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Lib Dem win good for the coalition, says top Tory

By GDemianyk  |  Posted: March 01, 2013

Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton

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A senior Westcountry Conservative MP has shrugged off the party finishing third behind the UK Independence Party at a crucial by-election – arguing the Liberal Democrat victory is a "win" for the coalition Government.

The Lib Dems held off a late surge by Ukip to win the South Coast seat of Eastleigh vacated by Chris Huhne in the early hours of this morning.

Prime Minister David Cameron is likely to face questions from his party after Ukip's strong showing in one of the Tories' top target seats needed to secure an outright majority in the 2015 general election.

But Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton, the Conservative Party deputy chairman, played down the significance of the result.

Asked whether trailing Ukip was a disaster, she told the Western Morning News: "It is not a disaster for the Conservative Party.

"It was a Liberal Democrat seat to hold. They are part of the coalition. It was a win for the coalition.

"Most people thought the Liberal Democrats would win."

Mr Cameron acknowledged that the result was "disappointing" for his party but insisted he was "confident" that in the 2015 general election the Tories would be able to win back the protest voters who deserted them last night.

Tory rebel Douglas Carswell said the result showed that policy changes were needed and questioned why the party was on a "long march of defeat".

Meanwhile, Lib Dem President Tim Farron said the result showed his party could even gain seats from the Conservatives at the next election despite the Lord Rennard scandal and slump in the opinion polls.

Mr Farron said he is eyeing three gains in Cornwall – meaning the Lib Dems would boast all six seats in the Duchy, as in 2005 – and told the WMN that Newton Abbot in Devon is "high up on the list" of targets.

Full story in tomorrow's Western Morning News

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  • Charlespk  |  March 01 2013, 6:27PM

    So he lied. . So do half the country. They lie about insurance. . They lie to get benefits. Speed limits are completely arbitrary. . They always have been and they always will be. . It wasn't dangerous driving. . He didn't kill anyone. He made the grave mistake of asking his wife to take his penalty points then cheating on her. . He has paid a severe penalty already for his grave malfeasance. I can't stand the man or understand people with the mentality to vote Lib-Dem. But the cost of this case is obscene when there are so many real problems in the world. Too many laws have been made by control freaks that will always be broken. . It's time we had a bonfire.

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  • DipStick  |  March 01 2013, 4:39PM

    @Charlespk: """ ... for a completely arbitrary speeding ''offense" justified all the hyped-up, so-called, 'criminality' of the affair. ... """ Umm, it wasn't 'hyped-up'. The guy pleaded guilty to 'perverting the course of justice' after years of pleading his innocence. This is not a minor offence and does make you wonder what else the sleazeball has been lying about whilst in government. Things such as election leaflets extolling his family whilst having an affair with, and leaving said family, also go a long way towards exposing the real Chris Huhne. DS

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  • Charlespk  |  March 01 2013, 1:32PM

    It has to be very questionable whether the majority of all parties really thought that avoiding penalty points for a completely arbitrary speeding ''offense" justified all the hyped-up, so-called, 'criminality' of the affair. All we have had really is confirmation that 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned' and a large proportion of the population are now sick to the back teeth with the lies and deceit of this new European Soviet that's blighted our lives.

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