Relief, disbelief, despair and concern

 
Lib Dem candidate Mike Thornton  and UKIP candidate Diane James

Relief for the Liberal Democrats who held on despite everything.

Disbelief for UKIP who came close to an extraordinary mould-breaking victory and might have secured it if they'd believed it possible.

Despair for many Conservatives seeing themselves forced into third place in a seat they need to win to form a majority government in the future and by a party they now fear will rob them of that chance.

Concern for Labour who, even when the coalition is so unpopular, found themselves an irrelevant fourth.

Even though the Eastleigh constituency did not change hands, this by-election will change politics - spurring on those Tories who insist that David Cameron is driving their party over an electoral cliff.

Energising Nigel Farage and UKIP to believe and to claim that they are a new force in national politics.

Fuelling those who criticise Ed Miliband for not extending Labour's appeal enough.

And giving Nick Clegg a small respite after being forced into this by-election by a scandal, having his campaign overshadowed by another and being told he and his party were finished.

The result is a reminder that politics is still local - a popular local council and strong local party helped the Eastleigh Lib Dems to weather a national storm.

That storm will now switch its focus to the prime minister who will face one question again and again from his own MPs and activists - what on earth do we do about UKIP?

 
Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 386.

    @ 383. mappamundiman: interesting that you don't mention my post re Maggie Chapman. Also, you don't literally quote the two posts you mention. How come? Not so convinced after all?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 385.

    @384.meninwhitecoats
    "Well she certainly has issues that predispose her to racism"

    And those issues are? Drawing a line under immigration and being racist are two different things are they not? Or would you rather they were combined to suit your own agenda?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 384.

    Soothsayer @ 373
    "Susan dislikes mass immigration and may vote UKIP. Is she racist?"

    Well she certainly has issues that predispose her to racism

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 383.

    @ 379. Binky Thorall-DeWest

    You asserted that "Most Brits think UKIP suporters are closet racists and nutters"...You also made an analogy that "Farage is somehow akin to Wallis Simpson...", a know Nazi sympathiser....

    ....Now I would argue that is lazily labeling a whole host of people racist. At least 11,000 in Eastleigh for a start.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 382.

    @ 380. mappamundiman:
    So, what am I to do with your lazy accusation "I suspect anyone who speaks up for the British is racist in your eyes."? Shall just ignore it?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 381.

    JB@359

    Some truth in what you say but the Tories had to rebrand - they consistently failed to get elected on the right wing platform supported by their elder members. If Davis had his way they would be appealing to the prejudices of a minority & would still be unelectable.

    Davis may be biding his time but he's not the solution-none of the leaders inspire but we need to look forward not back.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 380.

    377. Binky Thorall-DeWest

    ....No...My primary point was as I stated.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 379.

    375. mappamundiman
    If you wish to challenge such opinions I think you would do yourself more credit if you refrained from lazy 'racist' labeling - as one might infer you have little to offer intellectually!
    ///////
    Can you please point me to any of my posts where I lazily label anyone as racist?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 378.

    @372.Binky Thorall-DeWest
    "Nope, just people who, like you, base their judgement on assumptions, rendering their opinion pretty much irrelevant."

    I'm an engineer. I base my judgement on assumptions. Sure, I can back them up to a certain extent with maths, physics, chemistry. But only to a certain extent, again using assumptions on conditions. The real proof is in the pudding, as it were.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 377.

    375. mappamundiman
    What assumption or judgement? My point was simply that you throwing stupid labels around is base.
    ///////
    Nope, your point was that you suspect anyone who speaks up for the British is racist in my eyes. That is assumption and judgement.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 376.

    373.Soothseeker
    Meet fiictional Susan.
    //////
    Ah, fiction. The foundation of UKIP truths.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 375.

    372. Binky Thorall-DeWest

    What assumption or judgement? My point was simply that you throwing stupid labels around is base.

    Once again....my opinion, like yours and indeed those who support UKIP is valid.

    If you wish to challenge such opinions I think you would do yourself more credit if you refrained from lazy 'racist' labeling - as one might infer you have little to offer intellectually!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 374.

    364 - "Wallis Simpson was American, yet she and Edward associated with fascists...etc"

    Yes, I know, but we weren`t talking about Wallis Simpson and Edward.
    No one accused them of being xenophobic.
    Xenophobia means "hatred of anything foreign".
    My point was, that that is not possible in Nigel`s case, as he is married to a German lady.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 373.

    Meet fiictional Susan. She never meets the elites who judge her. Her son's maths teacher spends lessons coaching pupils who can't speak English. Susan has waited five years for a council flat, and sees them given to foreigners who arrived yesterday. She lost her job to one girl who works for less than the pittance she earned.

    Susan dislikes mass immigration and may vote UKIP. Is she racist?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 372.

    370. mappamundiman
    Reading your hysterical rhetoric I suspect anyone who speaks up for the British is racist in your eyes.
    ///////
    Nope, just people who, like you, base their judgement on assumptions, rendering their opinion pretty much irrelevant.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 371.

    @368.White Rose
    "Reading some of the more hysterical comments on here, you'd think UKIP won this election. Yet they didn't, did they."

    Obviously not. But UKIP have always been a party on the margins. That they managed more than 20 votes in a by-election is surely newsworthy. Designating them to be "BNP-Lite" is going too far I think though.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 370.

    @ 367. Binky Thorall-DeWest
    You speak for most Brits do you? Codswallop.

    Reading your hysterical rhetoric I suspect anyone who speaks up for the British is racist in your eyes. Throwing labels around as you do is lazy and base.

    One might easily infer from your hysteria that you are a commie, trot, or pinko......easy isn't it!

    Having an opinion which isn't yours is possible and equally valid.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 369.

    @366.WorkingClassWorker
    "Camerons dismissal of UKIP being closet racists and nutters is going to bite him in the bum!"

    Alas, either way, I fear you underestimate the ability of the average Brit to not give a Donald Duck. Until you or someone else galvanises them to start taking some responsibility for the individuals they vote into government, the UK will not change.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 368.

    Reading some of the more hysterical comments on here, you'd think UKIP won this election. Yet they didn't, did they.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 367.

    366. WorkingClassWorker
    Camerons dismissal of UKIP being closet racists and nutters is going to bite him in the bum!
    //////
    I doubt it, as it reflects what most Brits think of UKIP.

 

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