|Eastleigh by-election, 2013|
|Liberal Democrat||Mike Thornton||13,342||32.06%||-14.44%|
|National Health Action||Iain Maclennan||392||0.94%||N/A|
|Beer, Baccy and Crumpet Party||Ray Hall||235||0.56%||N/A|
|Monster Raving Loony||Howling Laud Hope||136||0.33%||N/A|
|Elvis Loves Pets||David Bishop||72||0.17%||N/A|
|English Democrats||Michael Walters||70||0.17%||-0.33%|
|Wessex Regionalist||Colin Bex||30||0.07%||N/A|
|Liberal Democrat hold||Swing||-19.32|
This of course is as nothing compared to the result in Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber in 1992
|General Election 1992: Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber|
|Liberal Democrat||Sir David Russell Johnston||13,258||26.0||−10.8|
|Labour||David John Stewart||12,800||25.1||−0.2|
|SNP||Fergus Stewart Ewing||12,562||24.7||+9.9|
|Liberal Democrat hold||Swing||−5.3|
Of course it could be argued that if these elections were to be conducted under the Alternative Vote the Liberal Democrats would have still won
But it is not inevitable .
In Eastleigh there were 2072 vote transfer from the group of "others" to be dispersed with and the make up of whom would go into the final vote would be unclear .
Though it would probably be that Mike Thornton still be ahead at the final count . Would the majority of the eliminated Tory or Ukip vote have switched to hi or would they switch between themselves.
After all we are still looking at only a few thousand votes making the differences/
In the meantime Peter Black has convinced himself that this was an epic victory and his analysis is laughable
What is important about this victory is that it shows that the Liberal Democrats cannot be easily written off despite the best efforts of our opponents. We showed that we can still win difficult by-elections and that we can do so whilst in government. It will not be easy to prise us out of our strongholds in 2015 and if the economy shows signs of recovery at that time we may even do better than hold our own.
It was a good by-election for UKIP as well. They harvested the protest votes that have benefited the Liberal Democrats in the past, but they did not have the ground campaign to capitalise properly. That will prove their weakness as they seek to win in other elections outside of next year's Europeans.
For Labour and the Tories, it was a disaster. The Conservatives saw themselves beated into third place by UKIP in a seat that by rights they should have won. It was a verdict on Cameron but more so on the quality of their candidate. However, there are now huge doubts that the Tories can ever do enough to win an overall majority in 2015. The pressure on Cameron internally will increase and that will impact even more on his party's electability.
The real loser however was Ed Miliband and Labour. Excuses that this is not natural Labour territory will not wash. The fact is that Labour came a good second in1994 and given the economic situation and the problems faced by the two governing parties, they should have done much better.
Peter Black Friday, March 01, 2013