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Anti-gay marriage Tory candidate Maria Hutchings loses Eastleigh by-election to pro-equality Lib Dem

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  1. A slap in the face for equality opponents! :-)

    1. …or should that be: “a slap on the face of equality opponents” ??!??! Oh well, either way … it’s a good day.

    2. Not really it’s just that the anti equality vote was split between a homophic Tory and UKIP, between them they won a majority of the popular vote.

  2. I think the real story here is that many Tories are starting to vote for UKIP, which came second in this poll (and very nearly won it). UKIP is probably on course to be the third major party in the next national elections. Given UKIP’s appalling stance on equal marriage, this means a total of 22,000 people voted in favour of anti-equal marriage candidates. This was not an equal marriage referendum however; I think most people are deciding which party to support on issues like the economy, EU membership and immigration.

    The LibDems won because a) it was already a LibDem seat – although they lost about 15% of their support in this election and b) the conservative vote was split between the Tories and UKIP. A very poor showing from Labour must be giving Ed Milliband cause for concern. Labour did not lose votes here, but you’d think inroads could have been made given the Tories’ dreadful leadership.

    1. Labour’s share of the vote didn’t increase dramatically perhaps due to people who would have been tempted to vote for the party deciding to stick with voting Lib Dem in order to keep the Tories out. Anyway, Labour were never going to have a chance of winning this seat – it is a Lib Dem v. Conservative seat, though now it’s a Lib Dem v. Conservative & UKIP seat due to the fracturing of conservatism.

      I don’t think the emphasis should be on the Labour share of the vote in this by-election. The real story is about the total disarray within conservatism and the opportunity that gives to progressive parties.

    2. That There Other David 1 Mar 2013, 10:09am

      I think the Tory switch to UKIP was also down to Hutchings making a mistake. Up until she opened her mouth about sending her child to private school the Tories were running neck and neck with the Lib Dems. After that their vote started shifting to UKIP. The Tories are perceived as being a bunch of privileged millionaires that don’t understand what people in this country are going through right now. I think Hutchings’ reminded everyone of that.

      I’m not worried about any UKIP surge. As with the BNP I think the spotlight swinging their way will reveal a lot of dirt. They’ll fade again by 2015.

      1. I don’t think Hutchings was a strong candidate generally and many Conservatives defected to Ukip because of her personality and general demeanour. I watched her being interviewed on tv a couple of times and she came across as cold, rude, aggressive and confrontational. She also appeared quite highly strung and this was confirmed by the way she virtually stormed out of the count last night after the votes had been declared, refusing to give any interviews, whereas any politician worth their salt would have stayed to defend themselves and their party no matter how badly they’d done.

  3. I doubt if those that supported ukip in this election will vote for them in a general election, if they do and ukip win a majority, one can see many laws repealed and set the UK back 50 yrs. Is ukip a progressive party and would they be able to govern a country, I doubt that.

    1. Don’t forget that of the 20 UKIP MEPs elected since 1999, seven have left the party and two of them left it to go to prison.

      The spotlight is an effective detergent.

    2. That There Other David 1 Mar 2013, 10:12am

      You shouldn’t worry about that. UKIP have absolutely no chance of being in office. They are too far from the centre for that. If their vote surges nationally they will only split the right wing and we’ll end up with a Labour majority government.

  4. I notice that the Elvis party (72) and the Loony party (136) between them scored more votes than the Christian party (163).

    A democratic billet doux on the day the Pope retires to the fireside with his pet Archbishop, Georgeous George.

  5. Rubisco-excuse my ignorance- but who-pray – is ‘Gorgeous George”?

    I’d love to know!

    1. That There Other David 1 Mar 2013, 10:45am

      Ratzinger’s private secretary Georg Gänswein. If you see them together there’s a certain, shall we say, chemistry….

      1. Now they can live happily ever after lol.

        Ratzi the old Nazi must be in the closet.

  6. Perhaps she was hope to out UKIP UKIP by saying wasn’t in favour of equality.Good luck with that lady.

    1. Hoping, I meant

  7. this is a clear sign that support for gay marriage amongst Tories is very unpopular. The lib demsonly own because the right vote was split.. sorry but only UKIP can claim any progress from this election

  8. Look at the figures.. lib demvote down.. tory vote down.. the only party that opposes gay marriage was the only party to gain votes.. and lots of votes too! IT takes some squinting and selective reading of figures to see this election result as being supportive of gay marriage.. had the TOry won I suspect many on here would be claiming a victory for Cameron’s support for gay marriage!

    1. That There Other David 1 Mar 2013, 12:32pm

      I honestly don’t see marriage equality as involved much in this by-election TBH. No candidate made an issue of it during campaigning, not even UKIP. Maria Hutchings views were from previous statements. The voters who went UKIP are disaffected Tories and Lib Dems who wanted to send out a message to the government, but more about economic policies than anything else.

      Marriage equality is pretty much now seen as done and dusted. There’s a chance that some Tory peers will be more likely to play up now thanks to last night’s result, but I still reckon it will pass through the Lords smoothly enough.

      1. gay marriage is far from done and dusted.. a week is a long time in politics and this result will give more incentive to Tory MP’s to stop Cameron’s continued sell-off of Tory ideals. The Lords will oppose it most likely and then there’s “events dear boy, events”.. so we shall see.

        As for the campaign.. Coalition for Marriage leafleted every home in the constituency.. two independent candidates stood on a clear anti-gay marriage ticket, and UKIP’s position on it is clear. As for the Tory candidate, I cannot say how clear or otherwise she made her case but it is said she feared a backlash because of the govt’s push for gay marriage.

  9. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Mar 2013, 12:39pm

    Excellent news! Now this will send a message to all those Tories in opposition that their days are numbered. That a Lib Dem won, the only party with an equal marriage policy, speaks volumes. I don’t think victory was solely to do with keeping a Tory out. The vote was also a wake up call to those Tories who voted no to equal marriage who said it would cost them elections. Well it did because in this case, their candidate opposed it. I can’t believe it wasn’t a factor.

    1. DivusAntinous 1 Mar 2013, 1:56pm

      It was always expected that the Lib Dems would win, it’s been a Lib Dem constituency for years. The only rather… shocking thing about this is that UKIP beat the Tories, which I find quite unfortunate. That might have been to do with the candidate’s views on equal marriage, but it’s not as if UKIP have pro gay views.

    2. erm.. all the three main parties now officially support gay marriage.. despite not mentioning it at the election. The support for gay marriage did cost them the election i suspect, pushing more support UKIP’s way.. it’s a big vote loser!

    3. I agree it is good news – good news for Mr Cameron – the fact that a self confressed anti-gay conservative candidate lost so heavily should encourage the large progressive wing within the Tories and reinforce the message already promoted by US Democrats that being anti-gay these days looses votes.

      To attribute the swing to UKIP as a signal that conservative voters are protesting against the equal marriage bill just won’t wash – it was concerns about Europe that (temporarily) swelled the turn out for UKIP.

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