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Labour should be trashing the Lib Dem record in Eastleigh

Last time Nigel Farage stood in Eastleigh at a by-election, he languished on 1.7%, with only 169 votes more than Screaming Lord Sutch. That is surely little enough to persuade him not to have another go (though if he does, it will damage the Tories most). Labour, on the other hand came second to the Lib Dems with 27.6%, enough to make it worth putting serious effort into the contest this time.

Now that by-election was in 1994 in the wake of the tragic death of Stephen Milligan in what police described as an “autoerotic asphyxiation accident“. Involving suspenders, stockings, an electric flex and an orange, it helped John Major’s “Back to Basics” to its ignominious end and was a source of much Tory embarrassment in the by-election campaign,, when it was already trailing in the polls.

However, this is an opportunity for Labour to recapture the ground it lost after 1994 as the Lib Dems used their incumbency to erode the Labour vote (pushed down to 26.8% in 1997, 21.9% in 2001, 20.6% in 2005 and — in the wake of the Lib Dem lies and posturing in 2010 — finally 9.6%. Mark Ferguson at LabourList is absolutely wrong to write it off as merely “258th on Labour’s target seat list for 2015.” Chris Huhne’s lies combined with his party’s lies and complicity in the Tory-led coalition’s record is anough to warrant serious Labour effort.

Winning would be a tremendous upset for the Tories, but the Lib Dems deserve to lose and second place for Labour would b e great encouragement across the south of England.

By-election 1994: Eastleigh
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat David Chidgey 24,473 44.3 +16.3
Labour Marilyn Birks 15,234 27.6 +6.9
Conservative Stephen Allison 13,675 24.7 −26.6
UKIP Nigel Farage 952 1.7 N/A
Monster Raving Loony Screaming Lord Sutch 783 1.4 N/A
Natural Law P. Warburton 145 0.3 N/A
Majority 9,239 16.7
Turnout 55,272 58.2 −24.7
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative Swing +21.5

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2 Comments

  1. W Lovell says:

    Labour should go all out to capture the LibDem vote of 2010. The LD record in supporting the Tories with their ideological and misguidsed management of the economy makes a good start but the Party Political Broadcast of 6 Feb claiming the LD’s had given £600 to every taxpayer was absolutely appalling! It dishonestly focused on one tax only without accepting responsibilty for all the tax increases, especially the increase in VAT from 15% to 20%.
    What will I do with my £600? I don’t have £600, because its already gone on the VAT Price increases.

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