Tories leading in Eastleigh – Media and blog round up: February 8th 2013

8th February, 2013 11:00 am

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Tories lead in first Eastleigh Poll

“The Liberal Democrats look to have a tough job on their hands to retain Chris Huhne’s seat in the Eastleigh byelection after a starting-pistol poll put them three points down on the Conservatives, largely due to the defection of some of their supporters to Labour. The survey, conducted on 4-5 February by the former Conservative deputy chairman, Lord Michael Ashcroft, suggests the Lib Dems will have to work hard to save the seat, mainly by clawing back the Labour vote, and chiefly by arguing only they can defeat the Tories.” – The Guardian

“the Conservatives, with an initial lead and reasonable support for their national performance, versus the Liberal Democrats on home territory. This is going to be bruising – but fascinating.” – Lord Ashcroft, ConservativeHome

EU on brink of “historic” budget cut

“European leaders were inching towards a deal in the early hours of Friday morning that would see the first cut in the EU’s budget in its 56-year history. David Cameron, who had demanded a freeze in real terms in the near-€1tn budget, was planning to claim victory after the European council president proposed a €34.4bn cut over the next seven years. Herman Van Rompuy finally tabled his budget proposals in Brussels at 6am after a night of haggling at the EU summit that was described by one official as like a “bazaar”.” – Guardian

Other highlights

  • How the Tory candidate in Eastleigh attacked Asylum Seekers – New Statesman
  • Secret plan to privatise Fire services – Mirror
  • Next Bank of England Governor defends £800k package – Independent
  • DWP to blame for fitness to work fiasco – Guardian
  • Stafford Hospital Nurse accused of “dragging” 73 year old by collar – Independent
  • NT86

    If Labour’s vote exceeds the predicted 19% on the day of the result, and it does in fact lead to a Tory gain, I don’t think voters would care too much. The Lib Dem vote went up in many Labour/Tory marginals in 2010, a number of which Labour lost as a result.

    The net outcome is that over time, Labour could replace the Lib Dems as the main competition in southern seats as well as regain ground in marginals they lost. Eastleigh could be Tory v Labour head-to-head by 2020. Gotta start somewhere.

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