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Voters pack into hall for Eastleigh by-election debate
10:40am Monday 25th February 2013 in News
ANYONE expecting a political bunfight at a byelection meeting in a church would have been disappointed.
But some 150 people packed into the hustings in Eastleigh last night as the town prepares to make its mind up for Thursday’s poll.
The meeting was largely good humoured and heard the candidates give views on questions including same sex marriage, food banks for the poor and how to regenerate Eastleigh High Street.
The only heckling came when Lib Dem candidate and bookies’ favourite Mike Thornton was asked about the same sex marriage bill. He appeared to prevaricate before seeming to say he was opposed; but many in the audience were unsure.
The meeting was held at St Andrew’s Methodist Hall in Blenheim Road by Churches Together in Eastleigh.
Ten of the 14 candidates attended: Colin Bex, Wessex Regionalist; Jim Duggan, Peace Party; Maria Hutchings, Conservative; Diane James, UK Independence; Iain MacLennan, National Health Action; John O’Farrell, Labour; Darren Procter, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition; Danny Stupple, Independent; Mike Thornton, Liberal Democrat; Michael Walters, English Democrat.
The biggest laugh of the evening came when Mr Bex, Wessex Regionalist, was asked his motive for seeking to become an MP: “Unashamed lust for power!” he deadpanned.