Big guns out in force as by-election campaigning gets into full swing

Daily Echo: Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings on the camapign trail at a butchers Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings on the camapign trail at a butchers

IT IS set to be the most fiercely fought by-election in Hampshire’s history.

But when voters in Eastleigh go to the polls on February 28 they will be also be providing a litmus test for the coalition government.

No surprise then that the two parties have already deployed their heavyweights to the field.

For the Conservatives, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling was out canvassing at the weekend.

And Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander was campaigning for the Liberal Democrats.

He was the warm-up act before Business Secretary Vince Cable went walkabout in the constituency with Lib Dem candidate Mike Thornton.

Parliamentary private secretary to Labour Leader Ed Miliband, John Denham, who is MP for neighbouring constituency Southampton Itchen, was also staking his party’s claim in a battle ground to be fought mainly on jobs and housing.

Labour will announce their candidate on Tuesday night – and comedian John O’Farrell, the Have I Got News For You writer has already thrown his hat in the ring.

But what will the issues be?

Affordable homes are becoming increasingly scarce while controversy surrounds plans for 10,000 new homes that would concrete over swathes of countryside.

The economy is also a key. While unemployment is low, at just above two per cent, the area has witnessed a decline in well paid, skilled jobs.

The railway industry, despite a recent upswing, is a shadow of what it was. And many have been tempted to hop on a train to London for better pay.

Dark clouds have also hung over the area with the loss of the Hovis Bread factory last year and the impending closure of Ford’s Transit factory in nearby Swaythling with the loss of 800 jobs and double that in the supply chain.

It is a challenging economic environment despite boasting some of the best transport links in the country, with Southampton Airport and docks, direct rail links to London and the M3 and M27.

The Lib Dems are in the unenviable position of defending a seat made vacant after the resignation of former Cabinet member Chris Huhne’s after he confessed to perverting the course of justice over a speeding offence.

Success will be crucial because it is a key Liberal Democrat stronghold, with a massive majority in the council and a seat in parliament since the early 1994.

They won in a by-election after the death of the last MP, Conservative Stephen Milligan.

At the 2010 General Election Huhne won by a 3,864 majority, representing 46 per cent of the vote. This was followed by Maria Hutchings who won by 39 per cent. She has now stepped up to fight for the seat again.

 

Labour only gathered 9.6 per cent of the vote and a strong performance this time round would be in defiance of a long-term decline in the south east.

They announce their candidate tomorrow with hopes that success could signal a comeback for the party on a national basis.

The party has a mountain to climb but in the last Eastleigh Commons by-election in 1994 it came second, pushing the Tories into third place.

 The closest Labour has ever got to winning the constituency since the Second World War was in 1966 when the Conservatives hung on by 701.

But smaller parties like the UK Independence Party could be strong contenders. Disillusionment with the Conservative and Lib Dems as well as Labour could see voters return the party’s first MP.

A special interest party is also already in the ring, with the National Health Action Party, led by GP Dr Iain Maclennan, campaigning for better public health.

The Official Monster Raving Loony Party are also fielding a candidate in the election. He is the party’s leader Alan “Howling Laud” Hope from Fleet in Hampshire. And the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has put up a candidate, Darren Proctor.

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Comments (24)

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10:20am Mon 11 Feb 13

stuartjebbitt says...

There's an alarming rise in urban pests in Eastleigh attempting to bite your hand off for your vote. Secure all doors and windows and don't let them in your home!
There's an alarming rise in urban pests in Eastleigh attempting to bite your hand off for your vote. Secure all doors and windows and don't let them in your home! stuartjebbitt
  • Score: 0

10:40am Mon 11 Feb 13

MGRA says...

caption competition : she is saying "Guess were my thumb has been"
caption competition : she is saying "Guess were my thumb has been" MGRA
  • Score: 0

10:49am Mon 11 Feb 13

ohec says...

MGRA wrote:
caption competition : she is saying "Guess were my thumb has been"
And the way he is looking at it he has a good idea as well.
[quote][p][bold]MGRA[/bold] wrote: caption competition : she is saying "Guess were my thumb has been"[/p][/quote]And the way he is looking at it he has a good idea as well. ohec
  • Score: 0

10:51am Mon 11 Feb 13

100%HANTSBOY says...

MGRA wrote:
caption competition : she is saying "Guess were my thumb has been"
She's saying " Bet you a fiver it IS Horse meat"
[quote][p][bold]MGRA[/bold] wrote: caption competition : she is saying "Guess were my thumb has been"[/p][/quote]She's saying " Bet you a fiver it IS Horse meat" 100%HANTSBOY
  • Score: 0

10:53am Mon 11 Feb 13

one in a million says...

The glossy campaign material is starting to put a strain on the council waste collections service already.
The glossy campaign material is starting to put a strain on the council waste collections service already. one in a million
  • Score: 0

11:50am Mon 11 Feb 13

freefinker says...

.. it will be interesting to see if The Official Monster Raving Loony Party can beat the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.
.. it will be interesting to see if The Official Monster Raving Loony Party can beat the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. freefinker
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Torchie1 says...

freefinker wrote:
.. it will be interesting to see if The Official Monster Raving Loony Party can beat the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.
If it happened I'm sure it would be accompanied by a totally unbelievable explanation rather than an acceptance of the truth.
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: .. it will be interesting to see if The Official Monster Raving Loony Party can beat the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.[/p][/quote]If it happened I'm sure it would be accompanied by a totally unbelievable explanation rather than an acceptance of the truth. Torchie1
  • Score: 0

12:11pm Mon 11 Feb 13

southy says...

If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate. southy
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Linesman says...

"Big guns out in force."

Pity that the Big Guns on the government front bench were not Fired.
"Big guns out in force." Pity that the Big Guns on the government front bench were not Fired. Linesman
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Torchie1 says...

southy wrote:
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.[/p][/quote]The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong. Torchie1
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Mon 11 Feb 13

southy says...

Torchie1 wrote:
southy wrote:
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.
You mean your to weak to be able to hold your own, which shows that what you believe in was brainwashed into you.
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.[/p][/quote]The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.[/p][/quote]You mean your to weak to be able to hold your own, which shows that what you believe in was brainwashed into you. southy
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Mon 11 Feb 13

IronLady2010 says...

What is your input so far on Twitter, Southy? Have you advised them all they are wrong and only you have all the answers.

Sorry, but if you are involved in a discussion it stops becoming a debate. I'll give twitter a miss I think and leave you to annoy them all.
What is your input so far on Twitter, Southy? Have you advised them all they are wrong and only you have all the answers. Sorry, but if you are involved in a discussion it stops becoming a debate. I'll give twitter a miss I think and leave you to annoy them all. IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Mon 11 Feb 13

southy says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
What is your input so far on Twitter, Southy? Have you advised them all they are wrong and only you have all the answers.

Sorry, but if you are involved in a discussion it stops becoming a debate. I'll give twitter a miss I think and leave you to annoy them all.
This is mainly for the Eastleigh voters and the partys that are taking part in the election.
You too Iron your to weak also, you and others will only go where you would out number others to try an enforce your point across
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: What is your input so far on Twitter, Southy? Have you advised them all they are wrong and only you have all the answers. Sorry, but if you are involved in a discussion it stops becoming a debate. I'll give twitter a miss I think and leave you to annoy them all.[/p][/quote]This is mainly for the Eastleigh voters and the partys that are taking part in the election. You too Iron your to weak also, you and others will only go where you would out number others to try an enforce your point across southy
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Torchie1 says...

southy wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
southy wrote:
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.
You mean your to weak to be able to hold your own, which shows that what you believe in was brainwashed into you.
I will willingly 'debate' with you if I can descend to your level and just write a litany of lies and half truths just so that I can appear to 'win'. It would be easier to 'debate' something with the monkeys in the enclosure at Marwell but as the Conservatives greatest asset, can I leave all the 'debating' to you.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.[/p][/quote]The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.[/p][/quote]You mean your to weak to be able to hold your own, which shows that what you believe in was brainwashed into you.[/p][/quote]I will willingly 'debate' with you if I can descend to your level and just write a litany of lies and half truths just so that I can appear to 'win'. It would be easier to 'debate' something with the monkeys in the enclosure at Marwell but as the Conservatives greatest asset, can I leave all the 'debating' to you. Torchie1
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Mon 11 Feb 13

The Wickham Man says...

southy wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
southy wrote:
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.
You mean your to weak to be able to hold your own, which shows that what you believe in was brainwashed into you.
And who controls this "debate" on twitter? Nobody. It is just like the noise a flock of sparrows makes in a hedgerow, all chirping the same mantras over and over again, endlessly learning nothing and hearing nothing except their own tweets. The TUSC don't want real debates - they just want to stand somewhere with placards endessly repeating some meaningless slogan and still blaming Margaret Thatcher for everything - whoops I'm over 140 characters.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.[/p][/quote]The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.[/p][/quote]You mean your to weak to be able to hold your own, which shows that what you believe in was brainwashed into you.[/p][/quote]And who controls this "debate" on twitter? Nobody. It is just like the noise a flock of sparrows makes in a hedgerow, all chirping the same mantras over and over again, endlessly learning nothing and hearing nothing except their own tweets. The TUSC don't want real debates - they just want to stand somewhere with placards endessly repeating some meaningless slogan and still blaming Margaret Thatcher for everything - whoops I'm over 140 characters. The Wickham Man
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Mon 11 Feb 13

freefinker says...

southy wrote:
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
I don't do twitter or facebook or any of these transient passing fads.
Nearly always need more than 140 characters to debunk your nonsense.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.[/p][/quote]I don't do twitter or facebook or any of these transient passing fads. Nearly always need more than 140 characters to debunk your nonsense. freefinker
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Mon 11 Feb 13

southy says...

The Wickham Man wrote:
southy wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
southy wrote:
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.
You mean your to weak to be able to hold your own, which shows that what you believe in was brainwashed into you.
And who controls this "debate" on twitter? Nobody. It is just like the noise a flock of sparrows makes in a hedgerow, all chirping the same mantras over and over again, endlessly learning nothing and hearing nothing except their own tweets. The TUSC don't want real debates - they just want to stand somewhere with placards endessly repeating some meaningless slogan and still blaming Margaret Thatcher for everything - whoops I'm over 140 characters.
its controlled by independants.

Unlike you and many others on here, the TUSC do debate and are proving to be very good at it, but then again the Socialist part are, as for Thatcher she only gets the blame if it was started by her, just what she done in the 80's effects us now and will carry on doing so till some one undo all that she done, Like the NHS started in the late 40's that still with us today (even low its in a lesser form), this is politics for you it can have an endless life effect, and will only change when politics change.
Tell me have you ever gone to any hustings. to debate political view, most on here have not, most on here do not even belong to any political group.
[quote][p][bold]The Wickham Man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.[/p][/quote]The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.[/p][/quote]You mean your to weak to be able to hold your own, which shows that what you believe in was brainwashed into you.[/p][/quote]And who controls this "debate" on twitter? Nobody. It is just like the noise a flock of sparrows makes in a hedgerow, all chirping the same mantras over and over again, endlessly learning nothing and hearing nothing except their own tweets. The TUSC don't want real debates - they just want to stand somewhere with placards endessly repeating some meaningless slogan and still blaming Margaret Thatcher for everything - whoops I'm over 140 characters.[/p][/quote]its controlled by independants. Unlike you and many others on here, the TUSC do debate and are proving to be very good at it, but then again the Socialist part are, as for Thatcher she only gets the blame if it was started by her, just what she done in the 80's effects us now and will carry on doing so till some one undo all that she done, Like the NHS started in the late 40's that still with us today (even low its in a lesser form), this is politics for you it can have an endless life effect, and will only change when politics change. Tell me have you ever gone to any hustings. to debate political view, most on here have not, most on here do not even belong to any political group. southy
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Mon 11 Feb 13

southy says...

freefinker wrote:
southy wrote:
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
I don't do twitter or facebook or any of these transient passing fads.
Nearly always need more than 140 characters to debunk your nonsense.
Facebook there is no limit on characters, and I not seen any limits on Twitter as of yet.
So that debunks your arguement on that matter.
You just do not want to get involved in real debate free, its a bit to deep for you.
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.[/p][/quote]I don't do twitter or facebook or any of these transient passing fads. Nearly always need more than 140 characters to debunk your nonsense.[/p][/quote]Facebook there is no limit on characters, and I not seen any limits on Twitter as of yet. So that debunks your arguement on that matter. You just do not want to get involved in real debate free, its a bit to deep for you. southy
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Stephen J says...

southy wrote:
freefinker wrote:
southy wrote:
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
I don't do twitter or facebook or any of these transient passing fads.
Nearly always need more than 140 characters to debunk your nonsense.
Facebook there is no limit on characters, and I not seen any limits on Twitter as of yet.
So that debunks your arguement on that matter.
You just do not want to get involved in real debate free, its a bit to deep for you.
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1...
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.[/p][/quote]I don't do twitter or facebook or any of these transient passing fads. Nearly always need more than 140 characters to debunk your nonsense.[/p][/quote]Facebook there is no limit on characters, and I not seen any limits on Twitter as of yet. So that debunks your arguement on that matter. You just do not want to get involved in real debate free, its a bit to deep for you.[/p][/quote]5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1... Stephen J
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Mon 11 Feb 13

freefinker says...

southy wrote:
freefinker wrote:
southy wrote:
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
I don't do twitter or facebook or any of these transient passing fads.
Nearly always need more than 140 characters to debunk your nonsense.
Facebook there is no limit on characters, and I not seen any limits on Twitter as of yet.
So that debunks your arguement on that matter.
You just do not want to get involved in real debate free, its a bit to deep for you.
.. gosh, 'real debate'.

Seems I have spent the last two years getting into a kind of debate with you and in all that time you still haven't got one over on me.

I say 'kind of debate’ because your idea of debate is rather a perversion of the dictionary definition. Failing to respond to the arguments of others and only offering the party-line however inappropriate, does not actually constitute debate.

But as you belong to a cult where freedom of expression and 'revisionist thinking' is severely discouraged, your idea of what a debate actually is, is obviously deeply flawed.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.[/p][/quote]I don't do twitter or facebook or any of these transient passing fads. Nearly always need more than 140 characters to debunk your nonsense.[/p][/quote]Facebook there is no limit on characters, and I not seen any limits on Twitter as of yet. So that debunks your arguement on that matter. You just do not want to get involved in real debate free, its a bit to deep for you.[/p][/quote].. gosh, 'real debate'. Seems I have spent the last two years getting into a kind of debate with you and in all that time you still haven't got one over on me. I say 'kind of debate’ because your idea of debate is rather a perversion of the dictionary definition. Failing to respond to the arguments of others and only offering the party-line however inappropriate, does not actually constitute debate. But as you belong to a cult where freedom of expression and 'revisionist thinking' is severely discouraged, your idea of what a debate actually is, is obviously deeply flawed. freefinker
  • Score: 0

7:26pm Mon 11 Feb 13

IronLady2010 says...

I just can't warm to Maria, I can't put my finger on it, but there is something about her I feel uneasy with.

Although, it's none of my business as I'm not in Eastleigh.
I just can't warm to Maria, I can't put my finger on it, but there is something about her I feel uneasy with. Although, it's none of my business as I'm not in Eastleigh. IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

9:22pm Mon 11 Feb 13

soton1980 says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
I just can't warm to Maria, I can't put my finger on it, but there is something about her I feel uneasy with.

Although, it's none of my business as I'm not in Eastleigh.
I know exactly what you mean, I can't either.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: I just can't warm to Maria, I can't put my finger on it, but there is something about her I feel uneasy with. Although, it's none of my business as I'm not in Eastleigh.[/p][/quote]I know exactly what you mean, I can't either. soton1980
  • Score: 0

1:21am Tue 12 Feb 13

Torchie1 says...

southy wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
southy wrote:
If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.
The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.
You mean your to weak to be able to hold your own, which shows that what you believe in was brainwashed into you.
I'm happy to watch you perform an on-line version of the screaming fishwife as you invent 'facts' and write about whatever fantasy you can dream up in an attempt to 'debate'. Aren't you even tempted to think you're making a laughing stock of yourself and Tusc when even your close socialist colleagues try to reason with you on this site? I don't suppose you even noticed.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: If you think you can hold your ground join the debate on Twitter, but I doubt if you will your not strong enough to be able to put up a good debate.[/p][/quote]The prospect is tempting but it can be frustrating trying to 'debate' with a paranoid fantasist who struggles to find the accepted truth and will try to wriggle out of the argument rather than admit he's wrong.[/p][/quote]You mean your to weak to be able to hold your own, which shows that what you believe in was brainwashed into you.[/p][/quote]I'm happy to watch you perform an on-line version of the screaming fishwife as you invent 'facts' and write about whatever fantasy you can dream up in an attempt to 'debate'. Aren't you even tempted to think you're making a laughing stock of yourself and Tusc when even your close socialist colleagues try to reason with you on this site? I don't suppose you even noticed. Torchie1
  • Score: 0

12:14pm Tue 12 Feb 13

Subject48 says...

The picture says it all: What the working man thinks of a politician. He knows that hand has been fingering him and all the other taxpayers for years.

Pr stunts, fake smiles, handshakes. When the dust settles all that remains is a hole in the budget. Does anyone know how if the tax payer’s money is used to subsidize to the parties for these campaigns?

Southy I have a question for you. What has been specifically "debated" by you and your party regarding eastleigh so far?
The picture says it all: What the working man thinks of a politician. He knows that hand has been fingering him and all the other taxpayers for years. Pr stunts, fake smiles, handshakes. When the dust settles all that remains is a hole in the budget. Does anyone know how if the tax payer’s money is used to subsidize to the parties for these campaigns? Southy I have a question for you. What has been specifically "debated" by you and your party regarding eastleigh so far? Subject48
  • Score: 0

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