The Eastleigh by election

Once again a Eurosceptic majority has managed to engineer the election of a Lib Dem Eurofederalist to Parliament. The EU federalists must be laughing all the way to Brussels.
It is remarkable that the Lib Dems at 8% in the national polls, and following their worst three weeks of news I can remember, should emerge as victors. No wonder we find it so difficult to get the new relationship with the EU we want.
Both the Conservative and the UKIP candidate made clear they find our current relationship with the EU unacceptable. They both wanted a referendum to allow the British people to vote No to staying in the EU. Between them they got 53% of the vote. Instead Eastleigh has a Liberal Democrat MP who opposes giving us that vote. We need more MPs in Parliament who will join those of us who have voted for an immediate referendum. Instead we have another anti referendum federalist elected with under one third of the votes.

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372 Comments

  1. Epigenes
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    This is what happens, Mr Redwood when your leader goes around calling the people that he, ostensibly, wants to vote for him, ‘swivel – eyed lunatics and racists’.

    Messrs Cameron and Osborne will lead the Conservative Party into oblivion.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      They do not seem to have a high opinion of their troops either once they have served their purpose. A reporter on the “Today” program stated that once the count was over, Maria was “bundled unceremoniously” out of the hall and was not available for interviews.

      • Bob
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        “Maria was “bundled unceremoniously” out of the hall and was not available for interviews”

        In case she let slip that she agrees with ukip?

    • livelogic
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed when called ‘swivel – eyed lunatics and racists’ they might just reply:-

      Two faced, quack green, say one thing, do the other, tax borrow and waste, electoral liability, a cast iron (and inheritance tax) blatant and proven liar.

      • John Maynard
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Ha-ha, very hard to argue with any of that. Cameron and Osborne seem to be going out of their way to antagonise an already nervous support base. The “gay marriage ploy” (Letwin’s little scheme to lure LibDem voters), didn’t work too well, did it ?
        But I doubt 53% were Eurosceptic – quite a lot of those must have been Labour voters, voting tactically for UKIP to cause Cameron maximum discomfort.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          The “Gay Marriage Ploy” must be one of the biggest idiocies of all time and to most I know very very unfunny. Attempting to usurp Marriage – which is a sacrament no less – in this way will have filled many in Eastleigh with even more disgust for Cameron than hitherto–a Big Ask that but somehow they managed it.

        • stred
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

          Quite a lot of socialist voters would have voted Libdum, They all read the same newspaper and often have state jobs.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        How about some replies from this swivel eyed lunatic who cannot even reply which country he even lives in? How quack is that?

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

          Bazman–Maybe he thinks it’s none of your business and if he were in two minds on the subject I suggest the last person he would tell would be you for you have gone beyond the pale with your ridiculous and gratuitous rudeness such as calling people “retards”.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            @Leslie Singleton: “Maybe he [Lifelogic] thinks it’s none of your [Bazman's] business

            Then he [Lifelogic] should not have raised the issue in the first place, by suggesting that he is (now) non-domicile he has made it others business – even more so when he is, quite possibly, attempting to influence domestic politics from afar.

          • Bob
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry

            There are plenty of non-doms living and voting in the UK.

            Did lifelogic ever say he has achieved non-Dom status?
            Because if he did, I must have missed it.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            I meant regressive. In their political opinions. Are you offended Leslie? Then stay offended.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            @Bob: Yes Lifelogic has stated that s/he no longer resides in the UK, but I take your point, perhaps the phrase of “ex-pat” would have been more descriptive in this instance (and you can read into that what ever you like)!…

        • Edward2
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:14 am | Permalink

          Tut Tut, slipping back to your recent rudeness again Baz.
          Come on, you know you can do better, try to keep calm .
          Its only yourself you are letting down

          • Jerry
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

            @Edward: You really should learn what is rudeness and and what is quoting back, if Bazman is being rude by using phrases such as “swivel eyed lunatic” or “quack” then so is Lifelogic…

          • Edward2
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

            Not so Jerry,
            By calling LL, “this swivel eyed lunatic” (emphasis on the word “this”) Bazman has plainly made a direct insult to another person.
            In my opinion, this is gratuitously rude and it if were said to someones face would cause offence.
            But I appreciate you may have different standards

          • Bazman
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

            I’ll insult anyone I like on this site and in my opinion many of lifelogics or livelogic points are of a swivel eyed right wing (person -ed) who claims not live in this country, but tries to influence policies on tax and infrastructure by putting forward his views. Ram it.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            I realise Bazman,that you will continue to be rude and make personal attacks on individuals not because of what they say in that particular post but simply because you have made a decison that you just dont like them.
            In that way you are just a bully who fails to argue the political point and decscends to heckling
            More fool you

          • Bob
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            More gibberish from baz!

            British expats are not only entitled to an opinion on British politics but they are also entitled to vote in British elections.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

            @Edward: So one can insult a whole party but not an individual, hmm, but anyway it’s no worse than calling someone (who the poster knows nothing about politically or personally) “a Lefty” – which seems very common ‘insult’ on this blog, often just because someone can see more than one side of an argument than the person making the insult can!

          • Bazman
            Posted March 3, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

            May well be true Bob, but not say which country you are in means something to hide and be ashamed of. Like to the the tax exiles making large donations to the Tories, but refusing to say if they pay British tax rates. More apologist nonsense from you.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 3, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

            @Bob: Indeed, and that might well be why UKIP will never win power, and nor will a distinctly eurosceptic/phobic Tory party, think about it….

          • Bob
            Posted March 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

            @Baz
            Not that it’s relevant, but lifelogic has mentioned many times on this blog that he resides in France, which is why he declared his displeasure at the election of Francois Hollande.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            @Bob: Actually if that is correct then it is very relevant, especially when discussion health services and socail issues etc [1], as France still holds true to some of the socail standards that the UK used to.

            [1] not to mention the fate of the Euro!

          • Bazman
            Posted March 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            He has also denied living in France and scoffed at the idea when I asked him. It’s all irrelevant anyway as he is so far off beam on many subjects is not to be taken seriously, but spouts the very type of baseless propaganda that he claims to despise. Anyone can shout low taxes, less waste, etc, but when questioned on anything fails to even prop up his ideas. (personal abuse removed-ed)

    • Single Acts
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      To be the government and yet still knocked into third by a non-establishment party is quite amazing.

      If this doesn’t tell you all to deal with UKIP and issues of real concern to your core voters, or lose, it is hard to know what will.

      You face a stark choice today. Either faux protestations of loyalty to Mr Cameron while you all mutter under your breath and do nothing, or elect a leader who can win in 2015. That is clearly not David Cameron. He couldn’t beat Brown in 2010 despite the former smashing the UK economy. It must be clear to everyone now, he will not win in 2015 and all Milliband has to do is split the vote and form a coalition with the new liberal leader.

      It’s time to wield the political dagger before the electorate do it to all of you.

      • Martin
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Single Acts – an excellent post but the Conservative Party is facing annihilation at the next General Election whatever happens. It has been led so far to the left under Cameron that any pre-election shift to the right would be widely seen as a hollow gesture politics. Coupled to this the Prime Minster’s record of broken promises on the Euro referendum and inheritance tax also mean he is no longer trusted by many. But dumping him now would have little or no electoral effect and would tip the Conservative Party into a bitter civil war.

        Cameron betrayed the conservative foundations of the party with his trendy gesture politics on gay marriage and literally chasing windmills until the point that the party became indistinguishable from the Lib Dems and Labour. It was always the road to oblivion and it will reach its end in 2015.

        • Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          Coupled to this the Prime Minster’s record of broken promises on the Euro referendum and inheritance tax

          And child benefit.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        The Tories can only win in 2015 by doing a deal with UKIP even then they will now struggle to do so after this dismal government. Just wait the the MEP election results.

        UKIP should not engage in any deal with Cameron, he simply cannot be trusted, he is a federalist, fake green and a tax borrow and waste socialist at heart. One who also slanders UKIP by calling them swivel eyed closet racists.

        He may be a good presenter but if you are presenting a turd whatever the spin or polish you put on it, it is still very clearly a turd.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        The Party is probably too far gone now to be salvaged. Wielding the dagger is fine but who will replace Cameron and how constrained and boxed-in will they be in any case? Look at the Tory website. Clogged with PC drivel.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Epigenes–Absolutely right and a lot else too. I do not know whether John is operating out of a blind sense of loyalty but he continually doesn’t seem to want to see the simple difference between the short and long term. In any event even the short term is starting to look good, for Cameron has earned the derision and contempt of too many people. I think Nigel Farage put it very well, as he usually does and with no oleaginous weasel PR nonsense, when he said that the Conservatives split the UKIP vote and the country is thoroughly fed up with three look-alike social democratic parties. Although I understand his reasons for not doing so, if Farage had stood UKIP might well have won. Whichever way you cut it the UKIP turnout was tremendous and another big step forward towards the long term sunlit uplands.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      The most extraordinary thing about this election – amazingly glossed over by the BBC – is that the Labour Party fielded a candidate in Mr O’Farrell who on considered reflection (he wrote it in a book) appeared to regret the failure of IRA terrorists to murder the elected Prime Minister of this country, (and another allegation I have not checked-ed) But it is extraordinary that the Labour Party has put forward – and defended – a candidate who has expressed such despicable views. I see much of Mr O’Farrell’s career was made at the BBC. The BBC should be pressured not to employ him again, and the Labour Party should continue to be pressed to disown his views.

      Reply: I agree. In a democracy wishing to get politicians you do not like out of office should be limited to legal means and persuasive argument to replace them. True demcoracts accept the right of others to hold different views, and to implement them where they have the Parliamentary majority to do so.

      • Peter Davies
        Posted March 4, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        The other allegation was “wishing the Falklands war had been lost” – DISGRACE

    • Jerry
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      @Epigenes: “Messrs Cameron and Osborne will lead the Conservative Party into oblivion.

      That Sir is the $6m dollar question! Or to put it another way, a/. was this a tectonic political shift, b/. was there some weird mid-term protest voting going on, or c/. was it that the UKIP candidate a simply an exceptional person rather the actual policies that attracted the voters – personally I don’t see how it can be “b”, broadly europhile voters are not going to vote in droves for a distinctly europhobic party, they are more likely to vote Independent candidate or Labour.

      So was the UKIP candidate just simply such an exceptional person, the Tories best hope so… Credit were it is due, but that doesn’t change the message, vote UKIP and you will get a Labour government and no chance of a In/Out referendum (unless Milliband is also spooked by this UKIP result)…

      • Bob
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry

        The old scare tactic of letting the “other side” in is what lead us to the “two and a bit” party duoploy, run by career politicians with little meaningful experience of life outside of the subsidised bars and restaurants of Westminster.

        In reality the difference on substantive issues between Lib/Lab/Tory is insignificant, so the fear is unfounded and anyone who thinks that being part of a totalitarian state is a good thing will be equally well served by a government of any one or any combination of the three.

        Anyone who thinks we would be better off as an independent nation, free of EU bureaucracy and their anti fair trade practices such as the CAP should stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, and vote ukip.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          @Bob: How many times, Labour = no referendum, the LibDems = no referendum, the Tories = yes a referendum – may-be, if you are being cynical.

          So unless you really believe that UKIP can win enough votes that then get converted into seat wins and thus they can become a part of a coalition with the Tories, BUT if they do not convert those votes into seat wins then all they will do -in the marginals- is to allow either the LibDems or Labour to take the seat, remember that (like in other constituencies) UKIP didn’t pick up many LibDem voters in Eastleigh, they took the votes away from the Tory candidate…

          Of course for those of us who want out of the EU, yes a UKIP majority government and thus a manifesto enabled unilateral declaration of EUID would be great but we live the realities of planet Earth, not Mars…

      • Peter Davies
        Posted March 4, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        I haven’t got the figures to hand but I have seen a list of 20 odd seats in the 2010 GE (including Ed Balls) that were marginals that went to mainly labour that otherwise would have gone to the Tories if the assumption is correct that the majority of the UKIP Voters in those constituencies would have otherwise been Tory – this would have got them their majority.

        If that is not enough of a warning I don’t know what is.

    • Simon Reakes
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      We the people no longer trust David Cameron to deliver on his promises over Europe.
      To say we MAY have a referendum after the next election if he is re-elected is worthless and his chances of renegotiating the conditions of our membership of the EU are pure wishful thinking. The only way is to say we will leave invoke clause 50 and then start talking.

  2. iain gill
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    if the conservatives support uncapped ict work visas for indian nationals and work visas for everyone who has studied here they will be wiped out

    • zorro
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      How funny…….that’s exactly what they are planning to do, not forgetting Cast Elastic latest pledge to have unlimited numbers of students (particularly Indians) as well…..

      zorro

    • forthurst
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      (Says the current leadership of the three main parties dislike England and the English are setting out to suppress it and change the country and society-ed)

      • Bob
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the translation John, was the original comment in French? German? or something more exotic?

  3. Mike
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    You forgot to mention that the party Mr. Cameron regards as a non-issue beat the tories. :)

    Cue several bleating blog postings from disgruntled tories begging UKIPpers to support them.

    Indeed it was only the postal votes which saved the libdems, you would be better advised to raise this issue and ensure that they are restricted to those who can not physically attend a polling station ( 14000 given out is unbelievable) in the future.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Well said! Postal votes are a national scandal.

    • colliemum
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Spot on – the abuse of Postal Voting needs to be addressed. By ‘abuse’ I do not mean blatant fraud, but the way political developments, which might have changed actual voting, are necessarily falling by the wayside.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Some of the more obvious places where abuse of the postal voting system may be taking place are nursing homes – and who controls the councils?

        • stred
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

          Who helps the demented place their X? Strange to think this could swing an election.

      • forthurst
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        “By ‘abuse’ I do not mean blatant fraud”

        It is not clear to me how postal voting is inherently compatible with the concept of the Secret Ballot. On the contrary, if the percentage proportion of LibDem postal votes were to be well in escess of their’s by secret ballot, it would merit further examination.

      • Deborah
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Having seen the way postal votes are “verified” I would not rule out blatant fraud

        The postal vote system IS a national scandal

        • lifelogic
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Give what we now know, about so many politicians, it is rather likely alas.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood I can understand your frustration but it reflects a majority view out here in the real world that the mainstream parties are not doing what WE want on immigration, the EU and all its failings and costs, foreign aid, Human Rights, gay marriage etc. In fact I can’t think of one success. It was reported that immigration was down to a gross ………500,000 and that’s considered a success! Our talent , resources, and young people are leaving the UK being replaced by foreign people at a ridiculous rate. Native Britains very existence is threatened yet very little is being done. Of course we need change as the mainstream parties are practically the same, so it has to be UKIP.

    • lojolondon
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      I personally do believe that postal votes are ALWAYS a source of fraud, and would recommend a thorough check especially where one party’s postal votes are not in proportion to their physical votes on the day. Maybe UKIP will win this yet! ;-) – Surely a source of pleasure to all Eurosceptic Conservatives?

    • Baldwin
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      I quite agree. Postal voting should be restricted to a last resort as per the old days.

      Apart from corruption possibilities, there is the feature that a large proportion of postal voters respond by return before the main campaign.

  4. cllr tom bursnall
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Indeed john. Had the tories voted with their hearts and backed ukip then they would have split the right wing vote and let the socialists in.

    The thing you miss is that for us ukippers, we don’t see any difference between cameron miliband and clegg- all three are pro eu, so doesn’t matter if the lib dems win or the tories here.

    • livelogic
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Indeed no substantive difference in actual actions between Tories, Libdems and Labour – just a little in presentation. That and the Tories have perhaps about 80 sensible MPs.

      • lojolondon
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Hear hear!!

  5. Adam5x5
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    We need more MPs in Parliament who will join those of us who have voted for an immediate referendum and would vote for one again.

    Given that the seat was Lib Dem before, this is a net neutral result wrt euro-sceptics in parliament.

    The question you must be asking yourselves in the Conservative Party this morning is, “Why did we come third behind UKIP?”

    There are many answers to this question – but I would hazard a guess at the electorate does not trust Cameron and his pledges of a referendum. If you want to win the general election, then addressing this fundamental issue should be your biggest concern.

    It is remarkable that the Lib Dems at 8% in the national polls, and following their worst three weeks of news I can remember, should emerge as victors.
    Not especially. It is a very Lib Dem area. What is remarkable is the performance of UKIP and how they have come from nowhere in the constituency to coming second in the by-election.

    • John Maynard
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      It may suit you to frame this by-election as an EU referendum, but it wasn’t.
      Poll after poll has shown the EU way down as an elector priority.
      I’m inclined to believe that it was much more to do with same sex marriage, the betrayal on IHT and the “green” ramping of energy prices.
      The IHT freeze in particular, is a direct assault on middle-class aspiration, hope and dreams, yet Osborne casually announces it, almost as an after-thought, just to balance out his sums.
      He hasn’t a clue about the motivations of his core electorate. Perhaps he should discuss it with his father.

  6. Duyfken
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists are unlikely to want to associate with the EU federalists of any Party. As more Conservative voters defect to UKIP, that leaves the rump of the Tory Party increasingly pro-EU, leaving the likes of you JR high and dry. It is time to think radically so that the EUsceptics may coalesce around the only viable alternative, UKIP.

    Another aspect which needs investigation, is the way that the postal voting facility is being used or misused, since this appears to have had a significant effect on the Eastleigh result.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Do something fast about this national scandal!

      • The PrangWizard
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Indeed – I wonder if Galloway would have been elected an MP if unrestricted postal voting had not been available? I wrote at this at the time and was slapped down.
        Its use allows fraud, bullying and intimidation to be used with impunity and on a massive scale. It goes against the whole concept of ‘the secrecy of the ballot box’. It must be ended urgently.
        I am not a Conservative member or supporter.

        • Nina Andreeva
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          To be honest with you I do not think the MPs give a toss. On a similar theme with regard to the UK being able to hold a “free and fair” election. I have asked JR before whether the govt has ensured that people will not be locked outside the polling stations, as they were in the last general election, and he says thats the job of the councils, you know the people who cannot even organise a weekly bin collection.

      • alan jutson
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Comments ref Postal voting.

        Agreed

      • APL
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Mike Stallard: “Do something fast about this national scandal!”

        ‘Fast’, Mike, they have been in government for nearly three years, yet they have done nothing of substance about it.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      I would like to know why Commonwealth nationals here on student or work visas are allowed to vote when we would not get a similar vote in their home country? Not such a big deal in Eastleigh but in some marginals it makes a massive difference.

      • Nina Andreeva
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        It puzzles my other half who has a Commonwealth passport especially after being warned of all sorts of trouble that would happen it he refused to register to vote. I will not laugh in 2015 when Mugabe offers to send election observers over to see that the UK has a “free and fair” election. These MPs are really playing with effin fire!

  7. JimF
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    It would have taken fewer Tory voters to vote UKIP than vice versa to achieve your desired outcome.

  8. Nina Andreeva
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Have we got another two years of listening to the death rattle of the Notting Hill set?
    Dave its the economy stupid, not gay rights! I am waiting for the first trust fund kid to use another of Bill Clinton’s sayings like “I feel your pain” and that should finish them off for good.

  9. Brian Taylor
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Will the kicking that the conservatives get in the local council elections and the EU elections next year make them realise what the voters want.
    Which is article 50 invoked and immigration back under control!
    And vote on the terms we have with the EU.
    When will MPs realise we do not Trust them or civil servants to negotiate the terms for us,only under Article 50 are the EU forced to negotiate new terms!!!

    • sjb
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I suggest the Conservative Party may consider past polling patterns.

      In the 2009 European Election, UKIP’s share of the vote was 16.5% but a year later their share fell to 3% in the General Election. A similar decline can be seen in 2004 & 2005 elections.

  10. JimF
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Perhaps its time for you to turn your former argument of UKIP voters returning to vote Conservative on its head?

  11. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    It is a good moment to reflect and wonder how “democratic” a first past the post system actually is. Someone with 32% of the vote gets to represent 100% of the people in Eastleigh, while the remaing 68 % may have completely differnt opinions about e.g. immigration, about the EU, and other policies. I’m glad that European democracy doesn’t work with this weird “winner takes all” principle. There is no fair chance for a party like UKIP if it would always have to stay away from “eusceptic” Tories, obviously UKIP tries to finally get some representation in the H.o.C. after almost two decades. It is ironic that UKIP understands so little about European proportional democratic representation, without which, it would never had had a chance to get a voice in the European Parliament. UK “democracy”doesn’t give it a fair chance in my view.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      But if we followed the EU paradigm of democracy, a pretext would be found to hold the election again and again until the electorate voted as the government wished in the first place.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        @Alte Fritz: that may be eurosceptic propaganda but doesn’t reflect reality.
        Don’t expect me to fall for that propaganda. People who read beyond the headlines know that even after any “lost” referendum there have been new negotiations and compromises. This “paradigma” is a bit of a hopeless and helpless attempt at eurosceptic selfdeception. Reality is simply a bit different. There isn’t even a “European government” apart from the national governments which are European by virtue of being inside Europe. Did Europe ever “require” to hold British elections again and again?

        • Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          Not propaganda just what happens when the people vote no to the EU, funny once the people vote yes they never get another chance .

        • outsider
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          Dear Peter van Leeuwen, you make a fair point on voting systems in relation to Mr Redwood’s post. None is perfect. But here you are just being provocative. If you made either of these arguments on an Irish comment site you would, I fancy, get some dusty answers.

        • Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          “Don’t expect me to fall for that propaganda”

          OK then look at reality – France, Denmark, Ireland! Need I say more?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            @Bernard Juby: In both cases (Nice and Lisbon) Ireland got further concessions in negotiations, before holding another referendum, and they weren’t even forced to hold one, they could have left the EU, where all the other countries had already said yes, and their parliaments as well.
            I have never heard that Denmark has been forced to hold another referendum on the euro, it is in practice pretty mcuh their decision.

        • lojolondon
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          Well, let’s look at Jorg Haider – democratically elected leader of Austria, forced by the EU to stand down. EVERY referendum ever held was held until there was a ‘yes’ vote and then never again. Will there be a democratic referendum in Greece, Italy, Spain, and perhaps even Germany to see if they want to stay in the EU? I can honestly say ‘never’.
          European ‘democracy’ is very like Dictators democracy – one man, one vote, once.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

            @lojolondon: Why so hung up about referendums in a democracy? Margereth Thatcher once recalled referendums as a tool for dictators and demagogues. The EU never sent any army to Austria. you make it sound as if they should voluntarily work cooperate with any rightwing extremist (word deleted-ed) or other extremist. That would go against the Copenhagen criteria and other civilised norms and values that we hold high on the continent.

        • John Maynard
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Peter, as a spokesman for “true democracy”, perhaps you should “reflect” that we recently had a referendum on proportional representation, which was heavily rejected.
          Our democracy is ancient and effective, why do mainland countries always think they “know better” ?
          The evidence is contrary.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

            @John Maynard: If only your referendum had been on proportional representation, AV is something different. Why should ancient be effective? Is geriatric effective as well? I just show some people who tend to lecture the continent on democracy that there is reason to wonder of the own system gives such fair results: >50% voting for 2 eurosceptic candidates, but a europhile winner (takes all) of just 32%

          • APL
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

            PvL: “Why should ancient be effective? ”

            Something that has stood the test of time, become accepted by the people that use it can be effective. Almost by definition if something, a tradition or custom is ancient it has utility to those who employ it.

            ‘Geriatric’ implies a loss of function through decrepitude. That is why the two, ‘ancient’ and ‘geriatric’ are not synonyms.

    • Single Acts
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Grow up. Who ever is elected represents precisely 0% of the people.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        @Single Acts: That is not how it should be in a democracy. It that were true for Briain, it still wouldn’t be true for every deocracy in Europe.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Let us just remind ourselves about European Democracy.
      1. The people you can vote for are prepared in London by the Party System. That means they are chosen for you from a list.
      2. The MEPs are sworn to support Europe, not their own countries. They are not expected even to visit their constituencies. You don’t vote for them personally and they represent the Party, not you.
      3. Inside the parliament, the Commissioners draw up the agenda which means that from the floor MEPs are virtually powerless.
      4. The commissioners are not elected or accountable to the parliament.
      5. The MEPs get only a couple of minutes to speak and the Chamber is usually empty anyway.
      6. The Procedure is very unlike our own dear House of Commons.

      So please let us not compare the Euro system with our own rather sporting one!

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        @Mike Stallard:
        Thank you for numbering your arguments, which makes reacting a little easier:
        Point 1: That isn’t altogether different in the UK, unless you stand as an independent candidate in national elections. In elections for the European parliament you could do that as well. In the Netherlands we had the example of “wistleblower” Paul van Buitenen standing and succeeding in the 2004 elections for the European Parliament.
        Point 2: That is not true. You’re confusing MEPs with European Commissioners.
        Point 3: MEPs probably have more influence and power on legislation than British MPs, with their co-decision right (shared with the European Council amd Councils of the European Union), be it that they haven’t yet got the right to initiate the legislation (make the original proposals). Both Council and Parliament will however ask the Commission to make certain proposals, as you can easily see if you read the conclusions of European Councils since the Lisbon treaty.
        Poimt 4. The Commissioners are accountable to the European Parliament, and some have been sent home over time. Nobody would have objected the UK to hold a an election for its European Commissioner. Ultimately it is British democracy (its democratic government) which had appointed Mrs. Ashton as a candidate. All the commissioners are interrogated and vetted by the European Parliament, and not all succeed in being accepted by this parliament.
        Point 5: You obviously look at the wrong MEP’s and don’t follow many debates. You also don’t notice what happens in the various committees which prepare legislation. If I were equally superficial, I would have to say that British MP’s have even less time when they make their point each Wednesday (PMQ) and have to content with shouting down from across the aisle.
        Point 6: Luckily that is true. An old parliament isn’t necessarily a good one, although I respect that it is very dear to you.

      • P O Pensioner
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Mike, I entirely agree with you.

      • lojolondon
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely, in fact EU democracy bears a striking similarity to Russian ‘democracy’ from 1940 – 1990-
        1. a group of 22 anonymous, unaccountable people in a secretive room decide what will be best for the “nation”
        2. The decision is ratified by parliament

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          @lojolondon: bears no resemblance to the EU decision process

      • uanime5
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        1) What about independents who don’t represent constituencies in London?

        2) How is that different from many MPs who always vote for whatever their party is proposing?

        3) Wrong. MEPs can amend or reject any bill from the Commission.

        4) Wrong. All Commissioner have to be approved of by the European Parliament and this Parliament can vote to dissolve the Commission.

        5) So no different from the UK Parliament.

        6) Given that you couldn’t provide any examples I doubt you know how either Parliaments operate.

        In conclusion you lies and ignorance are no match for real facts.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        The expensive EU veneer of “Democracy” makes even Westminster look almost democratic by comparison.

        Philip

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Peter–Two very obvious points, viz 1) So you like the Italian system is that it? and 2) Out of your own mouth you confirm the significant difference in ideology (on just about everything).

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton: from the little I know about it, I don’t think the Italian system is all that good. I of course prefer the Dutch system, but that also has its draw-backs. Closer to home you might have a look at the Scottish system, which may combine bothe constituencies and a degree of proportionality

    • Mark
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Peter, you should be particularly aware of the hazards of PR systems from your Dutch experiences. The idea that PR gives equal power to each vote is nonsense. It gives enormous power to the votes of those who hold the balance of power – the tail wags the dog. Large blocs of power never get the chance to show what they’re capable of, because they are hobbled by coalitions. We’re suffering from just that in the UK at the moment.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        @Mark: Not necessarily, although I see your point. The current Dutch government coalition comprises of only the two largest parties (out of 11 parties having seats in parliament)

    • Mark B
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      @Peter

      Without realising it, you have made a very ironic post. Allow me to explain.

      The party that had just won this by-election, the Libdems, actually campaigned earlier in this parliament for the electoral system to be changed to some sort of proportional representation. The people, in a referendum, (see we can have them when they let us) chose to keep the current first past the post.

      Whether you think it democratic or not, at least we had a choice.

      The Falkland Islanders will get a choice latter this year, and the Scots next year. Sadly, we will be all referendum out until 2017 the earliest. And Cameron and the conservatives may or may not keep their promise.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        @Mark B: it is an ironic LibDem victory indeed. And obviously the UK couldn’t change overnigth. This outcome just gives pauze to reflect about the electoral system.

        • rd
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:30 am | Permalink

          Look I know what I want… “clear blue water” between my home on the Channel coast and Europe. I have NEVER been permitted to vote on this. Who did vote to join the EU or the euro? Well some British people still alive voted to join a ‘Common Market’ but NOT a ‘union’ with an unelected executive. There is a democratic gulf going on and the unelected had better wake up before the mobs get them. May I personally please have a vote – and not just the ‘promise’ or “cast iron guarantee” of one? Not alot to ask surely in ‘democratic’ system.

          Reply: The pity is that more voters did not read the Treaty of Rome before voting in the 1975 referendum. I read it and voted No, because it was quite clear they were planning much more than a free trade area.

          • Bob
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            @ Mr Redwood
            “Reply: The pity is that more voters did not read the Treaty of Rome before voting in the 1975 referendum. I read it and voted No, because it was quite clear they were planning much more than a free trade area.”

            The people just believed the lies perpetrated by the politicians and the media.

            If only we had had the internet at that time, then there would have been a different outcome.

            The whole project was perpetrated on the British people on the basis of lies and deceit, and the Tory Party were behind it all the way.

          • P O Pensioner
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

            John, I voted yes in 1975 and I hadn’t read the Treaty of Rome. Now older and wiser I read everything before signing or get my lawyer to do it for me!

    • forthurst
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Peter van Leeuwen on this point. Furthermore, the alternative voting system offered in a referendum is not proportional representation; it simply implies an equivalence between voting and supermarket shopping. In fact, one Tory MP, a Friend of Israel and a supporter of United Against Fascism, came on the telly to inform us that Alternative voting was all we could be trusted with to prevent us electing BNP candidates into parliament.

      Looking askance at a concept because it is used in Europe is as specious as banning Wagner’s music for other than musical reasons. We are opposed to most ideas coming from Europe, but originating in bankster owned NGOs, simply because they are designed to undermine and destroy us.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      PvL ok then how do you stomach people like Geert Wilders getting elected let alone being part of the government coalition?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        @Nina Andreeva: When Geert had so many voters he had a support contract with the minority government to keep it in power. Luckily that only lasted about a year and since he lost heavily in national elections. I don’t like Geert WIlders for one bit, but it is still democracy. UKIP is a more democratic party than Geert Wilders’ Freedom praty.

        • Nina Andreeva
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

          … and UKIP is a normal party? Remember this lot put someone forward as a candidate who was into euthanasia for the elderly, however they did drop him when the press started talking to him. To me they are a bit like the National Front (though probably less extreme on the racial politics) in France or Zhironovski’s Liberal Democrats in Russia. In that they are led by a charismatic and have very attractive policies that appeal to the disaffected or those who feel resentful of the elite. However once they get some power they disappoint the “le petit Jean” as the just fall into the gravitational pull of the establishment. I bet Farrage would still keeping printing money as a way (and keep failing) to get the UK out of its economic hole

  12. MichaelL
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Did the Conservatives offer a good enough local candidate?
    David Cameron And George Osborne … Asset or liability in this election?

  13. lifelogic
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    You say that both the Conservative and the UKIP candidate made clear they find our current relationship with the EU unacceptable.

    Indeed but what the conservatives say at election time (and indeed in office) and what they actually do has virtually no connection. The blame lies fully with the ratting Cameron and Osborne. They are no different in their actions than the Libdems and Labour would be. They are a party that, in action, is Pro an undemocratic federal EU, pro tax borrow and waste, pro the expensive quack “renewable” energy religion, pro over regulate and over tax.

    Just pro EU socialist pretending not to be for electoral reasons. The electorate can see right through them. Just open you eyes and look at them – Lord Patten put by Cameron at the hear of the propaganda unit, Clarke, Heseltine and similar people almost everywhere.

    Cameron is a good presenter and debater but his compass in 180 degrees out and it is that which counts in the end. The is no point in just marching over the cliff. But then for him he has given up on 2015 and no doubt seeks a job in the EU or similar.

    Listening to the go to war on a blatant lie Tony Blair on his Newsnight interviews the other night I concede Cameron is not quite as nauseous as Blair but that is all I can say for the man.

    Why on earth are the BBC so gentle on this counter productive and pointless, war on a blatant lie merchant? Weapons of mass destruction but I did not bother to ask what sort of weapons – yea sure.

    It is however odd that so many people can still vote Libdem when all their policies are so absurd, so anti liberal and so anti democratic and when so many or their MPs and clearly highly suspect. The power of old brands, emotion and inertia I suppose over logic.

    • DeWinterMax
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Disregarding LibDem crowing, and considering the numbers, their support went down by 11,500 ie it was virtually halved, and that against a background where their party has been in power for the first time and been enjoying a totally disproportionate influence in the Coalition. We are really looking at a rump of LibDem voters and, as Nigel Farage intimates, they probably squeaked home thanks to the postal vote.

      I totally agree with your assessment of Cameron and Osborne and personally feel angered by reports of Ken Clarke’s “contemptuous disdain” for the right wing of the Conservative Party which seems to be very much the “clique” view as voiced by the singularly unremarkable Mr Maude.

      If the Clique were making any real progress on the economy, it would be a different matter but they are not and Cameron is arguably the laziest PM of modern times.

      I see no alternative but voting for UKIP: they reflect my social views far better than President Cameron and I can only hope that politicians of the calibre of John Redwood either form a breakaway party which will preserve Conservative traditions, or, indeed, defect to UKIP.

    • Bryan
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Because they tailor their policies around local issues only, never believing that they will have to enact them. This is/was the Rennard winning way.

      It is similar to the Labour core vote who keep hanging on for the so-called distribution of wealth. Nobody on the left tells them that it is a pipe dream however because that would be the truth, something most politicians seem to shun!

  14. Steve Cox
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Since the UKIP candidate polled more votes than the Conservative one, a contrarian may take the view that it was people foolish enough to waste their vote on the Conservative party in this by-election who gave the seat to the Lib Dems and denied it to the UKIP candidate.

    Personally I’d say that the message here is clear, and unless Mr Cameron takes it to heart then he may well find his party with its smallest number of seats ever after the next general election. Things appear to be changing at an unprecedented pace in British politics.

    • Mark W
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      You say contrarian? I’d say sensible. You are correct, but the voters don’t need this spilt in the right.

      The left long ago became more skillful at PR. Even before Mandelson and Campbell. The Tories only PR effort had been the “fixing the roof when the sun shines”. It did work but Labour and Libdems are so much better. I’ve come across so many people, especially in the urban north that when pressed on their views almost state the Tory manifesto, but can’t let go of the ridiculous idea that the Tories are for the rich. I can’t think of a Tory policy in years that has been for the rich, but the mud sticks. Labour are brilliant at this caricature, hence their (Labour) 40% tax rate and the Tories 45% tax rate. Is called a tax cut for millionaires. The Tories let them get away with it. Just because the “right” are generally correct about things doesn’t mean they should take logic for granted. It’s lazy. The left have spent years convincing people that orange juice isn’t orange. The Tories lazily assume that people can see it is.

      The only way forward is to have a pact with UKIP. If they (Tories) hadn’t stood in Eastleigh UKIP would most likely have took the seat. Probably would in a General Election. But if UKIP and The Tories stand against eachother then there are lots of seats that will fall to the left. UKIP won’t go away. But as I looked at the neigbouring seats during the Corby ByElection I can see that UKIP and Tory standing against eachother in Peterborough, Corby, Kettering, Northampton North will make these all Labour Gains. If UKIP stood aside in return for a clean run at say, Eastleigh, Bristol West, Cambridge, Exeter, all the Plymouths and many northern Labour heartlands there could be a “right” majority.

      Between 92 and 97 the old “they’ll come back in a general” was hogwash. Cameron will lose many good young MPs their jobs. I don’t believe anyone quite expected to loose the amount of seats that happened in 97. 2015 could be worse. Electoral pacts have happened with the Tories before, it is not unprecedented.

  15. MickC
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The scare tactic of “don’t vote UKIP ‘cos you’ll get Labour” is long past the sell by date.

    Nobody believes that the Conservatives will actually give the people a referendum-so vote for a party which will.

    • brian
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      ukip will never form a government and therefore will never give the uk a referendum.

  16. Mark W
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    May I offer a suggestion then, as this scenario has crossed my mind. There are parts of this country that will never vote Tory, or are unlikely to in the next couple of years. The urban north and other places like Oxford (Tory councillors?) and Cambridge. Eastleigh is another example. Why not go for a straight pact with UKIP and not stand against eachother. Then marginal seats you currently took in 2010 in urban seats like Kettering, Corby and Peterborough UKIP stay away, you let them have a clear run in places like Eastleigh, Cambridge. I’m sure you’d find UKIP MPs in the lobby with you in a coalition where the LibDems aren’t.

    The Tories haven’t won a majority since 1992. The boundaries are against you in 2015. The Tories have had electoral pacts before and gone on to be independent afterwards. Please save us from the left in 2015.

    • livelogic
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      To late to be saved – Cameron does not want to he is going down with the ship in 2015.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      I suppose that a party which exists to extricate us from the EU, no ifs and buts or maybes, could enter into a temporary pact with a party whose ruling oligarchy is absolutely determined that we must remain in the EU forever come what may. But it would be rather like accepting Stalin as our ally in the Second World War, and it would be a mistake to trust them.

  17. lifelogic
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Clearly the Tories are likely to be third in the Elections to the European Parliament in June 2014 just before Cameron say goodbye in May 2015.

    A promise, from the ratting and dishonest Cameron, of a referendum two years after the Tories have been kicked out is about as much use as an inflatable dart board.

    It will not help either if Cameron calls one third of the voters, in places like Eastleigh, closet racists and fruitcakes.

    • lojolondon
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      The good news is that when UKIP polls first in the European elections, suddenly EVERYBODY in Westminster will be racing to be the most Eurosceptic. I really, really do look forward to it!

      • APL
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        lojolondon: “I really, really do look forward to it!”

        You simply need to cast your mind back to the last election, when the Tories played the same game, bait and switch.

        Now their supporters really ought to be recognising a pattern.

  18. Phil
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Yes, it is a great pity that the Conservatives fielded a candidate and split the Euro-sceptic vote.

    • Bob
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      @Phil
      ” it is a great pity that the Conservatives fielded a candidate and split the Euro-sceptic vote.”

      Are you seriously suggesting that the Tories are EUro-sceptic?

      • cosmic
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        The ruling core of the Conservative Party is very clearly pro-EU and always have been. A significant proportion of the rest of the party is anti-EU and has to be kept in check with empty talk, such as Cameron’s renegotiation twaddle.

        Increasingly people are starting to realise this and also realise that there is no substantial difference between the Conservatives under Cameron and the other two parties.

      • Jagman 84
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        I do not think that he is. However i believe that, in the main, their supporters are. They just live in hope that their party will return to being Conservative and not ‘Blue Labour’.

  19. colliemum
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I think this result needs honest analysis, given the huge effort which the Tory Party put into this by-election.
    I think, with all due respect, that harking on about UKIP ‘splitting the EU-sceptic vote’ is not good enough. The LibDems have, as we’ve been told, a superb local machine, and they still lost a fair number of voters.
    So this result demands a cold and clear look at why people rejected the Tories. Just talking about ‘protest voters’, given the hefty number of UKIP voters, is nothing but sticking heads into the sand. May I suggest that in view of this result it is counter-productive to denigrate UKIP voters as fruit cakes and worse, and that it will be fairly disastrous if the Tory party thinks BAU is going to ‘save’ them.

    Reply I have never denigrated UKIP voters, n or have I said here that UKIP split the Eurosceptic vote. I have merely posed the fundamental quesiton that should concern all true Eurosceptics – why didn’t we get a Eurosceptic elected, and what can we do about that?

    • Dan
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      I don’t believe you or your colleagues who remain within the Tory fold are eurosceptic. You are fakers who put party before country.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Indeed.

    • Roger Farmer
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply.
      Because too many people voted for a Tory candidate whose euroscepticism, though genuine, was destined for a club in which there is no future for such thinking on current showing. Had they voted UKIP they would have got an MP from a determined eurosceptic party. The Tory vote split the eurosceptic vote.

    • colliemum
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Reply to the reply:

      We all know who denigrated UKIP, and we all know it wasn’t you, John. So I’m sorry that I didn’t make it crystal clear that I was not attacking you personally.

      Regarding why a true Eurosceptic wasn’t elected: may I suggest that voters have now had a long enough experience of the current Tory leadership to know full well that true Tory Eurosceptics will have no chance at elections or in Parliament, given the way the Tory leadership has been using Euroscepticism as a sop, which can and will be disregarded in the politics they pursue. It’s a PR item for them, and voters have had enough of having nice shiny baubles dangled in front of their eyes, to be dashed to the ground once the votes are in.

      These are very difficult times – and the Tory Party from top to bottom better be clear if they actually want to win in 2015, or are happy to keep drifting towards the left-of-centre.

    • Mark W
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Re Reply. Please see my comment above. I think it’s time to recognize that two years is getting tight to highlight that Labour isn’t offering an alternative. I’ve noticed a few Labour people have invented a new narrative that “the deficit wasn’t there before the banks collapsed”. No Tory counters this. Tory PR is hopeless. There is no point being correct if people don’t see that you are.

      Electoral pact is a good option, it would be hard for both yourselves and UKIP but this chance of an unpopular EU may not come so easily again. The boundaries and inherited mess will deny you a majority in 2015. I wish it were not so, but a majority is unlikely. UKIP won’t go away, sort out which seats you’ll leave to eachother and have them get seats you can’t get, and stop them costing you seats they could loose you. Put country before party and stop the left getting in.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–Your, Why didn’t we get a Eurosceptic elected THIS TIME?, is not the whole story. As regards THE FUTURE what happened in Eastleigh was a good solid step forward, clearly improving the chances of UKIP winning seats down the line and even if that doesn’t happen at least making more Conservative MP’s more Eurosceptic, so preventing the mendacious Cameron from wriggling out of a referendum. Who can doubt he would do that given half a chance?

    • sjb
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Colliemum wrote: I think this result needs honest analysis, given the huge effort which the Tory Party put into this by-election.

      I was surprised to learn that the Conservative Party did not have a single councillor in Eastleigh.

  20. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    OK. Point taken.

    Now see it from my point of view, please.
    1. I am a Catholic. I do not agree with Gay Marriage. I do not agree with the lack of support for real marriage. I represent the Big Society and a fat lot of help we have had!
    2. I do not agree with Michael Gove who promised me a lot and then withdrew the promise of Free Schools.
    3. I am not prepared to believe Mr Cameron over Europe because he has cheated me over the referendum.
    I am not a happy bunny at all.

    My problem is this (a normally conservative person, actually): who represents my feelings?

    Yup, you are right, it is a protest!

    • MichaelL
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Free schools? If you want private education then pay for it, many families save hard to do so. What I find objectionable though is people wanting taxpayers to fund what is in effect private education for their children. If you want a ‘free school’ you should smtp up and pay for it.

      • Bob
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        @MichaelL
        ” If you want a ‘free school’ you should smtp up and pay for it”

        Do you mean that tuition fees should be charged for primary and secondary education too?

      • Mark
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Why do you believe that state funded education should be inferior to private education? That it is is not in dispute – but surely it should be aiming to be its equal.

  21. lifelogic
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    It is the conservatives splitting the UKIP vote not the other way round.

    “They both wanted a referendum to allow the British people to vote No to staying in the EU” – but no one can trust Cameron or Osborne can they? Anyway Cameron only wants to give us one after he is booted out and can’t and he (and doubtless Lord Patten’s BBC) will campaign for a stay in vote anyway.

  22. Old Albion
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    But John, Everyone knows that Dave will never give us a referendum on EU withdrawal. He can’t when in opposition.

    • Martin
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      And a backbencher.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      He can’t when in opposition and won’t when in power.

  23. matthu
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    “Both the Conservative and the UKIP candidiate made clear they find our current relationship with the EU unacceptable.”

    But UKIP is going further than that. They are essentially saying that they don’t trust the CP under Cameron either.

    They don’t trust Cameron to be up front about his negotiating position with the EU: we have all seen in the past how the detail of these agreements with the EU is all in the detail that only emerges months – or even years – after the treaty is done and dusted.

    We have seen on the Climate Act 2008 how almost without exception MP’s voted for an act they hadn’t read and didn’t understand. (I think I am right in saying that Peter Lilley was the only MP to have read the White Paper before the vote.) How can we trust MPs to make the effort to understand what Cameron has negotiated?

    How can we even trust MPs to debate and vote on these important issues instead of abstaining? they don’t have a good history in this respect. Cameron, if you remember, invoked a three line whip to prevent even a non-binding referendum on the EU.

    Whether there is intentional obfuscation by our own negotiators or whether there is incompetence (and I suspect there is both), we always end up with a lot less than we have been promised, the latest budget negotiation being but one example (with the UK ending up paying MORE than before) and Tony Blair’s deal over the CAP another case in point (where the UK unilaterally gave up part of our rebate and got absolutely zilch in return).

    There are numerous other examples of politicians trying to circumvent the will of the people. The EU reclassifying working time directives as health and safety (and hence another EU competence) and now trying to reclassify Climate initiatives as security (same weasel reason) and most recently trying to reclassify banking bonuses as non-pay related (and hence again bringing them under EU control) all sprint to mind.

    Where is the indignation from our own MPs?

    MPs actually SUPPORT climate change being reclassified as a security issue. This would place all of our energy policy firmly under the control of the EU (or possibly the UN). This despite there being any scientific evidence that recent climate extremes are either unusual or linked to CO2.

    Concern about climate change has dropped from 82% in 2006 to 49% now. And not all of this concern is even CO2 related because, again, politicians deliberately blur the distinction between what is CO2 related and what is natural variability, because it suits them to deceive the public in this respect.

    I ask again: where is the indignation from our own MPs?

    They are actually conniving in an attempt to hand over control for more of our energy policy and future economic growth to parties over which we have no democratic control and who don’t have the est interests of the UK at heart.

    This all results in an erosion of trust which has happened over many, many years and will not be remedied by bland government assurances that this time they are finally negotiating what they claim will be a good deal for the UK.

    We have heard this SO many times in the past. We. Don’t. Believe. Them.

    Not when we know that Cameron himself is avidly pro-EU under ANY circumstances.

    You don’t believe this? Simply put him on the spot and ask him to clarify under exactly what circumstances he could envisage campaigning for an exit from the EU. If things stay exactly as they are – let’s imagine that negotiations are destined to take ten years instead of three – could he contemplate campaigning to leave the EU?

    Finally, the latest wheeze of issuing electioneering leaflets for the CP under UKIP colours is another example of deceit: passing off your own shabby goods by branding them as those of another organisation’s good is a crime in any other context. Why not here?

    It is a question of trust, and the CP are not reducing the deficit.

    Reply I read the Climate Change White Paper and refused to vote for the legislation.
    I fully understand the feelings of UKIP voters. I have often argued cases that UKIP agree with or take up. There still remains the question I pose – how does the Eurosceptic majority mobilise itself from here so we win votes in the Commons instead of losing them?

    • matthu
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Answer: By not abstaining on important votes. By being present in the house and taking part in the debate on important issues like the EU and climate and energy policy. By standing up to be counted.

      John, with respect, you abstained on the climate act. Perhaps you can recitfy that by campaigning for another close look at the dubious economics in the Stern report.

      Reply I made clear my opposition then and have done ever since.

      • Single Acts
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Abstaining is hardly making clear one’s opposition. I understand there would be party difficulties in a vote against, but leaders and policies change. Cameron’s power to promote or demote has about two years left at most, and you lot could make it a much shorter tenure.

        • forthurst
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          I thikn you need to cut JR a bit of slack on this issue; he’s not a scientist and the propaganda at the time in support of catastrophic anthropologically initiated global warming was all pervasive; the BBC’s gardening progs were all about gardening in very hot arid conditions; the Met Office forecasted ever hotter, dryer weather. The climate now is much more congenial to deniers now than then thanks to the activities of Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts who have exposed the (word left out-ed) conspiracy perpetrated by (people-ed) like ‘lord” stern.

          Reply My critics always ignore the speeches I make and the stance I define. I have always been critical of global wamring theory and the policies it produces, always spoken out in favour of cheap energy. I did not vote for the Cimate Change Bill. There seemed little point in voting No when practically the whole of Parliament disagreed with myself and a handful of others.

          • forthurst
            Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply: I did not wish to imply that you voted for the Act or were fooled by the AGW propaganda, simply that you might not have been 100% certain it was false and felt an abstention was the most logical response to your position, bearing in mind that voting against would have had no effect on the course of the legislation.

            Reply I was quite sure of my view. I also think it makes more sense to vote against a 3 line whip when you have some chance of winning, on an issue where you strongly disagree with your party’s line.

      • Mark
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        I have suggested that the current Energy Bill should be ditched before it imposes another layer of harm on the economy.

        Will you vote against it?

    • Duyfken
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply: You are the MP and we are the voters. Who do you think should be answering the question you pose? You use that as an argument or even as a cover for supporting a Party of MPs which collectively allows itself to take the wrong direction, is manifestly of little competence, and has no guts – being subverted by the Cameron clique and doing nought about it.

      Reply: I resent the criticism that I am doing nothing about these things. I am working hard to have Conservative policies which do address the burning issues of EU powers, migration. energy etc. The problem with several passionate contributors to this site is they say they want to sort out the EU problem once and for all, but do not help us think through how we mobilise the Eurosceptic majority effectively so we can win!

      • Duyfken
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        JR, you should not resent something which I did not say: I referred to the collective shortcomings of the Party and it was not a criticism of you personally.

      • livelogic
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        JR you say “The problem with several passionate contributors to this site is they say they want to sort out the EU problem once and for all, but do not help us think through how we mobilise the Eurosceptic majority effectively so we can win!”

        But this cannot be done, certainly not under Cameron he was the last chance and he deceived the electorate, lost the election and then ratted. The battle is lost due mainly to Cast Iron Cameron’s ratting.

      • APL
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        JR: “I am working hard to have Conservative policies which do address the burning issues of EU powers, migration. energy etc.”

        I believe you are Mr Redwood. However in the Conservative party you have been neutered, Cameron has surrounded himself with pro big government corporatist’s (Hestletine), pro EU advocates (Clarke – currently being paid a ministerial salary for snooping on every departments business ), Essentially the EU’s paid stooge at the highest levels of government.

        You, you out, I am sorry for it. But that is the Tory party today.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Mr Redwood, you have asked a really good question: what can you personally do about your Eurosceptic views?

        You (and all Eurosceptics) are effectively banned from the BBC.
        You have pretty well no real say in a Europhile parliament.
        The Top Brass seem to be totally out of touch with the back benches.
        You carefully listen to us and, even better, to your own constituents: which actually makes your isolation even more painful.

        Take heart!
        With the internet, people like you can keep their ears to the ground. We are on your side – look at all the above posts again if you disbelieve me!
        Most of the excellent commentators and critics in the media are more or less united and of the same opinion as yourself.
        Lots and lots of us are not in any political party, but we do have the vote and most of us will use it – to vote for people like yourself. You can, I believe, see the new intake of MPs becoming more vociferous and less happy to climb the ladder up to becoming Minister for Green Beans and Celery.

        You are, believe it or not, the voice of the future.

        • uanime5
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          Given that Farage is on the BBC everything they need someone Eurosceptic it’s clear that Eurosceptics are not banned.

          • lifelogic
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

            UKIP is not banned just hugely out numbered with the usual “BBC think”, pro EU, tax borrow and waste, magic money tree and enforced “equality” innumerates.

      • Chris S
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Sorry, John. I’m sure you are doing everything you can but things have gone too far under Cameron. UKIP’s success is the proof.

        You have to start mobilising behind the scenes to ensure that the Conservatives are in a position to do a deal with Farage before 2015.

        Whatever it takes.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          Chris–Totally agree. I sometimes think the Conservative Party is in its death throws under Cameron. Was I alone in cringing at his toe-curling comments about coming back “provided we stick to our principles”? For my money he can keep his, against Conservative, principles, if you can call them that, to himself. He should be thrown out and at least half of what he has done immediately revoked – starting with his insult to the ancient revered and sacramental concept of Marriage – for the Conservatives to have any chance.

      • Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        We EUsceptic voters cannot change the Conservative party from within, problem is so called EUsceptic conservatives allow yourselves to represent and be represented by a pro EU party which has a policy of never leaving the EU, do something about it then come back and ask for our votes, until then it is the Conservative party who are splitting the vote.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Obviously a Tory party led by closet eurofederalists can no longer attract enough support from that eurosceptic majority of voters, too many of whom have now seen through its pretence of patriotism, but the staunchly patriotic UKIP could; so there is your answer, stop splitting the vote.

    • Dan
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Did you vote against the legislation?

    • muddyman
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      How?, first fire Cameron.

  24. Robert K
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I take your point, but more Conservative MPs need to nail their eurosceptic colours to the mast if they want to get elected. If I lived in Wokingham I would vote for you. My Conservative MP is on the europhile wing, so I won’t be voting for him.
    I can see why Conservative eurosceptics are gnashing their teeth at UKIP, but the solution for the Tories is simple – embrace euroscepticism fully and return to the principles of small government and low taxes that kept them in power from 1979 to 1997. If the Tories don’t represent that, what do they represent?

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Would any sensible Tory like Bill Cash, JR, Jacob Rees-Mogg now want now to join a party led people like Cameron and Osborne and heading in such an absurd direction?

      So how will the party ever improve the quality of it MPs – it is doomed to decline into an irrelevance within the undemocratic EU superstate.

  25. zorro
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    John, perhaps the Tory part should stop splitting the Eurosceptic vote in constituencies which you now look unlikely to win……..It is over, Cast Elastic is dead man walking.

    zorro

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Indeed it was over the minute he threw away the last election. This by his ratting on Cast Iron promise, his socialist light, quack green agenda and letting Clegg have equal TV billing.

    • lojolondon
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Just remember who you are dealing with. Cameron is less a Tory and more a LibDem. So he will never work with the right wing, and he would love to continue his work with LD or Lab, forcing this once-great country down the road of his choosing -

  26. mick
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    no whats needed JR is for the tories with balls to join UKIP, the conservatives are all living in the past UKIP is the future get use to it and defect your party is dead

  27. alan jutson
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Sorry John this argument will just not wash.

    You could equally say that voting Conservative stopped the Ukip candidate winning.

    The problem is both the LibDems and the Conservatives lost 14% of their past votes.
    Labour held onto their share.

    Thus the fact is Labour have not moved forwards, but the Coalition Parties have moved backwards, and Ukip have taken up the slack.

    Unfortunately it is rare for people to vote for an MP on their personal values and thoughts, instead people tend to vote for a Party under a particular leader, and if they do not like what that Party or leader is doing, then they do not vote in support.

    Coalition policies have simply been a nonesense, as have the opposition, you know it, we know it , the result proves it.

    If you want to blame anyone, then blame the die hards who will always blindly vote the same way, no matter what their Party does.

    The fact is the Conservatives (or at least the leadership) appear to support the clueless Lib Dem policies whilst in government, so you will never rise above them with an increased market share until there is some real diifferences, and that is why they won and your lot lost.

    In areas where Labour hold a high percentage of the votes, the LibDems and the Conservatives will be history, unless they change rapidly.

  28. Sir Richard Richard
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Quite. And so, given the number of votes each party received, shouldn’t the Conservatives have withdrawn and supported UKIP, instead of trying to steal votes?

    http://order-order.com/2013/02/28/eastleigh-tories-steal-ukip-colours/

    • Bob
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Misrepresenting your candidate as a ukipper is fraud.
      The Tories have sunk to an all time low.

      • Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        You too, check facts before slagging

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Indeed

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      That is absolutely disgusting behaviour, and possibly even a breach of electoral rules? Have the Tories got no moral or ethical standards at all?

    • Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Risible! Have you seen the UKIP posters? Look at the blue/green ‘Conservative ‘ UKIP posters that were everywhere BEFORE any Conservative leaflet was seen?

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Should this passing of the Tories in UKIP colours not be illegal – as an electoral fraud?

      • zorro
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        They were quite tricksy by suggesting that Marta Andreasen (now formerly UKIP) supported the Conservative candidate and DC’s new view on the EU referendum, and, of course, parading her in purple on the leaflet. I wonder what Marta feels now, having bailed out on UKIP just before this electoral breakthrough…..

        zorro

  29. Barry
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Surely one Lib Dem MP in Parliament is neither here nor there; the party overall is an irrelevance.

    Cameron has paid the price for being so lukewarm over the referendum. If he had announced it sooner, without making it dependent on winning the next election, which sounded like cynical politicking, his party would have performed better yesterday.

    Cameron’s judgement is a huge problem for his party.

  30. Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Even supposing the Conservatives were to win the next election outright, we do not know what powers Cameron wants to be returned what the benchmarks are for success in any negotiation or what he would do if he failed to get a real return of powers. We already do know that EU law say you cannot pass powers back to the member state, and that no power has ever been passed back to any member state and the timetable for any negotiation is not in the power of the government.

    So Cameron’s promise of a referendum it is all very wishy washy, on top of that he has made it very clear he wants this country to stay in the EU, so we already know he will engineer any referendum to achieve that end to call the conservative leaders Eusceptic is stretching it quite a bit.

    It all seems very much like a half thought through plan by some student to regain lost votes from UKIP.

    So essentially this is an internal problem for the Conservatives, you have a leader who is pursuing polices that are losing the party votes, the ball is firmly in your court, so it is perhaps time to stop blaming the voters, just because a few of you fly a Eusceptic flag.

  31. The PrangWizard
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    You are correct, but blame your leader. I don’t believe him on the EU referendum, why should I, I think it’s just a trick. I think he’s wrong on gay marriage. I think one of the independent candidates in Eastleigh who campaigned against it and for Christian values got nearly 800 votes. I think green policies are wrecking the country. The Tories have gone mad.

    ‘Good on UKIP’ I say even though I don’t support them. Who are the Tories, just another party of the Left it seems to me. Nigel Farage in his interviews this morning is absolutely right.

    Where will the Tories go now? Where will you go now? Are you ‘flogging a dead horse’?
    Can you get rid of the Highland Cameroon? Now must be the time. The Tories must return to their old supporters if they want to survive as a major party.

    From what I saw of the candidates, the Conservative seemed to lack confidence, and in contrast the UKIP one seemed very sure of what she was saying.

    • ni
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      @Prang: He’s nae a Heilander. He’s simply a disingenuous Englishman with a Scots surname. But, I( agree that he (and Osborne) need to go …and soon. They have both become a millstone round real Tories necks. We need to ‘move on’ and ditch that bunch of ne’er do wells. Failure seems to come easy to the present Coalition (sorry about the capital ‘C’).

      Whilst, on present performance and popularity, neither UKIP nor Cons will win (or even come close to winning) the next election. I am distraught…

      • Nicol Sinclair
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Sorry about the syntactical errors above – can’t seem to amend them… :-(

        • Credible
          Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          It is funny that you all moan about the voting system.
          The first past the post system means that normally the LibDems have to get twice as many votes as the Concervatives to get a seat. That’s why the Conservatives didn’t want AV. Ironic isn’t it. This time the Tories were the party stuck in the middle.
          When the Conservatives win a seat with 30% of the vote I don’t notice many complaints on here.
          Labour of course have fiddled the boundaries and need fewer votes per seat, but the Conservatives will fiddle the boundaries back to give them the advantage. What a great system we have, this democracy we call it.

          Also lots of moaning about postal votes. I thought they normally favour the Conservatives, but may be wrong. How exactly was the postal vote corrupted in favour of the Libdems?

    • Bryan
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      The EU referendum IS a trick. Those who know the EU treaties etc are solid in saying that unless Mr Cameron invokes article 50 (i.e. The UK signala its intent to leave the EU) then there can not be and will not be a true renegotiation.

      What we shall get is one of those ‘deals’ from a smoked filled room full of obfuscatory fine sounding words designed to placate us and let DC etc recommend the ‘deal’ to us.

      Mr C’s time has been up for some time – he achieved his ambition by becoming PM thanks to the coalition. Like Mr Blair the status is all important and to hell with the hard graft!

  32. me
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    The key point is that whether a Tory or Lib Dem had won noone in the country would notice.

    The only alternative is UKIP.

    Tories stop splitting the UKIP vote!

    • Nick
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Quite.

  33. Cheshire girl
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I firmly believe that the result of the election was not all about the EU. I believe that many of those Ukip votes were in protest at the other three parties who have upset people up and down the country with their views on immigration, foreign aid and gay marriage etc. People seems to feel that their views on anything do not count and that the politicians will do what they want regardless. I am surprised that the Conservatives did not see this coming. The signs have been clear for many months!

    • outsider
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      You are right there cheshire girl.

      An example might be the entry of Turkey into the EU, making it the most populous member with (if not immediately) the same rights of migration as any other member. This was specifically backed in the 2010 manifestos of all three “major” parties and, as I recall, has also been supported on the floor of the House by Mr Redwood. Do any of them think this would have popular support?

      The accepted wisdom is that general elections are usually won or lost on which party is most trusted to run the economy. A very large number of people have concluded “none of the above”. Their macroeconomic and monetary policies are virtually identical in all but rhetoric with the main differences being over income distribution and details of tax and welfare. They are manifestly obsolete.

      I do not think that UKIP has a coherent alternative but its policies at least open the possibility of developing one.

      Reply I do not recall supporting the membership of Turkey of the EU on the floor of the House. I am very relaxed about Turkey or anyone else joining the current EU, as long as we have a new relationship with the EU based on trade and are not part of EU government and common borders.

    • cosmic
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      It certainly wasn’t about the EU, however, you can’t separate these issues from the EU. While part of the EU, it defines them.

  34. They Work for Us
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Existing Politicians have worked against the interests and more importantly the will of the people on most of the major issues that concern them. Viz

    Continuing EU membership – deceit and lies that have led to enormous erosion of our ability to govern our own country. We cannot control our own borders, deport criminals or have our own laws that we the people want. We are paying for heavily an incompetent, undemocratic bureaucracy to support the EU project.

    People were not consulted on whether they wanted a multi cultural society with large scale immigration that has fundamentally changed the nature of our own country. Had the UK population been consulted they would have said no. The govt has reduced immigration a bit but we face large scale immigration from future EU migration. What people really want is no more immigration on any significant scale. Don’t quote net immigration as thought the size of opur present population is something to be maintained.

    Govts have espoused a green religion which is costing us dear in artificially imposed fuel taxes that beggar the domestic consumer and hamstring industry and more is yet to come. Much of the evidence for the climate change religion has been shown to be in untrue, exagerrated or fraudulent.

    The conservatives must reform, leave the EU, stop immigration and abandon the climate change religion elated issues in order to make us properly independent, prosperous again and comfortable as a nation. If not UKIP will do it for them either at the next election or the one after that.

    becuase mosthe

  35. Nick
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    So by your Logic, you should have withdrawn your candidate, giving UKIP a free run.

    After all they beat the Tories so were in the best place to win.

  36. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Many of us have been warning you that your leader is succeeding in his ambition of alienating the Conservative core support. The ‘modernisers’ who run your party not only exhibit contempt for the traditional voters but they have a crazy idea that they are going to gain votes from the LibDems and Labour by making your party just the same as those two. Even if the latter were in any way feasible why make it that much harder by requiring more gains just to stand still? I’m sorry but you have been told time and time again that your party under its present leadership is doomed. It isn’t just the EU where few apart from Conservative MPs seem to have fallen for Cameron’s referendum tactic. The man is not trusted. The economic management has been an immense disappointment and you convinced me not to vote Conservative back in 2010 when you highlighted the actual approach rather than the mendacious rhetoric from your leaders. I wonder how disappointed Cameron is today; for almost 3 years he has given the strong impression of being happier supporting Clegg and the Lib Dems than his own party. You elected and put a cuckoo in your party’s nest and you know what that does to the original members of the nest. You can’t blame those disowned for looking for a more welcoming home.

  37. Amanda
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    How does the Eurosceptic majority (in the country I presume you mean) win commons votes? Is your question.

    Well not by voting Conservative Mr Redwood, we tried that in 2010 and look what happened. And, not whilst the BBC has Chris whatsit in charge, or any other lefty. I feel sorry for Maria Hutchings, but, if she had been elected she would just be another ‘rebel’, and doesn’t Cameron want to cast you Eurosceptic rebels into outer darkness? Why, I’ve seen no end of articles on how, if it wasn’t for people like you in the Conservatives, Cameron would in by a country mile, he is so popular !!

    Look at it this way. The EU hasn’t done that well in elections this week. Both their ‘patsies’ lost, Cameron and Monti. The Greeks, Spanish and Italians, and I hear even the French, are up in arms – do we hear this in the press or on the BBC? No, we have to get it from the internet !! The people of the continent of Europe are rising, this isn’t going to end with a mere vote for a Eurosceptic party in the commons !! We all know the EU would ‘fix’ any referendum vote.

    The game has changed, and it looks like an increasing majority of British people are realizing that – not enough yet, but rising.

    Add to all that Mr Redwood, have you seen the economy lately, have you seen our living standards? And now we are threatened with higher fuel, energy, tax, food, and God knows what else bills, whilst we see Cameron’s socialists friends having champagne parties at our expense, when they are kicked out of their comfy jobs, and then trot along to find a Gay Marriage to be seen at, just to show how really progressive they are.

    Have you seen our streets, where English can be the foreign language? Have you seen the need to say that Doctors need to speak English – well blow me down, health and safety should at least come into it !! or that a jury failed to get a verdict in the Vickie Price trial because; well, perhaps they were not such ‘peers’ as used to be the case. Add to this crime from crimanls that cannot be deported, and an increasing number of gang grooming and terrorism cases, where the suspects are going to blow us all to kingdom come!!

    Nice place to live, Great Britain in 2013 !!! And Cameron has done what exactly?

    (A few -ed) Lib Dems may be criminals and sex pests, and indeed liars generally – but I think you’ll find we have better things to be angry about !!

    • Mark W
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      English as a second language? I would dearly like one of the arrogant metropolitan elite politicians to have to send their kids to a primary school in Boston. That might change their highminded dinner table chit chat.

  38. Horatio McSherry
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    John, as a small “c” conservative I have to agree with the vast majority of previous contributors: It’s David Cameron. For now. The problem with getting rid of Cameron is that he’ll be replaced by someone cut from pretty much the same cloth (which doesn’t have much big “C” Conservatism in it). It’s how the hierarchy of the traditional three parties are now working. So, better the devil you know, but it’s still not any good, and a very tricky situation to remedy.

    One thing missed by most media this morning is that Labour did absolutely nothing – infact they lost votes – which cheers me greatly. Even with a dead duck Conservative Leader, no-one seems to want Neo Labour back.

  39. merlin
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The best EVER result for UKIP in a by election, the fastest growing political party in Great Britain.

    • P O Pensioner
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      If you’re old enough to remember they said that about the LibDems a few years ago and that was after they had won a by-election! And look what’s happened to them since. I think they won this by-election due to an efficient local party machine and a local known candidate. Mind you they only just won it!

      The problem that the Conservatives have is that they are losing their core vote and their activists are leaving the party in droves. I cannot understand why Cameron and Co decided to aggressively pursue gay marriage legislation when it was not an issue that was part of their election manifesto. It is an issue that effects a very small minority of people who were probably not Tory voters anyway and never likely to be even with this “equality” issue .

      As a lifelong Conservative voter and party worker I do not now see the Conservative Party lead by Cameron as the party that I can support. They look to me like Labour when it was lead by Tony Blair.

      Currently I am not planning to vote in the next election. In the past I have always voted in all elections local, national and Europe and it is a hard habit to break. However, perhaps I may have second thoughts and vote UKIP rather than throw away my democratic right.

  40. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It is possible that Cameron may have achieved the double effect of alienating the Conservative Party core voters and pushed the Conservative Europhiles to vote Libdem. He now offers little to either the committed anti or pro European federalists.

  41. matthu
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    When the Climate Act was passed, by the Labour Government’s own estimate, it was reckoned it would cost £404 billion to implement – £760 per household EVERY YEAR FOR FORTY YEARS.

    463 people voted in favour – just 3 against.

    John, you may have opposed this in principle, but you did not vote against it. Douglas Carswell has had the decency to admit he was wrong not to oppose the bill.

    Every time Ed Davey opens his mouth (and lies about green policies having a net effect of reducing costs for the electorate) he needs to b e called on it. As does David Cameron. Who is going to do it for us in the House of Commons?

    Reply I have always spoken against the dear energy policies.

  42. Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    John, your analysis is faultless. However, what are you going to do about it?

    On this occasion the Conservatives split the eu-sceptic vote.

    It is obvious that the Conservatives and UKIP need to form an electoral pact.

    What is being done in both parties to bring this about?

    If it is left too late, voters may resent losing their favourite Conservative or UKIP candidate and refuse to vote for the preferred candidate. Local associations will be in disarray. Disappointed candidates could be loose cannons.

    Voters and party structures must be prepared years in advance if this pact is going to take shape.

    Surely it is up to you and your colleagues to start negotiating with UKIP right now.

  43. Electro-Kevin
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Tory voters are choosing Ukip in protest. They no longer trust David Cameron’s promises.

    For too long the Tory party has been distanced from its votership. It was Left wing genius to cast anything remotely conservative as being ‘Daily Mail’. In other words nasty, backward and stupid.

    The detoxification of the Tory party is not about casting off policies but casting off the very people that used to support it. So excuse us if we look for something else.

    Detoxification ? The numbers are quite clear for all to see. Few, if any, of the erstwhile Tory/Daily Mail class are voting BNP. That recognition would probably better fit Daily Mirror readers in areas affected most by mass immigration.

  44. Paul H
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I had a quiet bet with myself what the result would be and another one about what line you take in response to that – both would have paid me handsomely had I found someone else to take the bet.

    Mr Redwood, you are clearly a highly intelligent and rational man, and I therefore assume it is only loyalty to your party and colleagues which is blinding you to the fact that it is your party which is dividing the EU-sceptic vote. I do not say this simply because UKIP came second; obviously second/third could have gone either way. It is because your party is adopting a thoroughly dishonest position over Europe which is confusing and dividing the sceptics, many of whom will continue to vote for it out of misguided loyalty.

    Mr Cameron is quite clearly totally untrustworthy on the EU issue, as witnessed by his ready adoption of the small print to get out of his “cast iron” moment. The same tactics will be adopted in 2017 when we have renegotiated the right to determine what colour bananas should be, or some such trivia. More recently, although he has somehow turned it into a personal vindication, he did not initially want even to push for the small cuts in the EU budget that have now been tabled. He is a fully paid-up member of the EU club.

    Forget the personal ratings defence put forward by No. 10. You have to ditch Cameron NOW.

    • brian
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      If you really thought about it you would realise that having a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty after it was ratified would have been a complete waste of time and money.

      • Paul H
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Absolutely not. Parliament is supposed to be sovereign and it wouldn’t be the first time a party to a treaty walked away. If nothing else, a failure to walk away in response to a “no” vote would have rammed the message home about who is now running the show.

  45. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    “…we have another anti referendum federalist elected with under one third of the votes.”

    One can hardly complain about the arithmetic of the result when the “first past the post” voting system was endorsed after a referendum.

  46. Tedgo
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I think the voting public missed a trick in not going for AV when they were given the opportunity in the referendum.

    If AV had been in place we would now have a Conservative or UKIP MP in Eastleigh.

    • Tedgo
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      And as Peter would point out 68% of the Eastleigh electorate would be reasonably happy rather than the current 32%.

    • Bob
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      @Tedgo
      Very true, but maybe AV was not quite the right system to replace FPTP? Perhaps a system based on proportional representation (PR) would be better.

      UKIP is Great Britain’s fourth largest party by electors.

      – Greens have one MP on 285,000 votes
      – SDLP have three MPs on 111,000 votes
      – Plaid Cymru have three MPs on 165,000 votes
      – Scottish Nationalists have six MPs on 491, 000 votes
      – DUP eight MPs on 168,000 votes
      – Sinn Fein five MPs on 171,000 votes.

      So those smaller parties with a total 1,391,000 votes have 26 MPs, and UKIP with 920,000 votes have no MPs, but based on PR deserve at least 17 or 18.

      Anyway, if yesterday is anything to go by, and based on the Tories woeful performance in government, people can now see that a vote for the Tories is a wasted vote and will join the real conservatives next time around.

      It’s time we started ploughing our own furrow instead of ploughing everybody else’s.

  47. Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I am sure that the country does not want the left wing government that we currently have. I am even surer that England wants a right of centre, eu-sceptic government.

    Yet, this morning we had a barrage of BBC left wing propaganda such as a strong BBC campaign for surcharges on alcohol. Our democracy is under attack by overseas quangoes and our own media.

    What is more, many of our institutions have been indoctrinated, and to some extent, infiltrated by socialists and socialist ideas. For example, parts of the legal profession, Scotland Yard, and of course, much of our civil service.

    Some may even say parts of the Conservative Party have been indoctrinated and neutered.

    Our electoral system demands that like-minded parties get together in order to support the democratic wishes of the People. If this does not happen we face national poverty and a bleak and undemocratic future.

  48. Tommy Atkins
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Postal Votes = Widespread Election Fraud by the Left.

    Why hasn’t Cameroon stopped easy postal votes?
    Because he is NOT of the Right.

    • roger
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I agree entirely. Postal voting should only be allowed under extreme circumstances, as was always the case. In allowing this to happen is yet another example that leaves us in despair.

  49. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Correct me if I’m wrong John, but I imagine you were opposed to AV when the referendum was held ? Because that system would have resulted in a anti-EU candidate being elected with no problem.

    • zorro
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      This is a difficult issue now, and I think that PR is looking a bit more attractive, as I am now convinced that a majority Tory government would not have acted differently in practice. It is difficult to argue that a PR type system would not have delivered a more favourable result to the seemingly majority (in this constituency) Eurosceptic vote…..

      John, in response to your question, you need to ease up on the anti UKIP jibes in general and engage more collaboratively with them in working out a strategy to get more Eurosceptic votes into the Commons……..Humble pie will need to be eaten in various corners, and past sins put behind all……..There is a suspicion amongst some commentators that you will put party before country on this issue…….Take a deep breath and prove them wrong. You know what this country desperately needs, the current Conservative leadership will not deliver that. Being loyal to the Conservative part machine beyond reason is not the same as being loyal to Conservative party ideals. When there is a conflict, you know what you must work for in the long run.

      zorro

    • lojolondon
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      UKIP were opposed to AV. They KNOW that AV would be good for UKIP, but they believe it would be bad for the UK, so they said NO. Admirable morality for UK politics.

      • sjb
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        “UKIP’s policy is to support the ‘Yes to AV’ campaign in the forthcoming referendum on reform of the voting system.”
        Reply: Another election UKIP lost

        • Paul
          Posted March 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          re JR’s reply: Another cheap dig at UKIP. The BNP campaigned against AV – are you saying people voted against AV because the BNP were against it? UKIP was divided on AV and really didn’t care about it. It was Labour and the Lib Dems who lost.

          • sjb
            Posted March 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            @Paul
            I am not sure if you mean UKIP members were divided about it, but UKIP’s policy was in favour of AV.
            If you want to check, Google the quoted text.

            btw, I did provide a link to UKIP’s website where I found the quote but this seems to have got lost in moderation.

  50. Gelert
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    A great result. The Lib Dem victory should preserve the coalition with Clegg’s position much safer. Despite their performance Labour are the big winners here – UKIP polling 20 percent will hand Milliband the next election with biggest landslide in British electoral history.

    If the Conservatives are going to stop UKIP they have two choices.

    1. Hold an in/out referendum before 2015 in return for a UKIP pledge not to contest the 2015 election whatever the result of that referendum.

    2. Enter into an electoral alliance with UKIP for the 2015 election.

    On current polling this “Alliance” should win a comfortable majority in 2015.

    I can only see the UKIP challenge getting stronger. No amount of policy tinkering and “promises” from Cameron and Co are going to cut it. Eastleigh is a game changer i.e. the Conservatives are history unless they embrace options 1 or 2. I don’t think Cameron will be able to deliver option 1 which means the conservatives will have to embrace option 2 which will mean ditching Cameron.

    • matthu
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:12 am | Permalink

      Although CP might with advantage try option one simply to consolidate and expose LP and LD opposition to a referendum before the next election?

  51. Road_Hog
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Sorry John, but we just don’t believe Cameron or any MP or candidate when they get tough on the EU or tough on immigration, it just doesn’t wash.

    The Tories under Dave are a one term government, in a coalition at that.

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: “If the Conservatives hadn’t split our vote we would have won.”

  52. Roger Farmer
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    If you are eurosceptic as you infer, why the carping opening remark. You then go on to say you want more MPs in Parliament to join those of you who have voted for an immediate referendum.You should be in praise of the UKIP candidate who came from nowhere to knock the Tory into third place. The writing is on the wall John. Come 2015 there is going to be a big swing behind UKIP and the only Tories left will be the hundred or so who had the guts to vote for a referendum, such as yourself.
    Out in the real world people feel they have been disenfranchised by a Tory party that has become part of LIB/LAB/CON socialism. They now have a distinctly different party they can hang their banner on, and having seen what has been achieved in Eastleigh will do so with greater confidence in larger numbers.
    As Tories your only chance of survival is to tell Cameron to declare an imediate IN/OUT referendum or resign the leadership. Only by doing so before 2015 will he and the Tories retain any credibility, otherwise you are yesterdays chip paper. The stupidity of Cameron in thinking he could promote gay marriage and the spreading of largesse around a largely corrupt world at the expense of his own people is mind boggling. At one time the Tories had a reputation for fiscal tallent, now we know they have none with borrowings soaring beyond the ability of the country to survive.
    Another course you may consider is that in a churchillian way you hundred or so join UKIP and give further drive to the will of the people.

  53. Chris S
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I normally agree with you on almost everything in your blog but on this occasion I think you are way off the mark.

    UKIP policies on Gay Marriage, Immigration and the EU are much more in tune with Conservative voters than the policies pursued by David Cameron.

    I would prefer to remain within the EU as long as we are able to return a lot of powers and responsibilities but I’m coming round to thinking that this is unlikely to be achievable, despite the limited success achieved over the budget.

    The Steamroller that is “Ever Closer Union” is simply unstoppable because Brussels has stacked all the rules in it’s favour. Simply put, they hold all the cards.

    Following on from Eastleigh, UKIP will achieve a lot of success in the local elections in May and will probably gain the largest vote in the Euro election. Under PR they will then be the largest UK party in the European Parliament from next year. This will give them real credibility going into the 2015 election.

    We know they can’t win under the First Past The Post system but they will certainly cost the Conservative party any hope of victory.

    Nigel Farage is an astute politician. Fresh from his success in the Euro Elections he will change his tune on doing a deal with a conservative party which by then will be full of panicking back benchers. David Cameron will be ditched and a new leader elected that will do an electoral deal with UKIP.

    That’s the only hope we have of avoiding five years of a disasterous Lib-Lab coalition led by Ed and Vince.

    I suspect you already know this but aren’t ready to say it in public. Are you moving to make it happen behind the scenes ?

    For all our sakes I hope so.

    • Gewyne
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      “I would prefer to remain within the EU as long as we are able to return a lot of powers and responsibilities but I’m coming round to thinking that this is unlikely to be achievable, despite the limited success achieved over the budget.”

      Daily Politics interview earlier this week was a case of “it is a long time off” “we do not think the UK public will vote to leave” “there will be no renegotiation, as we cannot let EU countries pick and choose from a menu”

      And he is right – if we renegotiate and stay in, other countries will want to as well – the unelected EU commission set the Agenda for Europe – not MEPs, and they won’t let individual countries scupper that (it would be 1000% harder than trying to get civil service reforms in the UK).

      • Chris S
        Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        I completely agree with you.

        But whoever you were quoting from the Daily Politics show was making a dangerously complacent assumption : the British Public might well vote to leave when they hear that Brussels has refused to allow any meaningful renegotiation.

        • matthu
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:21 am | Permalink

          Cameron won’t offer a referendum while negotiations are ‘ongoing’ – even though they might take a decade or more.

          (He has previous on this sort of weasel action and these negotiations will NOT be over by 2015.)

    • lojolondon
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Since Cameron was so rude to UKIP, Farage has refused to deal with him. He never said he will not deal with Tories, he said he will not deal with Cameron. Perhaps all my hopes and dreams could still come true!!

      • Bob
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        @Lojolondon
        “Perhaps all my hopes and dreams could still come true!!”

        The Tory Party has been overrun by career politicians, and they are unlikely to allow in new candidates who do not subscribe to their Common Purpose agenda.

        It’s just a matter of time before their remaining supporters realise that the party they once loved has changed beyond recognition.

        They keep a few traditional conservatives in the party as a bit of camouflage designed to make you think that they are still conservative.

        It’s just too painful for some to admit that the party they’ve devoted themselves to for many years has been deceiving them.

        The conservatives that have moved to ukip have brought with them the knowledge and experience that is enabling ukip to take up where the “Conservative Party” of old left off, and more power to their elbow!

  54. Chris
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    You ask what can be done to “mobilise the Eurosceptic majority effectively so we can win!” I think you have said before that there is not a eurosceptic majority amongst MPs, at least not openly, so you obviously have a problem. However, there is a “demand” for eruosceptism in the country which many Cons MPs are not fulfilling, so the answer is to have MPs who actually represent their constituents more closely. The next problem is that Cameron has been intent on socially engineering the Party to a more left of centre stance, and keeping the UK in the EU (which means that mass immigration, caused by the pull factors that exist in the UK and the push factors which exist in the source countries, will have to be accepted), which is at odds with grassroots. The problem is that the majority of Cons MPs have gone along with this redefinition of the Cons Party – at least that is the impression they have given to the constituents. The consequence of this is the rapid rise of UKIP, which fits the aspirations and ideology of the grassroots (it is also having a Heineken effect, reaching northern city voters, disenchanted Labour and Lib Dem voters, young mothers, and individuals who have “never voted for 30 years”.
    So, what does the Cons Party do? What they should not do is deny that a change is needed, as Michael Gove appeared to confirm on Radio 4 this morning. The remedy is unpalatable for many Cons MPs, but what would undoubtedly revive the fortunes of the Conservative Party and unite the eurosceptics to a point that they would be a formidable force which would save the sovereingty of the UK (and win an election) would be for the Party to renounce David Cameron’s modernising project and replace him with a powerful eurosceptic leader, who has worked in the outside world, and who is bold and radical, not afraid to confront the issues. As Farage stated this morning, his is the only Party which is not afraid to discuss the real issues that worry voters and to acknowledge the causal links between the EU and so many of our problems. Not only that, his is the only Party that is offering the only effective solution to those problems i.e. to leave the EU and negotiate a free trade deal with it instead. This process is outlined in the Lisbon Treaty, so there is no question of suddenly being out of the EU in limbo land. As with the joining process and the “ever closer integration” process of the EU, it is a step by step process, carefully engineered to minimise any initial negative impact.

  55. Alan Wheatley
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I do not see why a split of the so-called “Eurosceptic” vote should come as a surprise, or be in any way a bad result in terms of national politics.

    On the one hand there is a party whose policy is to use a referendum to settle once and for all the UK’s continued membership of the EU, and on the other hand a party whose policy is to use a referendum to settle once and for all the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

    • Corin Vestey
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      And that, in a nutshell, is it.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Well put -spot on.

  56. peter wood
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    With first passed the post and four parties only 26% may be needed to win. The way to prevent that is a more proportional voting system.

    • Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      A few of you have been pushing the PR idea well we were allowed a referendum on that not long ago and guess what we voted against. For my part I voted against because any PR system puts even more power in the hands of the leaders of political parties at a time when we need to wrest power from them and give it to the people.

      • matthu
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:24 am | Permalink

        Absoltely right.

        Never forget, the current political parties control the news median including the BBC – and the EU would also flood the arena with pro-EU propaganda if necessary.

        We need to win on FPTP.

    • Mark
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      You can’t do that when there is only one seat available.

  57. MajorFrustration
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    The time has come for Tory MPs to get their scripts together for post 2015 election as to why they never really thought DC had it in him. I think Gove got it right this morning as regards the failure of the establishment elites – no accountability – mistake after mistake.

  58. Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The reason for what happened is quite simple, the Eurosceptics don’t trust Cameron. His “cast iron” guarantee was made of putty, and means that his promise of renegotiations IF (and its a very big “IF”) he wins the next election is totally worthless. The EU have said they won’t negotiate (repeated again by Van Rompuy yesterday) so that means the promise is meaningless. And a referendum after the negotiations, so no negotiations, no referendum. They’re all weasel words with escape routes. Why not start negotiations now? And a referendum next year?
    Anyway, no politician would want “fruitcakes and nut cases” voting for his party, would they!

  59. Corin Vestey
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    John, I respect your knowledge and judgement and I read this blog every day. You must be aware that my former party and your current one is led by a Europhile (he wants to the UK to remain a full member of the EU, regardless of the caveats and spin that is a Europhile position.) It is not good enough to say vote Tory to avoid pro-EU parties getting in when the leader of the Tory party is on record as saying he wants the UK to stay in. The Tory leadership has a pro-EU position. Of course UKIP will recruit Tory voters in this scenario. Eurosceptism in this country is too advanced to accept the stay-in-and-reform fantasy any longer. If Tories try and face both ways on this in their time honoured fashion, they will pay the price. It is that simple. As a practical half-way house between membership and full independence, only Article 50 and a negotiated segue into the EEA offers any politically expedient way out of this reality for the Right.

  60. OH
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    You may be right but unfortunately the fault lies squarely with the Conservative Party. The arrogant assumption that no matter what was thrown at them, the core vote would always remain because of their unswerving loyalty has now been blown out of the water. Cameron has failed his party and, more importantly therefore, the country in spectacular fashion: if an external enemy of Conservatism had carefully plotted a strategy to bring it down, they could not have done so more comprehensively.

  61. Neil Craig
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Indeed.

    If only the Conservatives didn’t have a leader who had already broken 1 “cast iron” promise of a referendum and who thus cannot expect to be trusted on another.

    If only the Conservatives leader had not deliberately insulted anybody considering voting for UKIP. Each of these means that even if UKIP leaders were to be insane enough to trust to some sort of agreement with the Tories theere is no way our voters, who quite clearly are being drawn from all parties, would follow them.

    If only the Conservative leader was not obviously somebody who would rather the next government was Labour than one sceptical of the EU, or CAGW or free enterprise

    Or if only we had a democratic electoral system whereby which didn’t disenfranchise smaller parties, like the Tories risk becoming.

    So what, if anything, are the Tories going to do about it.

    PS The only real argument the Tories have put against voting UKIP is that it splits the “rightist” vote & can let Labour in. The make no attempt to dispute that our policies are far better.

    Boris seems to have been doing this heavily in Eastleigh. This argument is as immoral as “gimme your wallet or my large friend will beat you up” but potentially persuasive. However when UKIP place ahead of the Tories it leaves the latter morally bankrupt. I hope Boris will make a public apology for trying to get UKIP supporters switch to Tory to “avoid splitting the vote”.

    • matthu
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      Is the reason each CP leader is Eurosceptic in opposition and pro-EU in power some artefact of CP financing? Or media blackmail? I struggle to understand why this is.

  62. oldtimer
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that the EUsceptic vote will continue to be split while Cameron remains leader of the Conservative party (or what is left of it). There will be another nasty shock when the elections for MEPs occur, when I expect UKIP to do well. Clearly it is providing a home both for protest voters (on a variety of issues) and disenchanted former Conservative voters. The outcome seems likely to be another Labour government, more economic mismanagement and, possibly, economic collapse as a consequence. When enough of the electorate recognize the extent of the failure, and the opposition can get its act together, then there is the chance of achieving the reforms necessary to restore the nation to something resembling properity. On present evidence, none of this seems likely to happen during my lifetime.

  63. Normandee
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    UKIP will need a Chancellor of the Exchequer John. It’s not too late you know, a radical shake up is coming, people are more and more realising what a dishonest and corrupt system the EU is, and anyone who supports will get tarred by the same brush, and having proved he can’t be trusted your vote is going to wither.

    a drunk was staggering home, and laid down next to a pig for warmth, a passer by looked at this and said, “you can tell a man who drinks by the company he keeps”, and the pig got up and slowly walked away.

    Reply UKIP would need 326 MPs before it could appoint a Chancellor of the Exchequer. Coming second in a by election does not quite do it.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      The odds of Mr Redwood becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer under UKIP – very slim. The odds of Mr Redwood becoming Chancellor under the Conservatives – less than nil.

    • matthu
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      Maybe UKIP would need fewer than that. After all, CP has fewer members now.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted March 3, 2013 at 1:57 am | Permalink

      The number of MPs that UKIP has at the moment is hardly the issue. It is clear that UKIP’s popular support is still growing. It is also clear, especially since David Cameron’s excellent speech on Europe, that the Conservatives will not be able to govern in coalition with the LibDems after 2015. To get to our magic 43%, we will need to attract most UKIP supporters and some Labour supporters (the current level of Labour support must be ‘soft’ given the way that they governed).

      Let me ask John Redwood this question: “If a UKIP supporter looked at a Conservative manifesto for 2015 that contained only a statement of Mr Cameron’s five principles for negotiation, and if in addition the Conservative candidate was a pro (Federal) European, how would he/she be likely to vote?”. That’s why I have been so consistent in wishing to harden up our negotiating stance and in purging the Conservative candidates list of all pro Europeans. If that negotiating stance were to be fully determined by June 2014, the Party might spare itself a drubbing by UKIP in the MEP elections.

      Reply It is my intention to help create a Conservative Manifesto Eurosceptics can be proud of. It is much more improtant to have one of the two parties that could win an election outright fighting on an OK manifesto, than to have a party with no current MPs fighting on a Manifesto with EU views that strong Eurosceptics prefer. I want to get this problem solved. Others may want to vote for purity, but how does that help if nothing changes following such a vote?

  64. Gewyne
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Maybe if Cameron actually did something to help people !

    Maybe if you abolished Employers National insurance with the proviso that the payroll savings from it goes to the employee – that would give everyone a nice little pay rise, and costs companies nothing.

    Slash the taxes on fuel by 50% – that would bring down prices for all goods, and help motorist out a hell of a lot.

    I currently take home just over £1000 pm – the above would give me over £900 a year in my pocket – in effect an extra months salary or 12% pay rise.

    Forget High speed rail, forget vanity projects like foreign aid budgets that massage politians egos and put fast easy polices in place that benefit everyday working people….. then we might start to believe in you all again – seems politicians forget that a lot of life revolves around money now for families, yet most policies just seem intent on making us fork out more and more for less returns.

  65. Tad Davison
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    This is not really so difficult to understand.

    The pool of Eurosceptic voters is greater than the pr0-EU supporters, but not twice as great. The Euro-sceptic vote was split between the Tories and UKIP, allowing the pro-EU federalists in.

    To break that down further, there always will be die-hard Tories who in their bewilderment, refuse to vote any other way, regardless of being conned by the likes of Major, Hurd, Howe, Clarke, Heseltine and Co. who have deceived them, and sold them down the river.

    Then there are the Euro-realists who are basically Conservative, but are thoroughly fed up with the EU, and feel disenfranchised by the Tory party, refused to be conned any more, so now vote UKIP.

    All this needs, is for the Tories to finally do what is rightly expected of them, and stand up for Britain against the EU monster, but their idea of being strong and resolute, falls well short of everyone else’s. The famous words of Tony Blair ripping into Major, might still apply to the present Tory leader – ‘Weak! Weak! Weak!’

    The Tory hierarchy is just a gutless nonsense! And if UKIP goes from strength to strength, as they appear to be doing, the Tories will have nobody else to blame but themselves. They are the ones who even now, still try to kid everybody they are Eurosceptic, but more and more people are seeing through the façade.

    Yesterday, I received a circular from Mrs. May telling how immigration has been reduced, and lauding it as a success. That is precisely what I mean. Our idea of success is total control of our borders, not a paltry reduction heralded as something to be proud of!

    I don’t often agree with Red Ed Moribund, but he often says in a different context, that the Tories just don’t get it. When applied to this latest poor showing, those words are absolutely right, but to take the party in a different direction, it will take a different leader, with a different agenda.

    Clearly, the Eastleigh by-election has proven one thing beyond any reasonable doubt. The Tories have learned absolutely nothing. Despite being best placed of all three major political parties, they can’t even take advantage of the public’s feelings on the important issues like getting to hell out of the EU, sorting out our borders, getting British people back to work rather than giving jobs to masses of foreigners, clamping down on criminals, and looking after our own elderly and disabled.

    I say good yer UKIP! I recall Major once admitting he got a bloody nose after a heavy by-election defeat, and subsequently got he party all-but wiped out at the 1997 general election that followed. And we’re supposed to have confidence in these people, who can’t even see the wood for the trees!

    Cameron frustrates the hell out of me! He’s going to be complicit in the return of a Labour government, and that will be an unmitigated and possibly an irreversible disaster for Britain.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  66. DeWinterMax
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I totally agree – we do need an EU referendum NOW.

    Cameron is no Conservative and does not deserve loyalty from true conservatives. He obviously shares what is reported as Ken Clarke’s “contemptuous disdain” for the right wing of his party.

    He does not expect to win the 2015 election but sees it merely as a staging post after which he will “purge” the Conservative Parliamentary Party by ensuring reselections “in his own image.”

    I have just heard him speaking about the Eastleigh result which he airily dismisses as a protest vote of no consequence.

    As you yourself have pointed out, there has been no reduction in spending; there have been no cuts in the Public Sector (apart from the Armed Forces which he has taken pleasure in beating to its knees and is now busy kicking to death.)

    With acknowledgement to Saatchi & Saatchi, and taking the phrase in all its interpretations:

    CAMERON ISN’T WORKING.

  67. backofanenvelope
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Anyone who thinks the Eastleigh result was just about the EU is kidding themselves. It was also about:

    Immigration
    Gay Marriage
    Gigantic white windmills
    Rapacious taxation
    Benefits for people who have never contributed to the national pot; many of whom have no intention of ever doing so.
    13 years of war of no benefit to us; waged on behalf of people who don’t like us.
    Pandering to the beliefs of immigrants; people who don’t like us.
    The total unaccountability of public sector organisations.
    The casual attitude towards criminality by some MPs.

    Whatever might be said about UKIP, they are not responsible for any of these things.

  68. Max Dunbar
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Nobody on this diary has a good word to say about Cameron or, for that matter, the Conservative Party as a whole and this is a forum mainly for conservative thoughts and opinions.
    This by-election defeat for the Tories has brought things to a head. It can’t go on like this Mr Redwood. You know that. This is not any ordinary by-election that can be written off as a blip that is of little consequence. Your Party is dying. Our country is rudderless. Cameron looks good on stage and performs well but in essence he is not a conservative. His good qualities count for nothing unfortunately.
    The time has come for you to leave the Tory Party before it is too late. Could you work with Mr Farage? Your personalities and approaches are quite different but may be complementary.

  69. Julian Foster
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    John – You imply that UKIP supporters should have voted for Maria and thereby have elected a Eurosceptic MP. However, as the highly credible Diane James came second and beat Maria, the reverse argument carries more weight, namely that Eurosceptic Tories should all have voted UKIP and not for a party whose leadership is plainly so pro-Europe. A more desirable outcome to Eastleigh would be that all genuinely Eurosceptic Tories now join UKIP. Until and unless that happens, UKIP will continue to attract the real Eurosceptic voters in increasing numbers – and next time they won’t come second!

  70. Mike
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Simple question..

    Could you win your seat back if you resigned from the conservative party and stood for UKIP?

    Mike

    Reply Current polls show UKIP on 8% for a General Election. I have no intention of creating a by election to try – I stood and won as a Eurosceptic Conservative, and I will do as I promised my electors I would do.

  71. Kingbingo
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Do you agree with Dan Hannan that those of us on the right should be looking for a merger between UKIP and the Conservatives? aka:Canada

    Obviously that would require a change of Conservative leadership.

  72. Ken O'Riordan
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    John, may I suggest the following as an answer to the question that you pose ….

    Nigel Farage has said that he will not work with David Cameron … smart man … However I do believe he would work with you …

    Food for thought.

    • matthu
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately I fear many of the media would still be massively opposed to JR. I have just watched Sky press round-up and their news-reader (can’t place him) was particularly sneering about UKIP as was James o’Brien on LBC this morning.

      So in my humble view, not John’s best move just yet.

      • matthu
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink

        John: here’s a thought. Listen to the LBC podcast from approximately 10:00 on Friday morning and offer to appear with James o’Brien to answer his concerns. They may give you a decent amount of time.

        I bet you would get a better audience than Nick Clegg gets.

        • sm
          Posted March 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          LBC: I listen and they frame the debate and control the on off switch fader and the rest. Unfortunately some don’t think bias/censorship happens.

  73. Paul
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative Party has not won an election since 1992. I think you have to face facts John – the Conservative Party is dying under Cameron and Osborne”s leadership. More and more voters are finally realising UKIP is the only party that will control immigration, restore our sovereignty, punish criminals and allow bright children from poor backgrounds reach their potential. The Conservative Party is full of hopeless career politicians who have no idea how the real world works. If your party carries on like this till 2015 you will not only be defeated but defeated heavily. The complacency of the Conservative Party amazes me. Cameron has to go sooner or later – do everyone who cares about this country a favour and make it sooner!

  74. StephenS
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Most centre right voters will be concluding that the lack of boundary reform and lack of any significant economic recovery will impede the Conservative Party from making sufficient gains to win an outright majority in 2015.

    They may also conclude that the next coalition will be between a new leader of the Liberals and the Labour Party, and that even if a coalition between the Liberals and the Conservatives was possible the terms of that agreement would prevent the Conservatives carrying through with the renegotiation/referendum commitment.

    Those centre right voters are probably absolutely fed up with the EU, and the likes of Van Rumpoy and Rehn telling us that we should reform, but not repatriate. We have heard this for decades. We have interference in bankers remuneration agreements with their employers. We have continent wide organised criminal fraud with horsemeat being passed off as beef, and all we get from the EU is that the labelling reqruiements need to be increased.

    Centre right voters taking all the above into account are now thinking – what the hell, its time to start voting with my priniciples. The results are the kinds of swing to UKIP that the Conservatives can only dream of.

    The only thing that could rescue the Conservatives is complete implosion of the Euro before 2015. The situation in Italy could be Cameron’s only chance.

  75. Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Then get your party to commit to a proper referendum! simples.

    or is it?

    also – scrap tuition fees, bring in grammar schools, nursing apprenticeships, scrap trident instead of cutting armed forces, cut the overseas aid budget from nuclear/space enabled countries, stop the near extinction of our fish stocks, introduce marine protection zones, halt unskilled immigration, stop paying benefits to people’s kids overseas back in countries where its easy to fake a birth certificate, liberalise the economy….

    UKIP have long since outgrown the single EU issue. We are now cautious of accepting Tory defectors, you have missed the boat

    • Chris
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Urgent: Mr Redwood, why is your site permitting two people to post as Chris? (There is a third Chris, but identified with an S). I have been signed up to your website for a very long time, and am being attributed with the comment above, which I did not submit. Please could you make sure that the identity of individual posters is protected and is not open to misuse/misrepresentation. You obviously have the emails of the individuals concerned so it is easy to verify.

  76. Mark B
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    The results:

    In 1st place, an EU loving party.

    In 2nd place, a party that owes its existence too the EU.

    In 3rd place, an EU loving party.

    In a really rather distant 4th place, an EU loving party.

    I think people voted on personal issues and decided to give the government (conservatives) a kicking.

    Funny really. That the only party to come out of this, was a party that is, at its core, so anti-British it makes one weep.

  77. David Saunders
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    OK, JR, so what are you and other eurosceptic Tories going to do about it?

    Eastleigh Conservative minded voters sussed that Cameron is not a Conservative so voted for someone who has these values. No compelling narrative from the current leadership, brushing of (or trying to) obvious deep seated discontent from core Tory voters.
    Cameron’s lease must be short as time is running out for a new leader to make an impact.

  78. Antisthenes
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    UKIP is seen as a one issue party when a quick perusal of their manifesto tells quite a different story. Much in the manifesto reads like now jettisoned Conservative core values. Granted the manifesto is in part naive and probably not properly costed but if the content leaks out to natural Conservative voters it maybe Eastleigh will not be a one off. Eastleigh probably will only be a one off because Nigel Farage and his party do not have the where with all to capitalise on it unless some heavy weights from the Conservative party defect to them. One thing the bye election says is that the Conservatives have to discard their social democratic clothing and don more right wing ones. To do this it is most important that that the heir to Blair and tree and hoody hugging Conservative leader goes.

  79. David Burch
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I thinks all three main parties should be concerned about the result. It basically shows the Conservatives as unpopular (mid term) with a fall of 13.96%, Ditto for the Liberal Democrats who are also unpopular with a fall of 14.4% and Labour not picking up any of the fall in support for the other two. Protest votes have traditional gone from the party of Government to one of the other two main parties. That has not happened here. If I were UKIP I would be looking to win some Conservative or Liberal Democrat seats, however other parties such as the Greens (to add to their one), Respect, BNP and others might look to break through.

    Support for the main parties is fragmenting and it not just over Europe. Something is wrong with democracy in the UK and trust in politicians to sort out of massive budget deficit. It is not only the Consevative vote which is fragmenting, there will be likely similar numbers of Liberal Democrat and Labour voters who are searching for an alternative. UKIP is but one of a few “viable” ones to place the X next to.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Well, for what it’s worth, which may not be that much, here’s a graphic based on a small poll by Lord Ashcroft:

      http://order-order.com/2013/03/01/voters-jump-from-main-three-to-ukip/

      It shows all three of the old parties losing support to UKIP; the Tories were hit the hardest with 22% of their 2010 voters switching to UKIP, the LibDems next with a 19% loss and Labour with a 17% loss.

      As Labour maintained almost exactly the same share of the vote as in 2010, the obvious conclusion is that its losses to UKIP must have been made up by gains from the two coalition parties.

      • sjb
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        It was a very good result for UKIP, but it is perhaps worth noting that 40% of the UKIP voters in the sample (n=760) said they had done so “tactically to try and prevent another party from winning”.[1] And that 10% of the UKIP voters would “probably” vote Conservative in 2015 as would 7% of those that voted LibDem.[2]

        [1] http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2013/03/we-know-how-eastleigh-voted-heres-why/
        [2] Ibid.

  80. AJAX
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    We’re not “Eurosceptic” like you are – i.e. we have some doubts about the EU project but are willing to go along with it, we want out.

    The Conservative Party is a European Union enabler & has been for the last 4 decades.

    UKIP just missed the mark this time but it’ll be back.

  81. Normandee
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I see that under conservative rules of free speech another one of my posts has disappeared. It’s disappointing to also discover that what you call opposing certain things actually means abstaining not voting against. It is no wonder that the conservative party is not trusted anymore when even the people we thought we could rely on are skewing the truth.

    • Chris
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Likewise with posts disappearing. Also now someone is posting as me. Not a very secure website at the moment.

    • Chris
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Mine keep disappearing so will try again to ask Mr Redwood if he can do something to remedy the situation. Also a post attributed to me has also appeared on this website and is nothing to do with me (starts “So get your party to commit…”), so someone is using my ID to post their own comments. The site is obviously not secure at the moment, so can you possibly sort that out also please?

      Reply I have asked the webmaster to improve it. I do not have the technical expertise to fix these matters.

      • Sidney Falco
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        Please ask the people who do your web site changes to look into using Disqus.

        It would solve all these problems and you can still have pre-publication authorisation if you want.

        Both Hannan and Carswell use it.

        I’m sure it will increase the number of contributors also.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          Please don’t move to the version of Disqus used for the Telegraph website including Daniel Hannan’s blog, as that breaks up the stream of comments into separate pages of 25 and is an absolute pain. Here I can easily scroll up and down nearly 300 comments on one page, there it requires constant and slow page changes.

          • Bob
            Posted March 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            @Mr Redwood
            “Left Foot Forward” has a very user friendly blog platform.
            Couldn’t you ask your webmaster to have a look and see if he can you one like it?

  82. Bert Young
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    The Eastleigh result was a surprise . I certainly did not expect a LibDem victory but , I did expect UKIP to do well . The outcome is a wake up call for the Conservatives who must accept that the protest is against the Conservative leadership ; as Farage said ” Cameron is not a man who can be trusted”. Clearly UKIP will not do a deal with the Conservatives under Cameron , and a deal with UKIP is essential . The most honourable thing would be for Cameron to resign and to do so quickly . I know this recommendation will not be palatable to you Dr. JR , but the alternative will be a long drawn out uncertainty followed by a Conservative defeat in the next General Election .

  83. brhindthefrogs
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the Eastleigh electorate had more important issues determining their votes than membership of the EU. Many of them see the conservative party failing to do enough to improve the current ecnomic situation. The conservatives are seen as adjusting the tax regime to the benefit of the rich (50% tax issue) and big business (reduction in corporation tax) rather than helping the poor and unemployed. Using the same money to reduce NI both employer and employee would have been much more effective. A reduction in employers NI would have given a similar message to companies looking to invest from abroad while at the same time reducing the pressure on unemployment and improving the cash flow of small companies.

    • Bob
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      @brhindthefrogs (or should it be behindthefrogs?)

      The reduction of the 50% tax rate was not done to reduce the amount of tax received, quite the opposite in fact.

      The recent downgrade of the UK’s credit rating and subsequent collapse of the value of the pound means that import costs of have risen by 5%. This will have to be reflected in the prices of commodities such as oil and foodstuffs. So more inflation will result, and it becomes a vicious circle as the UK continues to become less competitive.

      This could have been avoided with a little prudence from the Chancer Chancellor.

  84. Fedz
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Cameron has been given more than a fair chance, and it’s not happening John; the longer this playing for time approach continues the less the British have to negotiate with.

  85. Duncan
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    John – join us in UKIP – the country needs you. Forget about the Tory’s – with Cameron at its head the party is a lost cause.

    • Bob
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      @Duncan

      Yes, I think you’re right. Mr Redwood’s defection could be the catalyst we need at this time to move things in the right direction.

      Reply I am not about to defect. The future policy of the Conservative party on these mighty matters seems to me to be the more important priority, than joining a party which still has no MPs and is on 8% of the vote in national polls.

      • Catalpa
        Posted March 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Reply to Reply:

        Mr Redwood, with Cameron in charge you will not be able to get the policy changes that you require. Also, if by some miracle you do get them and the CP wins the next election, then Cameron will renege on those policies.

        When you finally decide that the CP is unreformable and decide that UKIP is worth defecting to, it will be too late because UKIP will not want people who are just jumping on the bandwagon.

        reply Thanks for the advice. Mr Cameron will keep to Manifesto promsies if he wins a majority at the next election – and Conservative MPs will make sure he does.

        • Catalpa
          Posted March 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          Will they? – like the Tax breaks for marriage and the increase in IHT?

  86. Mike Rolph
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, reading your blogs is a daily essential, your grasp of economic data and its influence on our lives makes many of us wonder why DC needs Osbourne and his team from the treasury and OBR ( at great expense ) to get things so wrong when you are more accurate, yet seemingly sidelined.
    To quote from your book ,The Death of Britian ” In the name of the people, the people’s right to a voice and to justice is being damaged. More and more decisions are being made behind closed doors, in quangos and in Brussels. There is still time to save the country – and it is worth saving.” This was written in opposition, but what has changed? Most of the quangos lead by the left, still exist, Brussels still rules, loss of freedom to be compounded with more secret courts, Establishment failure still rewarded, and the guilty protected, massive financial fraud goes on unopposed mischaracterised as miss selling and rigging as if they were mere slip-ups and guess who pays.
    We have developed a political elite who wish to turn the destruction of Britian into a family affair the Straws and Bliars being the tip of the iceberg, people without character or substance and who in earlier times would end up doing the Spithead hornpipe.
    I appreciate the work you have done to make things better, but I fear that your efforts to change the party will be as effective as the efforts to change the EU and for that reason after 50 years of voting conservative I have joined UKIP.

  87. John B
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    You just don’t get it Mr Redwood along with the rest of the political oligarchs.

    The vote is not to endorse the whims of the political class, it is to make them accountable.

    Since Cameron and his clique do not believe they should be accountableand they get on and do what they like, not what those they supposedly represent like, then Conservatives are saying do it our way or not at all.

    Letting the Lib Dumbs in is not the point; kicking Cameron out is.

    It is the only way Conservatives can get his attention short of taking up arms, which is what voting is intended to avoid.

  88. Mark
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Off topic:

    My anti-virus software reports it has been blocking cookie setting attempts by the Silktide site that this site uses for handling “privacy settings” since about 10 days ago. This may explain some of the problems a number of us have been experiencing with disappearing posts.

    • matthu
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:02 am | Permalink

      I suspect that if you do not specifically allow cookies, then the site cannot track your username and prevent other users making use of it at the same time. Also, if the site relies on being able to use cookies, and you have not allowed this, you may experience issues which could be interpreted by your software as “attacks”. Just guessing here.

  89. Graham Swift
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    There are 80 Conservative MPs who ignored Cameron’s bully boy tactics. Would be great if they all announced that tbey were changing to UKIP.

    • matthu
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:04 am | Permalink

      This needs to be done close to an election … not a couple of years before?

      • matthu
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:17 am | Permalink

        Although … it would undoubtedly provoke an immediate election. What am I thinking? Unfortunately the logistics of doing it all simultaneously would prove impossible.

  90. Rods
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    We are seeing a change not just in the UK but if Italy is anything to go by with other EU countries, where the Eurosceptic party took 20% of the vote and the EU stooge party lead my Mario Monti getting less than 10%.

    The full implementation of the Libon treaty comes into effect on 1st January 2014, where qualified majority voting applies to many new areas. Once it is in the news that the UK is isolated and outvoted on major issues that will have even more major effects on UK governance on a daily and weekly basis and will continue to have a bigger and bigger effect on our daily lives, people will start to realise what many of us have seen for a long time, the the UK Parliament is little more than a town council when it comes to real powers, where they just nod through rafts of new left-wing eco-green anti-competitive EU clap trap, sorry Directives. The closing of our coal fired power stations, insurance equality and interference in employer-employee contracts in private companies over the bankers bonuses are just a few current issues. This is all going to play into UKIP’s hands with an increased vote at the next General Election.

    With the EU out of jealousy determined to kill London as Europe’s financial centre, the vote this week is just the start in making EU laws to make all EU countries uncompetitive for global banks, that they will have no choice but to start relocating their headquarters and trading centres elsewhere. There must be a lot of very happy people in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and New York this week, knowing that much new business is heading in their direction. My guess will be that HSBC will be the first major bank to change its headquarters to Hong Kong. Let us also not forget that the ineffective tripartite regulation of Banks by the FSA, BOE and Treasury was forced upon the UK by the EU as part of the EU wide liberalization of financial services and common compliance rules. Much like the horse meat scandal again the EU have created another very bureaucratic system that in reality just doesn’t work.

    Where this country is so reliant on financial services, this will just continue to diminish our economy as a percentage of the worlds economy, with the smallest loser currently in Europe being Germany and therefore the continued rise of German Hegemony.

    I think with the growing momentum of UKIP and if Italy anything to go by, where the Beppo party increasing rather than diminishing their percentage of votes at their recent national elections, I think the same will apply to UKIP. In Eastleigh UKIP took 14% of the votes off both the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

    Personally, where we had a step change in the political landscape just over 100 years a go with the emergence of the Labour party, I think the same is happening with UKIP as they are the only right of centre party left in our politics. The LibLabCons are all left of centre parties these days, which shows how far they have drifted to the left, much of this through socialism by the backdoor EU directives. UKIP only stands where the Conservative party did in the 1980’s where they used to be a right of centre party.

    There are many people in the North of England who will never vote Conservative over what happened to the old nationalised industries, particularly coal mining and the effects this has had on all manufacturing in what used to be our industrial heartland. I think what happened with UKIP getting second places in elections earlier in the year, will be repeated, so don’t be surprised if the first UKIP MP is in a northern constituency.

    The big loser in this new order will be the Conservatives, who will become a fringe party after 2015, much like the Liberals became just after the WWI with Labour being the major beneficiaries. The Liberal party has never recovered and I don’t think the Conservatives ever will either.

    Just ask yourself the simple question, what is the point of the Conservative party in its current form? If you want socialism vote for the real thing Labour, if your want eco-socialism vote LimpDems, if your want a right of centre nationalist party then it is UKIP.

    Instead of David Cameron just dismissing UKIP coming second as a protest vote, he should be asking the question, where he has moved the Conservatives to a hairs-width of the Labour party, what is the point of the Conservatives? The simple answer is that there isn’t any that I can see and that is his challenge and as somebody with no principals and vision apart from wanting power, his focus groups aren’t going to give him the answers. He has driven the Conservative party artic into an electoral Cul de sac where there is no reverse gear or place to turn around.

    John as one of the more senior MPs, yours and like minded MP’s challenge is how do you make your party relevant between now and 2015. Time, acts rather than spin and good will are not on your side as we don’t believe your party anymore over Europe, the economy and many other issues. Dave’s cast-iron guarantee over a referendum and his back tracking, was the point you lost me as a livelong Conservative voter, where I gave your party the benefit of the doubt at the last election, where I’ve never trusted Cameron or Osborne, never again.

    Another big problem for the Conservatives is Cameron’s rudeness towards UKIP, so they won’t form a pact to stop the splitting of the right-wing vote, which is unfortunate as the Liberal party did just that with Labour in 1912 which helped them retain power. How your party approaches this issue will probably decide whether there is a Conservative-UKIP coalition after 2015 or a Labour-LibDem one.

    Previous efforts by the Conservatives on trying to portray a UKIP vote as a wasted one are not working and most UKIP voters that I know, would rather have another Labour Government and accept this is probably going to happen, than betray their principles and vote for the current Conservative party, which they see as Labour-Lite. With current Conservative leadership being very left-wing and most of the major positions filled with like mined people the right wing of the party has been sidelined, so as part of that wing, how are you going to get your hands on some of the party’s levers again?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      “The full implementation of the Libon treaty comes into effect on 1st January 2014, where qualified majority voting applies to many new areas.”

      That is not correct; the QMV system will change, but it will not apply to any new areas.

  91. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    The Tory party is led by a wet liberal, that is the problem not the members.

  92. Graham Swift
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I thought Heath was a disaster and also a traitor (and quite likely a Cyril Smith ) , but Cameron is a complete disaster. He is leading the party into oblivion anf a wipe out at the next General Election.

    • zorro
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Wow….got that one through moderation…..

      zorro

  93. CHRISTOPHER WHITE
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    This is not a matter for despair at all. DC is a political realist with a huge blindspot where UKIP is concerned. He now has to ‘get real’ about UKIP or he will be replaced.
    This is the BEST result for Eurosceptics ever and, even if there is now some sanity in EZ policy making, because of time-lags there will be more reports of economic/political turmoil in EZ right up to 2015 election.
    LD lost 1/3 votes – LAB same (v bad news for E M) so mathematically the LD votes must have gone to UKIP – indicates that 1/3 LD vote in 2010 was ‘a plague on both your houses’ – LD switching to LAB might not be as bad as thought – if UKIP voters switch back to Tories have UNITED R & divided L – 2015 is doable.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Actually Labour maintained almost exactly the same share of the votes as in 2010, presumably because losses to UKIP were cancelled by gains from the Tories and the LibDems, the two governing parties.

  94. James Reade
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    The conviction is astounding, that every single voter for the Tories and UKIP wants us out of the EU – really? Did you ask each and every one of them?

    Do you not think it is entirely possible that (a) tactical voting took place, and/or (b) that some voters hold their nose with regard certain issues and vote anyhow for a candidate?

    Either way, even if what you assert is true, there’s no real point bemoaning the system. After all, I don’t think you were a keen enthusiast for any alternate voting type mechanism when that opportunity came around, were you?

    Which says that if the Tories and UKIP are single issue parties (get us out of the EU), then you have a problem, notably that you’re divided on that single issue. How can that possibly happen?

  95. Wokingham mum's
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    David Cameron and George Osborne … Asset or liability in this election? Liability.
    Big Society – Tosh
    Education & NHS – uncertainty & Confusion
    Immigration, Weak & indecisive
    MOD & Transport – Mismanaged & inept
    Benefit Cuts – Badly timed & sold
    Tuition Fees & Child allowance – unforgiven & hated grrrrrr
    Gay Marriage – Who cares
    Economy – time to stop blaming the mess inherited, bored with that excuse now, the mess is even bigger now and after 2 years a conservative mess.
    Europe – not trusted
    Energy – misguided
    Levison – climb down & cover up
    Growth – where
    Jobs – not enough
    Investment – more needed
    Business – hindered & staved of investment & bank support
    Banks – protected & self interested
    Cameron – Agitated & desperate
    George Osborne – arrogant & detached

    • James Reade
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know though that on immigration, your party has decided to persecute one of our most successful exporters, our higher education system, and has done remarkably well at stifling our exports!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        You mean imports not exports, imports of economic migrants claiming to be students in order to blag their way into our country.

        And it is “our” country, jointly possessed by all its citizens and not just those who profit from facilitating mass immigration.

  96. Wokingham mum's
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Just thought of another one – we’re on a roll
    Cut backs – To hard to fast

    • Andy
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      Cut backs – Did not happen
      Education Standards – Poor (For example the use of “to” instead of “too” in a simple sentence.)

      • Sidney Falco
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Chuckle!

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Wokingham Mums

      Was with you most of the way until you made the error of:

      Cutbacks Too hard too fast.

      This seems to contradict your earlier listing of the economy and spending (increased debt)

      If cut backs are too hard and too fast, then our debt/borrowings (of which you also complain) would be even higher with slower and less cutbacks.

      Yes understand you cannot blame Labour forever, but it takes a long time to turn excessive, preplanned expenditure around and that is exactly what Gordon Brown did he preplanned and locked in excessive expenditure for YEARS in ADVANCE.

      Liken the above to a son or daughter who got themselves into massive debt with credit agreements and credit cards.
      Unless you pay it off for them, ask yourself how long would it take them to get out of the mess, and would they need to cut some expenditure on other things to do so.

      The only other solution is to go bankrupt and clear all the debts in one go, but lose all that they have, and gain a poor credit rating for the future.

      Like you I think the Conservatives have been poor in Government, very poor indeed, but be careful what you wish for, another like Brown could wipe us all out financially.

      The greatest shame is that our host and MP has been sidelined by Cameron.

      A fellow Wokingham constituant.

      • James Reade
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Worth pointing out that you, along with John, appear to ignore the fact the economy has for much of the current government, been shrinking, meaning that the deficit will get worse regardless of what the government does (unless you advocate no unemployment benefits and a non-progressive tax system?).

        So your “evidence” regarding the supposed absence of cuts is bogus.

        Reply: You ignore the cyclically adjusted figures I show. The economy is stronger today than at the depth of recession in 2008-9, and has created a lot of new jobs.

        • alan jutson
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          James

          Perhaps the economy is shrinking because of the increases in taxation made by this government.

          If people have lower disposable incomes then they cannot spend as much.

          I thought the policy was to be 80% cuts 20% Tax rises to pay for dear Gordons deficit, but it seems it is not quite like this in reality.

          I have less money (income) now than I did a few years ago, so I spend less, simples.

      • Wokingham mum's
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Cut’s! there have been cuts, Peter has been robbed to pay Paul ie.
        Tax revenues have been lost from lost jobs and paid as unemployment benefits. Welfare and aid is about to be cut to pay for defence.

        If your in debt the answer is to increase work to earn more to pay the debt. Not borrow more to pay the debt. Cuts help but you may need to spend to invest or train to earn more.

        Agreed Cameron has ignored the true conservatives in his party and in doing so turn the party into the David Cameron PR Party.

        As for to and too we are a product of our state education where grammar was not a priority and still is not.

        • alan jutson
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          Wokingham Mums

          Yes I agree there have been SOME cuts.

          The Defence Budget has been savaged, so I do not understand your comment about propping it up with Welfare and Aid, both of which have shown increased spending.

          Yes of course one answer to get out of personal debt is to work harder, but government does not get its money from working at all.
          It gets its money from the people who work and pay taxes, so its only way to increase its income, is to tax us all more.

          Thus if you do not want to be taxed more, you have to have the Government spend less, or be more efficient.
          So far the Government and the one before it has done neither of the above.

  97. Peter Davies
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t help when a party leader goes on TV calling UKIP “closet racists”, the result being you end up with 2 parties at war with each other even though most of the Tories want the same thing

  98. David Williams
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    The Conservatives and UKIP will have to join forces, otherwise Labour will win the 2015 general election.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Labour will win the next election either outright or go into coalition with the Libdems regardless of what the Tories or UKIP do – and that might just lead to the death of the Tory party, which has to happen before a me party of the right can truly emerge. But I fear it might be too late by then.

  99. Scaroth
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    John highlights a genuine dilemma here.

    We now have two mainstream parties, both of whose voters are profoundly eurosceptic – even if the leadership of one of them is avowedly not – currently splitting the anti-EU vote.

    The net result in those areas like Eastleigh where Labour and the LibDems are not in direct competition, on account of the vagaries of our electoral system, will be more eurofederalist Labour and LibDem MPs returned to Westminster. That is not going to help.

    One solution at the next general election is for UKIP not to contest those seats with a genuine Eurosceptic in place – a Phillip Davies, an Austin Mitchell, a Kate Hoey or a Douglas Carswell, for example, irrespective of their parties – and to concentrate their efforts and lines of attack on ousting those elements of the Conservative Party which are unashamedly pro-government from Brussels.

    This is not a party political point: it is far too important. The ultimate objective should be to fill the House of Commons with a majority of anti-Brussels MPs of whichever party. Once that point has been reached, leaving the EU becomes a reality.

    • Keith
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      It is a great pity then that most of the Eurosceptic wing of the Tory party, including Redwood, opposed the introduction of AV. On the Europe issue more than any other, the AV voting system could have delivered a Eurosceptic MP for constituencies like Eastleigh – but, because the Tory vote took support away from UKIP and allowed the LibDems in by the back door, this couldn’t be delivered under FPTP.!

      Reply: I voted against AV on principle. I think we need single constituency MPs who are the most accountable, and that the person with the most votes should win. I do not see that AV would have necessarily have allowed the UKIP victory some of you wanted. The Labour and Independent votes may well have gone to the Lib Dems, and some Consevatives would not have given a second preference to UKIP owing to the way UKIP often behave towards Conservatives.

      • R.G.
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        “some Consevatives would not have given a second preference to UKIP owing to the way UKIP often behave towards Conservatives. ”

        Like calling them fruitcakes, nutcases and closet racists you mean? Oh no that was the other way around wasn’t it. Skirts very closely the reefs of hypocrisy there Mr. Redwood.

        Reply: I am offering analysis – why do UKIPers personalise everything so much? I have never myself used such terms to describe UKIP voters. Your immediate personal attack illustrates the point I am making.

        • R.G.
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Come, come. That was not a personal attack, I didn’t say that you personally had used such terms. Your party leader certainly has though, hasn’t he? And commentators on a number of conservative sites are less than conciliatory in there response to UKIP also.

        • cosmic
          Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          Cameron went out of his way to offend UKIP, not realising (or not caring) that much of his support was sympathetic to UKIP. That was when the discovery of UKIP began on ConservativeHome. “The lost tribe of the Conservative Party”, “I didn’t move away from the Conservative Party, they moved away from me”, etc.

          If he’d had any sense he wouldn’t have been drawn to comment on UKIP. As it is, he’s insulted much of the core vote. Furthermore, he hasn’t apologised for the insult, so clearly he’s found it expedient to put out some words, which people take as just words which fool no one.,

          Now Labour endlessly abuse their core vote and manipulate them shamelessly, but they’d never call them “cloth capped (fools-ed)”, even though that’s the way they treat them.

          Cameron’s a huge liability for the Conservatives.

      • sjb
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        JR’s reply: I think we need single constituency MPs who are the most accountable [...]

        The trouble is you generally have to wait 4-5 years before you can vote them out!

        Wouldn’t it be better to have larger constituencies (pop: 500,000 with, say, three MPs? That way if MP #1 turned out to be like Alan Clark the constituent could then take his/her matter to one of the other MPs. Also, the competitive aspect would surely lead to good service.

        • Catalpa
          Posted March 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          I agree with you 100%. I have a europhile MP and all my concerns about the EU are patronisingly dismissed. I would like to have a choice of MP to express my concerns to, so that I have a chance of finding an MP who agrees with me.

          It works well at my local health centre, where there are several doctors. If I don’t like one of the doctors for whatever reason, then next time I can book an appointment with a different doctor.

          I suggest combined constituencies based on the Counties, with PR used within each County to elect the same number of MPs as at present.

  100. Ray H
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Firstly, I do not see the Conservatives getting rid of Cameron before 2015 because they know that if they did, it would also split the coalition and force an early election. The Lib Dems also now have no reason to split the coalition, having apparently done fairly well despite it. I also do not believe Cameron at all on an EU referendum related to the UK. However, what I do see is widespread political apathy and confusion among the UK electorate, partly brought about by governments downright dishonesty over issues such as the NHS, europe, immigration and banking all backed up by the mainstream media.
    I also think what is seen by many of the electorate is there’s not the slightest inclination to do anything other than cling on to what they have got by fair and foul means. One of the issues for Nigel Farage is that UKIP lacks credibility as a real alternative across the country, even though they have done so well in Eastleigh. Perhaps now is the time as another post has put it that MPs need to nail their eurosceptic colours to the mast even if it means joining UKIP to bring about change for the UK. For me personally, I like Nigel Farage for the way he spells it out regarding what is right for this country whether it be immigration, foreign aid, payments to the EU etc. I have voted conservative in the past, but no more. It’s UKIP for me as they represent what is right for the UK and its people. We want Britain back!

    • matthu
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      I think prospective UKIP switchers need to bide their time while UKIP gains momentum precisely in order NOT to provoke an early election. The time to do it is after the next MEP elections. Or possibly just before …

  101. uanime5
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Both the Conservative and the UKIP candidate made clear they find our current relationship with the EU unacceptable. They both wanted a referendum to allow the British people to vote No to staying in the EU. Between them they got 53% of the vote. Instead Eastleigh has a Liberal Democrat MP who opposes giving us that vote.

    If only there was a voting system where someone could give their vote to an alternate party if their first choice didn’t win. Oh wait it’s called the Alternative Vote and the Conservatives campaigned against it. Oh the irony.

    For those interested here are the results of the polls for the major parties. Most of the votes the Lib Dems and Conservatives lost went to UKIP, though Labour also gained some votes.

    Mike Thornton (LD) 13,342 (32.06%, -14.48%)

    Diane James (UKIP) 11,571 (27.80%, +24.20%)

    Maria Hutchings (C) 10,559 (25.37%, -13.96%)

    John O’Farrell (Lab) 4,088 (9.82%, +0.22%)

    LD majority 1,771 (4.26%); 19.34% swing LD to UKIP

    Electorate 79,004

    Turnout 41,616 (52.68%, -16.61%)

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/humiliated-yet-defiant-conservatives-say-they-wont-change-direction-despite-coming-third-behind-ukip-and-lib-dems-in-eastleigh-byelection-8515953.html

    Also the Government’s NHS reforms may fail as GP are refusing to join CCGs.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9901775/GPs-will-desert-if-rules-on-competition-in-NHS-are-not-changed-warns-reform-doctor.html

    • matthu
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:26 am | Permalink

      If we had AV on a countrywide basis (and not just in Eastleigh) it would be like trying to operate a massive multilateral coalition. And look where that is getting “us”. We have (had?) the prospect of a mansion tax being tabled despite opposition of the largest party.

      Not that we haven’t had gay marriage tabled despite similar opposition – but that is for a completely different reason.

      • uanime5
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        There’d only be a massive multilateral coalition if AV resulted in a large number of independents getting elected. Also the European Parliament has show that a Parliament made up of hundreds of small parties is viable because these small parties band together with other like minded parties to form large groups. So even if AV just resulted in independent parties getting elected the UK would function just fine.

        Also opposition from the largest party doesn’t make something immoral. In a democracy the majority decides what becomes law, not the largest minority.

  102. Vanessa
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    You may think that your candidate is eu-sceptic but your party is not and your leader is a liar and is incapable of keeping any “cast-iron” promise or any other sort of promise that he makes. Is it any wonder we are fed up with being lied to and are now voting for another party (admittedly not tried or tested) but one which has not fleeced us for your expenses, pensions and travel and means what it says on the EU.
    If your party started talking about ARTICLE 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (which says we have to say we will leave) then we can negotiate in the interests of this country and start making our own laws on tax etc. then we may start to listen. Until that time, you are consigned to the dustbin with the other two main parties. It’s your choice.

  103. Chris
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    My comment seems to have been edited out or lost, so to try again:
    You ask, Mr Redwood, what can be done to “mobilise the Eurosceptic majority effectively so we can win!” I think you have said before that there is not a eurosceptic majority amongst MPs, at least not openly, so you obviously have a problem. However, there is a “demand” for eruosceptism in the country which many Cons MPs are not fulfilling, so the answer is to have MPs who actually represent their constituents more closely. The next problem is that Cameron has been intent on socially engineering the Party to a more left of centre stance, and keeping the UK in the EU (which means that mass immigration, caused by the pull factors that exist in the UK and the push factors which exist in the source countries, will have to be accepted), which is at odds with grassroots. The problem is that the majority of Cons MPs have gone along with this redefinition of the Cons Party – at least that is the impression they have given to the constituents.

    The consequence of this is the rapid rise of UKIP, which fits the aspirations and ideology of the grassroots (it is also having a Heineken effect, reaching northern city voters, disenchanted Labour and Lib Dem voters, young mothers, and individuals who have “never voted for 30 years”.

    So, what does the Cons Party do? What they should not do is deny that a change is needed, as Michael Gove appeared to confirm on Radio 4 this morning. The remedy is unpalatable for many Cons MPs, but what would undoubtedly revive the fortunes of the Conservative Party and unite the eurosceptics to a point that they would be a formidable force which would save the sovereingty of the UK (and win an election) would be for the Party to renounce David Cameron’s modernising project and replace him with a powerful eurosceptic leader, who has worked in the outside world, and who is bold and radical, not afraid to confront the issues.

    As Farage stated this morning, his is the only Party which is not afraid to discuss the real issues that worry voters and to acknowledge the causal links between the EU and so many of our problems. Not only that, his is the only Party that is offering the only effective solution to those problems i.e. to leave the EU and negotiate a free trade deal with it instead. This process is outlined in the Lisbon Treaty, so there is no question of suddenly being out of the EU in limbo land. As with the joining process and the “ever closer integration” process of the EU, it is a step by step process, carefully engineered to minimise any initial negative impact.

  104. Roger Farmer
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Where is my contribution. Are you censoring those that don’t quite appeal to you

    Reply No I do nto do that as you should see from the many I accept. I am finding the volume high this week when I am very busy on other things, and some are very long, with references that need checking or allegations that need toning down.

  105. Mark
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    test

  106. James
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    John,

    People throughout Europe have lost faith with the ‘traditional parties’. Political life has been taken over by career politicians who religiously stay ‘on message’ in order to keep their sinecure. Anyone with an independent thought is slapped down by the ‘party police’. The Spanish word for these people is ‘pitufo': a splendidly descriptive word too. That’s why Beppe Grillo got over 25% of the vote in Italy. People are totally fed up with the lies, incompetence, and corruption of politicians. Cameron and Osborne are totally out-of-touch with the mainstream electorate. Ed Milliband is a joke, and Clegg is an accident that has already happened. So who’s left to vote for? Farage is an incredibly engaging commentator on Europe, but UKIP will never win an election. Instinctively, I believe in minimum interference from ‘government’ in the affairs of a country: individuals not government create wealth. None of the 3 main parties propose this. The solution? A new party which removes the EU from law-making in the UK, a low -tax environment, and a government which trusts the people to make their own choices. Socialists hate this approach because they want to control every aspect of our lives. Come on John, surely it’s time for you to head up such a party.

  107. waramess
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    The Conservatives have forgotten in their clever strategy for the centre ground that the population of the UK veers to the right of the economic spectrum. Give them no choice then the tribalists amongst them will continue to vote for their party regardless of the policies but the free thinkers will probably not vote.

    Now they have a choice.

  108. Colin Adkins
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    The Tory party lead by Cameron and most of his acolytes is close to collapse because of their policy of courting the loony left and taking their own core support for granted or worse.
    Net result is many of the core conservative supporters have given up. Cameron has made clear that he doesn’t want them and now he hasn’t. The people he courts have no need of him because they are better of with their natural parties of Labour and Liberal.
    Some examples of his betrayal are.
    Gay Marriage
    Lunatic green policies raising energy costs.
    The above inevitably exporting energy intensive jobs to parts of the world were they are actually concerned about their economies.
    Failure of Cameron to give any pretence of understanding of economics (ie claim that debt is being reduced)
    Failure to make any real reduction in government expenditure.
    Steadily destroying the Conservative party on the ground. Eastleigh is far from unusual in having few workers in the constituency.
    I could go on and on, I just can’t understand why anyone is at all surprised at how badly the party is doing.
    It looks to me as Cameron will go down in history as the man who consigned the party to oblivion.

  109. Alasdair
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m probably not the first person to say this, but the ironic thing about this result is, if we had a preferential voting system like AV, the Lib Dems would never have won, and Eastleigh would surely have a Conservative or UKIP MP. It’s only the first-past-the-post system that allowed the Lib Dems to win – the one they wanted to get rid of, and the Tories wanted to keep.

    If John Redwood was among those who opposed AV, I bet he feels silly now!

    • matthu
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:33 am | Permalink

      See my reply about AV higher up.

  110. Freeborn John
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    On the basis of the argument you have made in the past, you shuld now being urging Conservative votes to vote UKIP on the basis that UKIP are best placed to secure more votes than LibDems in seats like Eastleigh.

    In any case the Conservatives have to go down to a defeat in 2015 sufficiently heavy to terminate Cameron’s career. We cannot have this latter-day Ted Heath leading the “Yes to EU” referendum campaign after a token and ineffective re-negotiation that could leave the country trapped fo another 40 years in the state under construction that is Brussels. I do hope that following defeat in 2015 the parliamentary party refuse to elect any new leader who will not commit to leading a No campaign in a referendum immediately ater the 2020 general election.

  111. Terry
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Your problem, John, is that you have a leader who thinks he is Tony Blair and what ever he says and what he does, goes and is always “The right thing to do” And his decisions MUST be accepted by the electorate.

    He must be completely bonkers or totally naive to think that his way is the only, ‘right way’. He is NOT a Tory, that is very clear, which is the reason why the old school Conservatives are now turning their backs on the party that has betrayed them. The way the voting is going, it looks as though yourself and a handful of safe Tory MP’s will be all that remains of the party by the end of 2015. A political suicide bomber is running the Conservative Party into ruin.

    • Nina Andreeva
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Terry, I have always thought the Bullingdon Club photo was a fake. Somebody somewhere is instead sitting on a photo of Dave, George and Boris selling “Socialist Worker” on the streets of Oxford in 1980’s. Its so obvious that they are on a mission to destroy Britain. (words left out-ed)

  112. George
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you now have a choice. Either join with your colleagues to dispose of Cameron and Osborne and instal a Eurosceptic leader who can make peace with UKIP; or join UKIP. More of the same means you are supporting the pro-EU conspiracy.

    You”ve probably left it to late to shove Cameron overboard, so make it easy on yourself and become the first UKIP MP in the House. Why not trigger another by-election?

    Once you’re returned, walk over and introduce yourself to Frank Field and suggest he might like to join you.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Yep, that does sound like a good idea.

  113. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Do you think the Tories’ Eurosceptisim is the real Mc Coy or is it a ploy? There must be a lot of women who fancy Nick Clegg out there….sorry that was uncalled for…

  114. Ben Kelly
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Very simplistic argument Mr Redwood. Only 31% of those voting UKIP mentioned Europe as opposed to 9% in the whole electorate. Europe may be an important issue but the electorate do not consider it so.

    55% of UKIP voters thought immigration was important against a mere 15% for all voters. Even if both these voter segments contain completely different voters there were still 14% of UKIP voters available to vote Conservative which would have made the result less tumultuous (and I suspect that many of the 31% who don’t like Europe have thoughts on immigration too).

    Your party has abandoned its core supporters in order to keep spending on the client state. Those clients will never appreciate you.

    I wonder how many of those eligible to vote in Eastleigh who did not vote Conservative but might have done earn over £50K and are losing their previously universal child benefit, in order to demonstrate to the coalition that we are all in it together? I do hope that it was 2,800 (or 6.66 of those who turned out, 3.5% of those eligible [turnout 52.7%]), that is a possible number don’t you think?

    Voters vote for their standard of living as you will be aware, Europe and Immigration indirectly affect that standard of living but removing tax breaks, for that is what Child Benefit is for working families, will get you voted out however feeble the opposition is, and it does appear to be feeble.

    Reply Immigration is an EU issue!

    • Ben Kelly
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Immigration is not just an EU issue it is much more widespread and than just our Eastern European occupants.

      However my thrust was that there were still plenty of voters available to beat the Liberal candidate even once taking into account those who voted UKIP for EU or Immigration reasons.

      The Conservative candidate was hamstrung because the Conservative core vote is being taxed into poverty while the government continues to spend more than Labour did and so many do not wish to vote for candidates representing your leadership.

      The above is simplistic but that does not make it unntrue

  115. Jon
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    This needs to be turned around and that can be done in time. There are those such as JR with the credentials to galvanise and bring the defectors back. Its time for Mr Cameron to have a chat with Mr Redwood.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      I have a feeling that it will be a cold day in Hell before this happens.
      Maybe you should try asking Mr Cameron the Peter Hitchens question again – “who would you say you are closer to politically – Norman Tebbit or Nick Clegg? The answer to that is your party’s problem, Mr Redwood.

  116. Robert Taggart
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    The re-drawing of the Parliamentary Map with fifty fewer seats may have been defeated, but, could not existing boundaries still be re-drawn in time for 2015 ?
    Where to start ?… Eastleigh !

    Reply: No, there would be no Parliamentary majority for such a move.

  117. Keith
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I laughed an extremely hollow laugh when I saw your comment:

    “Both the Conservative and the UKIP candidate made clear they find our current relationship with the EU unacceptable. They both wanted a referendum to allow the British people to vote No to staying in the EU. Between them they got 53% of the vote. Instead Eastleigh has a Liberal Democrat MP who opposes giving us that vote. We need more MPs in Parliament who will join those of us who have voted for an immediate referendum. Instead we have another anti referendum federalist elected with under one third of the votes. “

    You have got precisely the outcome that you, Cameron and most of the Tory party wanted!! You backed the First Past the Post (sic) system by opposing the LibDem proposal to introduce AV……. AV would most assuredly have delivered an MP for Eastleigh who would demand an EU referendum – and it might even have been a Tory, rather than UKIP – but by opposing AV you have guaranteed that well organised parties like the LibDems can get MPs elected with a tiny minority of the votes cast.

    You have only yourselves to blame – and we are all living to regret the anti-democratic, mendacious and prejudiced “no” campaign that put paid to the very sensible proposal for AV!

    Reply If UKIP and its cause is so popular, why then did you lose the AV referendum? I do not think AV would necessarily have changed the result at Eastleigh. Labour and Independent voters may well have voted Lib Dem second choice, and some Conservative voters would not vote UKIP second choice owing to the way UKIP is always critical of Conservatives.

  118. Ukipcatlover
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Maria Hutchings may be Eurosceptic but David Cameron certainly isn’t. Until your party has a leader who is Conservative, you’ll always split the Eurosceptic vote by standing against Ukip.

  119. Wireworm
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Why are we more like Italy than like Canada or Sweden?

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted March 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Global Warming !…
      We are not as cold as the former and are ‘warming-up’ to the latter !!

  120. lojolondon
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    When it came to the EU vote in the commons, Cameron spurned his supporters. When it comes to immigration, windmills, justice and tax cuts, he ignores public opinion.

    Now he is learning that you can’t fool all the people all the time. Maria Hutchins may be anti-EU, but so are 80 other Tories. Cameron either votes with Labour or uses a 3-line whip to make Tories vote Cameron’s way. So they do NOT represent us, no matter how nice they are and how much they want to. And THAT is why the British public are voting UKIP!!

  121. Leslie Singleton
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Denis–Fully agreed. And let’s hope more become EUsceptic as light is increasingly played on the machinations of this ghastly construct–as the population increasingly understands the full horror of what has been foisted upon them.

  122. David Langley
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    This has to be your worst post ever John, it is obvious to all that the Libs had a brilliant campaign based on a strong foundation of local Lib government. The UKIP vote came from all sections of the community, many who had not voted in many years through complete disgust at the way the political class have misjudged just about everything from wars to economics and much more. What you are seeing is a return to common sense and logic, your government is full of rhetoric about what you want and what you would like to do but you shy away from actually doing it. Sensible policies of wanting our own democracy and wanting to fight the economic war we are in seems to have escaped the notice of the main parties.
    The surge in interest in UKIP is down to the inescapable fact that they have policies which we all want, and if we can persuade the major parties like you used to be that those policies are the ones to enact because we the public really want them then you will be on a winner. Instead we see the race to the bottom by the government who are girding our loins for more cuts and austerity. While we waste time and money on supporting things we just dont want. Why for instance is there an empty house to listen to the Dover MPs plea for a new british bill of rights, to replace the nonsensical human rights legislation currently being abused by unelected European judges. Answer because there is no time to get this into law because parliament will be absent during the necessary readings etc. Gay marriage gets time but a major chunk of sensible and progressive legislation will never see the statute book. Murderers and rapists get to stay here, and we look and feel angry and foolish and impotent. An example where you are completely misreading the mood of the electorate.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      David–UKIP still has the policies that the Conservatives used to have when they were successful. Put another way, the Conservatives now have no relation to conservatism or true Conservatism for that matter. Cameron thinks he knows best but very much doesn’t (to put it mildly). Instead he has turned the party in to a laughing stock. Now that it is obvious that UKIP has a good chance I reckon that the Conservative Party will be thrown away like the proverbial broken reed and good job too. If what is happening appeared in a novel you would throw it away after a very few pages as having an unbelievable plot.

  123. David Langley
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic, I read and hear that the EU elite in Brussels feel that we will crash and burn if we leave the EU, and that all the other countries will effectively turn their back on us. Really? We will have >£50 million a day to soothe our pains, and trade will still come our way. A wartime mentality might do us all a lot of good and sharpen our focus on getting Britain fighting fit again. We love adversity when its up against opponents we know we can beat. I really believe that most countries would grudgingly give their support and in fact would be rather envious of our ability to lead the way out of the country crash that is the EU.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      David–Seconded!

  124. Nicotinamideadenined
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    What is all this fuss abut UKIP? The voters should have a choice of centre right parties; after all there is a good choice on the centre left. Are we saying we can only win if we are the only centre right offering?

    As Conservatives we are pro choice, therefore we should be willing to apply this to ourselves and not just see it as a way of getting our local dustmen cheaper.

    Also, can we please have a bit more respect for the party leader David Cameron or Mr Cameron; not just “Cameron”.

    • R.G.
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      “Also, can we please have a bit more respect for the party leader David Cameron or Mr Cameron; not just “Cameron”.”

      Respect is earned, not granted. Cameron has earned none. He is an arrogant (spinner-ed), a bit like Blair only not so good at it.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        R.G.–I am jealous–I have somehow missed the original of the priceless quote you have kindly given. I thank you for it as it gave me a laugh.

  125. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I have a lot of sympathy for the defeated Conservative candidate, rather less so for the Conservative Party. It has been told by lots of people that a declaration of 5 principles for our future relationship with the EU is not the same as a fully thought out specification. In particular, the Conservative Party must specify its ‘bottom line’, the minimum repatriation of powers needed to recommend a ‘yes’ vote in an in/out referendum.

    I have specified my bottom line in terms of commitments and Acts to be repealed – the commitment to ever closer union, and the Acts of Accession to the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties. The advantage of this approach is that, if needs be, we can just get on and do it. Recovery of powers will be automatic because the areas of EU and European Court competence, and the extent of QMV will automatically be reduced by repeal. Renegotiation would proceed with the situation as it was in 1987 (when the Single European Act was passed) as the starting point.

    Other people prefer to list the powers explicitly in a new treaty; that will take much longer to negotiate.

    David Cameron has just appeared on TV, saying that UKIP is a party of protest in the way that the LibDems used to be. That is shallow and sloppy thinking. If he persists with this delusion, the Conservative Party will receive a drubbing in the 2014 MEP elections.

    Older people will remember the great Harold Wilson ‘renegotiation’ of 1974/5. We are not going to buy a pig in a poke again.

  126. Neil Craig
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Cameron made a “cast iron” previous promise of an EU referendum but no such referendum was held.

    Cameron gratuitously insulted UKIP voters.

    Cameron has been unwilling to say there are any circumstances under which he would campaign to leave the EU, or entertain any doubts about the catastrophic global warming UKIP supporters do not believe in.

    I suggest therefore, that as long as he is Conservative leader any sort of eurosceptic alliance has been made impossible.

    UKIP have obviously picked up votes from all parties. Even if the leaders were insane enough to offer their support to the current Tories it must be obvious that those voters would not go.

    If the Conservative membership want to avoid splitting the vote it is time to act.

    The Conservatives support an openly unrepresentative electoral system which disenfranchises voters for small parties (in this case the Conservatives).

    Thus arguing that, people should vote for you because the system you support would lead to the defeat of scepticism, was an immoral argument, but an effective one when the Conservatives could attract more voters but was still immoral. Using only that argument for voting Conservative is, however, immoral since I believe you are basically extorting votes. The moral way to promote the Conservatives would be to say why their policies are better than UKIPs. The problem with that is that I think most Conservatives would agree that UKIP’s policies are better.

    However when the party relys on this argument that people should vote for the larger party they clearly have no raison d’etre when they cease to be the larger (or even worse when the brand name has a negative effect on many voters)..

    Reply Mr Cameron promised a pre Lisbon ratification referendum and voted for one in the Commons. Of course he would have to recommend Out if his negotiation did not solve the main problems with the current relationship. The rest of us would be doing just that!

    • Chris S
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      John, I’m very impressed that you find time to moderate these comments yourself. However do you find the time ?

      I know it’s not truly representative, but the comments made here since Eastleigh must be deeply worrying to every loyal Conservative MP.

      I’m a Conservative supporter but I’m deeply disillusioned with the direction David Cameron has taken. Gay Marriage and deep Defence cuts while increasing foreign aid is simply unnecessary diversion which angers supporters like me.

      You say “of course he will have to recommend Out if his negotiation does not solve the problem”

      I’m sorry, but like UKIP supporters I don’t really believe that.

      One way or another, if Europe won’t play ball, as I suspect, DC will try to dress up unsatisfactory minor changes as a triumph and still recommend staying in.

      Not sure where that would leave Conservative Backbenchers but DC and a certain ex minister in his Hush Puppies will be lining up with the LibDems and Labour on one side with almost the entire Parliamentary COnservsztive Party on the other !

      This, of course, can only happen at all if a deal is done with UKIP before 2015.

      Otherwise it will be LibLab Government and within a year we will have Christine Legarde running the British economy !

    • Posted March 3, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Mr Cameron promised a referendum on any treaty which emerged from the negotiations which produced Lisbon, later he promise a referendum on the Lisbon treaty using its title.

      At no time did he say I only mean to offer a referendum if the treaty has not been ratified, and holding a referendum after ratification happened last time in 1975.

      Further when he reneged on his promise he said that Lisbon was unacceptable and he would not leave matters there. He seems more concerned with other things like changing the meaning of marriage or allowing unlimited Indian students into the country than keeping his promises to the British people.

      Reply He always made it clear a referendum was only possible on Lisbon prior to ratification. He, I and other Conservatives tried to get other EU countries to hold out from ratifying to give us time to hold a referendum on getting into office. He made his position quite clear well before the 2010 Election. We Conservative MPs all voted for a referendum in the Commons.

      • Posted March 3, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Sorry Sir, that was my point Mr Cameron did not make his position clear.

        In his speech Fixing Broken Politics, May 26 2009 he said

        “We will therefore hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, pass a law requiring a referendum to approve any further transfers of power to the EU, negotiate the return of powers, and require far more detailed scrutiny in Parliament of EU legislation, regulation and spending.”

        He did not then go on to qualify his clear commitment to hold a referendum, that argument was just a wangle introduced later when he decided not to offer a referendum, and then had to find some way of getting out of his cast iron promise, that is why we do not trust him.

        It really does not matter how many of you vote for a referendum when you know you are going to loose the vote, but when you hold power you never actually do anything. When you do something constructive like making sure your leader represents you, we might start voting for the party again. Of course if like your leader you do not want our votes and prefer to carry on chasing votes from those who will never vote for you, then please don’t complain if we go elsewhere.

  127. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    An aspect not to be neglected in my view, is that traditional Tory allies (the City, The US, the CBI) all seem dread the UK ever leaving the EU. Although against the principles of many in this blog, if the Tories moved to the other side of the EU spectrum and became strong EU supporters (be it a reformed EU), the Tories might take the public with it in five years from now. I simply cannot see the Tories moving in a more UKIP direction from here. Better to move the opposite way, make the arguments for it and hope to convince the voters (referendum – yes, leaving – no).

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted March 3, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

      The Conservative’s traditional allies would be content with – and would prefer – a Single Market based on free trade and a limited amount of harmonisation, with very limited powers for European courts. These traditional allies also like free labour markets, with few or no controls on immigration. In that respect they differ from the majority of their fellow countrymen.

      If the Single European Act of 1987 were to be the starting point for negotiations they would be perfectly happy. Far from enhancing the Single Market, the Treaties that have followed (Maastrich, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon) have progressively interfered with free trade and led to a positive deluge of unwanted EC Directives.

      Let’s face it, you Federalists know that your European vision is hostile to capitalism. Why else do you suppose that the Labour and LibDem Parties support it so much – bloggers unanime5 and Bazman are good examples?

      • Bazman
        Posted March 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        We are hostile to profiteering and exploitation of the poor not capitalism. I am against the thick middle classes who do not have to live in their fantasies and if they did would cry the most. If the cap fits then wear it.

      • Catalpa
        Posted March 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        I do not want the Single Market, because you will still have unlimited EU immigration, £50 million per day payments to the EU and all the other Directives included with it.

        I want a Free Trade agreement and the only way to get that is to give notice under the Lisbon Treaty that you are leaving the EU and force them to negotiate.

  128. Chris S
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for the typos above !

  129. Stanley Cook
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood – “The pity is that more voters did not read the Treaty of Rome before voting in the 1975 referendum…..because it was quite clear they(sic) were planning much more than a free trade area.”

    With respect, I suggest that it is unrealistic to suppose that many voters in 1975, except those with a professional interest, would have bothered to assess the implications of the preamble to the Treaty of Rome, if indeed they were even aware of its existence? The question put to them was simply whether the UK “should stay in the European Community (the Common Market)” and in the then government’s explanatory leaflet it was stated that “No important new policy can be decided in Brussels or anywhere else without the consent of a British Minister….”. So it’s not surprising that people generally took the question at its face value without further consideration.

    • John Wood
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

      Today the referendum (and its propaganda pamphlet)would laughed at around the internet on social media sites. No marketing organisation has anywhere the penetration that Twitter and facebook have.

  130. Jonathan Oakton UKIP
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Sir,
    Had the people of Eastleigh voted Conservative then David Cameron would have declared that his European referendum pledge for a time when he will not be Prime Minister on changes that Von Rumpuy says will never happen years from now, were supported by the voters ! Cameron would declare that Cameron was Right and Redwood was wrong ! The vote would have been “an endorsement of Conservative policy in Gay marriage , europe, Cuts, Defence budgets, and everything else”
    This is why the people of Eastleigh voted for UKIP on the day.

    I agree with other comments, below. There is something strange about postal votes. They should be banned.Could this be a Redwood Private Members Bill ?

    Let me also add that there will be no deals done with any parties for any seats in Westminster. A vote for the Conservatives is a vote for Europe. Cameron says that “he wants to stay IN”. Hague says that “he will fight to stay in “…

    I’m sorry that you still want to stand with these traitors John. I think that you are a good bloke. Are they using you as “the acceptable front” of the conservative Party ?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      “… his European referendum pledge for a time when he will not be Prime Minister on changes that Von Rumpuy says will never happen years from now …”

      A delightfully concise summation.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      @Jonathan Oakton UKIP: “The vote would have been “an endorsement of Conservative policy in Gay marriage , europe, Cuts, Defence budgets, and everything else”

      But the constituency voted for a LibDem candidate – Duh, nice rant!…

      Vote UKIP, get a Labour government, but then perhaps that is what UKIP actually want, after all their MEP’s are very happy sitting in the EU parliament, using their EU supplied offices, being paid by the EU, claiming their EU expenses etc. etc. If UKIP had any back-bone they would take the same view of the EU parliament as Sinn Féin does the UK parliament, by not taking their seats and it’s not as if it has stopped Sinn Féin from putting their case or holding the UK government to account.

  131. Monty
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    “Instead Eastleigh has a Liberal Democrat MP who opposes giving us that vote. We need more MPs in Parliament who will join those of us who have voted for an immediate referendum.”
    ————-

    Isn’t it all rather academic anyway John, because the members are not going to be asked whether they want an immediate referendum anyway?
    Isnt it the Leaders and the Chief Whips who determine the schedule of Parliamentary business ?
    I would have thought that the chances of any MP winning a “slot” to press forward a private members bill must be fairly remote, and even if there was a strong majority in the house for an early referendum, would such a resolution be binding on the PM?

    Reply. NO it is not academic. A group of us did table and debate a referendum on the EU. We lost the vote. It is usually possible to find a way of debating and voting on matters of importance. A more successful example of a backbench initiaitive was the EU budget, where we raised it, tabled it, debated it and won the vote. The government in practice then conformed with it. Indeed, Mr Cameron negotiated it with great skill. Now we have the problem of the European Parliament!

  132. sjb
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Part of JR’s reply to Monty: A more successful example of a backbench initiaitive was the EU budget, where we raised it, tabled it, debated it and won the vote.

    Because Labour – a (sometime) pro-EU party – joined the backbench Eurosceptic Tory MPs in the division lobby.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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