The Many Colours of Eastleigh

The Eastleigh by-election, set to be a fierce contest between both coalition parties, is being contested by 14 candidates.  I won’t go into the analytical ins and outs of this election – I’m sure other commentators have already exhausted everything which can be said – but there’s one detail I’d like to pick up upon.

Take a look at the list of candidates:

COLIN BEX – Wessex regionalists
DAVID BISHOP – Elvis Loves Pets Party
JIM DUGGAN – Peace Party
RAY HALL – Beer, Baccy and Crumpet Party
HOWLING LAUD HOPE – Monster Raving Loony William Hill Party
MARIA HUTCHINGS – Conservative
DIANE JAMES – UK Independence Party
DR IAIN MACLENNAN – National Health Action Party
KEVIN MILBURN – Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship”
DARREN PROCTER – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
DANNY STUPPLE – Independent
MIKE THORNTON – Liberal Democrats
MICHAEL WALTERS – The English Democrats – “Putting England First!”

Perhaps it’s only because I’m fond of the party, but the lack of any Green politicians is interesting.  The Green Party is, at best, a fringe party with few backers, so I’m not necessarily surprised that they can’t field candidates at every election.  However considering the Green Party, who have one MP, aren’t on the list, it is perhaps bizarre to see  parties such as the ‘Monster Raving Loony Party’, ‘Beer, Baccy and Crumpet Party’ and the ‘Elvis Loves Pets Party’ standing.  The ballot paper must almost look like a satirical piece.  There’s also no Respect candidates, despite their MP also.  Yet UKIP are being widely commented upon, which currently goes unrepresented in the House of Commons.

If I was a voter in Eastleigh, I really don’t know who I would vote for in party terms.  It would probably come down to the individual candidates.  I certainly don’t want either of the coalition parties to win this seat.  Labour might even be the best option, and in most circumstances I would be very reluctant to go near Labour!  Would ‘Peace’ be too wishy-washy…?  Hm.

Prediction: I don’t know very much about Eastleigh at all, but I can see the Conservatives winning this seat, unfortunately.  I don’t envisage redemption for the Lib Dems anytime soon, and Labour does not have enough support in this constituency.  But time will tell.  By-elections are so exciting, aren’t they?!

In other, unrelated news, today is the 3 month anniversary of my vegetarianism, and I’m more determined to stick with it than ever.