Eastleigh

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
2010
Con: 21102 (39%)
Lab: 5153 (10%)
LDem: 24966 (47%)
UKIP: 1933 (4%)
Oth: 496 (1%)
MAJ: 3864 (7%)
2005*
Con: 18648 (37%)
Lab: 10238 (21%)
LDem: 19216 (39%)
UKIP: 1669 (3%)
MAJ: 568 (1%)
2001
Con: 16302 (34%)
Lab: 10426 (22%)
LDem: 19360 (41%)
UKIP: 849 (2%)
Oth: 636 (1%)
MAJ: 3058 (6%)
1997
Con: 18699 (34%)
Lab: 14883 (27%)
LDem: 19453 (35%)
Oth: 446 (1%)
MAJ: 754 (1%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
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.
DECLAN CLUNE (TUSC)
Links
Comments - 357 Responses on “Eastleigh”
  1. CON GAIN MAJ : 2%
    CON 34
    LD 32
    LAB 17
    UKIP 11
    GRN 5
    OTH 1

  2. You’re sticking to that? You’re entitled to your opinion but I really think it will be proved incorrect.

  3. “The local [Eastleigh] Ukip branch now has around 200 members and Ray Finch belligerently asserts that “the Tories are dead in the water – we’re taking all of their activists”.”

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timwigmore/100257814/eastleigh-how-ukip-is-learning-from-the-lib-dems/

  4. Wonder why WoC thinks this will be a Tory gain. Eastleigh is a seat where they’ve had several chances of taking it. Provided they won’t probably field another candidate as terrible as Maria Hutchings again, but the Lib Dems are just too resilient here. With Labour’s lack of success and UKIP potentially emerging as the main opposition, I think his prediction is pretty off.

    On the other hand, I think the Tories will strengthen their grip on neighbouring Winchester.

  5. Iain Dale seems to think so on his blog as well. Something about UKIP being a protest vote last year. I would post the link if I could but I am on a handheld I haven’t quite got the hang of yet.

    Personally, I don’t believe that is the case. I think LD HOLD or UKIP GAIN.

  6. Very clear LD hold. Con in 2nd.

  7. Something like this in 2015 perhaps?
    Thornton (Lib Dem)- 35%
    Conservative- 31%
    UKIP- 24%
    Labour- 10%

  8. Quite a good guess, the results…UKIP will fare best in three regions, and the South East is one of them (the other two are the South West and the East Midlands).

    Although Labour’s vote may be slightly higher than 10% and UKIP’s slightly lower than 24% (although probably at least 20%).

  9. UKIP are clearly stronger in the East than the South East.

  10. What Joe R said.

  11. Sir David Pryce, MP for this seat from 1955 to 1992, died a few days ago at the age of 89:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10617672/Sir-David-Price-obituary.html

  12. Correction – Price.

  13. 2015
    Fairly likely
    (A C win is credible).

    *LD 38% -9%
    Con 32% -7%
    UKIP 17% +13%
    Lab 12% +2%
    Oth 1%

    Changes since May 2010.
    LD to C swing 0.5%

  14. This is unusual indeed, and suggests the high UKIP vote here may not have just been a flash in the pan caused by the heat of a by-election.

    Presumably UKIP will stand Diane James here again. It would be sensible since she’s one of the few non-Farage Kippers to have any public presence and she’ll be known to voters from the by-election. It also avoids the impression of carpetbagging that might be given if Nigel Farage tried to jump in here.

    I’m not saying they’ll win it, but they’ve certainly got a better chance here than almost anywhere else. Watch this space.

  15. Interesting that it’s the Tories were in 2nd. Would still put this as a ld win with the Tories a close 2nd.

  16. The Tories should use the fact that they are second in the above mentioned poll in their campaign, arguing that only a vote for them can stop UKIP.

    The latter are after all, according to an ICM poll last month, the most disliked party. When they asked people that question 40% said Labour, 49% Conservative, 54% Lib Dem and 58% UKIP. Not sure whether they asked about the BNP. I would expect them to come after UKIP.

    That’s going to be UKIP’s problem in winning seats under FPTP. There is probably quite a low ceiling on their possible level of support in any seat. To win they need a fortuitous split in the votes for other parties of the kind shown in the above poll. They also need to not look as though they are heading for certain victory, as that could encourage voters for other parties to vote tactically to try and stop them.

  17. The Conservatives are not in a good shape locally here. The local council elections next month will be between UKIP and the Lib Dems. I doubt that my party will figure. It is possible that this could be the case in 2015 with UKIP hoovering up former Conservative voters here to a significantly greater extent than former Lib Dem voters.

    No numbers from me though. I am trying hard to stick to my promise of no fully-fledged predictions for the time being.

  18. 111,

    The figures for the local elections in Eastleigh are:

    CON 23%
    LAB 9%
    LDEM 40%
    UKIP 27%

    It seems to corroborate what I’ve felt for a long time – people will still happily vote LD in council elections if they think their council’s alright or they’re the opposition to a council they dislike, but they’re not so keen on them on the national stage.

    If that’s true, it sort of restricts what we can learn from Lib Dem local election results.

  19. I remain to be convinced that UKIP can actually win here. They will obviously try to squeeze the Tory vote but some Tories will switch to the LDs if they think that will prevent UKIP from winning, too. And Thornton will have built up a bit of an incumbency effect by next year too. My money would still be on an LD hold in the end, but this is certainly a worrying poll for them.

  20. I suspect many people are being too optimistic re-LibDem prospects here. In many ways the by-election was more akin to a local election than a general election ,and it is pretty well established that the LibDems perform a good deal less strongly at the latter in relation to both .the others

  21. MrNameless

    The local elections are on the same day as the European elections so I expect that the LD figure in that opinion poll is a bit overinflated while the UKIP figure is a bit of an underestimate.

    The people participating in these opinion polls are politically aware. Survation’s surveys are web-based so people sign up to them.

    The less politically aware people (i.e. the majority) will by and large vote the same way in the Euros as the Locals in Eastleigh. This will narrow the gap between UKIP and the Lib Dems at a local level.

  22. In fact I wonder what the results would be if Folkestone and Hythe or one of the Thanets was polled right now, post the EU debates. I think that there may be other seats that UKIP is presently slightly ahead in.

  23. I suspect the LD by-election aura has all but disappeared over the last few years; it was, I think, in large part because by-election voters could safely use them as a protest vote (which they now can’t), and also because of effective LD campaigning (which may still be in play, but I doubt will be vastly better at by-elections than the GE).

  24. “Eastleigh News understands one of the major broadcasters has already booked a pitch at Fleming Park leisure centre (venue of the count and declaration) for their 2015 election night coverage.”

    http://www.eastleighnews.co.uk/2014/04/ukip-top-general-election-poll-in-eastleigh/

    Live from Eastleigh! Set your video recorders.

  25. It would have been surprising if they weren’t televising the count.

  26. How’s this for a prediction?

    Liberal Democrat: 34%
    Conservative: 33%
    UKIP: 15%
    Labour: 14%
    Others: 4%

  27. Weird.

    Although UKIP may fall back by some degree in other seats, it’s been demonstrated in Eastleigh that they can win (and nearly did). UKIP supporters are not going to go back to the Tories because the Tories in this seat are in a worse position.

    Similarly there’s no reason for Labour to go up four points.

  28. UKIP will certainly fall back here – purely on the basis that it’ll be a general – i.e serious – election, as opposed to a trivial mid term by election, as was the case last year.

    Turnout will also be higher (perhaps around the 70% mark) which will no doubt work in Labour’s favour, increasing their vote share.

    It’s important to note that the by election was held – if I remember correctly – soon after the same sex marriage vote went through Parliament (‘equal’ marriage as some love to refer to it as.) At the time this measure would’ve been fresh in the minds of voters, and is something that as we know alienated many lifelong elderly Conservatives – notable numbers of whom would not have turned out in the by election at all or would have leant their vote to UKIP. More than a year on, we can presume a number of these people will have ‘returned home’ to the Tories.

  29. none of which explains why a poll has shown UKIP ahead here. Although I don’t think they’ll end up gaining the seat, surely they won’t collapse to that extent.

  30. I think the Tories not contesting two wards in this constituency in the local elections is a very bad sign from their point of view.

  31. “I suspect many people are being too optimistic re-LibDem prospects here. In many ways the by-election was more akin to a local election than a general election ,and it is pretty well established that the LibDems perform a good deal less strongly at the latter in relation to both .the others”

    A very perceptive point. It would be no surprise to me if LD come 3rd in 2015 – though the big caveat at the moment is our not knowing whether UKIP will still be polling North of 10% at that time – anything above that at that time could be enough to win Eastleigh, which is however a special case since the by-election and won’t be reflected elsewhere the same.

  32. What people often forget is that UKIP would likely have won the by-election had they not been polling 3rd in opinion polls – meaning votes to ‘keep Cons out’ or to ‘keep LD out’ went to the other one of these two parties respectively instead.

    Hope this makes sense, not sure I’ve put it very well.

  33. The incorrect perception of an inability to win resulted in well-intended anti-Con or anti-LD tactical votes by natural UKIP supporters stopping a UKIP gain.

    Much tidier 😉

  34. Thank you sir! 🙂

  35. Slight problem in all this being the popularity and ubiquity of Mike Thornton…

    I live one mile outside Eastleigh and if the signage is anything to go by (comparing it to the by-election) UKIP have retreated massively in their local efforts..

  36. I think those who think the LDs will come third are wide of the mark. In fact, I can’t really see anything but an LD win here, although the locals in a few days will be a good indicator.

    Personally, I think UKIP’s surge at the by-election will be a one-time thing. Thornton, with incumbency in one of the few seats that could be described as “naturally Lib Dem,” will have a pretty easy time winning it.

    Something like:

    LD (Thornton): 37%
    Con: 25%
    UKIP: 22%
    Lab: 15%
    Others: 1%

  37. my 2015 General prediction is UKIP support will drop very slightly since the party has lurched sharpley to the right and down a very racially motivated route and unless they field a strong candidate like Diane James was they will not gain significant vote share. Lib Dems will hold it by a whisker since they will work the council on local issues and steer things the electorates way.

    my prediction.
    Liberal Democrats 31.5%
    Conservatives & Unionists 30%
    UKIP 27.5%
    Labour 8%
    Others 3%

    Unless the Conservative can field a Neo-Liberal Candidate or do something to significantly win the Electorate over. Or unless UKIP do something to significantly crash their vote down the Liberal Democrats WILL just hold this seat albeit with a very marginal majority.

  38. Conservatives and Unionists? This isn’t Northern Ireland you know!

    In any case, I think you’re off the mark; I say you’ve underestimated the Lib Dems and Labour and overestimated UKIP. My prediction is more like this:

    Liberal Democrat – 34
    Conservative – 31
    UKIP – 20
    Labour – 13
    Others – 2

  39. Not a single seat lost by the Lib Dems in the locals, I believe. Does not bode well for UKIP.

  40. LibDems picked up a seat from a previous defector to Ind making it 40/44..

    My comments on the lack of UKIP posters were proven right.

  41. Yeah. It’s hard to see anything but an LD hold here next May.

  42. It is almost odd considering the wide UKIP gains that in this – the area they’ve come closest to Westminster in* – they failed to make a council breakthrough. Have the Liberals somehow “weathered the storm” here?

    *(in their own right, so I’m not counting Castle Point)

  43. I haven’t seen the percentages, but it wouldn’t shock me at all if the Lib Dems are out of the deep end here.

  44. Eastleigh popular votes:

    LD 13,298 (42.75%)
    UKIP 8,015 (25.77%)
    Con 6,415 (20.62%)
    Lab 3,187 (10.25%)
    Ind 106 (0.34%)
    TUSC 86 (0.28%)

    Changes since 2010 locals:

    LD -8.57%
    UKIP +21.30%
    Con -14.31%
    Lab +1.11%

  45. Where are the UKIP councillors here? They won some county councillors in the area last year and are not even close on the Borough council.
    I am surprised that they did not take some seats. Things look good for the Lib Dems here, unlike many of their seats.

  46. If a party comes close in a by-election, but fails to quite win the seat, it is quite normal for them to fall back rather quickly.

  47. Eastleigh UKIP select Patricia Culligan for GE2015:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/CulliganPA

  48. Twitter account little more than xenophobic far-right stuff. LibDems will hopefully hold on here

  49. Patricia Culligan particularly winds up a certain type of left wing hand-wringer. Much to my pleasure.
    Those she annoys aren’t in the picture when it comes to possible UKIP voting

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