Eastleigh is a bitter and sweet outcome.
Posted 1 Mar 2013 by Walaa Idris
Sweet because the Libs, for now and until 2015 hold the seat – see here why I think that is a good and welcome outcome. But first congratulations to our coalition partners specially Mike Thornton for holding the seat despite the odds – a party in government, during midterm, under a cloud of controversy and negative publicity – so kudos to both and well done!
Bitter because we did not win and I hate losing. Add to that, we dropped from second to third place, to a party two years ago was barely taken seriously, on a manifesto that offers everything without explaining how they will pay for any of it. That my friends, is what protest is all about, never needing to make any sense just capitalise on any given opportunity. Gutted because Maria Hutchings before getting selected for the 2010 General Election was living up North and relocated her business and family to fight and win this seat. And because we throw everything at this by-election and still did worse than in 2010.
But I still think it’s not as bad as it seems. We all know by- elections are a special beast. I sometimes think they are called ‘Special Elections’ because they have their own ‘no rules’ rules of anything can happen.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not at all bitter about UKip, taking our place and moving into second. Having said that, I will only take their win seriously if one, they continue to win council seats this May and two, sustain this momentum and hold or improve their place in Eastleigh in 2015. Because then they will become an opposition not just a protest vote with which voters nudge the main parties.
Meanwhile, I hope the party (CCHQ) don’t blame Maria Hutchings for what happened, because it was a collective effort/failure and a new candidate will not improve our chances in Eastleigh, she is well and truly imbedded in the seat now – plus the public loves a fighter. I also hope she wants to continue the fight and do. She definitely has a job to finish and should finish it. Liberals are tough cookies, once in they are difficult to root out and unseat but now she knows Eastleigh Libs more than anyone else.
We (Tories) need to take stock and look at crafting a united message with which to fight UKip. It can’t be anything alone the lines of ‘Nutters and Fruitcakes’ but something more serious for everyone to stand behind. For starters they (UKip) can explain how they propose to cut less and pay for everything without growing the economy?
As for Labour, I think it’s time for Miliband to drop ‘One Nation Labour’ unless his nation stops at the Watford Gap.
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