David Davis surprises critics with relatively high turnout
Despite critics saying that his resignation and standing for a by-election was a waste of taxpayers money and would generate little turnout, British MP David Davis actually generated a fairly high turnout in the by-election yesterday.
David Davis's singular byelection ended as unpredictably as it started early today, with a tussle over second place forcing a bleary-eyed recount shortly before 3am.
Even Miss Great Britain, Gemma Garrett, was beginning to wilt after hours of interviews and autograph signings, as the first streaks of dawn appeared in the sky above Haltemprice leisure centre in the suburbs of Hull.
Runaway winner in the sports hall on the night, Garrett managed a respectable-sounding fifth place in the actual poll, behind Davis, the Greens, the English Democrats and the National Front.
But the crushing scale of Davis's victory was underlined by her Lilliputian total: she did second best of the 23 (out of 26) candidates who lost their £500 deposits, with only 521 votes, or 2.19%.
The high number of votes Davis attracted - about 17,000 - will give him a remit to continue his fight against what he says is an erosion of British civil liberties.
"The cause here is the defence of British freedom," he said, citing the range of support for his stand against 42-day detention, from Bob Geldof and Martin Bell to Tony Benn and Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty. "They're not really my supporters, they are supporters of the cause.
"They're all going to flock to that cause but there'll be others too. We'll see more and more people flock to the cause and it gets more and more difficult for [Gordon] Brown to continue down this road of eroding our freedoms.