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June 6, 2014

Conservatives win Newark by-election

Conservatives win Newark by-election – Wikinews, the free news source

Conservatives win Newark by-election

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Robert Jenrick, the new Conservative MP for Newark.
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United Kingdom
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The Conservative Party has won the Newark, England by-election but with a reduced majority. Voters gave 45.03% of the vote to Robert Jenrick, while the UK Independence Party candidate Roger Helmer came second with 25.91% of the vote. The turnout was 38,707, 52.67% of the electorate of 73,486.

The by-election was called following the resignation of Patrick Mercer after it was revealed he was paid to lobby and ask questions in Parliament on behalf of the country of Fiji in an investigation by the BBC Panorama programme.

Jenrick is a 32-year-old who works as managing director of Christie’s auction house. After the election result was announced, he said: “I want to thank the prime minister for his personal support to my campaign and I want to thank the government for its commitment to re-building Britain. I hope now that I can repay the faith and trust that the people of Newark have put in me as your new member of parliament — and in the months and years to come I can build a reputation as a strong and effective MP.”

UKIP’s candidate, Roger Helmer, attracted controversy during the election campaign due to past public statements about the acceptability of homosexuality. In remarks to The Sun newspaper, he compared considering homosexuality “distasteful if not viscerally repugnant” to tea preferences. He explained: “Different people may have different tastes. You may tell me that you don’t like Earl Grey tea. That may be a minority view but you are entitled not to like it if you don’t like it.” Helmer later stated the manner in which his comments were reported showed “the mainstream media are engaged in a feeding frenzy against UKIP, and are prepared to twist the facts to suit their agenda”.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the party had run a “stunning campaign”: “We’ve been up against probably the biggest ever Conservative machine, defending about their 40th safest seat in the country. If the indications are right, we’ll be celebrating a massive advance for our party.”

The Liberal Democrat candidate, David Watts, said coming in sixth place “wasn’t a good result, but smaller parties often get squeezed in by-elections and that’s what’s happened to us here”. He said the independent campaign by Paul Baggaley had got a lot of support, and “a lot of our voters had transferred to vote against UKIP to make sure UKIP didn’t get elected”.

Grant Shapps from the Conservative Party said the surge of support for UKIP after the European elections was now “going backwards”, while Nigel Farage said Conservative MPs in more marginal seats would be filled with “sheer horror” at UKIP’s success.

Newark by-election results
Position Candidate Party Votes Percentage
1 Robert Jenrick Conservative Party 17,431 45.03%
2 Roger Helmer UK Independence Party 10,028 25.91%
3 Michael Payne Labour Party 6,842 17.68%
4 Paul Baggaley Independent 1,891 4.89%
5 David Kirwan Green Party 1,057 2.73%
6 David Watts Liberal Democrats 1,004 2.59%
7 Nick The Flying Brick Loony 168 0.43%
8 Andy Hayes Independent 117 0.30%
9 David Bishop Bus Pass Elvis Party 87 0.22%
10 Dick Rodgers Stop Banks 64 0.17%
11 Lee Woods Patriotic Socialist Party 18 0.05%



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December 5, 2010

UK Parliament to vote on tuition fee rise on Thursday

UK Parliament to vote on tuition fee rise on Thursday

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Students protesting outside the UK parliament in November.
Image: BillyH.

The controversial plan to raise university tuition fees in England and Wales will be voted on in the House of Commons on Thursday, December 9. The policy has been the cause of protests across the United Kingdom by students, some of which have turned violent. It has also been a source of considerable criticism and political difficulties for the Liberal Democrats and has raised questions as to the long-term viability of the Coalition government.

The new policy on tuition fees will allow universities to double the current tuition fees from £3,290 per year to around £6,000 per year, as well as allowing some universities to get special approval from the Office For Fair Access (OFFA) to raise their fees to £9,000 per year. If passed, the new fee structure will apply starting in the academic year of 2012/2013. The vote on Thursday will only be on the fee rise, with other matters being voted on in the new year following publication of a new higher education white paper.

Vince Cable and Nick Clegg will likely vote for the changes, but how many Lib Dems will join them?
Image: Nick Clegg.

In addition to increasing fees, the policy will increase the payment threshold at which payment is made. It is currently set at £15,000 and will rise to £21,000, but the interest rate will also rise. It is currently 1.5% but will now vary from between 0% and 3% plus inflation (using the Retail Price Index).

The fee increase follows the publication of an independent review by Lord Browne, former chief executive of BP, a process started by Peter Mandelson, the former Business Secretary. Before the election, two main options were mooted for funding reform in higher education: either an increase in tuition fees or a graduate tax. The Browne Review endorsed the former and the findings of the Review form the basis of the government’s policy. The graduate tax was supported by the Liberal Democrats before the election, and in the Labour leadership elections it was supported by Ed Balls and the winner of the leadership election, Ed Milliband.

Conservative members of the Coalition intend to vote for the reform, and the Labour opposition have been vociferous critics of the rise in fees, despite the previous government’s introduction of top-up fees. The Liberal Democratic members of the Coalition have been left in a politically difficult position regarding the fee hike and have been target of much criticism from protesters. Liberal Democrats have opposed the rise in tuition fees: their party manifesto included a commitment to ending tuition fees within six years, and many signed a pledge organised by the National Union of Students to not vote for any increase in tuition fees.

The Coalition agreement allows Liberal Democrats to opt to abstain on votes for a number of policies including tuition fees. Many Liberal Democrats are expected to abstain, and a few MPs have stated that they will vote against it including former party leader Sir Menzies Campbell, and the recently elected party president Tim Farron, as well as a number of Liberal Democrat back-benchers. Liberal Democrat party leaders have said that they will act collectively, but the BBC have said senior Liberal Democrats have admitted in private that government whips will not be able to force all Liberal Democrats to vote for the policy.

On Tuesday, the Liberal Democrats parliamentary party will meet in the Commons to decide on their collective position. If all ministers decide to vote for the policy, it will probably pass, but if only cabinet ministers (and maybe parliamentary private secretaries) vote for the policy, there is considerable risk of it not passing. If the Coalition does not manage to get the policy through Parliament, it will fuel doubts about the continued effectiveness and viability of the government.

How deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and business secretary Vince Cable vote has been of considerable controversy. Although under the Coalition agreement, they are allowed to abstain, suggestions of doing so have prompted criticism. It was suggested last week that Cable may abstain even though as business secretary he is directly responsible for higher education policy, and has been heavily involved in designing the proposals. Cable has said that Liberal Democrat support of the tuition fee changes has allowed them to push it in a more “progressive” direction.

Cable has now decided that he will vote for the policy, and argues that the policy has “a lot of protection for students from low income backgrounds and graduates who have a low income or take time out for family”. He also believes “there’s common consensus that the system we’ve devised is a progressive one”.

“Dr Cable has performed so many U-turns over the issue of university funding that he is spinning on his heels,” said National Union of Students president Aaron Porter. “That may stand him in good stead with the Strictly Come Dancing judges but the electorate will see it differently.”

Former deputy PM John Prescott has joked about Vince Cable’s u-turns on Twitter.
Image: Steve Punter.

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott joked on Twitter that “On tuition fees we’ve noticed Vince Cable’s remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from stalling to Mr In Between”—a reference to a previous attack Prescott made on Gordon Brown as having transformed from “Stalin to Mr Bean“.

On Question Time this week, Liberal Democrat treasury secretary Danny Alexander also confirmed he is prepared to vote for the policy but delegated the question to the meeting of Liberal Democrats on Tuesday.

The politics of the tuition fee debate may also affect the by-election taking place in Oldham East and Saddleworth following the removal of Phil Woolas, where Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates will both be standing for the first by-election following the formation of the Coalition government.

Opposition to the policy has become the focus for a large number of protests across the country by both current university students, many school pupils and political allies of the student movement.

On the Nov. 10 demonstration, protestors occupied Millbank tower.
Image: Charlie Owen.

On November 10, between 30,000 and 52,000 protesters from across Britain marched through central London in a demonstration organised by the National Union of Students and the University and College Union, which represents teachers and lecturers in further and higher education. At the November 10 protest, a number of people occupied Millbank Tower, an office block which houses the Conservative Party. Fifty people were arrested and fourteen were injured. NUS president Aaron Porter condemned the attack and said it was caused by “those who are here to cause trouble”, and that the actions of a “minority of idiots” shouldn’t “undermine 50,000 who came to make a peaceful protest”.

Following the November 10 march, other protests have taken place across the country including an occupation at the University of Manchester, a sit-in at the John Owens Building in Manchester, and a demonstration at the University of Cambridge. A protest was also run outside the offices of The Guardian where Nick Clegg—who was giving a lecture inside the building—was executed in effigy while students protested “Nick Clegg, shame on you, shame on you for turning blue” (blue is the colour of the Conservative Party).

A graffitied police van in Trafalgar Square at the November 24 demonstration.
Image: yllA.

On November 24, a large number of protests took place across the country including a mass walk-out from universities and schools organised on Facebook, numerous university occupations, and demonstrations in Manchester, Cambridge, Birmingham, Leeds, Brighton and Cardiff, and a well-publicised occupation of University College London.

In London, a protest was planned to march down Whitehall to Parliament, but police held protesters in Trafalgar Square until they eventually broke free and ran around in a game of “cat and mouse” along the side streets around Charing Cross Road, Covent Garden and Picadilly Circus.

Simon Hardy from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts described the police response including the controversial ‘kettling’ of protesters as “absolutely outrageous”. Green MP Caroline Lucas raised the police response including the use of kettling in the House of Commons and stated that it was “neither proportionate, nor, indeed, effective”.

On November 30, protests continued in London culminating in 146 arrests of protesters in Trafalgar Square, and protests in Cardiff, Cambridge, Newcastle, Bath, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Belfast, Brighton, Manchester and Bristol. Protesters in Sheffield attempted to invade and occupy Nick Clegg’s constituency office. Occupations of university buildings started or continued at University College London, Newcastle University, Cambridge University and Nottingham University, as well as council buildings in Oxford and Birmingham.

A “day of action” is being planned on December 8, the day before the Commons vote, by the National Union of Students.



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July 30, 2009

Vestas protesters sacked with immediate effect

Vestas protesters sacked with immediate effect

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Vestas worker stays in touch with the outside world via his mobile telephone.

Eleven of the 25 workers at the Vestas factory in Newport, Isle of Wight, England who have been carrying out a sit-in since Monday July 20 have been sacked with immediate effect.

According to one of the protesters known as “Mike”, the occupiers were given their dismissal notices concealed under slices of their evening meal of pizza. The company said that the protesters have had ample opportunity to air their point of view, and had no choice but to sack eleven of the twenty five workers that they had positively identified; and that given that the fact that the action constituted a “fundamental breach” of trust, that the eleven would not be entitled to redundancy packages. A press release from the company said that Vestas “saw no other choice than to dismiss the 11 employees, who the company has positively identified as the employees currently participating in the occupation of the factory.”

The protesters remained upbeat, vowing to continue their occupation and have called upon the UK government to save the 625 jobs and to nationalise the Danish owned factory. Occupier Ian Terry told the BBC that if the occupiers are forced out, they plan to leave the building “peacefully”.

Vestas management were dealt a setback today in ending the occupation as Newport County Court ruled that the papers accusing the occupiers of aggravate trespass and requiring they surrender the office they occupy by July 29 were improperly served. The case has been adjourned until Tuesday August 4. In court, Judge Graham White said he was “distinctly uncomfortable” with what he perceived as Vestas’ effort to “get around the rules” in retaking the factory from the occupiers.

Legal representation for the Vestas workers had been offered by Bob Crow, secretary of the RMT trade union. Crow has pledged the “full solidarity” of the RMT and seven other unions with the workers occupying the plant.

Vestas management has also been providing the occupiers with hot meals in an apparent response to Crow’s announcement, made on July 24, that the RMT was planning on airlifting food into the factory by helicopter. Crow is meeting today with Ed Miliband, the Environment Minister.

Earlier in the week, Miliband pledged £6 million in funding to an expansion of Vestas’ Isle of Wight research and development centre, which currently employs 110 workers and could, said the Minister, be expanded to employ 40 more.

Vestas workers spend time outside on a factory balcony

Rallies continued throughout the week in support of the Vestas occupiers. Since the occupation began, the Vestas workers have received declarations of support and solidarity from a wide swathe of the British left, including but not limited to: political parties Green Party, Respect, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the Alliance for Workers Liberty, and the Communist Party of Britain; the TUCG group, which brings together the BFAWU, FBU, NAPO, NUJ, PCS, POA, RMT, and URTU; and environmental groups Greenpeace, the Campaign against Climate Change, Climate Camp, and Workers’ Climate Action, who claims credit for initiating the campaign to occupy the factory. Attendees of the Big Green Gathering, a large annual environmentalist rally which was due to take place starting today but was suddenly canceled on Sunday, are being encouraged to go to the Isle of Wight and take part in support rallies for Vestas instead.

Speaking to Wikinews about the “red-green” coalition supporting the occupation, a spokesman for the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty said: “We think this struggle is important on at least three grounds — it is central to the struggle for jobs, it is central to the struggle for the environment, and it is central to the struggle for rebuilding the labour movement.”

Photographs shared with Wikinews by the occupiers show the occupiers, mostly young men, talking, carrying out everyday tasks, and keeping in touch with the outside world via mobile phones. The use of mobile telephones in the Vestas occupation has given the press remarkable access to the occupiers and provided an effective platform for relaying their demands and feelings to the media. In contrast, Vestas’s designated media contact for the United Kingdom is on vacation. Attempts to reach Vestas Newport factory manager Patrick Weir, whom a Vestas representative at the company’s Danish headquarters stated was handling press inquiries regarding the occupation, received no reply.

Vestas plans to close the factory on July 31, citing the difficulties of obtaining planning permission for wind farms in the United Kingdom. All blades manufactured at Vestas’ Newport plant are sent to the United States. 1900 employees of the company in Northern Europe face job losses, 625 of them in Vestas’s plants in the south of England.



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May 27, 2009

Left-wing EU parliament candidates debate in Cardiff

Left-wing EU parliament candidates debate in Cardiff

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cardiff, Wales — Labour, Plaid Cymru, and No2EU candidates for the Wales seats in the European Parliament met at Cardiff’s Sandringham Hotel last night for the second of two pre-election hustings debates hosted by Cardiff Trades Union Congress. Cardiff TUC president Katrine Williams moderated as Derek Vaughan of the Labour Party, Jill Evans MEP of Plaid Cymru, and Rob Griffiths of the No2EU coalition, the tops of their respective lists, took questions from an audience of 22 composed largely of socialist activists and trade union members.

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Candidates from the Tories, Liberal Democrats, and Green Party were not invited to the evening debate, although the Liberal Democrats did take part in the TUC’s debate earlier in the day. Ms Williams explained that the Liberal Democrats and Tories had been excluded because “we wanted to have candidates more representative of trade unions” but that not inviting the Greens had been “an oversight” due to the less prominent tradition of green politics in Wales. The BNP, UKIP and some minor parties also did not take part.

Derek Vaughan responds to a question from the audience

In opening statements, the three candidates discussed their records and their goals for the European Parliament. Mr Vaughan, leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, asserted the pro-organised labour credentials of the Labour Party, which has been under fire for several years from the left, and noted that Labour, which currently controls two of Wales’s four seats in the EU Parliament, has brought £1.5 billion to Wales, with a comparable amount to come in the future. Calling the BNP “Nazis” and comparing the British political situation to that in Germany in the 1930s, Vaughan called for the parties of the left to rally behind Labour in order to ensure that the BNP did not obtain any seats in Wales; but he expressed resignation to the likelihood that the BNP would earn a seat in North West England.

Jill Evans MEP after the debate

Ms Evans, meanwhile, who has been an MEP for ten years, announced her opposition to the pro-privatisation current in the EU and pledged that Plaid would support a new program of public investment and pro-organised labour revisions of EU directives, particularly the Posted Workers Directive.

Rob Griffiths delivers his opening statement

Mr Griffiths, meanwhile, who is General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, took a position urging radical reform of the European Union. The Lisbon Treaty, which he characterised as a re-branding of the European Constitution, would, he argued, enshrine neo-liberal policies in Europe and impose them on its member states in a way that was irreversible — “at least by any constitutional means”. Calling for a “social Europe” as opposed to a “United States of Europe”, Griffiths suggested that the creation of a European Defence Agency and the actions of the European Court of Justice were being used to turn the European Union into a capitalist “empire” akin to the United States.

Discussion of the ongoing UK parliamentary expenses scandal and its implications for MEPs, who draw salaries and expenses considerably higher than Westminster MPs do, dominated the early discussion. The Labour candidate expressed the position that the problems in accountability leading to the scandal had been fixed; his opponents noted that of the parties currently representing Britain in Brussels, only Labour has not yet disclosed their expenses (although Mr Vaughan states that the party will begin to do so soon) and Mr Griffiths furthermore declared that the scandal was part of a wider problem: the corruption of the political system by big business.

On the subject of a common European defence policy the three candidates supported widely differing views. The No2EU candidate stated plainly that he considers Europe not to be threatened, and said that a European defence force would be used for foreign adventures in Afghanistan, Africa, and elsewhere in the developing world while at the same time building up the armaments industry in Europe. Ms Evans, meanwhile, argued that the proper role of a common EU force would be as a “civil force” supporting conflict prevention and conflict resolution operations, and also called for the abolition of NATO. Mr Vaughan finished the second round of questioning arguing that a common European armed force should be an alternative to the “US-dominated” NATO, but also stated the importance of bilateral alliances in building up a common European defence force, citing the Franco-German Brigade of the Eurocorps as an example.

Candidates answered the questions of an active but small audience

Debate ended on the contentious question of MEP salaries, with one member of the audience challenging the three candidates to pledge to accept a wage, if they won, equal to the average wage of their constituents. Ms Evans agreed that the set wage, currently £63,000 rising to £73,000 in 2010, was “too high”, but would not commit to a so-called “worker’s wage”, under heavy criticism from the audience. Mr Vaughan, following, called it “not fair” to ask MEPs to take such a pledge but asserted “I have never been motivated by money” and finished his part in the debate with a call to elect more left-wing socialist MEPs. Mr Griffiths, whose No2EU coalition has made a worker’s wage for MEPs part of their election manifesto, readily pledged to hold to a living wage, albeit not necessarily one equal to the average wage of his constituents, and described some of the difficulties associated with refusing an EU salary, noting that initially No2EU had proposed that its MEPs should draw no salary and claim no expenses from Europe but the coalition’s legal advisors had said that to do so would endanger the status of any of its members as MEPs.

Voting for the European Parliament elections in the United Kingdom takes place June 4.



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June 27, 2008

Gordon Brown\’s troubled first year

Gordon Brown’s troubled first year – Wikinews, the free news source

Gordon Brown’s troubled first year

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Friday, June 27, 2008

The right Honourable British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (Labour Party)

A year since taking up residence at No. 10 Downing street, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Labour Party is already in trouble after losing a local election, finishing fifth after previously win-less political parties and popularity rating at an all time low.

Health Minister Ben Bradshaw described the party’s loss to the British National Party and to the Greens as a, “terrible loss” and blamed the economic conditions such as rising food and fuel costs as factors that dampens the Labour Party’s appeal with the public.

Conservative Party leader David Cameron countered Bradshaw’s opinion by saying, Mr. Brown was to blame for the economic distress. Cameroon cited the Prime Minister’s ten years of handling the economy as minister prior to assuming office when Tony Blair stepped down last year.

The by-elections in Henley were won by Tory John Howell with a majority of over 10,000 votes, defeating by a large margin the Liberal Democrats who were presumed to have a close edge of beating both Conservatives and Labour. Labour threw in their support with Richard McKenzie who only garnered 3% of the votes behind the BNP and Greens.

Henley called for an election when its representative Boris Johnson was elected Lord Mayor of the City of London.



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May 23, 2008

Conservatives win Crewe and Nantwich by-election

Conservatives win Crewe and Nantwich by-election

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Friday, May 23, 2008

According to a Daily Politics poll, 46% of people think David Cameron would be the best Prime Minister

The Conservative Party’s Edward Timpson has won the Crewe and Nantwich by-election in the United Kingdom with a majority of 7,860 votes. This is the party’s first by-election victory in 26 years and party leader David Cameron visited the constituency earlier.

Labour Party candidate Tamsin Dunwoody said that the 17.6% swing was a “mid-term blip” and that the people of Crewe and Nantwich will be “watching” Mr. Timpson. However David Cameron proclaimed the result “the end of New Labour” calling the Conservatives’ overturning of the 7,000 Labour majority “the start of something different and something bigger”.

He criticised the Labour Party’s campaign in Crewe and Nantwich, which had described the Conservative candidate as a “toff”, as “negative”, “xenophobic” and “class war” but said he realises the differences between by-election and general election results. The newly elected Mr. Timpson said in his victory speech that “I am going to stand up for local families, local jobs and, whenever I need to, stand up to the Government on your behalf.”

Miss Dunwoody is confident of Gordon Brown’s leadership, telling reporters earlier that “we know the Prime Minister can lead us through this.” Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman also defended Mr. Brown’s position, saying that “the overwhelming majority of people in the Labour Party… are fully behind Gordon Brown.”

Chris Huhne, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, defended his party’s third-place result as “really rather robust” and said the people’s votes were anti-Labour, not pro-Conservative. The UK Independence Party are pleased with the result, claiming that it confirms the party’s position as “the fourth political force in the country” and their candidate Mike Nattrass said “this has been a stepping stone for the European elections next year.”

Result

Crewe and Nantwich by-election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
style=”background-color: Template:Conservative Party (UK)/meta/color; width: 5px;” | [[Conservative Party (UK)|Template:Conservative Party (UK)/meta/shortname] Edward Timpson 20,539 49.5 +16.9
style=”background-color: Template:Labour Party (UK)/meta/color; width: 5px;” | [[Labour Party (UK)|Template:Labour Party (UK)/meta/shortname] Tamsin Dunwoody 12,679 30.6 –18.2
style=”background-color: Template:Liberal Democrats/meta/color; width: 5px;” | [[Liberal Democrats|Template:Liberal Democrats/meta/shortname] Elizabeth Shenton 6,040 14.6 –4.0
style=”background-color: Template:United Kingdom Independence Party/meta/color; width: 5px;” | [[United Kingdom Independence Party|Template:United Kingdom Independence Party/meta/shortname] Mike Nattrass 922 2.2 n/a
style=”background-color: Template:Green Party of England and Wales/meta/color; width: 5px;” | [[Green Party of England and Wales|Template:Green Party of England and Wales/meta/shortname] Robert Smith 359 0.9 n/a
style=”background-color: Template:English Democrats Party/meta/color; width: 5px;” | [[English Democrats Party|Template:English Democrats Party/meta/shortname] David Roberts 275 0.7 n/a
style=”background-color: Template:Official Monster Raving Loony Party/meta/color; width: 5px;” | [[Official Monster Raving Loony Party|Template:Official Monster Raving Loony Party/meta/shortname] The Flying Brick 236 0.6 n/a
style=”background-color: Template:Independent (politician)/meta/color; width: 5px;” | [[Independent (politician)|Template:Independent (politician)/meta/shortname] Mark Walklate 217 0.5 n/a
style=”background-color: Template:Cut Tax on Diesel and Petrol/meta/color; width: 5px;” | [[Cut Tax on Diesel and Petrol|Template:Cut Tax on Diesel and Petrol/meta/shortname] Paul Thorogood 118 0.3 n/a
style=”background-color: Template:Independent (politician)/meta/color; width: 5px;” | [[Independent (politician)|Template:Independent (politician)/meta/shortname] Gemma Garrett 113 0.3 n/a
Majority 7,860 18.9 +3.6
Turnout 41,856 58.2 –1.8
Conservative gain from Labour Swing 17.6%



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  • “Parties make final bids for Crewe and Nantwich voters” — Wikinews, May 21, 2008

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May 21, 2008

Parties make final bids for Crewe and Nantwich voters

Parties make final bids for Crewe and Nantwich voters

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The late Gwyneth Dunwoody (above) had held the seat of Crewe and Nantwich since 1983 with a majority of 7,078 at the 2005 General Election.

UK political parties are making their final bids for votes in the Crewe and Nantwich constituency, where a by-election, due to the death of Gwyneth Dunwoody MP, is to be held tomorrow.

A YouGov poll has suggested that the main opposition party, the Conservatives, are ahead at 45%, the incumbent Labour Party 18.8% behind on 26.2%. Polls from the newspaper The Independent and Populus and ICM have also put the Conservatives ahead. However the bookmakers Ladbrokes have deemed the Conservatives “unbackable”, with odds of just 16/1.

Crewe and Nantwich by-election
Party Candidate
Monster Raving Loony The Flying Brick
Labour Tamsin Dumwoody
Independent Gemma Garrett
UK Independence Mike Nattrass
English Democrats David Roberts
Liberal Democrat Elizabeth Shenton
Green Robert Smith
Cut Tax on Diesel and Petrol Paul Thorogood
Conservative Edward Timpson
Independent Mark Walklate

The Labour campaign in Crewe and Nantwich has branded the Conservative candidate Edward Timpson, a barrister from the wealthy Timpson family, a “toff”, calling their candidate, the late MP’s daughter Tamsin Dunwoody, “one of us”. Conservative leader David Cameron called the Labour campaign “class warfare” which is “backward looking”, “out of date” and “divisive”. The Labour Party has received endorsements from soap opera Coronation Street‘s Elizabeth Dawn (who plays the character Vera Duckworth) and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem) party have sent party leader Nick Clegg, party president Simon Hughes and deputy leader and the party’s shadow chancellor Vince Cable up to Crewe and Nantwich to campaign alongside their candidate Elizabeth Shenton. Mr. Cable told BBC’s Newsnight that “what’s very clear is there is a lot of support draining away from the Labour Party – an enormous amount.” Nick Clegg claims that the by-election is a two-horse race between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

The UK Independence Party’s candidate Mike Nattrass has been touring Crewe and Nantwich in a converted London Routemaster campaign bus and handing out leaflets. He said “UKIP has never stood in Crewe and Nantwich before because Gwyneth Dunwoody was Eurosceptic and we agreed with her.” Party leader Nigel Farage has also attended a meeting in the constituency.

Polling stations will open from 07:00 BST (06:00 UTC) until 22:00 BST (21:00 UTC) on Thursday. The result is expected by Friday afternoon.



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May 2, 2008

Johnson ousts Livingstone in London mayoral election

Johnson ousts Livingstone in London mayoral election

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Candidates

Boris Johnson

Ken Livingstone

Sian Berry

Winston McKenzie

Matt O’Connor

Brian Paddick

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Boris Johnson has been declared the winner of London’s mayoral election. The Daily Telegraph called the victory overwhelming, given how close recent opinion polls had been. Results were delayed by record turnout.

Johnson thanked his family and party activists for helping him win what he termed a “marathon election.” The mayor-elect also paid tribute to Livingstone by saying the incumbent had the “thanks and admiration of millions of Londoners” for his years of service as mayor.

The people of the United Kingdom’s capital city of London voted yesterday in mayoral elections.

In the London elections voters chose both their first and second preference for Mayor of London. The incumbent mayor is Ken Livingstone.

Many polls were carried out before the election. One of the earliest, carried out by YouGov and the London Policy Institute showed a clear lead for Livingstone. A poll carried out near the end of 2007, however, showed that Livingstone was only one percentage point clear of Boris Johnson.

More recent polls, including one carried out by YouGov for Evening Standard showed a narrow lead for Johnson. Other polls, however, like the one taken for UNISON continued to show a clear lead for Livingstone.

Below are the latest results:

London Mayoral Election 2008 – Results
Name Party 1st preference Second preference
Richard Barnbrook British National Party 69,710
Gerard Batten United Kingdom Independence Party 22,422
Siân Berry Green Party of England and Wales 77,374
Alan Craig Christian Peoples Alliance 39,249
Lindsey German Left List 16,796
Boris Johnson Conservative Party 1,043,761 124,977
Ken Livingstone Labour Party 893,877 135,089
Winston McKenzie Independent 5,389
Matt O’Connor English Democrats Party 10,695
Brian Paddick Liberal Democrats 236,685



Related news

  • “Results of British local elections announced” — Wikinews, May 2, 2008
  • “Livingstone brands Boris ‘a joke’ in London mayoral elections” — Wikinews, April 30, 2008

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
London mayoral election, 2008

External links

  • London Elects – the official site of London Elects, the independent body in charge of organizing the election of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly
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May 5, 2006

Conservatives make gains in English local elections

Conservatives make gains in English local elections

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Friday, May 5, 2006

Most of the results have now been declared from the local elections that took place across England yesterday. The Conservative Party has made the biggest gains, winning 316 new council seats and gaining a net control of 11 new councils. The Liberal Democrat party also made some gains, getting an overall bigger share of the vote than Labour, but only winning a modest 18 or so extra councillors.

The British National Party has doubled its number of councillors, winning 11 seats in the Barking and Dagenham area, as well as a few elsewhere. The Green Party has won a few extra councillors. The RESPECT party won 12 seats on the council of Tower Hamlets, making them now the official opposition.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
UK local elections, 2006

Robin Wales has been re-elected as the Mayor for the London Borough of Newham, Dorothy Thornhill re-elected the Mayor of Watford and Steve Bullock re-elected as the Mayor for Lewisham. Results have not yet been announced for the election of the Mayor of Hackney.

In an immediate development, Tony Blair sacked Charles Clarke from the post of Home Secretary.

Initial estimations suggest that turnout was 36%, a reduction of three points compared to 2004.

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Related News

  • “Voting day for local elections in England” — Wikinews, May 4, 2006

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May 4, 2006

Voting day for local elections in England

Voting day for local elections in England

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Thursday, May 4, 2006

Voting day, Thursday 4th May, has begun for the local elections taking place in England. The elections will appoint local councillors, and, in some boroughs, local Mayors. Council elections include all 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan boroughs and 88 non-metropolitan districts. Mayoral elections will be held for Hackney, Watford, Newham and Lewisham. In the non-London council areas, the voting will affect either a third or half of the total number of councillors. In London, all council seats are up for election. Some council areas are not taking part in the election.

Polling stations will open between 07:00 and 22:00. Many voters will also have had the opportunity to apply for a postal vote. Counting begins once the polls close, with the results typically available in the early hours of the next morning.

The Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have all launched major campaigns, as have some smaller parties such as the Green Party, UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party), Respect and the BNP (British National Party).


Sources

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This audio file was created from the text revision dated 2006-05-04 and may not reflect subsequent text edits to this report. (audio help)
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Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
UK local elections, 2006
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