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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Eastleigh, why a die-hard Conservative would welcome a LibDem hold

Posted 28 Feb 2013 by Walaa Idris

In a few hours the polls will close on the Hampshire by- election of Eastleigh. The past three weeks have proved a week is indeed a long time in politics. In less than a month we had every possible political rivalry and trickery tossed at the campaigns and now their results are only a few hours away.

There are three possible outcomes and each has a different yet significant effect. Here is my take on them. The first outcome is a LibDem hold. The second a Tory win and the third UKip will pull a surprise protest win.

Going backwards, UKip winning will be good for the Coalition, because it will take the conflict pressure from the government while at the same time remind the two coalition partners to get their act together. The Tories need to unite and stop bickering, work as a team and remember what makes their party attractive is the main thing they seem to constantly be fighting over, and that is being a broad church – a home for diversity cemented in equal core values and beliefs. The reason Cameron weekly polls better than his party, is because he appeals to people inside and outside the party, and that is a good thing. Stop fighting it. On the other hand Libs need to get their house in order, sort out who said what when and not lose their nerve under pressure, or lose sight that outside the village of Westminster there is respect and appreciation for the party’s patriotic stance. Capitalize on it.

A Conservative win, is a short term victory for the party. It will boast moral for a few days but will damage the coalition and might even irreparably damage the Liberal Democrats. A fate probably cherished by a number of Tories, but it’s bad for the country, the economy, the reforms programs currently underway and will be an all-round failure that will only, in the long run, benefit the Labour Party. And that can never be a good thing.

However, a LibDem win is the status quo win. Plus it is good for the Libs; it will shut the media up, rise confidence in Nick Clegg inside and outside the party. Good for the Coalition, and the works planed by the two partners can carry on undisturbed to the end of this parliament.

I don’t feel disloyal about my feelings; because I believe during adverse times, such as times of wars and economic hardships, stability is key, which is why if my party does not win Eastleigh tonight I will be disappointed but at the same time relieved that things will stay their course until 2015.

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I like Nick Clegg and think he should stay leader to his party up to and beyond 2015.

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Walaa Idris

DPM Nick Clegg

Never since Crewe and Nantwich have I been this excited about a by election, and Eastleigh is even better because it is a much shorter battle. It is also unique in that Libs are a much tougher opponent than Labour in the fighting dirty department (Labour are amateurs when it comes to multi-cell under handed yet legal campaigning). Let’s not also forget there is the added pressure of the coalition, while in government Tories and Libs have to work as a team but in Eastleigh the two are rivals.

So if you have never before followed a by – election this is definitely the one to watch.

There is a lot of talk about the Labour candidate. Many don’t understand why Miliband picked a high profile candidate in a seat he has no chance of winning? Like everything in politics there are many theories around as to why he did it. When the simple explanation can be he wanted his star candidate to get a campaign under his belt before 2015.

I too have a theory. I think Ed Miliband actually believes he will get the keys to Number Ten in 2015 without having to go into coalition with anyone. He also believes to achieve that he needs to totally destroy the Libs and specially Nick Clegg. Therefore as a distraction to Liberal Democrats voters, he selects a liberal celebrity hoping he cuts into their support thus allowing for a Tories win. He can this way kills two birds with one stone, damage confidence in Libs specially Nick Clegg plus of course shake the coalition. Because Liberals holding Eastleigh = A Disappointed Tories + A Strong Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrats.

I want us to take Eastleigh, but will not be remotely disappointed if the Lib Dems hold the seat, and would love it if Labour comes fourth behind UKIP.


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As they say in Vegas, It’s Showtime!

Posted 7 Feb 2013 by Walaa Idris

We all knew the Same Sex Marriage bill will pass in the commons. We also knew many Tories will not vote with their government. But what we didn’t know or expect is the numbers we saw on Tuesday. More Tories abstained and voted against the bill than with the government. As surprises go, that was a big one.

This morning Michael Gove was forced to abandoned his GCSE reforms, maybe not altogether. But his very ambitious and bold changes will not be the EBac system he worked hard to implement. Whispers suggest the obstruction came from the DPM.

The other, albeit a milder shocker is that the Eastleigh by – election will not take place this May but will be held in just three weeks on February 28. Marking the occasion the DPM is to deliver a speech attacking his coalition partners for blocking the Mansion Tax. Where will that speech be delivered? You guessed it, Eastleigh!

After the AV referendum, Lords Reforms, Boundary Changes, squabble over the NHS reforms and constantly telling us that if it wasn’t for them this government will order the killing of every first born, now we finally have our showdown. This by- election is the first time where the gloves will truly come off. Eastleigh is a straight forward two way race. Before the 2010 election, Chris Huhne held the seat with only a couple of hundred votes, after running for his party leadership, his popularity increased that to a 3,684 majority. As for Labour, they are just spectators in Eastleigh. There the Lib Dems run the council and have a strong grassroots base. So naturally they are the favourite’s to win and hold their seat. On the other hand we have Maria Hutchings who fought the seat in 2010 and have been the Conservative spokesman ever since, I hope the association selects her to stand, as this no time for daft ideas.

But most of all and for the first time since the Coalition was formed; this is the first true test for this government. My concern here is for my party. As this is also a test for Cameron as a party and a parliamentary party leader. A test of our party’s unity, its resolve and its brand as it is seen by outsiders and the public currently.

To me Eastleigh is ‘make or break’ time and I am sure that I am not alone in thinking it.


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