Eastleigh by-election: 17 February round-up

Eastleigh by-election: 17 February

The latest from Eastleigh constituency as Mike Thornton, Maria Hutchings, John O’Farrell and the other candidates battle it out.

Storified by Mark Pack· Sun, Feb 17 2013 11:09:11

It’s understandable if some readers are a little sceptical about the number of ‘Maria Hutchings messes up’ stories I’ve included in previous round-ups. Is the Conservative candidate in the Eastleigh by-election really that bad? Well, don’t take my word for it. Look what Google has to say:
What Google reveals about the current state of play in EastleighBy Mark Pack | Sun 17th February 2013 – 5:34 pm The search results thrown up by Google often provide a neat little insight into what angl…
It’s not hard to tell that several of the key Lib Dem Eastleigh by-election organisers were in America for the 2012 presidential election, for there’s a real Obama campaign style feel to many of the emails and videos being produced to encourage people to come and help:
Where we’ve come from…..ao7-Ug2gsIBTL_zimo8IJQ
There was also a rather nifty use of the Eastleigh Lib Dems Twitter account this morning:
We’ll be live tweeting the first #eastleigh election hustings from St Thomas’ Church. Hustings due to start at 11am.Eastleigh LibDems
With little other live online coverage of the hustings, this Twitter account was able to lap up the bulk of the online audience for the event. The coverage of course had a Lib Dem slant but was broad enough to capture a wider audience too, such as when talking about the UKIP candidate:
James say unless we pull out of EU, problems we face will not go away. Fails to mention huge benefits of EU membership #eastleigh #hustingsEastleigh LibDems
One question many people have been wondering is how the Liberal Democrats will approach being in government versus the party’s local record in Eastleigh. Which will work best for winning votes? A judicious mix of the two is the approach being used:
Thornton up now. Pays tribute to school, where his daughter attended. #eastleigh #hustingsEastleigh LibDems
Thornton highlights LD wins in government on tax, pensions and pupil premium. Says they never would have happened without LD #eastleighEastleigh LibDems
By contrast, Labour is very much not playing the local angles:
Lab candidate Jon O’Farrell admits he is ‘not from Eastleigh’ but again doesn’t see it as a problem either! #eastleigh #hustingsEastleigh LibDems
O’Farrell says we need houses. Says he doesn’t understand why literature is about local issues. #eastleigh #hustingsEastleigh LibDems
Why is all this talk about local relevant? Because it’s what voters want:
What do the academics say? Being local worksWelcome to the latest in our occasional series highlighting interesting findings from academic research. Today – it’s the effect of being…
What do the academics say? The voters want local candidatesWelcome to the latest in our occasional series highlighting interesting findings from academic research. Today – the repeated finding tha…
Of course, no Eastleigh round-up would be complete without another Maria Hutchings quote or two these days:
Maria Hutchings just referred to Labour leader as ‘David Miliband.’ Oops…. #eastleigh #hustingsEastleigh LibDems
Tory claims she was the ‘first’ to oppose gravel pit. Here’s our leaflet from 2006, when she still lived in Essex. http://ow.ly/i/1xoyAEastleigh LibDems
All of which helps explain why the Lib Dem campaign seems much more upbeat than the Conservative one at the moment:
So from what each camp is saying online, it looks as if for everyone 1 Tory helper in #Eastleigh today there are 3.2 Lib DemsMark Pack
Clegg upbeat on Eastleigh visitLib Dem leader Nick Clegg has visited Eastleigh to show support for his candidate, Mike Thornton, ahead of the 28 February by-election.
Similarly compare and contrast two different uses of the internet over the weekend by the main campaigns.
Brilliant idea, great execution from Liberal Youth:
Today I Made A DifferenceShowing the difference Liberal Youth members can make!
But in less successful and not so smart use of the internet…
Tory MPs send identical tweets in scripted attack on Lib Dem candidateFirst the Twitter account @byelection (which is allegedly Tory Eastleigh candidate Maria Hutchings – or more likely CCHQ tweeting on her …
That makes this photo of David Cameron and Maria Hutchings a rather appropriate note on which to end:

Read the previous round-ups from the Eastleigh by-election

All the previous daily round-ups about the Eastleigh campaign are here.


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