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Monday, 12 December 2011

What to look for in the UK by-election this week

The by-election will demonstrate how much progress UKIP
have made as a result of the most recent developments
with the EU.
The Felton & Hesham by election due to take place on the 15th December 2011 will be the first in the UK since May. The expectation is that the result will run - Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, Others but this will be the first real test of the vote following the unveiling of the ongoing crisis in Europe.

UKIP is aiming to push the Lib Dem's into third place but the deeper concern is that UKIP could cause a divide in the Centre-Right vote in the UK and become a headache to the Conservatives causing them to lose key marginal seats.

"The existence of both the Liberal Party (later the Liberal Democrats) and Labour had ripped asunder the country's centre-left majority, bequeathing a Tory-dominated 20th century"
writes historian David Marquand (one wonders what happened to the 'le') in his book the Progressive Dilemma.

We have now suffered 65 years of the welfare state experiment and people are gradually moving towards the Libertarian philosophy, which combines the economic freedoms of the right with the personal freedoms of the Liberals to attract a wide base of support. Libertarianism is not really a Centre-right philosophy, although the press struggle to recognise anything beyond the left-right economic cleavage at the present time.

They will be hoping to draw people away from the BNP who polled 4th at the last election with their anti-immigration policies.

George Hallam is contesting the seat for the London People Before Profit party. His organisation has grown out of Lewisham People Before Profit, a pressure group and political party formed to counter what they claim is the privatisation of public services. The party contested council, mayoral and Parliamentary elections in Lewisham in May 2010, and polled about 6,000 votes. It also intends to fight the Greater London Assembly elections in May next year with candidates from the area and an all-London party top-up list. A party spokesman said: "George Hallam's candidacy will give people outside Lewisham their first chance to vote for a People Before Profit candidate and will give an impetus to individuals and groups of campaigners in south-west London who are setting up People Before Profit groups on a borough by borough basis." Mr Hallam has lived in London since 1979 and in Lewisham since 1991 and has been an active campaigner.

Daniel Goldsmith is the Green Party candidate. An IT consultant who lives in Chiswick, he is concerned with air quality in the borough and believes his party can make London more affordable for ordinary people.

He said: "I live in Chiswick and can get to Feltham town centre in less than 30 minutes by train so I won't be charging expenses for a second home. "A railcard will be fine for me. I will highlight the issue of air pollution, which is worse than World Health Organisation limits in parts of Feltham and Heston, and call for action to resolve this. The Green Party are determined to close the gap between rich and poor and we will fight to raise the minimum wage in London to £8.30 - the current level of the London Living Wage - so work pays and no parent needs to do two jobs to make ends meet."

David Bishop is from the Bus Pass Elvis party. Mr Bishop, who lives in Nottingham, has stood in the past five General Elections, as well as by-elections in Haltemprice and Howden in 2008 and Oldham East and Saddleworth in January this year. For Feltham and Heston voters, Mr Bishop is promising to campaign to save public lavatories from extinction, fighting any move to scrapping OAP bus passes and banning fast food corporations from sponsoring sporting events.

ROGER COOPER is standing from the English Democrats. He is retired and holds the position of London and Middlesex Chairman for his party.

David Furness is the British National Party candidate. In the General Election of 2010, the BNP vote put the candidate John Donnelly in fourth place, behind the three main parties, but ahead of both the Green Party and UKIP.

The other four candidates; Lib Dem Roger Crouch, Labour's Seema Malthotra, Conservative Mark Bowen, and UKIP candidate Andrew Charalambous.

Mr Keen held the seat for Labour in 2010 with a reduced majority of 4,658. The seat will no longer exist in 2015 as it will be carved up into three under the review of constituency boundaries.