Rochester and Strood by-election

Caused by the resignation of Mark Reckless, following his defection from the Conservative party to UKIP on the 27th October 2014 at the UKIP party conference.

Result
Candidates
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Mark Reckless (UKIP) Born 1970. Educated at Oxford University. Former barrister and banker. Medway councillor 2007-2011 for the Conservatives. Contested Medway 2001, 2005 for the Conservatives. Conserative MP for Rochester and Strood 2010-2014, defected to UKIP in 2014 and resigned to fight a by-election.
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Kelly Tolhurst (Conservative) Businesswoman and marine surveyor. Medway councillor since 2011
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Naushabah Khan (Labour) Educated at Fort Pitt Grammar and Birmingham University. PR consultant.
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Clive Gregory (Green) Musician
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Geoff Juby (Liberal Democrat) Born 1954. Educated at East Dereham Boys School. Caterer. Former Gillingham councillor and Medway councillor since 1997. Contested Medway in 2001, 2005, Rochester and Strood 2010
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Jayda Fransen (Britain First) Contested Scotland in 2014 European elections
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Dave Osborn (Patriotic Socialist) Born Huddersfield
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Nick Long (People before Profit) Housing officer
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Hairy Knorm Davidson (Loony) Woodsman and log supplier. Contested Faversham and Mid Kent 2010
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Mike Barker (Independent) Bomb disposal scientist. Awarded the MBE in 1972 for gallantry. Received a suspended prison sentence in 2008 for making threats to kill, imprisoned in 2010 for non-payment of council tax
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Christopher Challis (Independent) Born Medway. Educated at Rochester Math School and Cambridge University. Chartered accountant
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Stephen Goldsbrough (Independent) Lay preacher
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Charlotte Rose (Independent) Sex worker and sexual trainer. Contested Clacton by-election 2014
Comments - 1,059 Responses on “Rochester by-election”
  1. Grant Shapps also praised her, quite enthusiastically, on BBC Sunday Politics 23 Nov 14.

  2. Tollhurst will be the candidate…I always thought the tories would do well to get their vote share in 2005 next year. The split on the right is very real. This was brought home to me in a clip of the daily politics show, where Carswell was really having a go at Dominic Grieve on a range of issues. These are guys who fought 3 general elections (2001, 2005 and 2010) on the same manifesto.

  3. This so called “gaurdianista” vote probably comprises of less than 1% of the R&S electorate, so I think it can be dismissed.

    One thought on this:
    Farage himself said that UKIP did poorly in Rochester (relatively) and the tories won Rochester, but in Strood UKIP won by a large margin. I assume Strood had a lower turnout as it is a less prosperous part of the constituency, but in a general election with lots of sustained targeting by UKIP maybe UKIP could mobilise more of the vote here from apathetic people which could help them in the GE where there is a higher turnout.

  4. If UKIP are really relying on the DNV in poor areas, they are not going to win. Whether postal or physical voting it is very difficult to get them out.

    It is much more likely that many more CON voters abstained and are likely to vote in the GE, than UKIP can persuade DNV to actually exercise their..franchise. I would guess the proportion is 4 to 1.

  5. If UKIP are really relying on the DNV in poor areas, they are not going to win. Whether postal or physical voting it is very difficult to get them out.

    Indeed. UKIP almost won Heywood and Middleton as a result of that.

  6. I was actually referring to the people over and above the ones who voted for them in the BE.

    There is still an element of protest vote about UKIPs 42% and lots of voters will revert to their original parties – ones they have voted for many elections.

    In any case, CON are ahead at the moment if you use the ASHCROFT opinion poll which asked how Roch & S voters how they would vote in the GE:-
    CON…28%
    UKIP..27
    DNV…18

    7-10 November

  7. That should be
    DNK. …18 (don’t know)

  8. I see David Mellor is showing himself in his true light again. Sun front page. Still a fan of his?

  9. Bookie watch:
    The four high street firms offering odds on this seat are unanimous..All 4 currently go 4/7 CON, which equates to 57%.

  10. Lancs… the majority of Londoners are likely to be on Mellor’s side. A lot of black taxi cab drivers are not pleasant, happy, easy going people.

    Strange how this guy taped the conversation – and how come we don’t hear the lead up to the ‘rant’. I urge you to listen to LBC at 10 am Saturday and we’ll hear the other side.

    Anyway it’s not a big deal is?

  11. Bookie watch:
    The four high street firms offering odds on this seat are unanimous..All 4 currently go 4/7 CON, which equates to 64%.

  12. Deepthroat – the Sun has the full transcript and the BBC’s Daily Politics just ran the story too as typical of another snob politician.

  13. “Lancs… the majority of Londoners are likely to be on Mellor’s side.”

    More horse manure. The majority of Londoners do not go around saying “don’t you know who I am” to taxi drivers.

  14. And remember this isn’t Mellor’s first “foul mouthed rant” in public…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chwZeLSxOd0

  15. The Guardian have described his, “smug, narcissistic self-righteousness” in a great column.

  16. OK – I was wrong, he is clearly a reprehensible human being with no redeeming features and is an utter burden to mankind.

    He is most assuredly lying when he claims that the driver had provoked him..”This man seriously provoked me and ruined a wonderful day. Once I had lost my temper, which I regret, he then secretly recorded me. I will leave the public to judge his actions.”

    Can we please return to this seat, the GE, psephology or at the very least discuss someone who IS a representative of the people or intends to stand as such…?

  17. Andy JS

    “Today’s Ashcroft poll has figures for England only:
    Lab 34, Con 28, UKIP 22, Green 8, LD 6”

    And without checking imma gonna guess there’s a (rough) south to north and east to west cline in that Ukip support hence them starting to overtake Con in the south and east.

  18. “Carswell was really having a go at Dominic Grieve on a range of issues”

    Grieve is a defection target imo but not for the usual reasons.

    (nb based on nothing except character assessment from TV)

  19. Stephen

    “but in a general election with lots of sustained targeting by UKIP maybe UKIP could mobilise more of the vote here from apathetic people which could help them in the GE where there is a higher turnout”

    Yes. The distinction is people who are DNV because of their nature and people who *have been* DNV because on the issues they are focused on the currently big parties are the same.

  20. MrJones – where to, the LibDems?

  21. Lanc Observer

    Not sure which post you mean – if it’s the Grieve one then I was thinking Ukip but not for the usual reasons – but his seat might be too leafy. I haven’t checked.

  22. after a quick look at wiki – probably too leafy

  23. Grieve joining UKIP is not terribly likely I think.

  24. some of the posts here are extraordinary. Grieve is about as likely to defect to UKIP as the earth is as likely to fall off its axis.

  25. Although he bizarrely backed right-winger Duncan Smith for leader in 2001, Grieve is surely on the Left of today’s Tory party and would therefore be one of the least likely UKIP defectors

    I still think Peter Bone might defect – and I’m sure most sensible Tories would hope that too

  26. Yes – I think if Grieve defected he would do so to the Liberals, and there’s slim chance of him doing that given it would almost certainly lose him his seat.

  27. If you know about the stuff that goes on but doesn’t get on the BBC there’s plenty of good reasons for left-minded people to consider Ukip.

    I agree it’s still unlikely – just one of the long shot choccy biscuit bets I have with myself.

  28. I am going to promise to treat myself to a choccy biscuit every time HHEMELIG mentions faeces (of any kind) and when MR JONES mentions leaves or leafs…………….actually, better not, I’ll be about 30 stone by Xmas.

  29. Bookie watch:
    Now 2 of the four bookies offering odds on this seat go 1/2 & 4/9.
    PPOWER go 4/9 CON which equates to 70%.

  30. “Yes – I think if Grieve defected he would do so to the Liberals, and there’s slim chance of him doing that given it would almost certainly lose him his seat.”

    Defecting to the Liberals in a seat like Beaconsfield is probably the closest thing to an enforced political oblivion one could conceive of.

  31. Quite. That’s not to say there aren’t circumstances in which I can see it happening; if Cameron got in, but with a heavy tack right on Europe, or indeed if he was replaces by a hard line Eurosceptic, I could see Grieve deciding to peel off early-ish after 2015 as a protest at the policy of withdrawal from the European Court. He’d get another four years as an IND or Lib Dem MP, with a guaranteed role in some charity or other afterwards when he inevitably got the boot in 2020 (he’d have his pick of pretty good jobs in the human right sector charities if that was what he wanted).

    The above won’t happen of course, but it’s not outside the realms of plausibility.

  32. Tim – Peter Bone did an article for, of all papers, the Guardian last week in which he specifically said he’d be remaining a Tory MP.

  33. Perhaps he could re-found the incredibly successful Pro-European Conservative party. Some of its former Lib Dem members might be keen to join it again as well.

  34. To be fair, a refounded pro-European Conservative party would have a good chance of polling more than the Lib Dems at the minute lol.

  35. Europe ranks low on the issues the voters care about…..this is clearly shown by MORI etc in their tracker polls. Being in favour of EU membership is unlikely to determine who you vote for above other issues. I think a turning point will perhaps come if the Tories actually advocate withdrawal. At that point, people like me will have to consider whether to vote a different way. But under the present leadership I very much doubt a Tory government would take us out, which is why I will vote for Cameron and is doubtless why many on the right will not.

  36. ‘Defecting to the Liberals in a seat like Beaconsfield is probably the closest thing to an enforced political oblivion one could conceive of.’

    As would defecting to ULIP

    I doubt the upper middle class voters of South Bucks would have much time for Farage and his rable-rousing populist army

  37. Farage did quite well in Buckingham come to think of it. UKIP would do quite well in Bucks. The idea that upper middle class people are averse to ukip is incorrect in may view.

  38. UKIP have miraculously changed from a party who favoured a flat rate tax to the “party of the working class” in that period though. Plus i’d imagine Vote UKIP get Miliband will resonate more in Buckinghamshire than it does in Thanet or Thurrock.

  39. I think that’s true, but Buckingham was a very special situation (Bercow very disliked among Conservatives, no Labour or Lib Dem candidates).

    Beaconsfield is also (even) richer than Buckingham.

    I do think Tim’s basically right, though UKIP could perhaps just about muster double digits in Beaconsfield given that Grieve is not popular on the right.

  40. Memo to Labour HQ-

    By and large, people open to voting UKIP couldn’t give a monkeys what UKIP’s tax policy is.

    Poorer retired people (UKIP’s core constituency) pay little or no income tax anyway.

  41. ‘The idea that upper middle class people are averse to ukip is incorrect in may view.’

    As Ceremony implies, UKIP’s new found success is almost entirely down to an increase in support from working class voters in England (and to a lesser extent) Wales

    I would have thought upper middle class people would be more likely vote Lib Dem or even Labour than they would UKIP

    Of course the Beaconsfield isn’t enttirely upper middle class – but I struggle with the notion that there’s many UKIP voters amongst their ranks

  42. the fallout from same sex marriage brought many upper class toffs to the ukip ranks….look at their donors, stewart wheeler and lord hesketh and the likes of lord pearson… ukip attracts some support from well off former tories.

  43. In my experience a lot of those who are most solidly UKIP today are the sort of people who swung from Conservative to Labour in the mid 90s but went elsewhere or didn’t vote in 2010 – white van man being a topical example. I guess if you wanted to bracket it into defined groups it you would describe it as predominantly C2 (employed and unemployed), as well as a significant chunk of self employed C1 and D.

    What groups like that want is for their taxes to be as low as possible by being spent effectively, but for the services they need to be there when they need them. Sure, the same can be said for almost everyone, but that block tends to put that combination smack bang at the top of their priority list in higher proportions than everyone else (there are some demographics more sensitive to tax rates and some more sensitive to maintaining and improving services, but that is the one which in my opinion is most sensitive to the at times conflicting balance between the two).

    Throw into the mix the risks to some of those people in particular of free movement of skilled workers – how often do you hear a plumber complaining that there aren’t enough plumbers around? Throw in also the perception (whether correct or not) that Britain spends money for the benefit of those who have not contributed to the system (whether directly to the EU, or to those living in the country who in their opinion haven’t paid taxes for long enough, and some people would also put foreign aid and even defence into the mix), and it’s difficult to see how the big parties could entice that block back to them in time for 2015.

    But note the contradiction in my opening sentence. The biggest risk to UKIP going forward is that one of their key demographics is onto its third “natural” party in 25 years. Will they succeed in consolidating that vote longer term, given that more experienced parties have failed in the recent past?

  44. http://electionforecast.co.uk/ are (currently) forecasting that CON have a 99% chance of regaining Rochester & Strood.
    ——————————————————————————————
    Forecasting model and website by:
    Chris Hanretty, University of East Anglia
    Benjamin Lauderdale, London School of Economics
    Nick Vivyan, Durham University
    Daily updates to the website are posted by Jack Blumenau, LSE; most recently on 26 November 2014 at 14:55.

  45. The tories have a good chance but not a 99% chance. That’s ludicrous and you know it Deepthroat, never take those ‘forecasts’ seroiusly.

  46. I know, it should be viewed cautiously, especially considering this is their vote share prediction (for this seat) is :

    CON…38%
    LAB…..23
    LD………7
    GRN…..3
    UKIP…27
    OTH…..3

  47. Ukip will do better than that. Labour will do worse.

  48. electionforecast.co.uk say:
    “When reading our seat predictions…our model may not know as much about your seat as you do. The model knows how the general patterns of support across the UK have changed in constituencies with different kinds of political, geographic and demographic characteristics. The model uses the Ashcroft polls where available, plus smaller samples of polling data for every constituency…However, the model does not know whether your MP is beloved by constituents or embroiled in scandal…and we do not have much polling data to go on when it comes to constituencies… but they certainly matter in individual constituencies. Think of our seat-level projections as a baseline for what you might expect from past election results, geography and demography, plus a little bit of polling data.”
    ————————————————————————–
    A fascinating site which I have just discovered and am very pleased with myself as their % prediction of the CON is close to mine…but JOE I agree – I see UKIP getting about 6-8 points more than the 27% they predict – and LAB 3-5 points less than the 23 they say.

  49. peter crawford

    “The idea that upper middle class people are averse to ukip is incorrect in may view.”

    It’s just relative percentages. Ukip’s support peaks in the middle of the socioeconomic scale so they’ll do best in areas where that demographic peaks also – not too AB, not too DE but in the middle. So the Beaconsfield result would be like a Con version of Wythenshawe imo – a good second.

    At the moment anyway – things will no doubt change.

  50. ‘So the Beaconsfield result would be like a Con version of Wythenshawe imo – a good second.’

    I don’t think that’s an apt comparison

    Beaconsfield is a far wealthier constituency than Wyhtenshawe is a poor one

    UKIP managed 27% of the vote in the 2013 council elections – not a bad result but nowhere near as good as they did is less wealthy places elsewhere

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