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Michael Douglas Thornton[2] (born 1 May 1952)[3] is a British politician and former Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Eastleigh in Hampshire. He was elected in the Eastleigh by-election held on 28 February 2013, a seat which he lost at the 2015 general election.

Mike Thornton
Mike Thornton MP at Brighton 2013.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Eastleigh
In office
28 February 2013 – 7 May 2015[1]
Preceded byChris Huhne
Succeeded byMims Davies
Majority1,771 (5.26%)
Personal details
Michael Douglas Thornton

(1952-05-01) 1 May 1952 (age 67)
Farnham, Surrey, England
Political partyLiberal Democrats
Spouse(s)Peta Thornton
ChildrenOne daughter
Alma materCharterhouse School
Manchester Metropolitan University

Early lifeEdit

The son of Sir Peter Eustace Thornton, Thornton grew up in Farnham in Surrey and was educated at Charterhouse School, before reading law at Manchester Polytechnic. He has had a range of jobs, including spells in the United States (his mother is from Tennessee). Thornton spent a significant period of time working in financial services.

He has lived in Bishopstoke, Hampshire since 1994[4] and was previously a parish councillor in Bishopstoke[5] and a borough councillor[6] in Eastleigh.

Political careerEdit

Following the resignation of the previous Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne, he was chosen as their candidate at the 2013 Eastleigh by-election to replace him. This took place on 28 February 2013 and Thornton was declared the winner in the early hours of 1 March.[7]

In Parliament, Thornton joined the European Scrutiny Committee, the Work and Pensions Committee and the Bill committee for HS2,[8] which he argues "would benefit the country as a whole, not just the cities that link to it"[9]

His defeat at the 2015 general election was unexpected. Although he only defended a small numerical majority of 1,771, the Eastleigh constituency was otherwise a stronghold, with the Liberal Democrats holding almost every seat on the council for many years. During the 2013 by-election it had been reported that whilst the local Liberal Democrats commanded a vast database of supporters on the ground that enabled them to get their vote out, the local Tory organisation in the constituency was practically non-existent. Indeed, at the 2013 by-election the Conservatives had been beaten into third place by UKIP.


  1. ^ "Dissolution of Parliament". Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Eastleigh Parliamentary By-Election 2013 Result". Eastleigh Borough Council. 1 March 2013. Archived from the original on 26 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Mike Thornton Liberal Democrats". Southern Daily Echo. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  4. ^ About Mike on Eastleigh Lib Dems site
  5. ^ "Bishopstoke PC profile". Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Profile on Council web site". Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  7. ^ Wintour, Patrick; Morris, Steven (1 March 2013). "Lib Dems hold off Ukip surge as Tories drop to third in Eastleigh byelection". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Mike Thornton". Parliament UK. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  9. ^ "HS2: Cameron hails 'vital programme' as MPs approve funding". BBC. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2015.

External linksEdit