKIP MEP Derek Clark and fancies his chances as the candidate:

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…[…]

+ READ MORE +

"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…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Boring MP, Huge Result

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

+ READ MORE +

Eastleigh Tories Hutching at Straws

They really don’t want to finish third…

H/T @billykenber
[…]

+ READ MORE +

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…[…]

+ READ MORE +

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…[…]

+ READ MORE +

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?

[…]

+ READ MORE +

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[…]

+ READ MORE +



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