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. My final byelection predictions are-
    Carswell (UKIP)- 56%
    Tory- 22%
    Labour- 17%
    Green- 3%
    Lib Dem- 1%
    Official Monster Raving Loony- 0.5%
    Rose- 0.3%
    Sizer- 0.2%

    Heywood and Middleton-
    Labour- 52%
    UKIP- 31%
    Tory- 10%
    Green- 4%
    Lib Dem- 3%

  2. I only feel comfortable predicting H&M, but:

    Lab 50
    UKIP 30
    Con 12
    Green 4
    LD 4

  3. Peter Kellner says the Labour majority may be as low as 2,000. Not sure what he bases this forecast on.

  4. I noticed that. If it’s true there’s not going to be anything remotely close to a 20 point gap most predictions/polls have thrown up.

  5. “@Joe_Oliver UKIP campaign manager says ‘I’ll be surprised but not amazed if we win. We’re enjoying ourselves, Labour are terrified’ #HeywoodAndMiddleton”

  6. Turnout: 36.02%. (H&M).

  7. Even on a low turnout, a 2000 majority would be a terrible result this close to the general election.

  8. It seems UKIP have asked for a recount in Heywood. Possibly just 600 votes in it.

  9. Even if we win, a recount is a very bad result. Goes without saying.

  10. Very bad news for Labour. Paul Nuttall just appeared on the This Week special to clarify the situation as it stands, and that there is indeed a recount about to take place- a watershed night in both seats for UKIP- they’ll easily walk Clacton and come extremely close in Heywood, doesn’t look like any of the three main parties have had a great night.

  11. This recount at Heywood is highly unprecedented and hugely significant- if they can come as knife edge close as they sound like they’ve done there in what should really be fairly safely Labour held, it definitely stands Mark Reckless in good stead now in Rochester and Strood in a few weeks time, where if the now likely result in H&M is anything to go off, he would probably win again in his new colours by at least 5000, probably over the Tories.

  12. It seems that calling an early by-election was a correct decision by Labour.

  13. It does. If it had been a few weeks later, UKIP would probably have ended up winning here by a few thousand, this is remarkable.

  14. No recount, just a bundle check, according to Arif Ansari. Result about to be declared, but it definitely sounds like Labour have narrowly clung on.

  15. The result for Heywood and Middleton is in-
    Labour- 11, 633
    UKIP- 11, 016
    Tory- 3, 496
    Lib Dem- 1, 457
    Green- 870

    Too close for comfort for Labour…

  16. Given how close it was there might be a feeling of what could have been, but that is nonetheless a strong result for UKIP.

  17. It’s worrying, very worrying for Labour. Not a good result at all, they should have done better than that really- they barely increased their vote share and the swing to UKIP was about 18%. The Tories fell by 15%, the Lib Dems fell by 17.6%, but just retained their deposit because of how well they did last time, and UKIP shot all the way up from 2.6% to 38.6%. That’s an astonishing result here for UKIP, no two ways about it.

  18. Those percentages in full-
    Labour- 40.8% (+0.7%)
    UKIP- 38.6% (+36.0%)
    Tory- 12.2% (-15.0%)
    Lib Dem- 5.1% (-17.6%)
    Green- 3.0% (N/A)

  19. Very disappointing result for Labour. As the main opposition party they shouldn’t be struggling in seats like this. Getting that close is not a reassuring indication at all. I didn’t expect this result, partly because Clacton received greater publicity. But here’s a seat they should’ve pulled ahead in a by-election.

    Michael Dugher provided a pretty poor explanation for their performance on the BBC coverage.

  20. Compared to how badly the Coalition partners did, Labour’s tiny increase in the face of the UKIP threat looks positively commendable, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that nearly all predictions had Labour on to get over 50% here and them not gaining a huge chunk of the inevitable Lib Dem collapse is bad news for them. If there really are so many more going to UKIP than Labour, it’s all still there to play for next year with the final outcome still uncertain nationally next May.

  21. I appreciate that she has genuine technical issues, but Liz McInnes’s answers to why UKIP did so well struck me very weak.

    Most of us are surprised just how close UKIP took things, but the outcome was always expected to be one or the other of UKIP being a strong second or UKIP being a distant second. Surely she must have known that she would be asked that question?

  22. Well…

    …that result was embarrassing.

  23. UKIP apparently won it on Polling Day, but the postal vote saved it for Labour (acc to Paul Nuttall MEP). Although even he seemed surprised by the extent of their advance in H&M.

  24. Can UKIP carry over this close call and keep hold of this huge surge in support they’ve gained here, in May 2015 though?

  25. A truly dire result for Labour, and that’s the impartial verdict.

  26. Priti Patel is giving robotic answers at the moment.

  27. The two polls showing 19% leads were way out. Was there a late swing, or was there something amiss with their methodologies?

  28. Maybe there was a last minute campaign surge by UKIP. Or possibly a change in heart by many voters.

  29. A 36% turnout that is what hurt Labour not UKIP

  30. I guess the Labour lines about UKIP being ‘more Tory than the Tories’ of late are simply not cutting it. Something very troubling is happening for Labour in their heartlands.

    Also I’m finding Michael Dugher’s explanations for their result absolutely appalling. There is no way of rationalising this.

  31. Have to say that a 36% turnout is surprising, would have expected it to be ~45% (and the only reason I stop there rather than 50% or more is because it was assumed to be a safe Labour hold, because the seat was vacant as the result of a death and because Clacton was higher profile).

    It will be interesting to see who wins the war of spin on this one.

    Will UKIP convince their by-election voters that they can actually take this next year?

    Will Labour convince the left leaning that they should be absolutely terrified of UKIP?

    Will the Tories succeed in arguing that UKIP did very well and lost in Labour heartland, did very well and won in Tory heartland, and therefore will let Miliband in?

    Or will the Lib Dems… nope, even as someone who will be voting LD in 2015 due to who the candidate is, I can’t come up with a plausible one there!

  32. It’ll be interesting to see who gets the more votes in Clacton, the cancer doctor or the sexual trainer…

  33. Interesting thought that…

  34. “Can UKIP carry over this close call and keep hold of this huge surge in support they’ve gained here, in May 2015 though?”

    UKIP are advantaged by the fact not many voters in H&M would surely have believed they could win, so in the run-up to the general now at least far less people will think that.

    However, you should always be sceptical that a challenging party can actually ‘improve’ on a by-election performance. Obviously the reverse is the rule. I would say it probably depends on whether UKIP will surge in the polls by then, and whether they will maintain a good ground game in H&M. Otherwise, I can’t believe they will win it.

  35. John Mann has been tweeting about Labour in light of this result. Ed Miliband ought to have long look at them.

  36. The Clacton byelection result-
    Carswell (UKIP)- 21, 113
    Tory- 8, 709
    Labour- 3, 957
    Green- 688
    Lib Dem- 483
    Official Monster Raving Loony- 127
    Sizer- 205
    Rose- 56

    And Douglas Carswell has made history. Truly a landmark moment in British politics.

  37. That was a rousing speech from Carswell.

  38. Terrible result for Labour here, a 14% decrease I think. Carswell won with a majority of 12, 404 and 35.1% over the Tories. He got nearly 60% of the vote and the Lib Dems only managed 1.3%, perhaps not altogether surpsingly, finishing behind the Greens who secured just a little bit more than what they got in 2010.

  39. Brilliant speech from Carswell. Graceful in victory as well, and he’s set the standard now for others to follow I think.

  40. Congratulations to UKIP on their victory.

    Awful result.
    Miliband and Balls up could – could – be in office on 33%.
    Nothing UKIP want will be achieved – because the damage will be permanent.
    We need to stop this – like in 1992.

  41. Excellent and articulate speech indeed with a lot of sincerity.

    Before this I kind of expected Labour to largely hold onto their 2010 vote in Clacton. Dropping 14% is an extra bloody nose for the party.

  42. This could very well be the defining evening of British politics for a long time to come.

  43. Full percentages-
    UKIP- 59.7% (N/A)
    Tory- 24.6% (-28.4%)
    Labour- 11.1% (-13.9%)
    Green- 1.9% (+0.7%)
    Lib Dem- 1.3% (-11.6%)
    Sizer- 0.5% (N/A)
    Monster Raving Loony- 0.3% (N/A)
    Rose- 0.1% (N/A)

  44. Amazing result in so many different ways, all kinds of records broken, being discussed now by John Curtice with Andrew Neil, Carswell even got a bigger numerical as well as percentage majority than as a Tory in 2010. Lost for words now.

  45. “11% is perfectly creditable” for Labour in Clacton?!?

  46. The irony is that if Labour got a majority on a third of the vote, a credible constitutional convention after the GE would probably go on to hurt them more than anything the Tories could get through in the next six months.

  47. I just don’t believe Labour will win a majority with a third of the vote. Maybe I’m wrong.

  48. If UKIP can cruise home here, things are definitely looking up for them in Rochester now I reckon- Mark Reckless could get a win for UKIP there with a majority in the teens there percentage wise at least without too many problems.

  49. Stranger things have happened already Andy…

  50. Hannah & The Results – the Lembit-backed sex worker came last. The LibDem 1% was their worst ever performance.

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