Haltemprice and Howden by-election, 2008


Haltemprice and Howden by-election, 2008

The 2008 Haltemprice and Howden by-election was a by-election for the UK Parliamentary constituency of Haltemprice and Howden, which took place on 10 July 2008. The by-election was triggered by the surprise and controversial resignation of the sitting MP David Davis on 12 June 2008.

Davis' stated intention was to spark a wider public debate on the perceived erosion of civil liberties in the UK by recontesting his seat on this single issue platform, launched as the David Davis for Freedom campaign. The two other main political parties Labour and the Liberal Democrats declined to field candidates, due to opposing and supporting Davis' stand respectively.

Davis was subsequqently re-elected to his seat with 72% of the vote.cite web|url=http://www.parliament.uk/faq/elections_faq_page.cfm|title=UK Parliament Elections Page] Davis received 17,113 votes, with the closest challenge coming from the Green Party and English Democrats with 1,758 and 1,714 votes respectively. All other candidates lost their deposit due to polling less than 5% of the vote. Due to the unusual circumstances, the election broke several records, including the highest number of candidates running in a UK parliamentary by-election, the largest number of independents, the largest number of people losing their deposits and the best by-election results to date for the Green Party and English Democrats.cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7498330.stm|title=A record-breaking by-election?|publisher=BBC News|date=2008-07-11|accessdate=2008-07-11]

While single issue by-elections such as this one were not unprecedented, they were rare in modern political times. As per election law, other candidates were free to stand on their chosen manifesto and not necessarily obliged to oppose or support Davis. Davis' use of a by-election in this way attracted both praise and criticism from politicians, the public and the media, with "The Sun" newspaper initially considering fielding a candidate to oppose Davis in support of anti-terrorism legislation. The Labour party's stance attracted specific criticism as appearing to be afraid to debate, following recent poor election results and a record low opinion poll result; while Davis attracted criticism as being vain, wasting public money, and for contesting the issue in his safe seat.

Background

Davis, the then Shadow Home Secretary, announced his intention to resign on 12 June 2008,cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7450627.stm|title=David Davis resigns from Commons|accessdate = 2008-06-25|date = 13 June 2008|work = BBC News Online
publisher = BBC
] a day after a House of Commons vote passed the Counter-Terrorism Bill, which would extend the legal detention of terror suspects without charge to a maximum of 42 days.Explaining his actions, Davis stated he intended to spark a wider public debate about the perceived erosion of civil liberties by the current Labour government,cite web
url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jun/13/daviddavis.terrorism
title = Tories aghast as Davis quits to wage lone war on 42 days
accessdate = 2008-06-25
last = Wintour
first = Partick
date = 13 June 2008
work = The Guardian
publisher = Guardian News and Media Limited
] which in the following week was launched as the 'David Davis for Freedom campaign'. [citeweb|date=June 2008|accessdate=2008-07-07|url=http://www.daviddavisforfreedom.com/|title=David Davis For Freedom|publisher=Duncan Gilmour] Culture Secretary Andrew Burnham called on Davis to fund the cost of the by-election to the taxpayer, estimated at £80,000, from his own pocket.cite web
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7461695.stm
title = Davis 'should fund by-election'
accessdate = 2008-06-26
date = 18 June 2008
work = BBC News Online
publisher = BBC
]

The seat was previously held continuously by Davis as a Conservative seat, since 1987 (formerly as Boothferry), with the Conservative position at the time of Davis's resignation being in agreement with Davis as to opposing the 42 day extension vote, although Davis's decision to resign was characterised as personal and not a shadow cabinet decision, by Conservative leader David Cameron.

The by-election followed a heavy defeat for Labour in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election in May 2008, who were previously the third party in this seat behind the second placed Liberal Democrats. The by-election also follows a previously failed attempt by the Liberal Democrats to target Davis as a high profile seat in a 'decapitation' strategy against the Conservatives in the previous general election of 2005.

Analogous UK parliamentary elections

A small number of previous by-elections have been initiated when the sitting MP resigned on a point of principle and stood for immediate re-election. This has occurred three times since the Second World War, the Lincoln by-election in 1973 and the Mitcham and Morden by-election in 1982 when the sitting MPs changed parties, and in 1986 when fifteen Northern Irish MPs resigned in protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement. In addition in 1955 Sir Richard Acland resigned with the intention to re-contest Gravesend as an independent in protest against the Labour Party's support for nuclear weapons, but the 1955 general election overtook events and he lost. [cite web
url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jun/12/byelections.daviddavis?gusrc=rss&feed=global
title = David Davis: Other MPs who resigned to fight byelections
accessdate = 2008-06-27
author = Andrew Sparrow
date = 12 June 2008
publisher = The Guardian
]

At the 1997 general election, neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats stood against the Conservatives in the seat of Tatton, urging their supporters to back the independent Martin Bell, over the Cash-for-questions affair. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/3535309.stm |title=Man-in-white stands for Euro seat |work=BBC News Online|publisher=BBC|date=5 March 2004 |accessdate=2008-06-18] Bell defeated Neil Hamilton and won the seat. In both the 2001 and 2005 general elections, the Liberal Democrats did not field a candidate in Wyre Forest, instead supporting the Health Concern candidate Richard Taylor.

Result

Polling took place on 10 July 2008.

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = David Davis
votes = 17,113
percentage = 71.6
change = +24.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Green Party of England and Wales
candidate = Shan Oakes
votes = 1,758
percentage = 7.4
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = English Democrats Party
candidate = Joanne Robinson
votes = 1,714
percentage = 7.2
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = British National Front
candidate = Tess Culnane
votes = 544
percentage = 2.3
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate
party = Miss Great Britain Party
candidate = Gemma Garrett
votes = 521
percentage = 2.2
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Jill Saward
votes = 492
percentage = 2.1
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Official Monster Raving Loony Party
candidate = Mad Cow-Girl
votes = 412
percentage = 1.7
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Walter Sweeney
votes = 238
percentage = 1.0
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = John Nicholson
votes = 162
percentage = 0.7
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = David Craig
votes = 135
percentage = 0.6
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = The New Party (UK)
candidate = David Pinder
votes = 135
percentage = 0.6
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate
party = "no label"
candidate = David Icke
votes = 110
percentage = 0.5
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate
party = Freedom 4 Choice
candidate = Hamish Howitt
votes = 91
percentage = 0.4
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Socialist Equality Party (UK)
candidate = Chris Talbot
votes = 84
percentage = 0.4
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Grace Astley
votes = 77
percentage = 0.3
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Christian Party (UK)
candidate = George Hargreaves
votes = 76
percentage = 0.3
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate
party = Church of the Militant Elvis Party
candidate = David Bishop
votes = 44
percentage = 0.2
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = John Upex
votes = 38
percentage = 0.2
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Greg Wood
votes = 32
percentage = 0.1
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Eamonn Fitzpatrick
votes = 31
percentage = 0.1
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Make Politicians History
candidate = Ronnie Carroll
votes = 29
percentage = 0.1
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Thomas Darwood
votes = 25
percentage = 0.1
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Christopher Foren
votes = 23
percentage = 0.1
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Herbert Crossman
votes = 11
percentage = 0.0
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Tony Farnon
votes = 8
percentage = 0.0
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Norman Scarth
votes = 8
percentage = 0.0
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 15,355
percentage = 64.2
change = +53.5
Election box turnout
votes = 23,911
percentage = 34.03
change = –35.7
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Candidates

East Riding of Yorkshire council announced the accepted candidates on Thursday 26 June 2008.cite web|url=http://www.eastriding.gov.uk/EasySiteWeb/GatewayLink.aspx?alId=36838|title=Statement as to persons nominated and notice of poll|last=East Riding of Yorkshire Council|date=2008-06-26|accessdate=2008-06-26| format=PDF] At 26, the number of candidates breaks the record for the number of candidates in a UK parliamentary by-election, previously held by the Newbury by-election, 1993, which had 19 candidates. The greatest number of candidates to have contested a UK general election seat is 15, at Sedgefield in 2005.

Due to the large number of candidates the ballot paper for this election was arranged in two columns. [cite web|last=Isaby|first=Jonathan|url=http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/jonathan_isaby/blog/2008/06/27/haltemprice_and_howdens_ballot_paper_conundrum|title=Haltemprice and Howden's ballot paper conundrum|work=Telegraph Blogs|accessdate=2008-07-09] Also, the candidates stood in a line in front of a small platform with the returning officer on it, rather than on a temporary stage as is normally practiced because it was feared that the stage would not take the weight of all the candidates. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7498648.stm|title=By-election stage collapse fears|publisher=BBC|date=2008-07-10|accessdate=2008-07-10]

Christian Party

George Hargreaves stood for the Christian Party and is leader of that party. The party website said "he is asking the Haltemprice and Howden electorate to use their vote to demand a referendum on the European Union, which he believes is the greatest threat to our civil liberties". [cite web|url=http://www.christianparty.org.uk/cmsparty/|title=Christian Party leader to stand in Haltemprice & Howden|last=Warren |first=Paula|date=2008-06-26|work=The Christian Party website|accessdate=2008-06-30]

Church of the Militant Elvis Party

David Bishop was the candidate for the Church of the Militant Elvis Party. He previously stood for this party in Erewash in the United Kingdom general election, 2005 and in Brentwood and Ongar in 2001.

Conservative

David Davis, MP for the constituency and its predecessor from 1987 until his resignation brought about the by-election, stood as the official Conservative Party candidate.Porter, Andrew [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/2116367/David-Davis-to-resign-as-shadow-home-secretary.html David Davis to resign from shadow cabinet and as MP] , Daily Telegraph, 12 June 2008, accessed 12 June 2008 See also: cite web|url=http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=people.constituency.page&obj_id=1847|title=Haltemprice & Howden|accessdate=2008-07-11|publisher=Conservative Party (UK)] He fought the campaign on the theme David Davis for Freedom.

English Democrats Party

The English Democrats Party selected Joanne Robinson as its candidate. [cite press release |title=Haltemprice and Howden |publisher=English Democrats Party |date= |url=http://www.englishdemocrats.org.uk/yorkshire/stop_press.php?recordID=2 |accessdate=2008-06-23 ] She previously stood as the United Kingdom Independence Party candidate for the same constituency in the 2001 general election.

Freedom 4 Choice

Blackpool based Hamish Howitt was one of two pub landlords who announced intentions to stand under the "Freedom to Choose" label, opposing the smoking ban in England. [citeweb|url=http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/news_detail.aspx?articleid=62894| title=Smoke rebels to stand in by-election|accessdate=2008-06-13 See also: cite web|url=http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/haltempriceandhowden?cp=11|title=Haltemprice and Howden|accessdate=2008-06-13|publisher=UK Polling Report]

Green Party

Shan Oakes was the Green Party candidate. She is also the party's candidate in the 2009 European Parliament elections. [cite web| url=http://shanoakes.blogspot.com/ | title=Shan Oakes - The real civil liberties candidate | work=GP Blog | accessdate=2008-06-24 See also: cite web| url=http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/haltempriceandhowden | title=Haltemprice and Howden | work=UKPollingReport | accessdate=2008-06-20 and cite web|url=http://www.y-hgreenparty.org.uk/shan.htm|title=Shan Oakes, EU 2009 candidate|work=Yorkshire and Humber Green Party|accessdate=2008-06-20]

She stood on a civil rights platform, highlighting the measures supported by David Davis that she claimed threaten civil liberties, including his support for the death sentence. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7476881.stm|title=Voters terrify Brown, says Davis|work=BBC News|date=2008-06-27|accessdate=2008-06-27] David Davis admitted that the Green Party were his most serious contenders in the by-election. [cite web|url=http://shanoakes.blogspot.com/2008/06/grey-meets-green-in-by-election.html|title=Grey meets Green in by-election showdown|work=Shan Oakes - The real civil liberties candidate|date=2008-06-26|accessdate=2008-08-27]

Make Politicians History

Ronnie Carroll, standing for Make Politicians History, is the party's leader and also a twice-defeated Eurovision Song Contest entrant. [cite web|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article4138346.ece
title=Davis’s by-election is reminiscent of Blackadder and B’Stard | date=2008-06-15
work=Sunday Times |accessdate 2008-15-06
] He stood in Hampstead and Highgate in the United Kingdom general election, 1997 for the "Rainbow Dream Ticket", a predecessor of "Make Politicians History", and in the Uxbridge by-election, 1997 for the ProLife Alliance. He told the VoteWise website he stands for liberating "ourselves from the governing classes, those lords of misrule" [citeweb|url=http://www.votewise.co.uk/index.php?pg=show&c=1070&eid=MP0003-0&this=1070|title=Ronnie Carroll is standing for the Make Politicians History|publisher=VoteWise|accessdate=2008-07-11]

Miss Great Britain Party

The Miss Great Britain Party candidate was Gemma Garrett, following her last place, as an Independent, at the earlier Crewe and Nantwich by-election. The party registered with the Electoral Commission after that election. Garrett expressed opposition to David Davis, declaring herself "happy to be locked up for 42 days if I am a suspect".cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7501110.stm|title= Did David Davis keep his dignity?|publisher=BBC News|date=2008-07-11|accessdate=2008-07-12]

National Front

Tess Culnane was the National Front candidate; she was a London Assembly election, 2004 candidate for the BNP.cite web|url=http://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/latest-york-and-humberside-news/Davis-to-discover-byelection-opponents.4224638.jp|title=Halifax Courier]

The New Party

David Pinder stood for The New Party. He said "Read my lips: what David Davis is saying is that Britain needs a new party". [cite web|url=http://www.anewpartyforbritain.com/|title=A new party for Britain|accessdate=2008-06-29]

Official Monster Raving Loony Party

The Official Monster Raving Loony Party's candidate was Rosalyn Warner, known as Mad Cow-Girl. [http://www.omrlp.com/index.php?page=madcows-statement Madcows Statement] , accessed 13 June 2008] She stood on an indefinite-detention platform, combined with a quote based on Douglas Adams's "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy": "The answer is 42!!! Now we just need to figure out the real question!!!" On BBC Radio 4, they were reported as saying 'because the sensible parties are acting like lunatics in this election, we have decided to come up with sensible policies'. Later she remarked "I may be a loony but I'm not mad enough to want dangerous people to be walking the streets" She has previously stood in Sunderland South in the 2001 and 2005 General Elections.

ocialist Equality Party

The Socialist Equality Party stood Chris Talbot as its candidate on a program of "genuine" socialism with a particular emphasis on a defence of "democratic rights". [cite web|url=http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jun2008/elec-j23.shtml |title=Britain: SEP to stand in Haltemprice and Howden by-election|date=2008-06-23|work=World Socialist Web Site|accessdate= 2008-06-22|] He is a lecturer at the University of Huddersfield and contested South Wales Central in the National Assembly for Wales election, 2007.

Independent candidates

* David Craig (real name Neil Glass), former management consultant turned author critical of Gordon Brown stood as an independent candidate. [citeweb|url=http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/people,1065,double-identity-of-david-davis-challenger,31506| title=Double identity of David Davis challenger|accessdate=2008-06-16]

* Herbert Crossman stood in Harrow West in the United Kingdom general election, 1997 for the Referendum Party.cite web|url=http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/haltempriceandhowden|title=Haltemprice and Howden|accessdate=2008-06-29] Crossman told the VoteWise website he wants to "make a difference to people's life's." "{sic}" [citeweb|url=http://www.votewise.co.uk/index.php?pg=show&c=1073&eid=MP0003-0&this=1073|title=Herbert Winford Crossman is standing as an Independent|publisher=VoteWise|accessdate=2008-07-11]

* Thomas Darwood has letters published on the themes of monarchy and religion on his web site. [citeweb|url=http://tomwood44.web.officelive.com/default.aspx|title=TOM DARWOOD - Independent Candidate for the Haltemprice & Howden by-election of 10 July 2008|accessdate=2008-07-07|publisher=The Reformation Pary]

* Tony Farnon told the VoteWise website his campaign was largely based on his personal anti-smoking and smoking addiction programme, and that smokers could use his "Winners Freedom Secrets". [citeweb|url=http://www.votewise.co.uk/index.php?pg=show&c=1079&eid=MP0003-0&this=1079|title=Tony Farnon is standing as an Independent|publisher=VoteWise|accessdate=2008-07-11]

* Eamonn Fitzpatrick, a Northampton market trader, stated that he would shut down his market stall for a month to campaign in favour of the government's 42-day detention plan.cite web|last=Percival|first=Jenny|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jun/19/daviddavis.byelections|title=MacKenzie explains decision not to stand in David Davis byelection|publisher="The Guardian"|date=2008-06-19|accessdate=2008-06-19] Fitzpatrick has run in elections before, standing in Northampton South. [citeweb|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/northamptonshire/7456429.stm|title=Trader set to stand against Davis|accessdate=2008-06-16] Kelvin MacKenzie urged his supporters and those in favour of 42 days detention to vote for Fitzpatrick. He received 31 votes.

* Christopher Foren was the Leeds Crown Prosecutor.

* Jill Saward, a campaigner for rape law reform, stated in [http://www.saward.org/Articles/haltemprice.htm an article on her website] that she would stand as a candidate against David Davis, in response to Davis "saying nothing at all" about sexual violence issues while serving as Shadow Home Secretary. She stated that the DNA Database should be extended to help detection of sexual assault, and that there was a disparity between the "thousands" of people affected by sexual assault each year, compared to the detention proposals of the Counter-Terrorism Bill which "may not affect anyone at all".cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7472980.stm|title=Rape campaigner by-election bid |date=2008-06-25|publisher=BBC News|accessdate=2008-06-25 See also: cite web|url=http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Campaigners-set-to-fight-Davis.4222338.jp|title=Campaigners set to fight Davis by-election |date=2008-06-25|publisher=Yorkshire Post|accessdate=2008-06-25 and cite web|url=http://www.eadt.co.uk/content/eadt/politics/story.aspx?brand=EADOnline&category=Politics&tBrand=EADOnline&tCategory=zpolitics&itemid=IPED25%20Jun%202008%2015%3A14%3A16%3A493|title=Icke and Saward may contest by-election |date=2008-06-25|publisher=East Anglia Daily Times|accessdate=2008-06-25 and cite web|url=http://www.driffieldtoday.co.uk/latest-york-and-humberside-news/Latest-byelection-contenders-revealed.4222454.jp|title=Latest by-election contenders revealed |date=2008-06-25|publisher=Driffield Times and Post|accessdate=2008-06-25] In the early hours of 26 June she revealed that she would be standing in the election and later that afternoon she confirmed that her nomination papers had been accepted.cite web|url=http://www.saward.org|title=Well, it's now official. Or rather it will be at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon...|date=2008-06-26|publisher=Jill Saward|accessdate=2008-06-26]

* Norman Scarth stood as "Anti Crime" in the Sedgefield by-election, 2007, where he came bottom of the poll with 34 votes. He had previously contested Chesterfield in the United Kingdom general election, 1997, as "Independent Old Age Pensioner".

* Walter Sweeney is the former Conservative MP for Vale of Glamorgan.

* John Upex is a former United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) member, and was UKIP candidate in Wakefield in the United Kingdom general election, 2005.

* Greg Wood had served as a doctor with the Royal Navy for sixteen years. His candidature was on the single isssue of better care for the armed forces and veterans. [ [http://by-elections.co.uk/haltemprice/Wood.html Greg Wood] By-election Literatue]

Candidate with no label

Conspiracy theorist David Icke said he would stand for election under the slogan "Big Brother - the "Big" Picture", but that if elected he would refuse to take the oath of allegiance to the Queen in order to take up his seat. [cite web|url=http://www.davidicke.com/content/blogcategory/30/82/|title=David Icke to stand in "Big Brother" election|work=David Icke website|accessdate=2008-06-25] He opted to declare neither a party affiliation nor "Independent", so appeared on the ballot paper with no party label. Icke told the VoteWise website he had "no politics", and David Davis had a "lot he doesn't yet see". [citeweb|url=http://www.votewise.co.uk/index.php?pg=show&c=1076&eid=MP0003-0&this=1076|title=David Icke is standing for the None (No Party)|publisher=VoteWise|accessdate=2008-07-11]

Not standing

Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, announced that his party would not field a candidate in the by-election as the issue of civil liberties transcends party politics and the Liberal Democrats support Davis' position on the issue, but that the party does intend to contest the seat as normal at the next general election.cite web|url=http://libdems.org.uk/news/42-day-detention-transcends-party-politics-clegg.14472.html|title=Liberal Democrat press release] The Liberal Democrats came second in the 2005 general election in this seat.

The Labour Party also declared that they would not contest the by-election.cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7460345.stm|title=Labour won't stand against Davis |date=2008-06-18|publisher=BBC News|accessdate=2008-06-19] In the immediate aftermath of David Davis' decision, Prime Minister Gordon Brown called the by-election a "farce", and Mr Davis' opposite number, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the Conservative Party was in "disarray". [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7450683.stm Reactions to Davis' resignation] BBC News accessed 14 June 2008 ] In a statement on the Labour Party's website, NEC Chair, Dianne Hayter, said: "This is a phoney by-election that is completely unnecessary and the Labour Party will not be taking part in what is a political stunt". [citeweb|url=http://www.labour.org.uk/statement_from_dianne_hayter|title=Statement from Dianne Hayter|accessdate=2008-07-11|publisher=Labour Party (UK)]

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) did not contest the election. However, one UKIP MEP announced that he would campaign for David Davis if he also addressed issues related to the European Union during his campaign. [cite web|url=http://www.ukip.org/ukip/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=667&Itemid=57|title=UKIP MEP applauds Davis stand]

The British National Party announced it would not "stand in Davis' way", as it supported his position.citeweb|url=http://www.bnp.org.uk/2008/06/david-davis-power-play/|title=David Davis Power Play BNP|accessdate=2008-06-15]

The editor of "The Sun" newspaper, Rebekah Wade and its proprietor Rupert Murdoch requested in the immediate days following David Davis' decision that columnist Kelvin MacKenzie stand against Davis for election. MacKenzie stated "The Sun" is very, very hostile to David Davis because of his 28 day stance and "The Sun" has always been very up for 42 days and perhaps even 420 days."cite news | title = Ex-Sun man to challenge Davis | publisher = The Sun|date = 2008-06-13 | url = http://thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1287293.ece | accessdate = 2008-06-13 | quote="The Sun" columnist said he was approached by the paper's proprietor Rupert Murdoch and current editor Rebekah Wade who suggested he could step up to the challenge." ""The Sun" is very hostile to David Davis because of his stand," he said. See also: cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7466453.stm|title=Queen in by-election clash fear|accessdate = 2008-06-26|date = 20 June 2008|work = BBC News Online|publisher=BBC and citeweb|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7452264.stm|work = BBC News Online|publisher=BBC|title=Ex-Sun Editor to "take on" Davis|date = 13 June 2008|accessdate=2008-06-13] In its editorial "The Sun" described Davis as deranged.cite news|work=The Sun|pages=editorial|date=13 June 2008|title=Has David Davis gone stark raving mad?|accessdate=2008-06-13] MacKenzie's candidature was soon put in doubt following an apparently off-the-cuff disparaging remark, when MacKenzie described the near-by city of Kingston upon Hull as "shocking, simply shocking".cite web| url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1026507/Former-Sun-editor-second-thoughts-taking-Tory-rebel-Davis.html
title=Former Sun editor has second thoughts about taking on Tory rebel Davis | work=Mail on Sunday |date= 14 June 2008|accessdate=2008-06-15
] MacKenzie confirmed on 19 June 2008 that he would not be standing, primarily due to having no financial backing. He urged people to vote instead for Eamonn Fitzpatrick. [cite web|author=Kelvin MacKenzie|url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/columnists/kelvin_mackenzie/article578227.ece|title=I have been to Hull and back|work=The Sun|date= 19 June 2008|accessdate=2008-06-20]

History

Constituency history

David Davis has held the constituency for the Conservatives since its creation in 1997, and previously held the predecessor seat of Boothferry from 1987. The area of the seat, variously covered in the past by parts of Boothferry, Howden, Haltemprice, Howdenshire and East Riding of Yorkshire, has been consistently represented by Conservative MPs since the 1837 general election.

Davis' majority fell back to 4.3% in the 2001 general election and the seat became a Liberal Democrat target. [cite web |url=http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/constit/385.htm |title=General Election result, June 2001 |accessdate=2008-06-25 |work=Political Science Resources |publisher=Richard Kimber] However, Davis increased his majority to 10.7% in the 2005 general election.cite web |url=http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/ge05/i10.htm |title=UK General Election results May 2005 |accessdate=2008-06-25 |work=Political Science Resources |publisher=Richard Kimber]

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = David Davis
votes = 22,792
percentage = 47.5
change = +4.3
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Democrats (UK)
candidate = Jon Neal
votes = 17,676
percentage = 36.8
change = –2.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Edward Hart
votes = 6,104
percentage = 12.7
change = –3.0
Election box candidate with party link
party = British National Party
candidate = John Mainprize
votes = 798
percentage = 1.7
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = United Kingdom Independence Party
candidate = Philip Lane
votes = 659
percentage = 1.4
change = –0.8
Election box majority
votes = 5,116
percentage = 10.7
change = +6.4
Election box turnout
votes = 48,029
percentage = 70.1
change = +4.3
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = +3.2

By-election records

The nature of Davies' resignation resulted in a number of by-election records and unusual occurences. Most notably, at 26, the election saw a record number of candidates and a record number of independent candidates standing for an election in the UK. [citeweb|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7483851.stm|title=Guide: The Haltemprice hopefuls|publisher=BBC News|date=2 July 2008|accessdate=2008-07-09] 23 of them, including all independents, lost their deposit, also a record. The Labour Party's decision not to put forward a candidate meant this was the first mainland by-election since Bristol South East in 1963 (when the Conservative Party did not stand) in which the governing party has not stood a candidate and the first mainland by-election without a Labour candidate since the Combined English Universities by-election, 1946.

Davis' result saw the biggest increase in share of the vote, up 24.1%, for a Conservative by-election candidate since 1945. The Green Party and the English Democrats Party both gained record high by-election vote percentages at 7.4% and 7.2%, and second and third place respectively. This is also the highest percentage vote for the English Democrats at any parliamentary election.

References


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