By-elections - 9th October 2014

Caused by the death of Labour MP Jim Dobbin on the 6th September 2014, while on a Parliamentary trip to Poland. The by-election was set for the 9th October, already set to be the day of the Clacton by-election. Labour were expected to hold the seat comfortably and polls during the campaign showed them with a 19% lead over UKIP. In the event they held it only very narrowly.

Liz McInnes (Labour) 11633 40.9% (+0.8%)
John Bickley (UKIP) 11016 38.7% (+36.1%)
Iain Gartside (Conservative) 3496 12.3% (-14.9%)
Anthony Smith (Liberal Democrat) 1457 5.1% (-17.6%)
Abi Jackson (Green) 870 3.1% (n/a)
MAJORITY 617 2.2% (-10.7%)
Turnout 36% (-21.5%)
Liz McInnes (Labour) Clinical scientist. Rossendale councillor
Anthony Smith (Liberal Democrat) Businessman
Iain Gartside (Conservative) Educated at Salford University. Bury councillor since 2004.
John Bickley (UKIP) Born 1953. Businessman. Contested Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election
Abi Jackson (Green) Educated at Cardinal Langley High School and Huddersfield University

Clacton By election
Caused by the resignation of Douglas Carswell, who defected from the Conservative party to UKIP on the 28th August and immediately resigned his seat to fight a by-election for his new party. Carswell was the first defecting MP to resign to fight a by-election since 1982 and the first to successfully hold his seat under his new colours since Dick Taverne. The Conservatives called the by-election for the 9th October, immediately following their party conference. Carswell won the by-election easily, providing UKIP with their first elected MP.

Douglas Carswell (UKIP) 21113 59.7% (n/a)
Giles Watling (Conservative) 8709 24.6% (-28.4%)
Tim Young (Labour) 3957 11.2% (-13.8%)
Chris Southall (Green) 688 1.9% (+0.7%)
Andy Graham (Liberal Democrat) 483 1.4% (-11.5%)
Bruce Sizer (Independent) 205 0.6% (n/a)
Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 127 0.4% (n/a)
Charlotte Rose (Independent) 56 0.2% (n/a)
MAJORITY 12404 35.1%
Turnout 51% (-13.2%)
Tim Young (Labour) Born Clacton. Educated at Clacton County High School. Colchester councillor since 1992. Selected as Labour candidate for Colchester in 2001, but stepped down over a driving conviction.
Douglas Carswell (UKIP) Born 1971, Westminster. Educated at Charterhouse and the University of East Anglia. Former corporate development manager. Contested Sedgefield 2001 for the Conservatives. Conservative MP for Harwich 2005-2010 and, after boundary changes, Clacton 2010-2014. Defected to UKIP in 2014, immediately resigning his seat to fight a by-election
Giles Watling (Conservative) Born 1953, Chingford. Actor and theatre director. Tendring councillor since 2007
Chris Southall (Green) Engineer and smallholder. Contested Clacton 2010
Bruce Sizer (Independent) Educated at Birmingham University. Consultant oncologist
Andy Graham (Liberal Democrat) Former teacher. Actor and writer. East Hertfordshire councillor 1995-2011
Howling Laud Hope (Loony) Real name Alan Hope. Born Mytchett. Publican. Leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party since 1999. Contested Teignbridge 1983, 1987, 1992, Aldershot 1997, Eddisbury by-election 1999, Kensington and Chelsea by-election 1999, Brent East by-election 2003, Hartlepool by-election 2004, Aldershot 2005, Blaenau Gwent by-election 2006, Sedgefield by-election 2007, Norwich North by-election 2009, Witney 2010, Barnsley Central 2011, Bradford West 2012, Manchester Central 2012, Eastleigh 2013, South Shields 2013
Charlotte Rose (Independent) Sex worker and sexual trainer
Comments - 135 Responses on “By-elections – 9th October 2014”
  1. test

  2. Don’t test us, Anthony, we’re stressing over these by-elections enough as it is. Really though, the results are pretty obvious for both. What will be interesting are the vote share changes and performance of the Lib Dems.

  3. As I said in the other thread, for me the most interesting thing about the Clacton debate was that the Loony was the only one who explicitly spelled out what jobs he would create in the constituency.

  4. What power has an MP got to create jobs in their constituency….except perhaps for the odd cleaner or gardener paid for by expenses.

  5. Ah, so the LibDem candidate in Clacton is also an actor. He did have a slight plummy/camp accent on the debate.

  6. Well, the moat cleaning industry took a terrible blow in the last parliament…

    But seriously, all politicians talk about bringing more jobs to the local area, but the question that rarely gets asked and almost never gets answered is “what jobs”?

  7. Jobs might be one of the areas where business/union associated MPs could exert some positive influence in bringing employment to their seat.

  8. An MP can facilitate companies who want to invest in the area. But if no-one is interested in investing in the area in the first place there’s nothing an MP can do to change that.

    Two MPs who made a massive difference in terms of helping create local jobs were Edwina Currie (Toyota Burnaston) and Dennis Skinner (M1 & A38 retail parks). But they were well established, respected figures.

  9. The only other influence an MP may exert outside the example you cite is having the ear of the BIS team or the Treasury (or shadow equivalents), so yes it is fairly limited.

    Councils seem to have more clout in that area.

  10. Reminds me that one of the complaints levied against Anne McIntosh (Thirsk and Malton) was she failed to help save five jobs in a small business.

    Some people expect MPs to be miracle workers. If anything, it’s more suspect when politicians use their position to advantage a particular company.

  11. A sex worker is standing in the Clacton by-election? That must be a first. Independent or not, I can’t see how someone of that occupation would be accepted by the electorate in most places, let alone a more culturally conservative constituency. Might be different if it was a heavily student seat or an extremely liberal Brighton Pavilion type area.

    Browsing on Google, she’s from Exeter but is now based in London.

  12. I’d probably just vote Charlotte Rose to be honest in Clacton but that’s just me. I certainly would not want to be Watling. We’ve actually joked about a sex party before, see the Gordon post.

    I would not want to be any lib dem candidate or MP right now either, knowing your party will see you defeated in great fashion.

  13. Write up of the Clacton candidates here :-!/menu/standard/file/Clacton%20candidates.pdf

    in their own words (limited to 200). From East Anglian DT. (It is a middle page spread – most exciting thing of the day in these parts . . . )

    Also EADT indicating they will do live coverage of Clacton election on or near this web page :-


  14. Good to see the BBC are again starting to cover all Parliamentary By-elections on BBC1, rather than hoping to spot the declaration on Sky or BBC News 24. BBC NW News were in H&M again today, but Arif Ansari didn’t add much to what we all know: it’s a fight between Labour and UKIP and the voters he interviewed mentioned the Asian grooming gang of taxi drivers and immigration.

  15. Those talking about the independent candidate doing a first might want to do a Wikipedia search for Lindi St Clair.

    Based on the televised debate I’d be extremely surprised if the Greens didn’t beat the Lib Dems in Clacton (admittedly it was likely anyway).

    Although if you trust the BBC to be neutral and watched that same television debate, you might be wondering whether Carswell is indeed in for the thumping majority that we all expect…

  16. …..or Cynthia Payne. Mentioned on at least one other thread. (She was a Madame rather than a, how shall we say, direct sexual operative.)

  17. So for Clacton the Liberal democrat candidate lives 150 miles away and the labour candidate has a criminal conviction. I have a feeling that anyone voting on a purely personal basis will either be going tory or UKIP.

    I am going to predict Clacton. I have a feeling this one might be a bit off but I see the lib dems due to poor choice of candidate and labour due to the ‘keep UKIP out vote,’ are going to suffer. Guess we’ll find out soon but anway:

    here it goes-

    UKIP- 54%
    Con- 28%
    Lab- 13%
    Green- 3%
    Lib- 1%
    other- 1%

  18. Robbie.. good to see the Liberals getting 1% even though we are not standing! Have better things to do with ourselves…

  19. How is life in your new party, Antiochian? You might be polling better than the Cleggsters if Robbie’s prediction comes true.

  20. they’re not even standing? That’s a little cowardly isn’t it? Yes they may be destroyed and humiliated but that’s going to happen in 2015 anyway unless Cleggy just.stands.down.

  21. The Liberal Party, Robbie, not the Liberal Democrats. The party which formed after the 1988 merger of the Liberals and Social Democrats. They have a few councillors across the country and are strongest in Liverpool.

  22. well that’s a bit silly.

  23. The Liberals are not very similar to the Lib Dems, so I’m surprised Antiochian has joined them.

    From my experience of them (they always used to stand candidates in Penge when I lived there), they are a cross between Eurosceptic Tories and the Greens. Zac Goldsmith minus the poshness. They absolutely hate the Lib Dems and the feeling is mutual

  24. Looking into it I kind of like the look of them, they are pretty perfectly in the center, whereas the lib dems have moved themselves into the centre.

    Voting age moved down to 16, I am so annoyed that this is not the current voting age, currently I can’t vote for another four years or so which is really annoying.

    An elected senate to replace the house of lords. Seems logical to me, I know that the lords are there as experts in law etc etc but there should be more of a democratic process to it.

    Separating religion from all forms of politics, totally agree with.

    They are a little more eurosceptic then I would like.

    Still though they have sixteen councillors, which is a pretty good amount if you ask me however their power seems to be dwindling, in 2010 they only got 6,000 votes as opposed to 19,000 in 2005 but who knows? Maybe the fall of the lib dems will see them get back to getting 0.1% of the overall vote in 2015.

  25. I would in general summarise that the more minor the party the individual is in the more unreasonable and petty he/she is.

  26. I think the greater issue for Labour isn’t whether they can or cannot win, it is that it wouldn’t be in their interests to win and spike UKIP’s guns too soon.

  27. ^ Sorry, that should have been on the Rochester thread.

  28. Since the polls for these by-elections open tomorrow morning, I will make my personal prediction now:

    Heywood & Middleton:

    Lab 47
    UKIP 29
    Con 14
    LD 5
    Green 5


    UKIP 54
    Con 23
    Lab 16
    Green 3
    LD 2
    Independents Bruce Sizer/Charlotte Rose: 1% each.
    OMRLP: 0.5 at best.

  29. If I were a gambler I’d risk a small wager that the Lib-Dems will lose their deposits in both seats.

    What a kick in the teeth that would be at the end of their conference week.

  30. It’s possible the Tories could struggle to reach 10% in Heywood and Labour in Clacton.

  31. According to this article the Ashcroft poll showed UKIP winning in Heywood & Middleton with male voters by 41% to 38%, although the sample size may be a bit iffy. 21% of female voters supported UKIP:

  32. This by-election looks as though it should be OK for Labour but I wouldn’t rule out a shock result for UKIP, particularly if there is a low turnout.

  33. My last comment should have been on the Heywood and Middleton thread!

  34. Ladbrokes offer 25/1 that Charlotte Rose out-polls the Lib Dems in Clacton. Here’s a little bit more about the betting there:

  35. Labour will win Heywood and Middleton by at least 15%. UKIP do not have sufficient strength on the ground and without wanting to give too much away Labour have devised a rather clever way of getting their vote out on the day.

  36. Sky News and the Sun are reporting a Govt U-turn and that screening fos Ebola symptoms will take place at airports. An announcement is expected in an hour, even though Michael Fallon said we wouldn’t be screening people, this morning.

  37. Sky News and the Sky News Paper are reporting a Govt U-turn and that screening fos Ebola symptoms will take place at airports. An announcement is expected in an hour, even though Michael Fallon said we wouldn’t be screening people, this morning.

    I believe the objection to Ebola screening was that the existing model of a temperature test and questionnaire was relatively ineffective compared to what “screening” implies.

    Any indication what time either result is due?

  38. why are we talking about ebola? I mean I know it’s a big issue but this site isn’t really an ebola forum.

  39. Heywood and Middleton should be in around 2am, no word on Clacton. I’d have thought it’d be a bit slower given probable higher turnout but couldn’t say.

  40. Chris – JFK have a laser scanner that takes the temp without going near a passenger. I imagine Fallon got overruled, due to public confidence, as UKBA with hand sanitiser jel sounded farcical by comparison. Robbie – I mentioned it as a symptom of Govt incompetence rather than the issue itself. Although sending troops there was opposed by 80% in a radio poll today.

  41. “Heywood and Middleton should be in around 2am, no word on Clacton. I’d have thought it’d be a bit slower given probable higher turnout but couldn’t say.”

    On the other hand Heywood/Middleton is likely to be a lot closer than Clacton so that may slow the former down. The point about turnout is right though, so they may cancel each other. In fact I’ve got a small bet on the Clacton turnout being higher than the general election (which was 64.2%).

  42. There were apparently queues at some polling stations in both, so turnout should be decent.

  43. There are always apparently queues at some polling stations. There were in the European elections and turnout was about the same as 2009. I’d like it if turnout was high but I fear bog-standard by-election turnout of 30-50% is likely.

  44. @mrnameless

    “…and without wanting to give too much away Labour have devised a rather clever way of getting their vote out on the day.”

    Would this (presumably legal) method be practical during a general election? I’m thinking of the Tories throwing their entire party at Newark 15 times over. Obviously not something you could do nationally during a GE.

  45. Yes. Obviously they seem to be hurling activists into the fray too!

  46. I find it really annoying when 30-40% of people don’t vote in a GE. I mean there have been thousands of years in this country when you couldn’t vote, worldwide dictatorships that ban the practice exist. One day democracy will cease to be a thing and countless have died to keep us from becoming part of a dictatorship and many women died trying to get equal suffrage for all and you’re just , not going to vote? eurgh .

  47. You’re preaching to the converted, Robbie!

  48. Ok, prediction time:

    Heywood & Middleton

    Labour – 46.5%
    UKIP – 28%
    Conservative – 17%
    Lib Dem – 5%
    Green – 3.5%


    UKIP – 49%
    Conservative – 26%
    Labour – 16%
    Lib Dem – 3%
    Green – 3%
    Others – 2%

  49. My prediction:

    Heywood & Middleton:
    Labour- 46%
    UKIP- 33%
    Conservative- 14%
    Lib Dem- 4%
    Green- 3%

    UKIP- 55%
    Conservative- 23%
    Labour- 15%
    Green- 3%
    Lib Dem- 2%
    Others- 2%

  50. Clacton

    UKIP 54
    CON 24
    LAB 16
    GRN 3
    LD 2
    OTHER 1

    Heywood and Middleton

    Lab 50
    Ukip 28
    Con 16
    LD 3
    GRN 3

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)