Conservatives have three point lead over Liberal Democrats in Eastleigh ahead of by-election

Former Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne

Former Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne

First published in Eastleigh
Last updated

Conservatives start the Eastleigh by-election campaign with a three-point lead over the Liberal Democrats, according to polling for former Tory treasurer Lord Ashcroft.

The survey, conducted immediately after the resignation of disgraced former MP Chris Huhne, put the Tories on 34 per cent, with Lib Dems on 31 per cent, Labour on 19 per cent and Ukip fourth with 13 per cent.

But Lord Ashcroft warned the Tories cannot expect to gain much of a boost in the February 28 by-election from the circumstances of Huhne's fall from grace, as the poll suggested that few voters were likely to ''switch out of disgust''.

The figures represent a fall of almost 16 points in Lib Dem support since the 2010 general election, when Huhne scooped 46.5 per cent of the vote. Tories are down five points since the election and Labour and Ukip both up nine.

Lord Ashcroft, a major Tory donor who was deputy chairman of the party until 2010, said the poll suggested both coalition parties have ''everything to play for''.

''There is some more encouraging news for the Tories,'' he added.

''Conservative voters are the most likely to be sure how they will vote, and Lib Dems who say they may change their minds are more likely to switch to the Tories than any other party.

''However, Labour voters are more likely to be open to changing, and are more likely to move to the Lib Dems if they do.

''Only a fifth of Eastleigh voters would rather see Ed Miliband as Prime Minister than David Cameron, and the Conservatives lead on getting the economy growing and creating jobs, as well as dealing with the deficit.''

But there were indications that Nick Clegg's party may gain votes through their performance locally.

The Deputy Prime Minister yesterday said Huhne had been a good constituency MP, and two-thirds of those taking part in the poll agreed that ''the Lib Dems do a good job locally in my area''.

''Winning a seat from the Liberal Democrats is much easier when the incumbent is out of the picture,'' said Lord Ashcroft.

''But Eastleigh has been in Lib Dem hands for a long time, and the party has a strong local government base in the borough. Huhne was a popular and, by all accounts, assiduous MP, and many in Eastleigh will be sad to see him go and circumstances of his departure. The Tories should not expect many to switch out of disgust.

''So the Conservatives, with an initial lead and reasonable support for their national performance, versus the Liberal Democrats on home territory. This is going to be bruising - but fascinating.''

  • Some 1,006 adults were interviewed by telephone in the Eastleigh constituency on February 4 and 5.

Comments (6)

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1:36am Fri 8 Feb 13

saintsbabygirl123 says...

GET DAVID CAMMRON OUT !!!
GET DAVID CAMMRON OUT !!! saintsbabygirl123
  • Score: 0

9:27am Fri 8 Feb 13

huckit P says...

Let's hope UKIP win this by-election so that the other major parties get a well deserved kick up the proverbial.
Let's face it though... it will be more of the same whoever wins.
Let's hope UKIP win this by-election so that the other major parties get a well deserved kick up the proverbial. Let's face it though... it will be more of the same whoever wins. huckit P
  • Score: 0

12:32am Sun 10 Feb 13

sam1970 says...

It would be great for Eastleigh if they made the historical decision of returning the first UKIP MP to Westminster. It would give us all a chance to see what UKIP can and will do in the future.
It would be great for Eastleigh if they made the historical decision of returning the first UKIP MP to Westminster. It would give us all a chance to see what UKIP can and will do in the future. sam1970
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Mon 11 Feb 13

ottred says...

agreed Sam.

This joke of a merry go round has to stop. Come on eastleigh, time to give ukip a chance.
agreed Sam. This joke of a merry go round has to stop. Come on eastleigh, time to give ukip a chance. ottred
  • Score: 0

8:30am Thu 14 Feb 13

Jack Herer says...

huckit P wrote:
Let's hope UKIP win this by-election so that the other major parties get a well deserved kick up the proverbial.
Let's face it though... it will be more of the same whoever wins.
The truth is it's more of the same if Labour or the Tories win. The Lib Dems actually try and just do what's best for the common man though.

Unfortunately they are a much minor partner in a coalition however, which means they have to feed off the political scraps. So when the George Osborne and the Tories are fighting tooth and nail for tax cuts for their rich friends, and the Lib Dems are fighting for tax cuts to the lowest paid - the Lib Dems may get some lip service, but the greedy rich piggies have to first get their tax breaks.

"Lord" Ashcroft can't be a good advert for the Tories. Surely he is everything that's wrong with politics today - tax havens etc - I mean does he really deserve to be called a "Lord"? Only if Fred Goodwin deserves to be called "Sir" would be my guess.

A vote for the Tories is definitely not looking out for the common man. Unless that common man is a millionaire tax exile.
[quote][p][bold]huckit P[/bold] wrote: Let's hope UKIP win this by-election so that the other major parties get a well deserved kick up the proverbial. Let's face it though... it will be more of the same whoever wins.[/p][/quote]The truth is it's more of the same if Labour or the Tories win. The Lib Dems actually try and just do what's best for the common man though. Unfortunately they are a much minor partner in a coalition however, which means they have to feed off the political scraps. So when the George Osborne and the Tories are fighting tooth and nail for tax cuts for their rich friends, and the Lib Dems are fighting for tax cuts to the lowest paid - the Lib Dems may get some lip service, but the greedy rich piggies have to first get their tax breaks. "Lord" Ashcroft can't be a good advert for the Tories. Surely he is everything that's wrong with politics today - tax havens etc - I mean does he really deserve to be called a "Lord"? Only if Fred Goodwin deserves to be called "Sir" would be my guess. A vote for the Tories is definitely not looking out for the common man. Unless that common man is a millionaire tax exile. Jack Herer
  • Score: 0

10:13am Fri 15 Feb 13

philgcdr says...

Google title to read more: Daughter of Labour Chairman joins UKIP

"34 year old mother of one, Angharad Yeo, is one of the latest in a growing number of defections to UKIP from the three parties in Westminster. Her mother Harriet Yeo is Chair of Labour NEC.

Angharad Yeo, a long term Labour supporter and campaigner who helped the party in elections since the age of 17, came to the conclusion after the recent Police Commissioner vote that UKIP better represented her views."
Google title to read more: Daughter of Labour Chairman joins UKIP "34 year old mother of one, Angharad Yeo, is one of the latest in a growing number of defections to UKIP from the three parties in Westminster. Her mother Harriet Yeo is Chair of Labour NEC. Angharad Yeo, a long term Labour supporter and campaigner who helped the party in elections since the age of 17, came to the conclusion after the recent Police Commissioner vote that UKIP better represented her views." philgcdr
  • Score: 0

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