Newark by-election 2014

Newark By election
The by-election was caused by the resignation of Patrick Mercer. Mercer was caught in a Panorama/Telegraph sting operation in 2013 where he agreed to take money in exchange for asking questions about Fiji.
A subsequent Commons investigation found Mercer had deliberately evaded the rules of the House and recommended a suspension. When news of the coming suspension broke Mercer immediately resigned from the Commons on the 30th April. The by-election was held on the 5th June 2014, shortly after the European elections. It was the first by-election held under the new longer timetable introduced under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013.
Following the announcement of the by-election there was speculation that the UKIP leader Nigel Farage would run as a candidate but this was rapidly ruled out, with the sitting UKIP MEP Roger Helmer instead being nominated. Both Labour and Conservative parties had prospective Parliamentary candidates already selected. The seat was comfortably held by the Conservative with UKIP taking second place. The Liberal Democrats finished sixth, behind the Greens and an independent candidate.

Robert Jenrick (Conservative) 17431 45% (-8.9%)
Roger Helmer (UKIP) 10028 25.9% (+22.1%)
Michael Payne (Labour) 6842 17.7% (-4.7%)
Paul Baggaley (Independent) 1891 4.9% (n/a)
David Kirwan (Green) 1057 2.7% (n/a)
David Watts (Liberal Democrat) 1004 2.6% (-17.4%)
Nick the Flying Brick (Loony) 168 0.4% (n/a)
Andy Hayes (Independent) 117 0.3% (n/a)
David Bishop (Bus Pass Elvis) 87 0.2% (n/a)
Dick Rodgers (Common Good) 64 0.2% (n/a)
Lee Woods (Patriotic Socialist) 18 0% (n/a)
MAJORITY 7403 19.1% (-12.4%)
Turnout 52.8% (-19.6%)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative) Born 1982. Educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School and Cambridge university. Solicitor and former Managing Director of Christies. Contested Newcastle-under-Lyme 2010.
Roger Helmer (UKIP) Born 1944, London. Educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Southampton and Cambridge University. Businessman. MEP for the East Midlands since 1999. Elected as a Conservative, he announced his intention to stand down as an MEP in 2011, but instead defected to UKIP.
Michael Payne (Labour) Educated at Lancaster University. Gedling borough councillor. Nottinghamshire county councillor since 2013.
Paul Baggaley (Independent) Born 1954. Secretary of a local hospital campaign group
David Kirwan (Green) Trade Union officer
David Watts (Liberal Democrat) born 1966, Batley. Educated at Huddersfield Polytechnic. Lecturer and qualified solicitor. Broxtowe councillor since 1999. Contested Broxtowe 2005, 2010.
Nick the Flying Brick Delves (Loony) Shadow Minister for the Abolition of Gravity. Contested Derbyshire West 1997, 2001, 2005, Crewe and Nantwich by-election 2008, Derbyshire Dales 2010, Oldham East and Saddleworth 2011 by-election
Andy Hayes (Independent) Disability campaigner
David Bishop (Bus Pass Elvis) Painter, decorator and poet – writing under the pen name of Lord Biro. Contested Tatton 1997, Brentwood and Ongar 2001, Erewash 2005, Haltemprice and Howden by-election 2008, Kettering 2010, Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election 2011, Feltham and Heston by-election 2011, Corby by-election 2012, Eastleigh by-election 2013
Dick Rodgers (Common Good) born 1946. Former Orthopaedic surgeon and clergyman. Contested Hartlepool by-election 2004, Dunfermline and West Fife by-election 2006, Henley 2008 by-election, Birmingham Northfield 2005, 2010. Contested West Midlands Region in 2004 European elections.
Lee Woods (Patriotic Socialist)
Comments - 515 Responses on “Newark by-election”
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  1. Survation Poll for the By-Election:

    CON 36 (-18)
    UKIP 28 (+24)
    LAB 27 (+4)
    LD 5 (-15)

    Worse for LDs and UKIP and better for Labour and Tories than I was expecting. I’ll probably be heading over this weekend then (had decided if a poll had us 10% behind or more I wouldn’t bother).

    Still doubt we’ll win it but a respectable second place wouldn’t be so bad.

  2. I don’t think it’s particularly good for the Tories. Down 18 points compared to 5 in the national opinion polls.

  3. That’s true although circumstances of the by-election and UKIP momentum I thought would have given them a small lead.

  4. Very little for Cameron to boast about. Then again falls of 18% points are by no means unheard of in by-elections- quite the opposite in fact. It looks about right to me.

  5. It’s a bad poll for the Tories. It’s almost begging Labour voters to vote UKIP to give Cameron a kicking, and this is the kind of place where they well might. Remember the first poll of the Eastleigh by election where the Tories were narrowly ahead on a very similar percentage. Labour’s respectable support collapsed to UKIP and pushed the Tories into third.

  6. That poll doesn’t surprise me. Coffee House blog noted that the Tories had sent Ministers there including Matthew Hancock, Liz Truss and George Osborne! Surely they would increase the anti-Tory/politics feeling?

  7. Typically for an NI paper the Sun has put an inappropriate slant on its report of this poll as follows:

    “THE Tories are on course to win the all-important Newark by-election next week with some ease – delivering a hammer blow to Ukip, an exclusive poll has revealed. The survey for The Sun by pollster Survation gave David Cameron’s party a big EIGHT point lead over Nigel Farage’s anti-EU campaign.”

    I don’t agree and now think that there’s a good chance that the Tories will lose this seat. UKIP are on a roll and an 8% gap can easily be overcome within 1 week, particularly as they already seem to have made up more than half the ground from their very low base vote in 2010. Labour could also win, as they are only 1% further behind than UKIP. It all depends on which horse anti-coalition voters choose to back next week to give the government a bloody nose.

  8. This poll is in line with my prediction from awhile back, with the Tories on 36 and UKIP on 28. However, Labour are a couple points up from what I was expecting, and the Liberal Democrats are doing way worse. I struggle to believe the Lib Dems will come so close to losing their deposit, but then again the coverage of their catastrophic results in the Euros, plus all this leadership argy-bargy, will push their support lower than what I could have foreseen a few weeks ago.

    Two things have changed since my prediction re UKIP. First, all this coverage of the Euros has rather sucked the life out of any coverage of Helmer’s controversial comments, which rather undermines one of my arguments that he’d be a problem. And plus, I expected UKIP to win the Euros, but even still they did it in a grander fashion than I anticipated. I think UKIP have got some more momentum in them here, and can narrow the gap yet further. I find anything other than a Tory win highly improbable, but UKIP will push it close.

    A poll like this though can at least put some wind back in the Labour sails, and give them hope that maybe a second place is achievable after all. I highly doubt it will happen, but there’s a hope.

  9. Yeah, that’s such a stupid headline. To have been reduced to an eight-point lead in a seat which was held with a 16,000 majority in 2010 is terrible news. Hammer-blow to UKIP, it ain’t!

  10. By all accounts the tories are far more numerous and far more organised than UKIP on the ground. Will it make a difference?

  11. Could well do. The difference between Newark and Eastleigh is that it’s a strongly Tory seat with many councillors and party members on the ground.

  12. It still intrigues me that in Eastliegh we could poll about 40,000 votes in 1992 – perhaps with doing no work.
    That leads to exit – maybe not the next time.

  13. With Mercer resigning….. surely folks are not that naive to vote for that party again after his misdemeaners.

    You got to agree UKIP HAS the better performance polling wise – but it is only a poll, no one can forecast what the turnout will be which could turn things dramatically.

    Sorry, but there is no credible person who can improve the LibDems rating in their party…. Mr 7% ought a go, look at their polling since he came as leader and in coalition – down, down and down.

    I’ve got a feeling LiDems will be wiped here.

  14. The Sun and Murdoch press have been aggressively spinning for the Tories for the last few months. Hence, the attacks on Farage from the Times and the ridiculing of Miliband in the Sun.

    The Euro elections were a great exercise in spin, where the Tories’ first ever 3rd place finish in a national election was spun, somehow, into a symbolic victory for Dave.

    The truth is, the Newark by-election will be very close.

    I think this has worrying implications for the Tories. Newark, despite having been Labour in 1997, is now considered a safe seat, where the blues got 50%+ in 2010 with a 16k majority.

    I think the conservatives and their media friends are in a state of utter denial. The london results look like Labour will be putting pressure on them in Ealing, Brentford, Croydon, even Enfield Southgate. Seats like Hendon and Enfield North look very difficult to hold.

    The picture in places like Hastings, Ipswich, Cannock and Lincoln looks pretty bad too, if you’re a Tory. Dave cannot afford to lose more than about 15-20 seats, on a net basis, to be the largest party. This looks very challenging, i’m afraid.

  15. Things hardly look rosy for either main party, that is unless you are comparing their fortunes with the Lib Dems.

    Going into the last year with a 2 point poll lead in opposition is pretty worrying too.

  16. Been there before – in fact on polling day in 1992.

  17. What i love about this site is the knowledge about individual seats…the poll leads come and go. the election will be won on the ground in about 70 marginals, that’s all that counts….

    the overall poll picture is only impressionistic. it’ll be close in the actual vote, but dave has to win by 4 clear points to have a chance of a second term in number 10.

  18. Looks to me like the LDs have the campaigners on the ground to be able to hold Birmingham Yardley, Leeds NW, Bristol West, Eastleigh in the general election, going by the local election results. So good news for them in those seats.

  19. Another Newark by-election poll will be released by Lord Ashcroft at 4pm on Monday:

  20. Turnout in Newark & Sherwood for the Euro elections was 36.08%. I assume Newark would usually have the higher turnout but it probably wouldn’t have been more than 45%. Not sure whether the by-election would generate a higher turnout than the Euros:

  21. Newsnight covered the by-election. As expected the main party candidates were piss poor, with their on-message party crap. Not an original remark between them. The Labour candidate made cringe parroting the party line on energy bills, and the Libs Dems voting for a ‘tax cut for millionaires’ and ‘trebling of tuition fees’. Not one mention of local Newark or Southwell issues.

  22. Damn, missed it. And the programme doesn’t usually appear on iPlayer until the middle of the night, for some reason.

  23. Odd that the Labour candidate was like that – as far as I’m aware the local campaign has been on the local hospital and keeping East Coast in public ownership.

  24. I understand that the Labour candidate went to university, got a few non jobs in his student union, the worked for the Yes to Av campaign before becoming a councillor at different levels.

    He has had no real life experience of any note. So how could you really expect him not to parrot party lines and vacuous drivel which is always ‘on message’ ?

  25. Yes, the age and lack of real life experience may hamper both Labour and Tory candidates amongst some voters, although many of those will have already have considering UKIP. I was underwhelmed by the Tory PPC vicar in the last by-election, so it’s nothing new.

  26. This poll does show a good result for the Tories. Obviously in a general election this sort of result would be absolutely dire, but a by-election is a completely different kettle of fish, and when you look at some of the places Labour lost when they were in government (Glasgow East, Dunfermline, Brent East, nearly B’ham Hodge Hill), or when the Tories lost places like Ribble Valley or Christchurch, the simple fact is that any hold will be a good result for the Conservatives.

  27. I’m in Newark at the moment, been speaking to some Ukippers and Tories milling about. Ukip say they’ve had 500 canvassers here this morning, although I doubt it’s that high but still very busy for them.

    It’s hopeless for Labour. We’re not doing as badly as I thought we would be but no chance of victory.

    The Tories bussed in a lot of campaigners from London who we kept seeing but they don’t seem to have made too much impression – not many people saying Tory on the doorstep, certainly more UKIP.

    I’m beginning to think UKIP might win.

  28. Where abouts in Newark are you?

    If the town itself (and given that you are labour I imagine that is q. likely) then its not surprising that ukip have a local lead.

  29. Yes we were out in the town mostly so obviously might be more Tory strength in the rural areas. My flatmates went to a posh village outside the town and saw some UKIP posters there too.

  30. Apparently UKIP had 350 there today. The Tories had 500 who were mandated to attend (ie those on the Candidates’ List – see piece on ConHome).

  31. Reading Mr Nameless’ report is the first time I thought an upset possible. The tories have had Cf members up aswell. They were bragging about campaigning in Cannock, Harlow, Enfield and Chester(wtf) for locals, we all know how well they did in those places in May. I reckon nothing would persuade voters to go UKIP than some posh kid leacturing you on your doorstep.

  32. Anyway if UKIP do win here, then attracting the tory (and Labour) vote back will become virtually impossible. Why except second best if UKIP can win? I suspect that UKIP are the change option that Cameron in 2010 never was. He offered more Blair when the country wanted change.

  33. No idea – what will happen here (not been). I would *imagine* a Conservative hold? UKIP must be kicking themselves for fielding the very odd and unpleasant Roger Helmer (yes, I have met him) and not Farage? Although Labour will not win, they ought to be aiming for at least 20% of the vote here — a seat they won in 1997? Whatever happened to the LDs’ once-great by-election machine? Mark Pack’s magic has truly gone, it would appear.

  34. At the risk of being boring, this is not the seat Labour won in 1997. As presently constituted, Labour would not have won this seat. Nonetheless, they should do well here and I fear that they won’t.

  35. The LibDem HQ is a caravan (I jest not). Justin – I suspect Labour wouldn’t mind their votes going to UKIP in this by-election, however foolish that strategy may be long term.

  36. We saw evidence of Lib Dems today (in the form of two balloons and a sticker) but they’re probably hiding in the shadows because we didn’t see any yellow rosettes.

    I don’t get the impression Labour want their voters to go to UKIP and this came across in the atmosphere between the parties on the street. Lots of jeering, booing and hissing between Labour and UKIP members, whereas we had some pleasant chat with the occasional Tory canvassers walking past. There’s definitely a much stronger anti-Helmer mood among Labour and an unspoken thought of “Better a Tory than a Kipper”.

  37. So short sighted I would have thought Labour would have learned something from the locals. I don’t think they realise how soft their vote has become even in the North. Would have been interesting if the tories had gone for those votes.

  38. I think it’s a case of heart over head.

  39. I’ve just seen Mr Nameless’ new Post, apologies if you are taking it seriously.

  40. Justin Hinchcliffe
    “Whatever happened to the LDs’ once-great by-election machine?” 1) Other parties have started to adopt some of the same techniques meaning there is less chance of a win, even pulling out all the stops 2) the increase in expenditure limits for by-elections means a party has to be rolling in it to go all-out for all by-elections 3) there tends to be much less coverage for an LD byeelection win, so the cost-benefit equation is less favourable even for a win 4) LD morale is low, so few LD members are deluded enough to think they can win every by-election, meaning there are less feet on the ground for by-elections in less-favourable seats/circumstances.
    So, most of the time, the LD by-election machine stays in storage, and only a vastly scaled down version gets wheeled out.

  41. The “Lib Dems’ once-great by-election machine” would never have got much traction here, even in its glory days. Aside from some strength in the twee town of Southwell (it regards itself as a city) they are pretty weak here overall and always have been.

    With all due respect to Justin, it is a mistake to assume that his liberal, gay north Londoner’s view of Roger Helmer will cut much ice here. Like Neil I saw the candidates on the news yesterday and am more convinced than ever that UKIP have a good chance.

  42. HH once upon a time Rennard’s by-election machine would have been in full swing in a constituency this ‘close’ at the last GE. They would have fancied their chances anywhere where they could win it on a 20% swing. Pretty much the full works were thrown at Knowsley North in 1986, even with a 50% gap to make up in what was hardly favourable territory.

  43. Helmer is a basically Tory chap you can imagine having a pint with, but I very much hope and believe the Tories will hold on with about 35%.

  44. think helmer has a shot. will be interesting to see ashcroft’s poll on monday.

  45. I imagine Helmer would be a five words email man.

  46. “HH once upon a time Rennard’s by-election machine would have been in full swing in a constituency this ‘close’ at the last GE. They would have fancied their chances anywhere where they could win it on a 20% swing. Pretty much the full works were thrown at Knowsley North in 1986, even with a 50% gap to make up in what was hardly favourable territory.”

    Newark and Knowsley are hardly very similar places, electorally or otherwise.

    If there had been a by-election in Newark in the early Blair years, Labour would have held it with the Tories second. In the late Blair or Brown years, the Tories would have won. When the Tories are in government Labour have always been the main challengers.

  47. HH – the LibDems challenged and won most by-elections under the last Tory Govt in the ’90s. But no more. Incidentally, the Express quopes a Tory member in Newark who says most Association members voted UKIP in the Europeans. That’s not particularly surprising though. Anna Soubry ranted that the UKIP vote only amounts to 10% of the UK public. I assume she realises the Tories polled even less therefore?

  48. Of course she does, but this is a significant fact.
    We can probably assume that UKIP hit their ceiling in the Euro election, that is to say that anyone who didn’t vote UKIP then is unlikely ever to (at least in their current incarnation).
    So UKIP polled 28%
    A GE will be roughly double the turnout (probably a bit less) so 14-16%
    Most polls say that just over half of UKIP Euro voters will back them in a GE
    Meaning UKIP will struggle to break 10% even on a very good day.

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