The constituency of Haltemprice and Howden lies in the East Riding of Yorkshire and represents a largely rural area between Goole and Hull, and features as Britain's tenth most prosperous constituency. Since its creation in 1997 the seat had been held for the Conservative Party by David Davis, indeed even with the Labour landslide in 1997, Davis was comfortably returned with a 7,514 majority. However Davis was later one of the four Shadow Cabinet members placed on the Liberal Democrats 'decapitation list', being one of the four senior Conservatives they hoped to remove from the Commons at the 2001 General Election. Davis's majority therefore slumped to 1,903 as the Lib Dems succeeded in squeezing the Labour vote which fell from 11,701 in 1997 to 6,898 in 2001. Nevertheless Davis increased his majority to 5,116 in 2005 and in the light of opinion polls that showed the Conservatives as being twenty points or more ahead of Labour, it would now be considered a safe Conservative seat.
The by-election to be held on the 10th July 2008 was triggered by the resignation of David Davis, which was formally announced on the 18th June 2008, when Davis was appointed as the Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds. What was novel about Davis's decision to resign was that it was not for the usual reasons such as ill-health or indeed a criminal conviction but rather on an issue of principle, which in Davis's case was his opposition to the government's intention of detaining terrorist suspects for forty-two days without charge, and that he was therefore standing for re-election.
Given that Davis was fighting the by-election on the single issue of how he believed that the government was undermining civil liberties, the Liberal Democrats announced that they would not be putting forward a candidate as they supported his stance on 42 days, as indeed did the British National Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party. The Labour Party also declined to put a candidate forward. As Dianne Hayter, the Chair of the National Executive Committee explained, "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". No doubt Labour's decision not to put forward a candidate had nothing to do with the fact that the party was on the verge of bankruptcy and might therefore have preferred not to spend any money on a by-election contest that it had little chance of winning.
The question of precedent
The BBC News reporter Nick Robinson immediately claimed that Davis's resignation "was without precedent" in British politics. Which only went to show that Mr Robinson's knowledge of British political history was somewhat lacking in certain details. The various precedents cited by others included those of;
There were also a number of examples, most recently that of Bruce Douglas-Mann at Mitcham and Morden in 1982, of members who resigned their seats on a matter of principle after defecting from one party to another, and fought a by-election under their new party allegiance.
The Kelvin MacKenzie Affair
Kelvin MacKenzie was the former editor of The Sun who had since become something of a media mogul, although he remained "associated" with the Sun. On the 12th June he attended the fortieth birthday party of Rebekah Wade, the current editor of the Sun, and afterwards made an appearance on Andrew Neil's BBC1 politics show This Week. As MacKenzie told Marr, 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". MacKenzie indicated his intention to stand against Davis in defence of 42 days, and claimed that it was "90% certain" that he would do so "if Labour don't put a candidate up". The fact that Ms Wade was also included on the guest list for a "girlie sleepover" hosted by Sarah Brown at Chequers on the following weekend naturally fuelled speculation that Downing Street was behind the whole idea.
However within a day MacKenzie succeeded in putting his foot in it not once, but twice. Firstly he claimed that Rupert Murdoch had personally promised to fund him, apparently unaware of the fact that Murdoch was an American citizen and it would not therefore be legal for him to do so. Secondly MacKenzie had also (in an unguarded moment) been recorded informing a BBC producer, "Have you ever been to Hull? It's a shocker, an absolute shocker." This was rather unfortunate in the circumstances since Hull is indeed next door to Haltemprice and Howden.
The Mail on Sunday of the 15th June claimed that MacKenzie was "having second thoughts", perhaps because its ICM poll showed that support for David Davis stood at 67% compared to only 14% for MacKenzie. By the Monday The Guardian was reporting that Kelvin MacKenzie was unlikely to stand as executives at News International had "cooled on the idea". The paper also noticed that The Sun itself had not mentioned MacKenzie's possible candidacy and that James Murdoch, who actually ran News International, was said to be reasonably friendly with both David Cameron and George Osborne. Then on the 19th June MacKenzie duly wrote a piece in The Sun under the headline 'I have been to Hull and back' in which he confirmed that he would indeed not be standing. Apparently the "clincher for me was the money" since "clearly the Sun couldn't put up the cash - so I was going to have to rustle up a maximum of £100,000 to conduct my campaign". He also admitted "I would have been a crap MP" and urged his readers to vote for the Northampton market trader Eamonn Fitzpatrick who had decided to stand against Davis on the basis that he agreed "with the whole 42 day thing" and thought the public did so to.
However, despite the fact that MacKenzie's putative candidacy petered out within days, and indeed the emergence of at least one pro-42 days candidate, it was widely rumoured that the Labour Party was looking around for some kind of figurehead candidate to stand against Davis. It was said that approaches were made to Rachel North, a survivor of the 7/7 bombings, but she was however quoted as saying that she was "a big fan of civil liberties and freedom and democracy, all things that terrorists are not keen on" and that she was "pleased that a senior politician has campaigned about this". Indeed she later agreed to share a platform with Davis during his by-election campaign and appeared largely to support his stance on the issue.
The Sunday Express reported on the suggestion of George Foulkes, who was both an MSP and a Labour peer, that it would be "a very good idea" to ask one John Smeaton to stand, being the bagger handler who claimed to have helped to prevent the terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport in 2007. Smeaton appeared to be keen to help and told the Mail on Sunday that the by-election was "a political stunt and if they want me to give a hand, I would do so". However whilst Mr Smeaton had claimed that he was on cigarette break when the truck loaded with gas canisters was driven into the front of the main airport terminal building, and then "karate-kicked one of the terrorists, before dragging a fellow bystander to safety", there were those who had dismissed Mr Smeaton as a fantasist. A taxi driver named Alex McIlveen who had also been there at the time insisted that Smeaton "didn't land a blow on anyone". Perhaps not then.
In any event, if it ever was the intention of the Labour Party to find some kind of pro-42 days figurehead candidate to stand against Davis, they quite failed to do so.
In the circumstances the casual observer might well therefore have concluded, in the absence of any representatives from the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, United Kingdom Independence Party or the British National Party, that the list of candidates for Haltemprice and Howden would perforce be rather short. The reverse proved to be the case, as when nominations closed at 4.00 pm on the 26th June no less than twenty-five different people had put their names forward to challenge David Davis, a new British record beating the previous record of nineteen at the Newbury by-election of 1993.
In order to face the challenge of enumerating all these would be parliamentarians let us first look at the six representatives of those minor political parties someone might possibly have heard of.
There was Shan Oakes for the Green Party ("The Green Party had to stand. Someone had to stand up for civil liberties"), Joanne Robinson for the English Democrats ("Putting England First") and Tess Culnane for the National Front ("Britain for the British"). They were joined by Gemma Dawn Garrett, fresh from contesting the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, who was again standing for the Miss Great Britain Party, and David Laurence Bishop as the candidate of the Church of the Militant Elvis Party, also known it seems as the Miltant Elvis Anti-Tesco Popular Front. Bishop, who published poetry under the name of Lord Biro, professed to be a painter and decorator and had previous electoral experience having stood for Tatton in 1997, Brentwood and Ongar in 2001, and Erewash in 2005. And as always the Official Monster Raving Loony Party decided to contest the by-election and put forward as their candidate the charmingly named 'Mad Cow-Girl'.
Gemma promised David Davis "an elegantly bloody nose" and although indicating her support for 42 days, said that she would be campaigning on the issues that truly concerned voters, "like beauty, Brutishness and a fair deal for working women". David Bishop proposed to imprison Cherie Blair in order to prevent her from reporting further details of her sex life, the Green Party wanted an even wider "civil liberties" programme, whilst the National Front and the English Democrats appeared to believe that tackling the problem of "uncontrolled mass immigration" would go a long way to mitigating any threat from terrorism. As things turned out, it appeared that only the 'Mad Cow-Girl', otherwise known as a hospital nurse named Rosalyn Warner, saw fit to challenge David Davis's stance and proposed that "suspected terrorists should be held until proved safe". Of course, as with all policy statements made by the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, one is never certain as to whether they were meant to be taken at face value or not, although Time Magazine described her position as being a "surprisingly cogent political argument".
In addition to these six candidates, there were another six who were representatives of what might be described as even more minor parties. There was David Pinder standing for the New Party ("working to build a progressive party of economic liberalism, political reform and internationalism"), Christopher John Talbot for the Socialist Equality Party (which is apparently the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International) who accused the government of setting up a "police state", and George Hargreaves for the Christian Party who was fighting to "resist the tide of secularism and immorality that is destroying our country".
They were joined by Christopher Mark Foren, a retired Crown prosecutor who had decided to use the by-election as a springboard for his "embryonic political party", Work For Progress which was "dedicated to creating a greener, healthier, happier and more democratic society", Hamish Howitt, the Blackpool publican who was the first to be prosecuted for continuing to allow smoking in his pub and was standing under the 'Freedom 4 Choice' banner, and Ronnie Carroll representing the Make Politicians History Party. A former singer and entertainer, Carroll was once famous for his ability to emulate Nat 'King' Cole, and was the British entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest in both 1962 and 1963, and once contested the Uxbridge by-election of 1997 on the slogan "Vote for me and you would be effectively voting for yourself".
Of the baker's dozen worth of Independent candidates, perhaps the best known of which was David Icke, even if he was formally standing under no official designation whatsoever, being the former professional footballer, television sports presenter, and spokesman for the Green Party who later claimed to the son of God and that the world was being run by a secret cabal of reptilian shape-shifters, although he now apparently believed that there was a world-wide conspiracy to establish the "Big Brother State".
He was joined by Norman Scarth, a World War II veteran who was once sentenced to ten years imprisonment for apparently attacking a bailiff with a chainsaw in somewhat complicated circumstances. He had previously contested Chesterfield in 1997 as an Independent Old Age Pensioner, fought the Sedgefield by-election in 2007 as representative of the Anti-Crime Party, and now claimed that Britain had "increasingly become a ruthless, lawless, murderous and merciless Police State" under the current government, and was thus described by the BBC as a "civil rights campaigner".
Then there was Walter Sweeney, who was once the Conservative member of Parliament for the Vale of Glamorgan between 1992 and 1997 during which time he had the privilege of holding the most marginal seat in the country, having scrapped home by only nineteen votes in 1992. As a noted opponent of the Maastricht Treaty he is said to have had a few run-ins with David Davis who was a government whip at the time, and although it was suggested that his decision to stand might have motivated by some residual personal animosity towards Davis, he appeared to be doing so to protest against the government's failure to grant a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
In addition there was Herbert Crossman, otherwise known as 'Five Parties' Crossman. He was once a councillor in Harrow, firstly as a Liberal Democrat (1994-1996) then as an Independent. He later contested Harrow West for the Referendum Party in 1997, then became a member of the Conservative Party in 1998 only to resign in 1999, and was perhaps best known for having called for the resignation of another Harrow councillor named Alastair Alexander after he'd displayed pictures of his Prince Albert piercing on his website. Crossman was campaigning over the "important things in life" being the standard of living and petrol prices.
The other independent candidates included Jill Saward who was, as the Independent explained on the 27th June 2008, the author of Rape: My Story (1990), having been raped in the infamous Ealing vicarage attack some twenty-two years previously. Ms Saward appeared to be of the opinion that Davis's criticisms of the government's fondness for CCTV cameras etc indicated that he was soft on crime and was standing "to give victims a voice". The Guardian referred to her as a "serious high profile opponent" who they believed would provide "Davis's strongest challenge", an opinion that appeared to be shared by the Independent.
She was joined by Thomas Faithful Darwood, who was described as a "religious publisher" and appeared to be responsible for the Reformation2 website, which proclaimed that a "future Archbishop of Canterbury will also act as Pope and become the true heir to the throne of England to complete the work begun at the Reformation and the Enlightenment, in which the Almighty in a single course of action restored all the lost criteria of the Eden of Genesis". The BBC politely described him as a "campaigner for Christian issues". Then there was John Nicholson or John Dixon Brearey Nicholson, the proprietor of the Nicholson Easy Learning Centre which promoted the Abacus and Alphabet early learning system and was standing as a conservative who believed that "only controlled capitalism will secure future world prosperity". He also wanted every child in the country to be provided with an abacus and a "better system of justice".
In addition there was; David Craig, otherwise known as Neil Glass, a former management consultant who had since become a campaigner against government waste and was the author of Squandered: How Gordon Brown is wasting over one trillion pounds of our money (Constable April 2008); John Randle Upex, a businessman who had previously contested Wakefield for UKIP at the General Election of 2005, who believed it necessary that someone step forward to 'fly the flag', given that no official UKIP candidate was standing; Grace Christine Astley, a teacher who was, according to the Clitheroe Adveriser and Times of the 4th July, standing on a platform of "common sense and values especially in education", although the BBC News also said that she was "angry at the way school tests in England are handled"; and Eamonn "Fitzy" Fitzpatrick, the aforementioned Northampton market trader who had attracted the support of Kelvin Mackenzie.
Unfortunately as far as Tony Farnon and Greg Wood were concerned there appeared to be little information available as to who they were and why they were standing. Even BBC News found little more to say about the pair other than "Mr Farron lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne" and "Mr Wood lives in Bedale, North Yorkshire".
The strange this was there could have been even more. According to the Grimsby Telegraph
(the community newspaper of the year 2008) of the 14th June, one George Georgiou
, a " well-regarded artist" was intending to stand as a candidate for the Generalist Party
, but nothing more was heard of him. There was also a former fire fighter named Paul Dadge
who once received his fifteen minutes of fame when he was pictured in many newspapers helping one of the victims of the 7/7 bombings. He was described as "a vociferous supporter of the new 42-day detention law" and did indeed submit his nomination to stand as a candidate. Unfortunately two of his ten required nominees didn't live in the constituency, and another had already nominated someone else, so his nomination was rejected as being invalid. When asked about this by The Independent
he replied, "I prefer not to talk about it because, frankly, I'm supporting someone else now and it makes me look like a bit of a tit."
The comments section of the Grimsby Telegraph also revealed that there was an eighty-four year old ex-civil servant, diplomat and novelist named Frederick Lees from Rye in East Sussex who also intended standing under the banner of Freedom and Security, believing that 42 days was "entirely justifiable" and that the real threat to freedom came from unelected quangos. Unfortunately there was no further sign of Mr Lees's candidacy.
Of course, not a single one of these twenty-five candidates had the slightest chance of winning and the big question was whether any of these candidates would succeed in beating Bill Boaks's record poll of only five votes at the Glasgow Hillhead by-election of 1982, and would any of them succeed in achieving the much coveted null points result.
Before the campaign had even properly started one Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, decided to put in his sixpence worth in an interview with the Blairite magazine Progress. Asked what he thought about Davis's resignation he remarked how it was "very curious in the man who was, and still is I believe, an exponent of capital punishment, having late-night, hand-wringing, heart-melting phone calls with Shami Chakrabarti". Ms Chakrabarti being of course the head of Liberty who was supportive of Davis's stand on civil liberties.
Davis accused Burnham of indulging in "personal smears and lies", and Chakrabarti accused Mr Burnham of "setting out to smear my dealings with the former shadow home secretary", whilst Ms Chakrabarti also threatened to bring an action for libel. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport issued a statement claiming Burnham had not meant any offence, and that he "was making a political point", although as far as Liberty's legal director, James Welch, was concerned, his organisation was "very disappointed in this cabinet minister, who would not have said this if our director were a man". Which was of course perhaps the point, and a view that attracted a certain amount of cross-party support as Susan Kramer from the Liberal Democrats condemned Burnham's "tawdry salacious gossip", and Linda Riordan, the Labour member for Halifax, said that there was no "need for that sort of comment" and that Burnham should apologise. In the end Andy Burnham did issue some kind of apology, variously described by the media as a "non-apology apology" and "a letter of contrition that fell somewhat short of a full apology", which appeared to have at least delayed the arrival of the writ for libel.
David Davis duly launched his campaign at the Willerby Manor Hotel on the 27th June claiming that "In yesterday's by-election Gordon Brown lost his deposit, in today's by-election he lost his nerve". He then went on to the Chesford Grange Hotel Warwick for a pre-arranged photo call with Colonel Tim Collins, the hero of the Iraq War. However although David Cameron put in a visit on the 2nd July, Davis was largely on his own as far as his campaign was concerned, being left to do so without the assistance and finance of Conservative Party Central Office. He nevertheless won the endorsement of Bob Geldorf who called the government's plans "constitutionally repulsive", and on the 7th July Davis shared a platform with Tony Benn at the South Bank Theatre in London as they debated 'The Future of Democracy'. Benn had already indicated his support for Davis on the "single, but vital, issue of civil liberties", and had indeed written to Harriet Harman in her capacity as Chairman of the Labour Party to explain that he felt quite free to do so since there was no Labour candidate standing in the by-election. The Labour MP, Robert Marshall-Andrews also felt free to declare his support for Davis, and joined him together with Shami Chakrabati and 7/7 survivor Rachel North in an eve of polling event held in Haltemprice and Howden. No doubt it was slightly embarrassing for Gordon Brown to have two relatively prominent members of the party endorse Davis in this manner, but as it was, there was no mention of any attempt to discipline the members concerned, and the Labour Party simply kept quiet about it.
As far as the campaign on the doorsteps was going, the Daily Telegraph noted it was "very difficult to spend more than five minutes in Haltemprice and Howden without being accosted by one or other of the 26 candidates", whilst the journalist Rod Liddle, writing in The Times of the 6th July claimed that he couldn't find a single person who agreed with Davis's 'act of principle'; although this may have been because of the "time and energy" he had spent "examining the electoral qualifications of Gemma Garrett". He nevertheless concluded that the public thought that Davis was "doing something admirable" by actually standing up for what he believed in, rather than simply adopting whatever opinions he thought would get him elected, which is, of course, what the public think that politicians normally do. There appeared to be little indication however, as to how the rest were faring, although it was noted that Gemma Garrett had revealed that she thought that "David Cameron would make a fabulous leader for this country" on the grounds that "he's hot", and that Shan Oakes appeared to be making a good impression, but became rather flustered when asked about the price of petrol, and appeared reluctant to admit that she was actually in favour of even more expensive petrol, presumably for fear of frightening away the voters.
Davis's campaign subsequently received what the Financial Times of the 8th July described as a "shot in the arm" when, during a debate on the queastion of 42 days in the House of Lords, a long list of the great and the good lined up to trash Gordon Brown's proposal. The former head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, said that she didn't see "on a principled basis, as well as a practical one, that these proposals are in any way workable", former Attorney-General Peter Goldsmith claimed that Brown was "giving away the very freedoms that terrorists are trying to take from us"; and former Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer was "absolutely clear that there’s no advantage for fighting terrorism that will be obtained from extending detentions to 42 days".
Of course there was never the slightest doubt in anyone's mind that Davis would win. It was simply a question of how large the turnout would be, and how large a majority he achieved, and whether the answer to either of these questions would prove to be an embarrassment to Davis and allow his critics to claim that the whole thing was just a complete waste of time and money. In the end the turnout of 23,911 (34.03%) was less than half that of the previous general election, which was comparable to other by-elections held in similarly resoundingly safe seats and certainly more than some pundits expected, whilst Davis polled 17,113 votes (71.57%), giving him a majority of 15,335 (64.2%) which was reasonably emphatic in the circumstances. No doubt Davis would have preferred a larger turnout, but it was sufficiently respectable to avoid embarrassment. Indeed writing in The Guardian of the 12th July, Michael White claimed that Davies had "won a convincing mandate" and that he would now "make trouble on the backbenches", although it wasn't entirely clear who he would be causing trouble for.
As expected the Green Party came second, although only just, as Shan Oakes polled 1,758 against the 1,714 who voted for the English Democrats. Indeed the result was delayed until 3.00 am on the morning of the 11th July as Joanne Robinson insisted on a recount, as it would have been a real feather in their cap had the English Democrats managed to make second, although as it was they saved their deposit, which in itself was an unusual experience of the party. In fact the result was a thorough disappointment for the Greens, who many expected would do a lot better, whilst the predictions that Jill Saward would provide the "real opposition" to Davis turned out to be wide of the mark, as she could only manage 492 votes, which was less than Gemma Garrett managed to get, although she did come out ahead of the Mad Cow-Girl. As far as the rest were concerned there were twenty-three lost deposits out of twenty-six with Tony Farnon and Norman Scarth sharing last place with eight votes each. So Bill Boaks's record remained intact and no one managed to achieve the perfect duck.
The press reaction to the news was reasonably restrained with headlines such as ; 'Davis sees off Loonies in by-election' (The Guardian), 'David Davis wins by-election crusade at a canter' (The Times), 'Turnout slashed, but Davis cruises through' (The Independent), '17,113 votes for freedom: David Davis wins at Haltemprice and Howden' (Daily Mail), 'Davis Cruises Through By-Election' (Daily Express), whilst The Sun had 'By-election win for David Davis' as it reported that "Rebel Tory David Davis waltzes back in" and the Daily Mirror could think of nothing better than 'David Davis wins back seat'.
Davis himself claimed that this was a "stunning victory", which was a "shot across the bows of Gordon Brown's arrogant, arbitrary and authoritarian Government", and that he now had a "clear mandate" to fight "Gordon Brown's vision of Big Brother Britain tooth and nail". The Green Party were nevertheless pleased that their 7.35% share of the vote was the highest they'd ever received, (although this was nowhere near the "scare" they claimed they were going to give Davis), the English Democrats were happy to have retained their deposit, and most of the other fringe candidates were reported as saying how much they'd enjoyed meeting everybody.
Of course the government despatched Home Office minister Tony McNulty to do the rounds in an attempt to deflate any sense of triumphalism from the Davis camp, as McNulty told Sky News that it was all "a complete circus, tinged with vanity, with a bit of self-delusion around the edges", although Bob Roberts, the political editor of the Daily Mirror believed that it set Davis "up as a direct rival to Tory leader Cameron" and that "it could mean deep splits appearing in the Conservative Party", which was quite a different analysis, although possibly one that was based on a certain amount of wishful thinking. As far as the Conservative Party itself was concerned Cameron and Davis had a meeting arranged for the following week. The Daily Telegraph reported that it understood that Davis would turn down any offer of a job from Cameron, in favour of continuing with his civil liberties campaign and writing a book on social mobility, which it felt would "almost certainly reignite the row over grammar schools", although as Davis told the Daily Telegraph, "I have no intention of embarrassing David Cameron and will do everything possible to help him become Prime Minister".
Haltemprice and Howden byelection results in full
David Davis - Conservative Party 17,113 (71.57%)
Shan Oakes - Green Party 1,758 (7.35%)
Joanne Robinson - English Democrats 1,714 (7.17%)
Tess Culnane - National Front 544 (2.28%)
Gemma Garrett - Miss Great Britain Party 521 (2.18%)
Jill Saward - Independent 492 (2.06%)
Mad Cow-Girl - The Official Monster Raving Loony Party 412 (1.72%)
Walter Edward Sweeney - Independent 238 (1%)
John Nicholson - Independent 162 (0.68%)
David Craig - Independent 135 (0.56%)
David Pinder - The New Party 135 (0.56%)
David Icke - No party listed 110 (0.46%)
Hamish Howitt - Freedom 4 Choice 91 (0.38%)
Christopher John Talbot - Socialist Equality Party 84 (0.35%)
Grace Christine Astley - Independent 77 (0.32%)
George Hargreaves - Christian Party 76 (0.32%)
David Laurence Bishop - Church of the Militant Elvis Party 44 (0.18%)
John Randle Upex - Independent 38 (0.16%)
Greg Wood - Independent 32 (0.13%)
Eamonn Fitzpatrick - Independent 31 (0.13%)
Ronnie Carroll - Make Politicians History 29 (0.12%)
Thomas Faithful Darwood - Independent 25 (0.1%)
Christopher Mark Foren - Independent 23 (0.1%)
Herbert Winford Crossman - Independent 11 (0.05%)
Tony Farnon - Independent 8 (0.03%)
Norman Scarth - Independent 8 (0.03%)
Turnout 23,911 (34.03%)
The above article is drawn from a variety of reports in the British media including BBC News, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express and their Sunday equivalents, as well as The Sun, Daily Mirror and the News of the World as well as sundry political blogs of a semiofficial nature such as Liberal Democrat Voice and ConservativeHome. See also;
- UK Polling Report:Haltemprice and Howden
- Guide: The Haltemprice hopefuls, BBC News 2 July 2008
- Wayne Bontoft, Fruit and veg trader Fitzy to stand against Tory MP Davis, Northampton Chronicle, 14 June 2008
- David Craig, They've spent our money, but has it made any difference?, Yorkshire Post, 27 May 2008
- Campaigner To Contest By-Election Grimsby Telegraph 14 June 2008
- For David Davis see http://www.daviddavisforfreedom.com/
- For John Nicholson see www.abacusandalphabet.com/index.htm)
- For Walter Sweeney see http://politicalbetting.com/Is this the man who could pose a problem for Davis?)
- For Ronnie Carroll see http://www.makepoliticianshistory.org/)
- For David Laurence Bishop see http://lordbiro.wordpress.com)
- For Norman Scarth see http://www.normanscarth.com/)
- For Herbert Crossman see http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/alibear/)
- For Thomas Faithful Darwood see http://www.reformation2.com)
- For Jill Saward see http://www.trueliberty.org.uk/index.htm)