With just two weeks to go before the biggest sets of elections of 2013 – tonight’s local by-election

April 18th, 2013

Harry Hayfield with his weekly preview

Angmering on Arun (Con Defence)
Last Local Election (2011): Con 48, Lib Dem 4, Lab 3, Ind 1 (Conservative majority of 40)
Last Local Election (2011): Con 1520, 1404, 1324 (Average: 39%) Lib Dem 550 (16%) Lab 538 (15%) Ind 524 (15%) UKIP 517 (15%)
Candidates duly nominated: Jamie Bennett (Lib Dem), Andy Cooper (Con), Carly Goodwin (Lab)

It is now just over a month since the Liberal Democrats inflicted what can only be described as a humiliating gain of Aldwick East in Arun when they managed to turn a Conservative majority of 40% into a Liberal Democrat majority of 2% (a swing from Con to Lib Dem of 21%) which if repeated at this by-election would see the Lib Dems win the seat by 20% or so. However there are two very important differences between Aldwick East and Angmering. First, it is a straight three way fight (no UKIP and no Ind candidate standing) and secondly, housing is the big issue in the ward. The local MP (Nick Herbert, Con, Arundel and South Downs) has posted on his official website that “Angmering next for ‘Garden City’ development” and the local newspaper is reporting that not all the candidates actually come from the ward being contested which all means that this by-election has the potential to show what matters in local elections, a local candidate, local issues or the national political picture?

Mike’s Smithson’s daily poll trend chart