Archive for the 'By elections' Category

h1

After a week of big national developments we’ve ten local by-elections

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Exmouth, Littleham (Con defence) and Honiton, St. Michael’s (Con defence) on East Devon
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 37, Independents 16, Liberal Democrats 6 (Conservative majority of 17)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 40,743 (46%) LEAVE 48,040 (54%) on a turnout of 79%

Result of wards at last election (2015)
Exmouth, Littleham: Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,667 E, 1,636 E, 1,489 E (26%)
Independent 1,224 (19%)
Liberal Democrat 1,170 (19%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 1,164 (18%)
Green Party 1,102 (17%)
Candidates duly nominated: Bruce De Saram (Con), Keith Edwards (Lab), Alex Sadiq (Lib Dem)

Honiton, St. Michael’s: Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,400 E, 1,390 E, 1,304 E (49%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 734, 636, 599 (26%)
Independents 723, 690 (25%)
Candidates duly nominated: Ashley Alder (UKIP), Henry Brown (Lab), Jenny Brown (Con), John Taylor (East Devon Independents)

Waunfawr (Plaid defence) on Gwynedd
Result of council at last election (2012): Plaid Cymru 37, Independents 19, Llais Gwynedd 13, Labour 4, Liberal Democrats 2 (No Overall Control, Plaid short by 1)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Plaid Cymru 388 (57%), Independent 290 (43%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 35,517 (58%) LEAVE 25,665 (42%) on a turnout of 72%
Candidates duly nominated: Edgar Owen (Plaid), Paul Scott (Lab)

Hackney Central (Lab defence) on Hackney
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 50, Conservatives 4, Liberal Democrats 3 (Labour majority of 43)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 2,094, 2,082, 1,916 (64%)
Green Party 751, 738, 717 (23%)
Liberal Democrats 240, 202 (7%)
Conservatives 190, 184, 167 (6%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 83,398 (78%) LEAVE 22,868 (22%) on a turnout of 65%
Candidates duly nominated: Sophie Conway (Lab), Russell French (Lib Dem), Mustafa Korel (Ind), Siobhan MacMahon (Green), Christopher Sills (Con)

Chorley Rural North (Con defence) on Lancashire
Result of council at last election (2013): Labour 39, Conservatives 35, Liberal Democrats 6, Independents 3, Green Party 1 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 4)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Conservative 1,525 (41%), Labour 1,402 (38%), United Kingdom Independence Party 642 (17%), Liberal Democrat 140 (4%)
Referendum Result (Lancashire County): REMAIN 316,975 (41%) LEAVE 456,763 (59%) on a turnout of 71%
Candidates duly nominated: Alan Cullens (Con), Stephen Fenn (Lib Dem), Yvonne Hargreaves (Lab), Christopher Stuart (UKIP)

Bellingham (Lab defence) on Lewisham
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 53, Green Party 1 (Labour majority of 52)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 1,819, 1,690, 1,505 (54%)
People Before Profit 451 (13%)
Conservatives 432, 403, 366 (13%)
Green Party 329, 273, 241 (10%)
Liberal Democrats 194, 151, 142 (6%)
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 144 (4%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 86,955 (70%) LEAVE 37,518 (30%) on a turnout of 63%
Candidates duly nominated: Ross Archer (Con), David Hamilton (People Before Profit), Sue Hordijenko (Lab), Edwin Smith (UKIP), Ed Veasey (Lib Dem)

Balderton South (Con defence) on Newark and Sherwood
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 24, Labour 12, Independents 3 (Conservative majority of 9)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,265, 1,207 (57%)
Labour 956 (43%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 26,571 (40%) LEAVE 40,516 (60%) on a turnout of 77%
Candidates duly nominated: Lydia Hurst (Con), Marylyn Rayner (Lib Dem)

Westone (Con defence) R on Northampton
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 26, Labour 17, Liberal Democrats 2 (Conservative majority of 7)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Conservative 1,318 (56%), Labour 722 (31%), Liberal Democrat 315 (13%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 43,805 (42%) LEAVE 61,454 (58%) on a turnout of 73%
Candidates duly nominated: Toby Birch (Lab), Greg Lunn (Con), Brian Markham (Lib Dem)

Southcote (Lab defence) on Reading
Result of council at last election (2016): Labour 31, Conservatives 10, Green Party 3, Liberal Democrats 2 (Labour majority of 16)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Labour 1,802 (43%), Conservative 1,476 (35%), United Kingdom Independence Party 576 (14%), Green Party 187 (4%). Liberal Democrat 179 (4%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 43,385 (58%) LEAVE 31,382 (42%) on a turnout of 73%
Candidates duly nominated: Jason Brock (Lab), Mark Cole (Lib Dem), Alan Lockey (Green), Russell Martin (Con)

Warlingham West (Con defence) on Tandridge
Result of council at last election (2016): Conservatives 33, Liberal Democrats 7, Independents 2 (Conservative majority of 24)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Conservative 593 (52%), United Kingdom Independence Party 319 (28%), Liberal Democrat 238 (21%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 24,251 (47%) LEAVE 27,169 (53%) on a turnout of 80%
Candidates duly nominated: Celia Caulcott (Lib Dem), Martin Haley (UKIP), Keith Prew (Con)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield



h1

LDs gain four seats in their best night of local by-elections for at least a decade

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Wibsey (Lab defence) on Bradford
Result: Labour 1,207 (51% +9%), United Kingdom Independence Party 655 (27% -12%), Conservative 451 (19% +5%), Liberal Democrat 70 (3% -2%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 552 (24%) on a swing of 10.5% from UKIP to Lab

Newquay, Treviglas
Result: Liberal Democrat 486 (58% +33%), Conservative 210 (25% -2%), Labour 87 (10% -8%), Independent 58 (7%, no candidate in 2013)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from United Kingdom Independence Party with a majority of 276 (33%) on a swing of 17.5% from Con to Lib Dem

St. Teath and St. Breward
Result: Liberal Democrat 620 (45% +13%), Independent (Kitto) 242 (17%), Conservative 202 (15% -2%), Independent (Theobald) 181 (13%), Independent (Jones) 73 (5%)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Independent with a majority of 378 (28%)
Total Independent vote: 496 (36% -15%)
Swing of 14% from Independent to Liberal Democrat

Marchog
Result: Independent 211 (65% +7%), Labour 112 (35%)
Independent HOLD with a majority of 99 (30%) on no swing

Y Felinheli
Result: Plaid Cymru 614 (93%), Conservative 49 (7%)
Plaid Cymru HOLD with a majority of 565 (86%)

Barnsbury (Lab defence) on Islington
Result: Labour 1,192 (52% -4%), Liberal Democrat 409 (18% +7%), Conservative 367 (16% -3%), Green 302 (13% +1%), Independent 40 (2%, no candidate in 2014)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 783 (34%) on a swing of 5.5% from Lab to Lib Dem

Forest Gate North (Lab defence) on Newham
Result: Labour 1,150 (53% -5%), Green 681 (31% +17%), Conservative 301 (14% unchanged), Liberal Democrat 87 (3% -2%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 469 (22%) on a swing of 11% from Lab to Green

Astley (Con defence) on North Norfolk
Result: Liberal Democrat 319 (41%, no candidate in 2015), Conservative 198 (25% -31%), United Kingdom Independence Party 133 (17%, no candidate in 2015), Green Party 81 (10% -16%), Labour 51 (7% -11%)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 121 (16%)

Bryam and Brotherton (Lab defence) on Selby
Result: Conservative 251 (44% +11%), Labour 224 (40% -4%), Yorkshire First 91 (16%, no candidate in 2015)
Conservative GAIN from Labour with a majority of 27 (4%) on a swing of 7.5% from Lab to Con

Trowbridge, Grove (Ind defence) on Wiltshire
Result: Liberal Democrat 421 (46% +32%), Conservative 196 (21%, no candidate in 2013), United Kingdom Independence Party 123 (13%, no candidate in 2013), Labour 77 (8%, no candidate in 2013), Independent 74 (8%), Green Party 27 (3%, no candidate in 2013)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Independent with a majority of 225 (25%)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield



h1

After an extraordinary political week tonight sees a bumper crop of local by elections

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Wibsey (Lab defence) on Bradford
Result of council at last election (2016): Labour 49, Conservatives 21, Liberal Democrats 10, Independents 6, Green Party 3, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Labour majority of 8)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Labour 1,467 (42%), United Kingdom Independence Party 1,355 (39%), Conservative 499 (14%), Liberal Democrat 191 (5%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 104,575 (46%) LEAVE 123,913 (54%) on a turnout of 67%
Candidates duly nominated: Angharad Griffiths (Lib Dem), Joanne Sharp (Lab), Richard Sheard (Con), Jason Smith (UKIP)

Newquay, Treviglas (UKIP defence) and St. Teath and St. Breward (Ind defence) on Cornwall
Result of council at last election (2013): Independents 37, Liberal Democrats 36, Conservatives 31, Labour 8, United Kingdom Independence Party 6, Mebyon Kernow 4, Green Party 1 (No Overall Control, Independents short by 25)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 140,540 (43%) LEAVE 182,665 (57%) on a turnout of 77%
Result of wards at last election (2013)

Newuay, Treviglas
United Kingdom Independence Party 266 (30%), Conservative 237 (27%), Liberal Democrat 218 (25%), Labour 156 (18%)
Candidates duly nominated: George Edwards (Ind), Julian Grover (Lab), Carl Leadbetter (Con), Paul Summers (Lib Dem)

St. Teath and St. Breward
Independent 628 (51%), Liberal Democrat 388 (32%), Conservative 204 (17%)
Candidates duly nominated: Dominic Fairman (Lib Dem), David Garrigan (Lab), Eddie Jones (Ind), William Kitto (Ind), Jeremy Stanford-Davis (Con), Susan Theobald (Ind),

Marchog (Ind defence) and Y Felinheli (Plaid defence) on Gwynedd
Result of council at last election (2012): Plaid Cymru 37, Independents 19, Llais Gwynedd 13, Labour 4, Liberal Democrats 2 (No Overall Control, Plaid short by 1)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 35,517 (58%) LEAVE 25,665 (42%) on a turnout of 72%
Result of wards at last election (2012)

Marchog: Emboldened denotes elected
Independents 365, 247 (58%)
Labour 218, 43 (34%)
Non Party Independent 76 (7%)
Candidates duly nominated: Dylan Fernley (Ind), Luke Tugwell (Lab)

Y Felinheli: Plaid Cymru elected unopposed
Candidates duly nominated: Gareth Griffith (Plaid), Andrew Kinsman (Con)

Barnsbury (Lab defence) on Islington
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 47, Green Party 1 (Labour majority of 46)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 2,110, 1,948, 1,910 (56%)
Conservatives 710, 604, 594 (19%)
Green Party 467, 447, 327 (12%)
Liberal Democrats 400, 309, 286 (11%)
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 100 (3%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 76,420 (75%) LEAVE 25,080 (25%) on a turnout of 70%)
Candidates duly nominated: Robert Capper (Ind), Rowena Champion (Lab), Bradley Hillier-Smith (Lib Dem), Ernestas Jegorovas (Green), Edward Waldegrave (Con)

Forest Gate North (Lab defence) R on Newham
Result of council at last election: Labour 60 (Labour majority of 60)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 2,324, 2,126, 2,120 (58%)
Green Party 562, 559 (14%)
Conservatives 548, 490, 480 (14%)
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 222 (6%)
Liberal Democrats 206 (5%)
Christian People’s Alliance 174, 146 (4%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 55,328 (53%) LEAVE 49,371 (47%) on a turnout of 59%
Candidates duly nominated: Anamul Islam (Lab), John Oxley (Con), James Rumsby (Lib Dem), Elisabeth Whitebread (Green)

Astley (Con defence) on North Norfolk
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 33, Liberal Democrats 15 (Conservative majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Conservative 734 (56%), Green Party 344 (26%), Labour 233 (18%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 26,214 (41%) LEAVE 37,576 (59%) on a turnout of 77%
Candidates duly nominated: Pierre Butofoker (Lib Dem), Jo Copplestone (Con), Mandy Huntridge (Green), David Ramsbottom (UKIP), Callum Ringer (Lab)

Bryam and Brotherton (Lab defence) on Selby
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 22, Labour 8, Independent 1 (Conservative majority of 13)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Labour 648 (44%), Conservative 480 (33%), United Kingdom Independence Party 345 (23%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 21,071 (41%) LEAVE 30,532 (59%) on a turnout of 79%
Candidates duly nominated: Bryan Sage (Con), Steven Shaw-Wright (Lab), Chris Whitwood (Yorkshire First)

Trowbridge, Grove (Ind defence) on Wiltshire
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 59, Liberal Democrats 26, Independents 8, Labour 4, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Conservative majority of 20)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Independent 842 (86%), Liberal Democrat 142 (14%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 137,258 (48%) LEAVE 151,637 (52%) on a turnout of 79%
Candidates duly nominated: Chris Auckland (Lib Dem), David Halik (Con), Shaun Henley (Lab), Phillip Randle (Green), Simon Selby (UKIP), Robert Wall (Ind)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield



h1

And to bring us all down to earth tonight’s Local By-elections

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Mostyn (Lab defence) on Conwy
Result of council at last election (2012): Independents 19, Conservatives 13, Plaid Cymru 12, Labour 10, Liberal Democrats 5 (No Overall Control, Independents short by 11)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Independents 250, 235, 72, 38, 33(46%)
Labour 436 (28%)
Conservatives 243, 199 (20%)
Liberal Democrats 131 (6%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 30,147 (46%) LEAVE 35,357 (54%) on a turnout of 72%
Candidates duly nominated: Penelope Appleton (Lib Dem), Richard Enston (Ind), John Humberstone (UIKIP), Emily Owen (Lab), Greg Robbins (Con), John Thomas (Ind)

Appleby (Appleby) (Ind defence) on Eden
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 21, Independents 10, Liberal Democrats 7 (Conservative majority of 4)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Independent elected unopposed
Referendum Result: REMAIN 14,807 (47%) LEAVE 16,911 (53%) on a turnout of 76%
Candidates duly nominated: Karen Greenwood (Ind), Phillip Guest (Con)

Carlford (Con defence) on Suffolk
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 39, Labour 15, United Kingdom Independence Party 9, Liberal Democrats 7, Independents 3, Green Party 2 (Conservative overall majority of 3)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Conservative 1,565 (59%), United Kingdom Independence Party 504 (19%), Labour 374 (14%), Liberal Democrat 208 (8%)
Referendum Result (Suffolk County): REMAIN 178,749 (43%) LEAVE 239,022 (57%) on a turnout of 76%
Candidates duly nominated: Jacqueline Barrow (Green), Rev. Canon Graham Hedger (Lab), Jon Neal (Lib Dem), Robin Vickery (Con)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield



h1

After the most dramatic post-war week in British politics the first electoral tests: Tonight’s local by-elections

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

St. Michael’s (Con defence) on Bexley
Result of council at last election (2014): Conservatives 45, Labour 15, United Kingdom Independence Party 3 (Conservative majority of 27)
Result of ward at last election (2014) : Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,352, 1,314, 1,140 (35%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 1,280 (33%)
Labour 857, 769, 720 (22%)
British National Party 407 (10%)
Candidates duly nominated: Keith Forster (UKIP), Michael Jones (BNP), Sam Marchant (Lab), Derek Moran (Green), Simone Reynolds (Lib Dem), Ray Sams (Con)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 47,603 (37%) LEAVE 80,886 (63%) on a turnout of 75%

High Town (Lab defence) on Luton
Result of council at last election (2016): Labour 35, Liberal Democrats 8, Conservatives 5 (Labour overall majority of 22)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 1,442, 1,039 (53%)
Conservatives 791, 748 (29%)
Green Party 479, 329 (18%)
Candidates duly nominated: Lyn Bliss (Green), John French (Ind), Grace Froggart (UKIP), Sue Garrett (Con), Clive Mead (Lib Dem), Maahwish Mirza (Lab)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 36,708 (43%) LEAVE 47,773 (57%) on a turnout of 66%

Leatherhead North (Con defence) on Mole Valley
Result of council at last election (2016): Conservatives 23, Liberal Democrats 12, Independents 6 (Conservative majority of 5)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Conservative 1,064 (34%), Liberal Democrat 915 (29%), United Kingdom Independence Party 571 (18%), Labour 455 (15%), Green Party 122 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: Simon Chambers (UKIP), Joe Crome (Lib Dem), Vicki Elcoate (Green), Marc Green (Lab), Tracey Keeley (Con)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 29,088 (53%) LEAVE 25,708 (47%) on a turnout of 82%

Rhoose (Ind defence) on Vale of Glamorgan
Result of council last election (2012): Labour 22, Conservatives 11, Plaid Cymru 6, Independents 3, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 2)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 810, 727 (49%)
Independent 882 (28%)
Labour 713 (23%)
Candidates duly nominated: Rachael Banner (Ind), James Fyfe (Pirate), Gordon Kemp (Con), Graham Loveluck-Edwards (Lab), Robin Lynn (Lib Dem), Ian Perry (Plaid) Adam Riley (Ind)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 36,681 (51%) LEAVE 35,628 (49%) on a turnout of 76%

Newington (UKIP defence) on Thanet to be held on July 1st 2016
Result of council at last election (2015): United Kingdom Independence Party 33, Conservatives 18, Labour 4, Independent 1 (UKIP majority of 10)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
United Kingdom Independence Party 884, 845(44%)
Labour 728, 713 (36%)
Conservatives 390, 363 (20%)
Candidates duly nominated: Matthew Brown (Lib Dem), Adam Dark (Con), David Green (Lab), Roy Potts (UKIP),
Referendum Result: REMAIN 26,065 (36%) LEAVE 46,037 (64%) on a turnout of 73%

Anyone who tells you that they know how these by-elections will go is telling you a bare faced lie. This time last week REMAIN were rated as a 75% chance on the betting markets, Cameron was going to stand down as PM after the local elections of 2017, Corbyn would be Labour leader until at least 2019 and the cable rate (£ vs $) was approaching a recent high. Therefore I am not even going to attempt to second guess how these by-elections will go (nor indeed will I make any future attempts to as well). For instance, will REMAIN areas revolt and elect parties that supported LEAVE? Will LEAVE areas punish those who called for a REMAIN vote? Will rock solid Conservative areas fall to the Liberal Democrats? Will UKIP gain seats from Labour as if there was no tomorrow? Will the SNP dominate Scotland to such an extent that everyone else gives up? Who knows? The main thing is that I don’t (and if anyone tells you otherwise, in the words of Public Enemy “Don’t believe the hype!”)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield



h1

Freedom for Tooting – the by-election to fill Sadiq’s seat could be tight

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Wolfie Smith

Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons

Alastair Meeks assesses the chances

Zac Goldsmith’s father once said that when a man married his mistress, that created a vacancy.  In the same way, his successful opponent for the Mayor of London contest can be expected shortly to be standing down as MP for Tooting, giving rise to a fascinating by-election.

Tooting has long been a Labour stronghold.  It has been held by the party ever since its creation in 1974.  The closest that the Conservatives have got to Labour was in 1987, when they got to within 3% of the Labour MP.  So it should be a safe Labour hold?

Perhaps.  The area has undergone substantial demographic change.  While most of London is trending to Labour, Tooting is an exception.  In February 1974, the Conservatives took 32.6% of the vote.  In 1992, the Conservatives took 40.1% of the vote.  In 2015, the Conservatives took 41.9% of the vote, their highest vote share ever in this seat.  For comparison, the national vote shares for the Conservatives over those three elections were 46%, 42% and 37%, so it has gone from being a considerably worse than average seat for the Conservatives to being a considerably better than average seat for them.  Admittedly the boundaries have changed twice in that time, but this is a seat that is gentrifying.  This is not the gentrification of hipster beards and radical art movements but of loft extensions and Maclaren buggies.  The Conservatives will be taking aim at this seat.

The result in 2015 was a close two horse race.  Sadiq Khan had a majority of just under 3,000 (5.3%) over his Conservative opponent Dan Watkins.  Everyone else lost their deposit.  Turnout at 69.7% was above the national average (again showing that Tooting is not a typical London constituency).

So we can expect another two horse race.  National opinion polls vary according to their methodology and taken overall suggest that Labour might have improved slightly relative to the Conservatives over the last year.  So that might give Labour a bit more of a cushion.

What of the candidates?  The rumour mill suggested that Jeremy Corbyn originally wanted Ken Livingstone to run for this seat for Labour.  We can safely assume that’s not going to happen now.  So Labour will have a selection battle ahead.

The Conservatives too will need to select a candidate.  Dan Watkins has been looking ahead.  Far from abandoning the seat he did not win at the general election, he has been assiduously working it.  Here’s his news page on his campaign website.

As you can see, he’s been keeping himself busy.  If as seems very likely Dan Watkins is selected to refight the seat, the Conservatives will have a familiar face with good local knowledge. It looks like the Conservatives have stolen a march on Labour already here.  (As an aside, Conservative localism, clearly borrowed from the Lib Dems’ decades-old strategy, seems to be here to stay.  Labour are going to have to adopt similar tactics much more systematically.)

So to sum up, the by-election is going to be a two horse race in a seat that Labour has held since its formation but where the Conservatives are going to have a relatively familiar candidate, where Labour are struggling in the polls far more than most mid-term opposition parties in an area that has been trending towards the Conservatives for two generations.

The last time that a government gained a seat at a by-election was in 1982 in neighbouring Mitcham & Morden.  Could history repeat itself?  This could be intense.

Alastair Meeks



h1

Elections update as LAB looks set to move to third in Scotland but did better than expected elsewhere

Friday, May 6th, 2016

In London the Tory aftermath starts even before any results are in



h1

Today’s forgotten Westminster by-elections – Ogmore and Sheffield?

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Westmster from Dales office

Two heartland seats: two more Oldhams?

There are two parliamentary by-elections tomorrow. Normally, this would be cause for a good deal of media interest: it’s rare for two or more by-elections to take place on the same day (only the tenth occasion since 1997). However, the sheer quantity of other contests occurring has relegated what ought to be routine holds for Labour in Ogmore and in Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough so far down the pecking order as to be near-invisible.

And they ought to be very comfortable holds. These are the epitome of heartland seats. Not only has Ogmore returned Labour MPs at every election since the constituency was created in 1918 but never has the Labour candidate received less than half the vote (other than the four occasions when no vote took place because Labour was returned unopposed, between the wars). The Sheffield seat is of more recent vintage but both it and its predecessors have also returned Labour MPs since 1935, with Harry Harpham winning 56.6% in 2015.

So nothing to worry about for Labour then? You would assume not given the complete lack of noise from any potential insurgent party. UKIP, who might be best placed to mount a challenge, have their hands full at the moment focussing on the Welsh Assembly, the EU Referendum and internal conflict. UKIP were a clear second in Sheffield B&H in 2015 with slightly more than double the Conservative share, but still more than 30% back. Their starting point in Ogmore – third, just behind the Conservatives and close to 40% behind Labour – is even less prospitious.

Oldham West & Royton has no doubt tempered thoughts of a shock. There, UKIP was talked up only for Labour to then romp home. Despite Labour’s bad week, and the concerns of Corbyn’s Labour not necessarily being those of industrial Yorkshire or the Valleys of Wales, the red flag should continue to fly high there.

What of the other parties? The Lib Dems lost their deposit in both seats in 2015 and must be at risk of doing so again given the state of the opinion polls. The Conservatives shouldn’t fall that low but with no government at stake and with a potential pro-UKIP tactical squeeze it would be a surprise if either seat returned a double-digit vote share. UKIP will hope to finish second in both, and should do so. The unremarkableness of that expectation is a measure of how far they’ve progressed in five years.

But just as the campaigns have gone unnoticed, so, in all probability, will the results be blotted out by much more dramatic results elsewhere in the UK. Probably.

David Herdson