2015 Result:
Conservative: 23464 (42.3%)
Labour: 7181 (12.9%)
Lib Dem: 14317 (25.8%)
Green: 1513 (2.7%)
UKIP: 8783 (15.8%)
TUSC: 114 (0.2%)
Others: 133 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 9147 (16.5%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Hampshire. Most of the Eastleigh council area.

Main population centres: Eastleigh, Hedge End, West End, Netley, Hamble-le-Rice, Bursledon.

Profile: Eastleigh curves around the north and east of Southampton and is essentially the affluent, owner-occupied suburbs of the city. Eastleigh itself is a railway town, while West End and Hedge End are villages that have grown into Southampton suburbs. Netley is a quaint coastal village and Hamble a yachting centre. The constituency includes Southampton International Airport and Hampshire County Cricket team`s home at the Rose Bowl.

Politics: Eastleigh was once a safe Conservative seat, held by the the party from the seat`s creation until the death of MP Stephen Milligan in 1994. The bizarre circumstances of Milligan`s death - accidental death due to autoerotic asphyxiation - were widely publicised and came at the height of the Back to Basics series of sleaze scandals, the Liberal Democrats won the seat on a huge swing at the subsequent by-election. The by-election victor David Chigley stepped down in 2005 to be replaced by Chris Huhne, who had a a meteoric rise and fall in the party, contesting the leadership less than a year after his election, narrowing missing out on the leadership in the 2007 contest, being appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Energy, and then resigning from Parliament after he pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by falsely claiming his wife was driving his car to avoid a speeding fine. The 2013 by-election coincided with the rise of UKIP and saw the Liberal Democrats hold the seat with UKIP in second place, but at the subsequent general election the seat fell to the Tories.

By-Election: There was a by-election in this seat in CON GAIN FROM LD. For full details see here.

Current MP
MIMS DAVIES (Conservative) Former radio producer and director. Mid Sussex councillor. First elected as MP for Eastleigh in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 21102 (39%)
Lab: 5153 (10%)
LDem: 24966 (47%)
UKIP: 1933 (4%)
Oth: 496 (1%)
MAJ: 3864 (7%)
Con: 18648 (37%)
Lab: 10238 (21%)
LDem: 19216 (39%)
UKIP: 1669 (3%)
MAJ: 568 (1%)
Con: 16302 (34%)
Lab: 10426 (22%)
LDem: 19360 (41%)
UKIP: 849 (2%)
Oth: 636 (1%)
MAJ: 3058 (6%)
Con: 18699 (34%)
Lab: 14883 (27%)
LDem: 19453 (35%)
Oth: 446 (1%)
MAJ: 754 (1%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MIMS DAVIES (Conservative) Former radio producer and director. Mid Sussex councillor.
MARK LATHAM (Labour) Born Eastleigh. Business publisher.
MIKE THORNTON (Liberal Democrat) Born 1953, Farnham. Educated at Manchester Polytechnic. Business and development manager. Contested Eastleigh councillor since 2007. MP for Eastleigh 2013 by-election to 2015.
PATRICIA CULLIGAN (UKIP) Born Manchester. Educated at Manchester University. Businesswoman. Contested South East region 2014 European election.
RON MELDRUM (Green) Cognitive Therapist.
RAY HALL (Beer, Baccy and Scratchings) Retired businessman. Contested Eastleigh 2013 by election.
Comments - 348 Responses on “Eastleigh”
  1. In 1992 you could still pile up 30,000 – maybe even 40,000 in seats without doing any work.

    Those days have largely gone.

  2. Well you have to laugh that on the 2001 program
    someone said “Solihull, at least no surprises there”.
    But I personally don’t find it particularly funny for obvious reasons.

  3. Something went badly wrong for the Conservatives here on May 2nd: they only received 17.9% of the vote.

  4. UKIP gained three county council seats from the Lib Dems in Eastleigh.


    It looks like they are building up momentum and becoming the main challengers to the Lib Dem hegemony in the area.

  5. I actually think that UKIP will take the seat from the Lib Dems in 2015, especially if Nigel Farage stands here which he could do.

  6. If UKIP has any sense (a big if imo), it’ll pick out a handful of target seats and that’s where all its resources will go. This seems as good as any at the moment. Gaining some county councillors should give them a foothold. I wonder if they could try the infamous barchart leaflets showing that only UKIP can stop the coalition in Eastleigh.

  7. They need a few by-elections.
    Their strategy is if you don’t cut your nose and your legs off we’ll put Labour in on fewer votes than the Tories in ’97.

    If Rabble Valley comes up,
    folowed by 1 or 2 Labour seats then who knows.

  8. The typical UKIPer will say “there’s no difference between tory and labour on europe so it doesn’t matter who gets in”. This will resonate well enough with their core, 5-7% of the electorate perhaps, but if they actually want to go beyond that then they need a better message. The sort of voter that they need to attract will be put off by that, and think that they’d better just stick with the devil they know, lest the other lot get in.

  9. Robberbutton – if they did use such a barchart, it would actually be correct in this instance!

  10. I don’t think UKIP have much chance of wining this in 2015. I do, however, agree with Robberbutton. The correct policy for UKIP in 2015 is to identify about 25 seats where the result is most likely to be favourable, and to concentrate the vast majority of resources in these seats.

    Nobody, other than some of the less realistic posters on the DT blogs, believes that UKIP will win 25 seats at the next election. But we need to take the long term view, and put resources into seats which will not be won in 2015, but where a strong showing would give a platform to challenge in 2020.

    So about 12 target seats where most resources go, with a view to winning hopefully about half of those (I think 6 seats would be an exceptionally good return for UKIP in 2015), and another about 13 seats where nearly as much effort is put in with a view to putting in a strong performance (say, >15% vote share). Eastleigh would surely fall into the second category.

  11. Does anyone know where I can find a list of constituencies from 2010 sorted by UKIP vote share?

  12. Neil- which are the 6 seats you’re looking to win? I guess Boston and Thanet South will be two of them. Castle Point too maybe?

  13. Here’s the top 100

    Buckingham 17.4%
    Boston & Skegness 9.5%
    Christchurch 8.5%
    Spelthorne 8.5%
    Dudley North 8.5%
    Walsall South 8.4%
    Cambs NW 8.3%
    Dudley South 8.2%
    Devon East 8.2%
    Staffordshire Moorlands 8.2%
    Wentworth 8.1%
    Newcastle under Lyme 8.1%
    Hull East 8.0%
    Wolverhampton SE 7.7%
    Plymouth Moor View 7.7%
    Thurrock 7.4%
    Devon North 7.2%
    Bournemouth West 7.2%
    Cleethorpes 7.1%
    Suffolk South 7.1%
    Hartlepool 7.0%
    Surrey E 6.9%
    Bournemouth East 6.9%
    Warley 6.8%
    Chichester 6.8%
    Aylesbury 6.8%
    Peterborough 6.7%
    Ribble Valley 6.7%
    Runnymede 6.5%
    Witham 6.5%
    Thanet North 6.5%
    Plymouth Sutton & Devonport 6.5%
    Bognor Regis & Littlehampton 6.5%
    South Holland & The Deepings 6.5%
    Halesowen& Rowley Regis 6.4%
    Suffolk West 6.4%
    Newton Abbot 6.4%
    Orkney & Shetland 6.3%
    Surrey Heath 6.3%
    Thirsk & Malton 6.3%
    Norfolk SW 6.2%
    Cornwall SE 6.2%
    Great Grimsby 6.2%
    Devon SW 6.2%
    Stoke North 6.2%
    Mansfield 6.2%
    Huntingdon 6.2%
    Worthing East & Shoreham 6.2%
    Bootle 6.1%
    Totnes 6.0%
    Wealden 6.0%
    Worcestershire Mid 6.0%
    Tiverton 6.0%
    Worthing West 6.0%
    Havant 5.9%
    Rotherham 5.9%
    Basildon South & Thurrock E 5.9%
    Telford 5.9%
    New Forest West 5.9%
    Rochford & Southend East 5.8%
    Suffolk Coastal 5.7%
    Cambs NE 5.7%
    Bromsgrove 5.7%
    Wigan 5.7%
    Herefordshire North 5.7%
    Arundel & South Downs 5.7%
    Lichfield 5.7%
    Derbyshire NE 5.6%
    Rother Valley 5.6%
    St Ives 5.6%
    Norfolk Mid 5.5%
    Thanet South 5.5%
    Wiltshire SW 5.5%
    Denton & Reddish 5.5%
    Devon West & Torridge 5.5%
    Staffordshire South 5.5%
    Norfolk North 5.4%
    Sittingbourne 5.4%
    Hull West & Hessle 5.4%
    Torbay 5.3%
    Hornchurch & Upminster 5.3%
    Devon Central 5.3%
    Poole 5.3%
    Stone 5.3%
    Waveney 5.2%
    Dorset North 5.2%
    Forest of Dean 5.2%
    Northampton South 5.2%
    Hampshire NW 5.2%
    Harwich & Essex North 5.2%
    Beds Mid 5.1%
    Southport 5.1%
    Hazel Grove 5.1%
    Bury St Edmunds 5.1%
    Maldon 5.1%
    Horsham 5.1%
    Mole Valley 5.1%
    Camborne & Redruth 5.1%
    Braintree 5.0%
    New Forest East 5.0%
    Banbury 5.0%

  14. Thanks Pete, copied for future reference.

    Tory, I think 6 seats would be an excellent result, and not necessarily likely. A good place to start though, would be the 10 seats where UKIP topped the poll in the May locals. I’ll have to peruse Pete’s list when I have leisure and then come up with a list of potentially winnable seats, and those where a large effort should be put in.

  15. I would have to disagree with Neil about UKIP’s chances here. IMO this clearly would be in their top 25 targets, especially after they reduced the Tories to about 17% in the county council election.

  16. Interesting to see how well ukip did in biushopstoke as that had been a lib dem stronghold and must have also been a close lib ukip race in february

  17. A closer look at the result here in 1997-
    (Changes are against 1992, not the 1994 by-election)
    Chidgey (Liberal Democrat)- 19, 453 (35.05%, +7.05%)
    Reid (Conservative)- 18, 699 (33.70%, -17.57%)
    Lloyd (Labour)- 14, 883 (26.82%, +6.09%)
    Eldridge (Referendum Party)- 2, 013 (3.63%, N/A)
    Robinson (UKIP)- 446 (0.80%, N/A)

    Majority- 754 (1.36%)
    Swing- +12.31% From Con to Lib Dem.

  18. Can’t help noticing that the LibDem Republic of Eastleigh has 78,300 voters on rolls (or at least did).. and that is 5,000 higher than the next most populous seat in Hants..

    any redistricting is bound to put at least 5,000-7,000 of those into neighbouring seats… two of which, Romsey and Winchester, are pre-2010 LibDem seats..

    Romsey has only 65,000 on the rolls… neither area has shown rapid population growth… anyone would think the Gods of Redistricting wanted the LIbDems bottled up in Eastleigh..

  19. vicky pryce says she might become an mp ugh

  20. that would be up to the electorate wouldn’t it.

  21. I shall post this here as it seems the most tenuously relevant place.. I can’t help wondering at Chris Huhne’s sudden reappearance as the patron saint of privacy that he may be wanting to get back into the bearpit.. (not Eastleigh)… there would be many Libdem targets that would gladly have him Romsey?)… his brand is only slightly tarnished in many member’s minds…

    is there some sort of bar that would block him from reentering parliament in light of his “time served”?

  22. Huhne would certainly find his brand is much more than “only slightly tarnished” amongst the electorate if he tried to stand for election again.

    The arrogance and self-importance of the man knows no bounds. Previously imprisoned and disgraced MPs such as Archer, Aitken and most of the expenses criminals have at least had the common sense to crawl away quietly after their release to rebuild their lives away from the public eye. Chris Huhne can’t keep off the TV screens, pontificating on this that and the other. He seems quite clueless that his shameless behaviour before and after his imprisonment is part and parcel of why people disrespect politicians so much these days.

  23. and Vick Pryce is out and about touting her wares also…

    clearly you don’t feel the tug of “redemption stories” the way the US electorate does..

  24. You need to be far more likeable than Huhne is to be able to pull off that kind of rehabilitation.

    The “lovable rogue” type such as Alan Clark could do it, but that’s not Huhne at all.

  25. ‘Aitken and most of the expenses criminals have at least had the common sense to crawl away quietly after their release to rebuild their lives away from the public eye.’

    That’s not entirely true

    Aitken tried to get back into Conservative Party politics and tried to get nominated as PPC for his old seat of Isle of Thanet South – until it was made clear by the Tory high command at the time that he would not be welcome back

    And Lord Archer was allegedly the master mind behind Simon Mann amd Mark Thatcher’s attemped coup in Equitorial Guinea

    I would hope that Huhne would have the sense to recognise that his politocal career is over

  26. My point though was that Aitken and Archer were at least keeping off the TV, even though they may have been plotting a comeback behind closed doors. They did at least appear to recognise that they had done wrong.

    I deliberately left out Neil Hamilton from my list….though of course he didn’t go to jail, he was certainly disgraced to the same extent as the others. He took Huhne’s path of stubbornly trying to stay in the limelight and it has brought him and his wife nothing but further ridicule. Huhne should take note of his experience and also listen to your final sentence.

  27. And as for the expenses Mps – most have sought to keep away from the public eye – but not all

    Julia Goldsworthy and Richard Younger Ross still have ambitions to get back into the Parliament – as does Julie Kirkbride – who still seems to think the elecorate owe her a living, despite being caught red handed of the worst type of defrauding the public purse

    And I wouldn’t be too syrprised is Hazel Blears is biding her time for a comeback on the Labour frontbenches

  28. ^Was Julia Goldsworthy caught up in the expenses row? Surprised she lost her seat by such a narrow margin, in that case.

    I think Younger-Ross was selected for Newton Abbott. Joan Ryan (another one caught up in the row) was for Enfield North. It’s bad enough that they think they deserve a second chance in Parliament, but it also says much about those who select them in local constituency parties. That’s why I hope Brent Central Labour doesn’t pick either Tony McNulty or Dawn Butler.

  29. they should give all these people a life ban from parliament

  30. As for Tim Jones’ remark about the vile Hazel Blears – Ed demoted some of the least liked (apart from sycophants like Bob) Blarities recently. This is a woman who was not popular at all during the last government and was horrendously over-promoted despite having little talent. Her fawning loyalty to Blair is enough reason to keep her on the backbenches. I’d like to think that her frontbench career is done for.

  31. I forgot about Hamilton – who has only made himself look an even bigger fool since his pitiful display in the ultra affluent Tatton, where he got deservedly trounced by BBC man Martin Bell

    I agree with Neil in that you do wonder what tyupe of local associations would pick any former MP caught up in the expenses scandal

    Electorates are rarely kind to candidates they have already rejected once – and I would imagine they would be even less kind to those rejected because they had their hands in the till

  32. My prediction here for 2015-
    Liberal Democrat- 34%
    Conservative- 32%
    UKIP- 20%
    Labour- 10%
    Others- 4%

  33. Agree with the LD and Lab shares but am more reluctant to predict tories and UKIP, although I’d guess the tories will retain 2nd, we honestly don’t know.

    Diane James was on Question time last week and came across fairly well.

  34. Agree with you on Diane James, but she does come across as a stereotypical Tory businesswoman type. That probably means that someone like me quite liking her will probably be matched by traditional Labour people disliking her, whereas Farage’s blokeish style is obviously quite popular amongst Labour’s WWC base.

  35. She did best in central eastleigh in the by election. I believe one of the most working class parts of eastleigh. A ld teller who posts at the other place who was stationed in central thought it would be a clear ukip gain on the basis of the votes in his patch.

  36. Diane James – very good candidate – wish we could recruit her.

  37. Odd thing about Diane James is that it’s difficult to guess what her age is: it could be anywhere from about 45 to 60.

  38. IMO she looks a bit out of place in UKIP, as I said she looks and comes across like a business Tory.

  39. The Tories must be terrified that she might be selected to stand for UKIP in Boston & Skegness, although on the other hand the fact that she’s from the home counties might count against her slightly in Lincolnshire.

  40. ‘IMO she looks a bit out of place in UKIP, as I said she looks and comes across like a business Tory.’

    I agree – she seems neither bad nor mad enough to be a plausible UKIP candidate

  41. ‘The Tories must be terrified that she might be selected to stand for UKIP in Boston & Skegness, although on the other hand the fact that she’s from the home counties might count against her slightly in Lincolnshire.’

    UKIP already has a PPC in Boston and Skegness


  42. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/former-lib-dem-minister-chris-huhne-foresees-radical-coalition-with-labour-and-his-party-8970714.html

    There is zero probability of the LDs controlling/holding the balance of power in 2015 according to electoral calculus so I don’t see the logical point to this article.

  43. CON GAIN MAJ : <1%
    CON 32
    LD 32
    LAB 18
    UKIP 12
    GRN 6

  44. I don’t see how, if the LDs were unable to lose this seat in a midterm by-election when they were in government, they will lose it in a general election when their new MP has an incumbency factor.

  45. I also fail to see how Labour, who made no progress at all in said by-election are going to almost double their vote and how the Greens, who didn’t even contest it and have a very weak record in local elections here are going to get 6% of the vote.
    Its a shame that windsofchange’s horseshit predictions have buried any potentially worthwhile discussions which may have developed on other threads over the last couple of days

  46. 6% for the Greens? Come on I think WoC’s predictions re their election chances are getting ridiculous now. There is absolutely no evidence that they’ve made any impact in this part of the country. At least it’d be more realistic to give them a relatively decent-ish prediction in places where they’ve built up a local base.

    This won’t be a Tory gain given recent electoral history and the Lib Dems’ resilience here. Wouldn’t rule out a UKIP second place finish for the general election.

  47. I’m afraid to say I agree with Pete & Neil as well.

  48. “There is zero probability of the LDs controlling/holding the balance of power in 2015 according to electoral calculus so I don’t see the logical point to this article.”

    I couldn’t disagree more. A hung parliament is probably the most likely result in 2010 and therefore the possibility of a Lab/LD coalition is quite high IMO.

  49. The Lib Dems will be fine here in my view.

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