CCHQ Throwing Kitchen Sink at Reckless

reckless-kent

This is the online version of the main local paper covering Rochester and Strood, and it is running paid for American style anti-Reckless attack ad videos. Whether this is Jim Messina’s influence or just the inevitable next step in digital campaigning is unclear. It is a lot more entertaining than a leaflet through the letterbox…

It is also getting under the skin of Mark Reckless, who is protesting vociferously and unconvincingly on Twitter that he didn’t flop-flop on supporting a massive local housing development for 12,000 people – in doing so making the rookie mistake of repeating his opponent’s charge. It is cheering up Tories who have been on the back foot in this by-election campaign until now…

WATCH: Tories’ US-Style Reckless Attack Ad

The Tories are going very negative on Mark Reckless in Rochester:

Meanwhile UKIP are set for their biggest ever campaign day tomorrow, bussing in 10% of their entire party membership in Rochester on one day. The Tories are calling in the cavalry with hunting supporters turning out to back their candidate on Sunday. Thirteen days to go…

Poll: UKIP Lead Increasing in Rochester & Strood

rochester-strood-survation-poll

The latest poll has UKIP 15% ahead of the Tories in Rochester & Strood.

The gap is increasing…

UKIP Get Thumped in Their Target Seat

UKIP have been given a wake up call in Thurrock, losing heavily to Labour in a council by-election last night. Despite constituency polling putting UKIP’s parliamentary candidate Tim Aker in first place in the seat, Labour won West Thurrock and South Stifford by a thumping 50% to UKIP’s 35%. Thurrock is right up there among UKIP’s top target seats, where incumbent Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price has a majority of 92 and the Labour candidate, carpet-bagging former SpAd Polly Billington, is struggling to make an impact. UKIP should have won Heywood and Middleton but fell 600 votes short because they just didn’t have the resources on the ground. At every test so far, UKIP’s field operation has been their biggest weakness and the old parties will be clinging to that next year. If the promised earthquake is to happen in May, they need to get their act together and start spending big bucks on their campaign infrastructure. 

UPDATE: UKIP sources say Labour were so scared there were shadow cabinet ministers out in Thurrock campaigning for a council by-election.

Long Old Rochester Slog Begins

Incoming kitchen sink. The Tories are offering a massive choice to the people of Rochester: which Kent(ish) female councillor would you like to be their candidate?

“Kelly Tolhurst is a life-long resident of Medway and was elected to the council in 2011. She is the cabinet member for school improvement. She now runs her own marine survey business in Rochester and has served as a local councillor for over three years. In a statement, the Conservative association said she had “seen the strain that excessive immigration has put on housing and our local services.” Anna Firth lives in Sevenoaks with her husband and three children and was brought up in Essex. Formerly a barrister, she now serves on the Sevenoaks council. She was shortlisted for the Thanet South constituency but lost out to Craig Mackinlay. She is a governor of Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls.”

While every voter in the seat will be invited to take part, the pool is somewhat limited. Labour already have a female candidate in place and knocking on doors.

Dates for your diary:

October 23 – candidate announced.

November 20 – polling day.

November 21 – panic stations for someone.

UKIP remain bookies’ favourite but plenty of time for the wheels to come off…

Ashcroft Poll’s Margin of Error Was 17%

lord-ashcroft-H+M

On Monday newbie pollster Michael Ashcroft told us that Labour was 19% ahead in Heywood & Middleton. His polling in the marginals has also consistently forecast Labour making a remarkably strong showing. Something that over in CCHQ Grant Shapps and Lynton Crosby bitterly dispute. They will take some consolation that Ashcroft’s margin of error on Thursday in Labour’s favour was 17%…

Your By-Election Results in Full

Clacton:

Douglas Carswell (UKIP) 21,113 (59.75%)
Giles Watling (Con) 8,709 (24.64%)
Tim Young (Lab) 3,957 (11.20%)
Chris Southall (Green) 688 (1.95%)
Andy Graham (LibDem) 483 (1.37%)

Heywood and Middleton:

Liz McInnes (Lab) 11,633 (40.9%)
John Bickley (UKIP) 11,016 (38.7)
Iain Gartside (Con) 3,496 (12.3%)
Anthony Smith (LibDem) 1,457 (5.1%)

UKIP lost Heywood and Middleton by 617 votes, voting Tory let Labour in…

By-Election Results

You read it here first;

  • Douglas Carswell becomes UKIP’s first elected MP, winning in Clacton.
  • Labour hold Heywood and Middleton.

Details to follow…

Carswell and Farage Solve Major Policy Disagreement

Last month Douglas Carswell revealed one issue he was at odds with with Nigel Farage:

“I have discovered one major policy difference with Nigel Farage. After a busy few hours meeting and greeting local people, he prefers to pop into a local café.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

UKIP Call in the Cavalry

Meanwhile, in Clacton:

Planning on staying up pasture bedtime for the results tonight?

If things go to plan, Douglas Carswell won’t have waited furlong to get back to Westminster…

Pics via @raheemjkassam.
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Today’s By-Elections: The Numbers

In 2010 UKIP decided not to run a candidate against Douglas Carswell, clearing the way for the Tories to beat Labour by 53% to 25% and hand Carswell a majority of 12,068. Some last minute jitters/expectation management in Clacton from a source close to Carswell suggest he is nowhere near the 32 point lead given to him by Lord Ashcroft’s most recent poll in the constituency.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Good Morning, It’s By-Election Day

The polls are open down in Clacton and up in Heywood and Middleton, with the results expected in the early hours of tomorrow morning. When Guy News travelled to Clacton high street we couldn’t find a single punter planning on voting Tory:

Barring a major upset Douglas Carswell will be a UKIP MP this time tomorrow, and Labour will be welcoming their race card-playing Unite-backed candidate Liz McInnes to Westminster.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

LISTEN: Boris Can’t Name Tory Clacton Candidate

The Mayor of London has evidently never seen Bread. Any connoisseur of eighties sitcoms knows that the Tory candidate in Clacton is actor Giles Watling, but not Boris on LBC this morning:

BJ: “We’ve got a fantastic guy called… bloody… superb man… Stirling?

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Labour Play the By-Election Race Card Heywood and Middleton Candidate: White is “Ordinary”

“I’m just an ordinary white working class person,” says Liz McInnes, Labour’s candidate in Heywood and Middleton, where UKIP have risen 28% in the polls since 2010. Does she mean non-white voters aren’t “ordinary”? Didn’t take long for Labour to stoop to dog whistle politics…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Shapps Confirms PM Will Campaign in Clacton

Many thought the PM would want to avoid the UKIP landslide. Apparently not…

In case you missed the Guy News special report during conference, it’s not looking good for the Tories on the Essex coast:

Guido is not sure a visit from Dave will do much to turn that around…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Ashcroft Clacton Poll: UKIP 56% v Tories 24%

Carswell hold…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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