Election Blog: Lib Dems Win Cambridge

As The Tab exclusively revealed at 2am, Julian Huppert has won Cambridge for the Lib Dems, with the Tories second.

Welcome to the The Tab‘s election blog. For the past few weeks we’ve been tracking the nerds, campaigners and downright careerists fighting to become Cambridge’s next MP.

Follow all the latest gossip, results and reaction here.

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Friday, May 7th

7.02am

The official Cambridge results finally came through in the last hour and they confirm the Lib Dem victory which we reported exclusively in the early hours (below). Cambridge’s new MP Julian Huppert told The Tab he is “delighted and honoured”.

The final results are as follows:

Party Candidate Votes % ±%

Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert 19,621 39.1 -5.6

Conservative Nick Hillman 12,829 25.6 +8.3

Labour Daniel Zeichner 12,174 24.3 -8.2

Green Tony Juniper 3,804 7.6 +4.7

UKIP Peter Burkinshaw 1,195 2.4 +1.0

Cambridge Socialists Martin Booth 362 0.7 +0.7

Independent Old Holborn 145 0.3 +0.3
Majority 6,792 13.5%
Turnout 50,130 65.0% +6.1%

2.09am

Julian Huppert has won Cambridge, The Tab can exclusively reveal. Counting has not yet finished inside the Guildhall but inside sources have admitted that the Lib Dems are winning by some distance.

The Tab called Huppert personally to tell him he’d won.

When questioned, Labour’s Dan Zeichner told us, “It looks like we’ve lost it.”

Reaction to follow. Official results expected at 4am.

Thursday, May 6th – POLLING DAY

10.40pm

Just spoken to one of Huppert’s aides who told me the national exit poll has made him nervous – apparently his exact words were “it’s squeaky bum time now”.

10.02pm

We’re in the Union with all the future movers and shakers of British public life, around 300 people here with a dweeb contingent of  about 298. Stay tuned for the views of the great and the good.

5.14pm

Just heard a rumour that local hacks surveying voters outside polling stations in Cambridge are saying it is very tight between the Lib Dems and Labour. Could Cambridge be swinging for Brown?

4.15pm

With polls closing in just under six hours time, we just came across an article in yesterday’s The Independent in which their business reporter David Prosser gives his thoughts on the Cambridge contest. Here is what he has to say:

“This is the sort of constituency the opposition should be targeting if it feels it can win a decent working majority. And just as Labour found Cambridge a tough nut to crack two decades ago (in the 1987 election), so the Conservatives look unlikely to win the seat this time around.”

“Hillman is not getting much help from the party’s big guns. Indeed, while he is working hard – and polls suggest he has won some support back – the incumbent Lib Dems appear not to consider him a threat.”

“Though the Greens managed just 2.9 per cent of the vote in 2005 the party is making Cambridge one of its key targets. Their candidate, the environmental campaigner Tony Juniper, for many years ran Friends of the Earth, and his backers are pouring resources into the seat for the first time.”

“Mr Huppert was a late selection for the Lib Dems, who had expected the incumbent Mr Howarth to stand again until he decided he had had enough of Westminster.”

“To me, this does not feel like a city where there is a passionate desire to change the colour of its MP.”

Wednesday, May 5th

9.35pm

With polls opening tomorrow morning, the finish line is in sight.

Tony Juniper seems confident of a strong performance. He’s unhappy that Julian Huppert’s Lib Dem leaflets claim they have Peter Tatchell’s support when he has explicitly backed the Greens in Cambridge. I’m not going to repeat last week’s joke about Tatchell ‘coming out’ in support of anyone because I’ve already split too many sides.

The BBC is predicting good weather tomorrow in Cambrige. That might sound irrelevant but analysts always say Labour suffer when it rains on polling days because their supporters are always statistically less likely to actually vote so that could be a crumb of comfort for Dan Zeichner.

Tomorrow night we’ll be at the count at the Guildhall, so keep checking this blog for the latest news and for the final results in the early morning.

Tuesday, May 4th

1.01am

We were joined in our kitchen on Sunday morning for our 10am pre-lash by the town’s affable Tory candidate Nick ‘the Pillman’ Hillman. Most of us pretended we were still undecided rather than telling him the truth that we all think Tony Juniper will be getting our votes on account of having much better chat than the others.

But how many of you have already decided who you’re voting for?


Sunday, May 2nd

1.25am

Our interivews with the candidates have created quite a stir. After Tony Juniper’s admission that he had dabbled in “one or two” illegal substances, The Cambridge News asked all the candidates about their own records. Here’s what they said:

Julian Huppert (Lib Dems): “No, I don’t think so. No, I haven’t. Strangely, I haven’t smoked cannabis or taken any other illegal drug.”

Daniel Zeichner (Labour): Smoked cannbis “a long time ago.”

Nick Pillman (Tories): Denied ever taking drugs.

Peter Burkinshaw (UKIP): “I am frankly appalled that he has admitted taking drugs to students and said they were attractive”.

Saturday, May 1st

4.03pm

On Thursday, anonymous hell-raiser Old Holborn dropped all the Cambridge media an email claiming that Labour candidate Daniel Zeichner had tweeted in support of Gordon Brown’s outburst against Gillian Duffy.

An account under his name had posted the comment below. Zeichner denies that the account, which has since been deleted, was created by him.

Thursday, April 29th

5.23pm

TabTV interviews the front-runners of Cambridge’s election battle:

Meanwhile Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has ‘come out’ in support of Tony Juniper (green).

Tuesday, April 27th

8.53pm

Just come back from shmoozing the Independent’s Steve Richards at a ‘Live’ debate the newspaper were hosting in town. It’s the 31st time the Cambridge candidates have debated so the only noteworthy aspect of the evening was how closely Julian Huppert (Lib Dems) resembled a tomato after a few days in the sun.

Silver fox Tony Juniper (Green) came out of the debate on top as he often has in the ones we’ve been to. In private his fellow candidates dismiss his chances of making a serious challenge – Tony’s telling us to wait and see.

Sunday, April 25th

11.34pm

Couldn’t stomach another bloody hustings, so went to Jesus Green to get smashed with one of Cambridge’s finest.

The poll on the King’s JCR website tells us that Tony Juniper (Green) won the debate with 56% of the vote so I guess we’ll have to believe that. Although only 25 people voted so maybe we won’t.

Thursday, April 22nd

10.18pm

Cambridge super-scientist Stephen Hawking has come out in support for Labour candidate Daniel Zeichner.

“Our future rests on science and innovation. Cambridge will play a key role. I am confident that Labour understands how important this is. Daniel will be a keen advocate for us,” Hawking announced.

8.10pm

Former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy turned up outside the Guildhall today to woo fans and support candidate (and Clare fellow) Julian Huppert. Not quite as exciting as the rally the Lib Dems held in Market Square in 2005, when 2500 people turned up.

Quite a lot more exciting, though, than the man Conservative candidate Nick Hillman rolled out the red carpet for: he recently announced that his campaign is being supported by… Andrew Lansley – the Conservative candidate for South Cambridgeshire. Wowzer:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvcEs92dclI

2.04pm

The Tories and Lib Dems are neck and neck for the Cambridge student vote, a poll of 539 final year students has found.

The results were Conservatives 26% Liberal Democrats 26% Labour 19% Greens 8% Others 4% Undecided 17%. Look out for The Tab‘s poll closer to election day.

Wednesday, April 21st

10.07am

A motion to ban UKIP from attending King’s Sunday election hustings failed last night after attracting just 12 votes. 67 students voted to allow the “racist and mysoginist” party to speak at the hustings. Bumbling CUSU President Tom Chigbo was there to complete his conversion from man of the people to dull desk clerk, refusing to give his personal opinion and announcing that he was there only to dispense legal advice. No doubt Chigbo was sporting a fancy new CUSU fleece.

If the 12 students who voted to ban UKIP had met candidate Peter Burkinshaw, they’d probably realize there’s nothing to worry about. He’s more likely to hand you a Werther’s Original than have you deported. Come on, he’s old: whose Grandad isn’t a “mysoginist and a racist”?

Monday, April 19th

8.18pm

All of our candidates bar Old Holborn have signed up to a pledge to fight a “clean” election. How sweet! The idea was instigated by Tony Juniper who said: “I hope we can have an honest and respectful debate which shines a light on policies rather than resorting to political point-scoring.”

Meanwhile, Cambridge Socialists candidate Martin Booth has pledged to only accept the average pay of a manual worker (about £21,000 pa).

Saturday, April 17th

2.40pm

Maverick political blogger and candidate for Cambridge Old Holborn launched his campaign today by pelting eggs at an actor in a pig mask. The anonymous independent invited members of the public to throw eggs at an ‘MP’ sporting a suit and pig snout.

Old Holborn, who wants direct democracy, claims to be the first person to ever stand anonymously in an election. He got through a full 60 eggs before the Old Bill turned up to reinstate the peace.

Unfortunately OH tells us “elf and safety” prevented him from caging the ‘MP’.

Friday, April 16th

1.03am

ITV’s big debate last night dominates this morning’s headlines and has been greeted with varying verdicts but will it really affect who you vote for in Cambridge?

In a Populus poll two-thirds of those questioned said the debate would make a difference to their views of the campaign. We’ve made an exhilarating little poll to find out what you think (oh, the fun this blog promises to be!)

Thursday, April 15th

8:53pm

Funny man Eddie Izzard turned up on Christ’s Pieces today to launch Labour candidate Daniel Zeichner’s campaign.

The event didn’t start promisingly. It was The Tab, some snappers and about 10 Labour Club apparatchiks sporting disappointingly small party badges.

Izzard rocked up in an even more disappointing blue hatchback, a few metres ahead of Zeichner in his own underwhelming car (in which he was presumably waiting round the corner to avoid standing around with the great unwashed).

“I’ve been a Labour supporter since the mid-90s – they’re the party of fairness” Izzard told us.

Eddie Izzard meets Labour candidate Daniel Zeichner and his supporters

“If the Tory Party cared about fairness they wouldn’t be Tories,” he announced to a chorus of guffaws.

Eddie, who stars in a new Labour TV ad, worked the crowd like a pro. His visit is sure to be a major boost for Zeichner.

He also slagged off Dave Cameron, check out the video below.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xcNDg1ZGpg

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Let’s meet the cast…

Dan Zeichner – Labour

Julian Huppert – Lib Dems

Nick Hillman – Tories

Tony Juniper – Greens

Martin Booth – Socialists

Peter Burkinshaw – UKIP

Old Holborn – Jury Team

Nigel Harris – World

The score last time…

General Election 2005: Cambridge
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrat David Howarth 19,152 44.0 +18.9
Labour Anne Campbell 14,813 34.0 ?11.1
Conservative Ian Lyon 7,193 16.5 ?6.4
Green Martin Lucas-Smith 1,245 2.9 ?0.4
UKIP Helene Davies 569 1.3 +0.1
Respect Tom Woodcock 477 1.1 N/A
Independent Suzon Forscey-Moore 60 0.1 N/A
Independent Graham Wilkinson 60 0.1 N/A
Majority 4,339 10.0
Turnout 43,569 62.1 +1.5
Liberal Democrat gain from Labour Swing +15.0
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