The UKPollingReport election guide for 2010 has now been archived and all comments will shortly be closed. The new Election Guide for the 2015 election is now online at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide. The old site is archived at the UK Web Archive.
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Eastleigh

2010 Results:
Conservative: 21102 (39.33%)
Labour: 5153 (9.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 24966 (46.53%)
UKIP: 1933 (3.6%)
English Democrat: 249 (0.46%)
Independent: 154 (0.29%)
Others: 93 (0.17%)
Majority: 3864 (7.2%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Liberal Democrat: 18282 (38.3%)
Conservative: 17752 (37.2%)
Labour: 10075 (21.1%)
Other: 1617 (3.4%)
Majority: 530 (1.1%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 18648 (37.5%)
Labour: 10238 (20.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 19216 (38.6%)
UKIP: 1669 (3.4%)
Majority: 568 (1.1%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 16302 (34.3%)
Labour: 10426 (21.9%)
Liberal Democrat: 19360 (40.7%)
UKIP: 849 (1.8%)
Green: 636 (1.3%)
Majority: 3058 (6.4%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 18699 (33.7%)
Labour: 14883 (26.8%)
Liberal Democrat: 19453 (35.1%)
Referendum: 2013 (3.6%)
Other: 446 (0.8%)
Majority: 754 (1.4%)

Boundary changes:

Profile:

portraitCurrent MP: Chris Huhne(Liberal Democrat) born 1954. Educated at Westminster school and Oxford University. Former city economist and journalist. Contested Reading East 1983, Oxford West and Abingdon 1987. MEP for South East England 1999-2005 and deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group in the European Parliament. MP for Eastleigh since 2005. Lib Dem shadow chief secretary 2005-2006, Lib Dem shadow secretary of state for the Environment 2006-2007, Lib Dem shadow home secretary 2007-2010. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change since 2010. Somewhat audaciously Huhne stood for the Liberal Democrat leadership following Charles Kennedy`s resignation, despite having been an MP for only a few months, and came surprisingly close to victory. During Ming Campbell`s short leadership a Huhne candidacy when Campbell stood down was seen as inevitable, but he entered the 2007 contest playing catch up to the younger front runner Nick Clegg, who had declined to enter the contest in 2006. In the event Huhne again came closer than expected, losing by only 511 votes (more information at They work for you)

2010 election candidates:
portraitMaria Hutchings (Conservative) Mother of an autistic son who berated Tony Blair on a Channel 5 discussion programme during the 2005 election about the closure of special schools.
portraitLes Barraclough (Labour)
portraitChris Huhne(Liberal Democrat) born 1954. Educated at Westminster school and Oxford University. Former city economist and journalist. Contested Reading East 1983, Oxford West and Abingdon 1987. MEP for South East England 1999-2005 and deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group in the European Parliament. MP for Eastleigh since 2005. Lib Dem shadow chief secretary 2005-2006, Lib Dem shadow secretary of state for the Environment 2006-2007, Lib Dem shadow home secretary since 2007. Somewhat audaciously Huhne stood for the Liberal Democrat leadership following Charles Kennedy`s resignation, despite having been an MP for only a few months, and came surprisingly close to victory. During Ming Campbell`s short leadership a Huhne candidacy when Campbell stood down was seen as inevitale, but he entered the 2007 contest playing catch up to the younger front runner Nick Clegg, who had declined to enter the contest in 2006. In the event Huhne again came closer than expected, losing by only 511 votes (more information at They work for you)
portraitRay Finch (UKIP) Engineer. Contested South East 2009 European elections.
portraitTony Pewsey (English Democrat)
portraitKeith Low (National Liberal)
portraitDave Stone (Independent)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 96098
Male: 49.1%
Female: 50.9%
Under 18: 24.1%
Over 60: 18.5%
Born outside UK: 4.7%
White: 97.5%
Black: 0.2%
Asian: 1.1%
Mixed: 0.7%
Other: 0.5%
Christian: 76.4%
Full time students: 2.1%
Graduates 16-74: 17%
No Qualifications 16-74: 23.5%
Owner-Occupied: 79.2%
Social Housing: 13.6% (Council: 1.3%, Housing Ass.: 12.3%)
Privately Rented: 5.3%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 5.5%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide

1,461 Responses to “Eastleigh”

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  1. I’ve never heard anyone claim that Lib Dems aren’t subject to national swing, of course we are – albeit tempered by the huge amount of seat-by-seat pavement politics we do compared to other parties. What I have said and probably others too is that swings occur between two parties. The polls clearly suggest a swing from Labour to Conservative in contests between those two parties, but it doesn’t automatically follow that Lib Dem voters will necessarily swap to the Tories in the same way where those two parties are in contention or that Labour voters will swing to Lib Dem where the Conservatives are out of play (although election results suggest there is some national trend of this kind). National swings do occur, though as we don’t have a proportional voting system it can have unpredictable implications, but they occur between pairs of parties, so in England there is a Lab-Con swing, a Lab-LD swing and a Con-LD swing. It isn’t as simple as a swing between Tory and Not Tory or Labour and Not Labour.

  2. I don’t think pearing at broken dustbin lids and smiling at people according to what they want to hear has yet been tested when the Lib Dems have to defend a lot of seats against a Tory party that is doing well, and people are likely to be voting strongly on national issues.

    That said, Benjamin, I think your party will defy the (likely, not definite) national and regional swing in some seats and is odds on to hold on to Eastleigh.

  3. The Lib Dem change in vote share is normally less uniform that that of Labour and the Conservatives… but not to a huge extent. On the other hand, they do have a larger incumbency effect than other parties so in seats like this where there is a first term Lib Dem MP they will likely perform better (and in seats where there is a new Lib Dem incumbent and the Conservatives or Labour are losing an incumbency bonus, like Westmorland and Lonsdale, the bonus will be even bigger). The question will be whether that incubency bonus is enough to cancel out the national swing.

  4. It hasn’t been put to the test yet as I said.
    1997-2005 are the first elections where they have had a lot of seats, mainly because the Tories have been unusually unpopular. In places Labour still couldn’t reach.

    An opting out effect.

    It hasn’t been put to the test yet whether they have a greater incumbency effect in an election where the Tories are advancing significantly, or winning.

    I suspect the truth is somewhere in between. But for learned and respected commentators such as Robert Waller (my view of him too) to go on insisting that the Lib Dems are pretty much imune from national swings in a very different set of national circumstances is not yet proven.

  5. Chris seems to have gone very quite recently and there are rumours that he is preparing for a life post politics. Whilst he will not give up and stand down, I think he knows that his days as an MP are drawing to a close.

    The bitter rivalry between Chris and Clegg, who Chris lost the leadership to in 2007 have not healed as yet. Chris knows that Clegg’s leadership will deprive him of his turn at the head of the party and to challenge for the leadership now would be pointless.

  6. Looking at previous Election results for Eastleigh it can be seen that the Labour vote is fairly steady at 20%, with the exception of the ’94 By Election which is accounted for by the collapse in the Conservative vote, and the ’97 G.E which is clearly influenced by the wave of support for ”New Labour”. The traditional Labour vote is based in the inner city area of Eastleigh and local election results support this.

    Whilst Eastleigh has been a marginal since the ’94 B.E, it can be seen to favour incumbents, particularly those with high recognition. Chris Huhne is widely known throughout the constituency, I would go as far as saying he has a higher profile after 3 years than his predecessor David Chidgey managed in 11.

    Whilst national swing may play some part in this coming election, I believe local factors such as entrenched voting positions and the high profile of the incumbent will counteract this to leave Chris Huhne in position with a slightly enhanced majority, but no more than 2000, with these extra votes coming from a slightly increased turnout due to general dissatisfaction with the incumbent government and a decrease in the UKIP vote.

    Further to the previous comment, I don’t agree that Huhne has gone quiet lately, perhaps he has made less of an appearance on national news but on local media he has maintained a very strong profile, combining constituents issues with his role as Home Affairs Spokeman.

  7. I think Huhne will hold this comfortably.
    The Tories haven’t picked a high flier so that shows they aren’t confident.

  8. I agree, this could be the 2010 version of Norfolk North

  9. I don’t see the LDs increasing their majority by many thousands, and the chances are of another very close result.

  10. I’m inclined to agree with Andy

    The Lib Dems will be favourites but I can’t see them getting a majority much greater than that they enjoy already, however much the Labour vote gets squeezed

    As for Chris Huhne, he does seem to have gone very quiet for the last six months or so. He’s not in Vince Cable’s league but he’s certainly one of the Lib Dems more effective performers and I would have thought he has a better chance of holding this seat than many of his nearby colleagues do of holding theirs, despite his small majority

  11. I think a Lib Dem majority of 5,000 – maybe up to 7,000.
    I don’t think the majority will shoot up to 10,000.
    Chris Huhne’s older than I thought actually (born in ’54 according to the profile).

  12. Not a good post from me. I was not predicting a four figure majority for Huhne, but I do think a comfortable majority in the region that John D suggests is quite credible.

    The North Norfolk comparison would be against a backdrop of a likely swing to the conservatives nationally. A wafer thin majority improving to a comfortable majority.

    The conservatves best chances here will be if the national race is looking quite tight and the majority of the non labour voting electorate here decide they want to help get rid of the government.

  13. I don’t think a majority of more than 2-3,000 is likely for Huhne, and another majority of 500 is also likely. The Tories have a good chance of winning the seat as well.

    I don’t understand why people think Huhne can win such a large majority as has been predicted above. If he’d won the leadership election that would certainly be feasible but he didn’t and the leadership boost is usually restricted to just one person.

  14. It is quite a difficult one to predict. I do accept the Tory performance is likely to be weaker here and the LDs likely to hold on.
    However, the fact that this seat is so close already on the basis of the 2005 election, even with poor Tory local election results, suggests they could win if they are making progress nationally.
    I think I pretty much stick to a post I predicted the result some time back – an LD majority quite like last time, with Labour losing about 4-5% and the LDs and Tories gaining about equally.

  15. ladbrokes:

    LD 1/2
    Con 6/4

    We issued these prices today and have already seen plenty of money for Huhne.

  16. The PPC for this seat Daniel Clarke has resigned and left the Labour Party. He states he will be joining the Lib Dems and endorsing Chris Huhne.

  17. Yes he tries to justify his actions at http://www.labourhome.org/story/2009/4/26/123957/105. Most likely he was in an unwinnable seat and saw no prospect of being selected fro a safe seat in time for the 2014/15 election

  18. More than likely he would have sunk without a trace after losing in 2010 – destined forever more to be stuck in the depths of the Labour Party never actually achiveing anything

  19. It is traditional to see fighting an unwinnable seat, or losing a marginal in a bad year, as a step on the route to becoming an MP. However, I am not sure how much this was ever so. Quite a few MPs previously fought losing campaigns, but on the other hand I think that only a small proportion of losing candidates got a further chance (this assymetry is possible in part because, of course, winning MPs usually win several times).

    As an ex-Labour member of a certain age, I can think of many Party members who stood in the wilderness years and sank without trace. Sadly, although they were typically very able people with good experience as well, the careers of these people outside politics were hurt as well as their political prospects. Indeed, my personal opinion is that the Labour candidates who stood in the 1980s were, leaving aside their views, on balance very much more able than those who were elected in the 1990s. One reason was that they had to survive more rigorous selection processes (in which the centre and centre-right of the party tended to win on quality).

    In the Labour Party, particularly as there is a tendencey for younger candidates, I think that a non-elected position in the Westminster village is now a much better position from which to be selected in a winnable seat than previous candidacy in a safe Tory seat. One of Labour’s problems is of course that this Westminster background is now a turn-off to electors.

    Given the drastic changes in direction that have taken place in Labour policy, not least in economic policy, it is very surprising that more Labour candidates, and indeed MPs, have not resigned from the Party. Indeed, not least following recent financial events which result from new Labour policies, excessive flexibility of Labour MPs and candidates towards political principle is probably a major reason for their poor position in the polls.

    The LibDem Party has moved to the right in recent times: I cannot see them as a natural home for an ex-Labour member seeking an alternative organisation in which to express unchanged political principles. And I suspect the LibDems will find many rocks on the political road after 2010.

  20. Probably god news for Huhne though. I think he would take any help he can get at this point. If a spat encourages less people to vote labour, they are more likley to switch to the lib dems i think.

  21. Could be a ploy to stop the Tories winning
    I see conspiracys everywhere!

  22. I don’t see Huhne getting a much bigger majority because of any higher profile (I think that only applies to leaders or a handful of big personalities such as Ken Clarke or Vince Cable).

    However I do believe he will increase his majority because he is a much more effective MP and campaigner than his predecessor. David Chidgey was well liked and could have built up a hefty majority over his 10 years as Eastleigh’s MP but he didn’t. Chris Huhne on the other hand will leave nothing to chance and by now will have all the advantages that come with being an incumbent Lib Dem MP.

  23. This website is now out of date as the Labour Candidate Daniel Clarke has defected to the Lib Dems! Just shows how hopeless things are for Labour here.

    Couple this the fact the Lib Dems have a larger majority on Eastleigh Council than in 2005.

    Put this together with Chris Huhne’s national profile, can’t see anything other than Huhne hanging on.

  24. The LD council have made themselves very unpopular with the older residents regarding the bus tokens issue. There are strong residents associations here and this could lose them votes. Maria Hutchings is a personable lady who is working hard although not as experienced a campaigner as Chris Huhne.
    I do have to register a bias here as I am the UKIP PPC.
    Personally I think I will win although others may disagree!
    The IWAR issue may still play out depending on circumstances. If Brown is forced out before Ireland ratifies Lisbon it may cause Mr. Huhne trouble.

  25. Very suprised to see on Ray Finch’s Election leaflet a picture of the leading exponent of a United Europe
    Winston Churchill!!
    With some of UKIPS leading figures leaving this extreme right wing party I cannot see them getting more than one MEP elected this time.
    As regards Chris Huhne he will get re-elected with a much larger majority at the next GE.

  26. Bill, I think we can be agreed that whoever wins, it won’t be UKIP! I think as it happens, Chris Huhne will hold on here and will increase his majority, at the expense of Labour.

  27. Looking at how the Liberals managed to do that in most of their seats in 1979, despite a reverse at national level, that seems a likely outcome here.

    Still, John Pardoe was defeated, although in a very different seat.

  28. Huhne looks doomed to me after the expense stuff – the Rubbish about the LD Incumbancy Bonus should not be taken in anymore!

    It is the case now that a reverse incumbancy affect could well occur due to the current situation with reference to expenses.

    Huhne has been made a figure of fun through his Trouser press, HobNobs and framed picture of himself! Indeed i would not be surprised if the Channel 4 News program was distrubuted by the Tories in DVD/ CD format to voters when he appeared to be shouting and very agressive to voters in the wake of expenses.

  29. Any more that “deltic Dave” is a figure of fun for claiming his clematis then Mr Day? The hobnobs, were as In understand it for his staff, unlike Dave’s climber.

    But, it will be a close run thing, however what may and unlike some I will use the word may subjectively is that some in Eastleigh have long memories; especially in terms of the 1994 Railways Act and it’s attendant consequences for the town. Rather like some former and current mining seats, a part of the electorate would see thier own grandmother before voting Tory.

  30. Or should I say, “sell”.Or even possibly see…hehehehe!

  31. Solid set of local council results in Eastleigh for the LD’s. Perhaps the promise of hobnobs and wagon wheels saw off the Trouser press?

  32. The Tories won here in the recent elections – Huhne looks doomed the Tories were ahead and LD were in second place. IN a general election if a turnout of 1992 proportions was repeated the Tories could be 17,000 votes ahead!

  33. Which elections Mr Day? My reading of the CC elections saw the LD’s leading in the wards which made up Eastleigh Borough and a bit of Chandlers Ford West.

    Looking at Hants Web I make it the LD’s were top in:
    Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, Botley and Hedge End, Eastleigh East, Eastleigh West, Hamble and West End and Hedge End Grange Park.

    The Conservative candidate won in Chandler’s Ford.

    There are of course caveats to a rough and ready look; turnout and the Conservatives will look to transfer a steady UKIP vote to themselves.

    So on what basis do you class Mr Huhne as DOOMED? And the Tories won Eastleigh, I presume in the Euro Election?

  34. Chandlers Ford isnt in this constituency I think so the LDs held all the seats here, but that is no different from the position in 2005. Havent looked in detail but i had a brief glance and they looked more or less the same as then, main difference a higher UKIP vote, not surprsingly as this time the CC elections coincided with a European rather than a general election. I’m pretty sure that local election results here overstate the LD strength in a general election but equally that their vote in a European election understates it. I think this will remain close – if the Tories win it will be a three figure margin otherwise a LD majority up to about 2000 maximum which puts the likeliest result as in the middle of that range: LD hold by a few hundred again

  35. I think this seat should be a Tory Majority of 5,000 to 15,000 at the next election dependent on turnout. I cannot see the reasoning for the LD vote suddenly to shoot up from the level it has been stuck at since 2001 or Labour voters suddenly wanting to ‘keep the Tories’ out!

    Given National opinion polls and the fact that Chris Huhne was fingered (Fairly or unfairly) for claiming expenses for HobNobs, Trouser presses and framed pictures of himself will not get an incumbancy bonus!

    That car crash Channel 4 Interview where he seemed to be very heated and emotionally may not have done him much good either. I would not be surprised if the Tories distrubuted that is it will not have done Mr Huhne any favours!

  36. Chris Huhne might just hold on here due to Labour voters swinging behind him. It is pretty safe to say that the Labour vote will suffer a major squeeze.

  37. THe vote shares in the CC elections in the Eastleigh wards showed a lead for the LibDems of 18.8% over the Conservatives . In the 2005 CC elecevtions it was 13,8% . Another solid LibDem performance .
    The LibDems certainly also just outpolled the Conservatives in the Eastleigh wards taking out Chandlers Ford this year

  38. The Lib Dems were 11.5% ahead of the Conservatives in Eastleigh district, in the County Council Elections of 2005, on the same day as the photo finish in the General Election.

    (44.9% to 33.4%).

    Not an exact match on the Parliamentary seat boundaries though.

    Huhne does look set to hold on, bucking the likely national trend, but in this context, it is uncertain.

  39. Yes but Eastleigh District includes Chandlers Ford which is in the new Winchester parliamentary seat . It was the only CC seat the Conservatives won in the 2 new parliamentary seats of Winchester and Eastleigh . By contrast the Conservatives did improve their position viz a viz the 2005 CC elections in the wards going into the new Meon Valley seat although even here they lost Catherington to the LibDems .

  40. I think Huhne has a real problem on his hands if this clip where he clearly was OTT on his expenses is edited to the few moments after 4 minutes into the interview where he appears to shout in a very assertive way at members of the audience and points at one person with a very grim(Huhne) face.

    http://tinyurl.com/n5kh4x

    They say this is the internet age and with broadband all the Tories would have to do is distrubute on leaflets the “U-Tube” page address of the edited feature and it would be interesting to see how local voters responded. If one in Ten looked at it or even one in Twenty it could tip the result. More cost effective than sending CDs out!

    We have interesting debates about LD incumbancy but i think at the next election, the myth especially in seats like this will be shattered.

  41. I think Huhne has a real problem on his hands if this clip where he clearly was OTT on his expenses is edited to the few moments after 4 minutes into the interview where he appears to shout in a very assertive way at members of the audience and points at one person with a very grim(Huhne) face.

    ********************Clip link in moderation************

    They say this is the internet age and with broadband all the Tories would have to do is distrubute on leaflets the “U-Tube” page address of the edited feature and it would be interesting to see how local voters responded. If one in Ten looked at it or even one in Twenty it could tip the result. More cost effective than sending CDs out!

    We have interesting debates about LD incumbancy but i think at the next election, the myth especially in seats like this will be shattered.

  42. I also wonder how the expenses overhang from Huhne will affect his election role as the Trouser press could cause him real problems.

  43. I don’t think Martin Day’s tedious Tory trolling and multiple posting is relevant to what happens in Eastleigh.

  44. Absolutely agree Passing Observer. I fear Martin’s posts here are crossing the line into naked partisanship!

  45. That post is far too harsh Passing Observer. In all constituencies the expenses issue will undoubtedly have some kind of impact in reducing the scope for an incumbency bonus. This constituency will be no exception to that. Martin’s above postings are therefore a perfectly valid and useful contribution to this thread.

    Having viewed the clip posted I don’t think Huhne came across disastrously, but then neither did he come across particularly well. The best way for an MP to respond to allegations relating to expenses abuse is a complete, apologetic, sackcloth and ashes approach. An MP should definitely not (even if the individual in question sincerely believes that they have done nothing wrong and that any criticism of them is profoundly unjust) say anything that could be interpreted by the electorate as an excuse or an attempt at justification. However powerful the case is that the MP is able to present, the electorate are just not prepared to listen. Chris Huhne’s approach in the Channel 4 debate posted above seemed to be to try to make them listen. This coupled with his raising of the fact that several senior Conservatives are more wealthy than him and have claimed more was an ill advised tactic. People will judge their MPs by absolute standards, not by comparing them with the other lot and giving them credit if they claimed a few quid less.

    The local Tories should certainly raise this issue, and parts of this appearance by Huhne could be a useful aid to their campaign. I had assumed that the Lib Dems would hang on to this seat, and indeed the county elections look to have been far from encouraging from a Tory point of view. But the fact that the Lib Dem majority was reduced last time in what was a fairly poor election for the Tories, coupled with the fact that expenses will almost certainly limit the incumbency boost enjoyed by the majority of MPs lead me to believe that the Tories could well win this seat. Having said that though I do have doubts about the Tory candidate here. Her position on the MMR vaccine is I think indicative of some poor judgement on her part.

  46. Martin Day makes good posts, and they should be encouraged as they shake things
    up a bit.
    However, here I agree with Chris Huhne.
    The questioner was pretty ridiculous, and would appear to have been
    planted in advance to create a scene.
    I don’t defend the expenses matter overall – would like a much stricter
    financial regime, but Huhne’s case seemed minor,
    and that guy’s contorted face looked like one of those
    who signed the petition three or four times in Bromsgrove.

  47. The feedback I’ve heard from Eastleigh is that many see a trouser press as being on the more legtimate ends of what’s needed for the job. The expenses issue is less likely to hit here than in other constituencies (relative for Liberal Democrat incumbents).

    If Martin Day had ever made an objective post, anywhere, that would be different.

  48. “The feedback I’ve heard from Eastleigh is that many see a trouser press as being on the more legtimate ends of what’s needed for the job.”

    Which (if true) would seem to echo the message of Norwich North: the local electorate has been far more forgiving to a popular incumbent over expenses ‘lapses’ than they would be to MPs in general.

  49. Both the above post are partisan nonsense! It makes me laugh.

    Huhne is going to face a far more difficult ride than the comments would indicate! Indeed a new poll in the conservative top 30 target seats which includes Eastleigh as target 9 IIRC put the Conservatives at 24% ahead.

    So let them troll or put misleading stuff on here, the voters have the final say and given the Huhne rant amung other things i think the result will be very different to what they say.

  50. Sorry Eastleig is tory target 11 not 9! Not that it makes much difference!

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