The Eastleigh By-election

Over the last few days I have been up and down the motorway to capture the activity surrounding the by-election in Eastleigh, Hampshire. I enjoy covering political activity, especially when you can see the process of grass roots democracy in action. Tell people what you believe in – vote for a person that makes the most sense to you – votes get counted and the winner becomes a member of Parliament and can take your concerns to the heart of Government – easy. Eastleigh town centre was awash with campaigners, and media all trying to get a reaction out of the voters there. During the campaign the Liberal Democrats, the favourites to win, were plagued by reports that one of their most senior members was the subject of allegations centred around sexual misconduct whilst in office, bringing the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, to the campaign and even more national media attention on the small market town.

Here’s my round up of my favourite pictures from the goings on:

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A street sign on the main road into Eastleigh.
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UKIP leader Nigel Farage is interviewed by a television crew on Market Street in Eastleigh.
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Former Conservative MP Neil Hamitlon talks to a woman on Market Street, while campaigning on behalf of UKIP
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A woman walks past an advertising sign in the town centre.
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UK Members of the media photograph Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson ah he campaigns on a housing estate with Conservative Candidate Maria Hutchins.
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A man and his dog campaign in the town centre on behalf of UKIP.
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Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is seen leaving through a back door after giving a difficult radio interview about allegations of sexual misconduct by a senior member of his party.
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Brian Leggett, UK spokesperson for the International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP) launches a billboard campaign.
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Conservative Party Candidate Maria Hutchins (left) campaigns with MP Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and The Weald in Kent.
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Eastleigh Borough Council Leader, Keith House (Red tie), Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Eastleigh, Mike Thornton (Pink tie) Barry Stephenson Managing Director of Eastleigh Railway Works and Catherine Bearder, (grey coat) Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for the South East of England, visit Arlington Fleet Services, based at the historic Eastleigh Railway Works site.
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UKIP leader jokes with a member of the public whilst out canvassing on Market Street.
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Liberal Democrat MP for Wells, Tessa Munt (L) and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Eastleigh, Mike Thornton (r) talk to Isabel Howell (81) whilst visiting pensioners at the Burlesdon Lunch Club.
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Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime minister Nick Clegg (left) and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Eastleigh, Mike Thornton are greeted when they arrive for a press conference at the Liberal Democrat campaign headquarters in Eastleigh.
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Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime minister Nick Clegg (right) and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Eastleigh, Mike Thornton help pack campaign leaflets at the Liberal Democrat campaign headquarters.
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Ballot boxes begin to arrive at the count centre at Fleming Park Leisure Centre in Eastleigh on the night of the count.
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Ballot boxes begin to arrive and be counted at the count centre at Fleming Park Leisure Centre in Eastleigh on the night of the count.
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The count begins in the early hours of the morning at Fleming Park Leisure Centre in Eastleigh on the night of the count.
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A woman wearing a Conservative Party rosette watches the count through binoculars.
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Conservative Party supporters begin to hear news that their party is not doing well in the count.
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Howling Laud Hope of the Monster Raving Loony William Hill Party arrives at the count centre.
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UKIP leader Nigel Farage and UKIP Candidate Diane James arrive at the count.
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Liberal Democrat Candidate Mike Thornton (L) hears that he has won the Eastleigh By-Election and is now an elected Member of Parliament.
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Conservative Candidate Maria Hutchins is led out of the count centre surrounded by media after coming third in the election.
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Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (right) meets with Mike Thornton MP the morning after his by-election victory.
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Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (centre left) leaves a campaign event with Mike Thornton MP (right) flanked by personal police officers the morning after Mr Thornton’s by-election victory .

View the slide show of these images on my website

Nigel Farage on front page of Metro

Nick Clegg on front page of Daily Mail

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