Tory Candidate Fury Mounting at “Slack” CCHQ

Given that four months out the Tories still have 81 candidates to select in England, plus all of Northern Ireland still to do, you might have thought it would be all hands t’mill over at the CCHQ candidates department. Apparently not.

According to the ‘out of office’ Gareth Fox – Head of Candidate Selection – it’s still holiday season:

“Thank you for your email, I am currently on leave until 12th January and I will respond when I return.”

Tory sources say everything is tickety boo and Fox is ‘around’ – a fact disputed by angry potential PPCs unable to get an answer to calls and emails. “This man is about as popular as herpes,” writes one co-conspiratorial candidate to Guido…

Rich’s 2015 Election View

General Election Campaign Officially Starts Today

vote

Today is the day election spending rules kick in and the campaign for 2015 officially begins. Here are the key dates for your diary:

  • December 19: Long campaign begins. Candidate spending limited to £30,700, plus 9p per voter in county (rural) constituencies, and 6p per voter in borough (urban) constituencies.
  • January 5: House returns from Christmas recess.
  • February 12-23: February recess.
  • March 18: George Osborne delivers the final budget of the parliament. He only has a few working days to get it through before…
  • March 30: Parliament dissolves. Short campaign begins. Spending restrictions tightened to £8,700, plus 9p per voter in county constituencies and 6p per voter in borough constituencies.
  • May 7: Election day.

138 days to go…

LibDems Spent £1.5 Million on Winning One Euro Seat

The Electoral Commission today reveals how much each party spent on their European election campaigns. The big bucks splashed by the Tories and UKIP meant they paid six figures for each seat won. Labour got best value for money, spending just over a million quid for their 20 seats, or just over £50,000 per MEP.

The LibDems blew £1.5 million with just one MEP to show for it…

Labour Oppositions Never Gain Ground in Final Six Months

Fascinating analysis on ConHome showing how Labour’s poll ratings six months out from elections have historically compared with the final election result. Guido’s graph above illustrates how “Labour consistently end up winning fewer votes in the general election than the polls would have suggested six months in advance”. Lewis Baston concludes: “Governments gain more often than oppositions: if my Conservative-supporting readers want some comfort, there are no cases of a Labour opposition gaining ground over the final six months”. Something for Tory MPs to cling onto going into next year…

Lucy Powell’s Election Expertise

Lucy Powell’s first day in charge of Labour’s election campaign did not do much to quell colleagues’ fears she is not up to the job. At the prime time of 11pm last night Powell sent out her first mass email to Labour supporters, with the subject line “The deep end”. Waving?

In a section titled “How we’re going to win the election”, Powell raises concerns the Tories will “[use] their funding advantage to overwhelm voters with their message via every medium possible — TV, post, billboards, public transport”. Of course, as any vice-chairman of an election campaign would know, in this country outspending your opponent by splashing cash on TV adverts is explicitly prohibited by electoral law.  So was that a mistruth or mis-hire?

UKIP Well Short in South Yorkshire

Labour: 50.02%

UKIP: 31.66%

Tories: 12.52%

English Democrats: 5.8%

Massive electorate. Limited ground operation. Warnings for UKIP here ahead of next year.

2015 Election Leaders’ Debates: Details in Full

These are the proposals from the broadcasters:

  • One head-to-head debate between the two leaders who could become Prime Minister – Conservative and Labour. This debate will be co-produced by Sky News and Channel 4 and chaired by Jeremy Paxman. Kay Burley will introduce the programme and present the post-debate analysis. The whole programme will be carried live on Sky and Channel 4 and their digital platforms, as well as having a major presence across social media.
  • One debate between the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders. This debate will be produced by the BBC and presented by David Dimbleby. It will be broadcast on BBC One with extensive live coverage on other BBC TV and Radio networks and online.
  • One debate between the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP leaders. This debate will be produced and broadcast by ITV. The ITV debate, chaired by Julie Etchingham, will air on ITV’s main channel and online

They have written to the four leaders inviting them to take part…

UPDATE: Farage says yes but might want more: “if the political landscape continues to change we would expect and ask for inclusion in a second debate

UPDATE II: The LibDems say no: “We do not accept proposal that the Lib Dems, as party of government, should be prevented from defending our record in one of the TV debates.”

EXC: Farage Calls for Electoral Commission to Be Abolished

Speaking exclusively to Guido in the media scrum after his press conference, Nigel Farage has called for the Electoral Commission to be abolished for allowing the misleadingly named An Independence From Europe party onto the ballot papers. Farage accepted that the spoiler party cost UKIP an even greater win, the party is furious that Gawain Towler was denied a seat in the South West because of the vote being split by the other party’s “UK Independence Now” slogan. The UKIP leader tells Guido:

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“The Electoral Commission was set up if you remember to stop things like the Literal Democrats from ever happening again. In their 13 years of existence, their only achievement that I can see is to have presided over a massive growth in postal voting fraud. They’ve hounded UKIP almost to the point of bankruptcy. We only survived 4-3 at the Supreme Court from going bankrupt. They now allow a party that put UK Independence Now on the ballot paper, that cost us a seat in the South West. Frankly they are not fit for purpose. I’d close the whole thing down and start again.”

Please credit quote to Guido Fawkes.

The Electoral Commission claimed the names of the two parties were sufficiently different. Which is laughable considering it impacted upon the final result…

State of the Parties

The results are in, with the exception of Scotland which does not announce until later today. This is the state of the parties this morning:

Here is the BBC’s earthquake warning map:

You can see the results and all the MEPs elected in full here.

Herman van Rompuy, Jose Manuel Barroso, Jacques Delors, Cathy Ashton, Peter Mandelson, Ken Clarke, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, your boys took one hell of a beating…

European Election Results

SCOTLAND

SNP: 389,503
Lab: 348,219
Con: 231,330
UKIP: 140,534
Green: 108,305
LD: 95,319

MEPs: Ian Hudghton (SNP)David Martin (Lab)Ian Duncan (Con)Alyn Smith (SNP)Catherine Stihler (Lab)David Coburn (UKIP).

LONDON

Labour: 806,959
Con: 495,639
UKIP: 371,133
Green: 196,419
Lib Dem: 148,013

MEPs: Claude Moraes (Lab), Sayed Kamall (Con), Mary Honeyball (Lab), Gerard Batten (UKIP), Lucy Anderson (Lab), Charles Tannock (Con), Seb Dance (Lab), Jean Lambert (Green).

SOUTH EAST

UKIP: 751,439
Con: 723,571
Lab: 342,775
Green: 211,706
LD: 187,876

MEPs: Nigel Farage (UKIP), Dan Hannan (Con), Janice Atkinson (UKIP), Nirj Deva (Con), Annalise Dodds (Lab), Diane James (UKIP), Richard Ashworth (Con), Keith Taylor (Green), Catherine Bearder (LD), Ray Finch (UKIP).

WEST MIDLANDS

UKIP: 428,010
Lab: 363,033
Con: 330,470
LD: 75,648
Green: 71,464

MEPs: Jill Seymour (UKIP), Nina Gill (Lab), Philip Bradbourne (Con), Jim Carver (UKIP), Sion Simon (Lab), Anthea McIntyre (Con), Bill Etheridge (UKIP).

NORTH WEST

LAB: 594,063
UKIP: 481,932
CON: 351,985
Green: 123,075
LD: 105,487

MEPs: Theresa Griffin (Lab), Paul Nuttall (UKIP), Jaqueline Foster (Con), Afzal Khan (Lab), Louise Bours (UKIP), Julie Ward (Lab), Sajjid Karim (Con), Steven Woolfe (UKIP).

WALES

Lab: 206,332
UKIP: 201,983
Con: 127,742
Plaid: 111,864
Green: 33,275
LD: 28,930

MEPs: D. Vaughan (Lab)N. Gill (UKIP), K. Swinburne (Con), J. Evans (Plaid).

SOUTH WEST

UKIP: 484,184
Con: 433,151
Lab: 206,124
Green: 166,447
LD: 160,376

MEPs: William Dartmouth (UKIP), Ashley Fox (Con), Julia Reid (UKIP), Julie Girling (CON), Claire Moody (Lab), Molly Scott Cato (Green).

YORKSHIRE AND HUMBER

UKIP: 403,630
LAB: 380,189 
CON: 248,945
GREEN: 102,282
LD: 81,108

MEPs: Jane Collins (UKIP), Linda McAvan (Lab), T. Kirkhope (Con), A. Bashir (UKIP), R. Corbett (LAB), M. Hookem (UKIP).

EAST MIDLANDS

UKIP: 368,734
Con: 291,270
Lab: 279,363
Green: 67,066
LD: 60,773

MEPs: Roger Helmer (UKIP), Emma McClarkin (Con), Glenis Willmott (Lab), Margot Parker (UKIP), Andrew Lewer (Con).

EAST

UKIP: 542,812
Con: 446,569
Lab: 271,601
Green: 133,331
LD: 108,010

MEPs: Patrick O’Flynn (UKIP)Vicky Ford (Con), Richard Howitt (Lab), John Agnew (UKIP), Geoffry van Orden (Con), Tim Aker (UKIP), David Campbell-Bannerman (Con)

NORTH EAST

LAB – 221,988
UKIP – 177,660
CON – 107,773
LD – 36,093

MEPs: Jude Kirton-Darling (Lab), Paul Brannen (Lab), Jonathan Arnott (UKIP)

Martin Callanan, the leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, has lost his seat.

UKIP Top Poll in Newark

Two weeks til the by-election…

European Election Exit Polls

poll

The exit polls in from Europe so far show a strong anti-EU vote across the continent. The right-wing anti-EU People’s Party is top in Denmark, Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment Five Star party is second in Italy (according to test data), far left Syriza are top in Greece and Front National appear to have won in France. Britain’s results are expected after 10pm…

UPDATE: A table of exit polls as they come in is available here via @AlbertoNardelli.

Pollsters’ Final Euro-Election Calls


euros-final-call

Two pollsters, Populus and ICM, called it for Labour the rest called it for UKIP. As far as Guido can tell IPSOS-Mori did not do a Euro-poll saying it was “too close to call”. We shall find out who was right and who was most accurate after tonight. You can still – at time of going to pixel – get a 20% return betting on UKIP to win or quintuple your money on Labour. Good luck…

N.B. Any pollster who feels misrepresented (they are sensitive types) should get in touch and we will correct the chart.

Where We Are This Morning

As we go to pixel (7:28am), these are the local election results so far:

  • UKIP is doing huge damage in the Labour heartlands of the North, gaining 86 seats overall with 59 councils declared and on course to win over 100.
  • The BBC has UKIP on around 25% outside London but just 7% in London. UKIP telly star Suzanne Evans has lost her Merton seat.
  • UKIP has done particularly well in Essex, where the Tories have lost control of four councils.
  • The Tories have lost 101 seats overall.
  • Labour has gained 94 seats.
  • The LibDems have lost 84 seats.
  • Mike Hancock has come third in Fratton, losing the seat he has held for 40 years. The LibDems lost control of Portsmouth council.

The first tremors are being felt…

Electoral Commission Acting On Tweeted Irregularities

Quick action…

Electoral Commission Investigating “Folded” UKIP Ballot Papers

The Electoral Commission guidance to polling station staff is clear:

“Fold the ballot paper, then hand it to the voter unfolded. Ask them to re-fold it once they’ve marked their ballot paper in the polling booth.”

Dozens of voters including UKIP candidate Suzanne Evans are reporting that their ballot papers were handed to them with the UKIP section folded, contrary to the rules. The Electoral Commission has confirmed it is “monitoring the issue” and say that “staff have again been instructed to hand papers to voters unfolded”. This does seem widespread, though if you can’t work out how to find the box that says UKIP on your ballot paper you probably should not bother.

UPDATE: 

Who is Modi?

modi-track-record

The line from the Guardian/BBC axis is that Narendra Modi is a dangerous blood-thirsty right-wing nationalist, a sectarian Hindu who oversaw the massacre of Muslims in his home state of Gujurat. For added measure he was associated with the RSS, a uniformed Hindu-fascist organisation. Despite all this disapproval from the left-wing media establishment he has just won more votes in a free election than anyone on the planet…

The reality is he has risen from being a lower caste, poor chai-wallah, a boy selling tea at a train station, to successfully running Gujarat – a state with a population of 60 million – which has outperformed the rest of chronically corrupt India on all economic indicators. The Indian supreme court found there was no evidence that Modi allowed or even encouraged the mob violence in 2002 in Gujarat that led to some thousand deaths. The RSS is closer to Baden Powell’s boy scouts than Hitler’s brownshirts. Modi is a vegetarian, technocrat who believes that India’s Hindus and India’s Hindu culture should command more respect. In that it is fair to say he is a conservative nationalist.

The born-to-rule Congress Party has been swept from power, the once great idealistic party of Gandhi that brought Fabian socialism to India had degenerated into an arrogant, corrupt, nepotistic kleptocracy. Modi offers his fellow members of India’s lower castes the prospect of social mobility, competent government and a high growth economy based on free market reforms, accelerated privatisations and technological progress. Modi’s campaign emphasises optimistically that India can become the largest market in the world and in a way reminiscent of Ronald Reagan, Modi promises to make India proud of its future. His campaign anthem commercial rocks too:

India has won! भारत की विजय। अच्छे दिन आने वाले हैं।

Worst Politician Selfie Idea Yet

BRITAINS-EURO-ELECTION-NEWS-SOURCE

Ed Miliband, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove step aside, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt has done his best to single-handedly ruin the selfie. He has set up aself-EU contest where entrants are encouraged to “send us your selfie, showing us where and how you enjoy the benefits of European integration”. The prize? “You could win a day with Guy Verhofstadt.”

Surely no one will be able to beat Guido’s entry:

Let us know when to pop round, Guy!

ComRes Indy/Mirror Euro Poll Puts UKIP 9% Ahead of Tories

BRITAINS-EURO-ELECTION-NEWS-SOURCE

The UK Independence Party is on course to win the largest share of the vote in the European Parliament elections in May, according to a ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror.

UKIP  30% (+3)
Lab  28% (+5)
Con  21% (0)
LD  8% (-10)
Green  6% (+2)
Other  7% (0)

This is the first poll to ask separate questions about the European elections for some time.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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