Archive for the 'By elections' Category


Local By-Election Results: July 2nd 2015

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Grantham, Barrowby on Lincolnshire (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 579 (50% +12%), Labour 257 (22% -8%), UKIP 179 (15%, no candidate in 2013), Lincolnshire Independents 155 (13%, no candidate in 2013)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 322 (28%) on a swing of 10% from Labour to Conservative

Hampton Wick on Richmond upon Thames (Con defence)
Result: Liberal Democrat 1,189 (43% +25%), Conservative 1,081 (39% -11%), Green 237 (9% -10%), Labour 185 (7% -7%), UKIP 69 (3%, no candidate in 2014), Independent 7 (0%, no candidate in 2014)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 108 (4%) on a swing of 18% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat


Local By-Election Preview including the big election in Tower Hamlets

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Wallington South on Sutton (Lib Dem defence)
Result of council at last election (2014): Liberal Democrats 45, Conservatives 9 (Liberal Democrat majority of 36)
Result of ward at last election (2014) : Emboldened denotes elected
Liberal Democrats: 1,593, 1,558, 1,221 (37%)
Conservatives: 825, 649, 571 (19%)
United Kingdom Independence Party: 694 (16%)
Keep Our St. Helier Hospital Party: 377 (9%)
Labour: 374, 358, 283 (9%)
Green Party: 301, 274 (7%)
English Democrats: 110 (3%)
Candidates duly nominated: Andy Beadle (UKIP), Steve Cook (Lib Dem), Sarah Gwynn (Lab), Duncan Mattey (Ind), Rosa Rajendran (Green), Jim Simms (Con)

Sutton was the only bright spot on what was a dreadful night for the Liberal Democrats in London but this wasn’t the first time that the borough had been a beacon for Liberalism. The first Liberal councillors were elected to the council in 1974 (as part of the Liberal surge that saw them decide the fate of the Conservative government) but by 1978 they were in danger of being wiped out again with only two of the six being re-elected. The launch of the Alliance in 1981 helped the Liberals to some remarkable results in the 1982 London elections (most notably in Richmond where they won 24 seats out of 52) but sadly Sutton wasn’t able to join in the party as they made only one net gain. But in 1986, the Alliance did it, winning 28 seats on the council which forced it into No Overall Control and being the largest party the Alliance could claim a breakthrough in being able to control not one, not even two, but three London boroughs (Richmond, Sutton and Tower Hamlets) which was cemented in 1990 as the party (now called the Liberal Democrats) held on to all of the boroughs. But they were not finished yet. In 1994, they added Kingston upon Thames and Harrow to that list, and after only a slight reversal in 1998 (losing Harrow to Labour and Kingston to the Conservatives) normal service was resumed in 2002 when Lambeth, Islington and Southwark had the Liberal Democrats as the largest party or controlling. But the real high point came in 2006 when the Liberal Democrats stated “We now control or help run almost a quarter of the councils in London” as Brent, Camden, Islington, Southwark, Richmond, Kingston and Sutton all had either the Liberal Democrats as the majority party or largest party on the council. Sadly it was downhill from thereon in. In 2010, only Kingston and Sutton were Liberal Democrat wins and in 2014 Kingston was lost to the Conservatives leaving Sutton as the only part of London to elected a Lib Dem majority council (with Tom Brake, the MP for Carshalton and Wallington, being now the only Lib Dem MP in London)

Stepney Green on Tower Hamlets (Tower Hamlets First defence)
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 22, Tower Hamlets First 18, Conservatives 5 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 1)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Tower Hamlets First: 2,023, 1,965 (43%)
Labour: 1,568, 954 (33%)
Green Party: 411 (9%)
United Kingdom Independence Party: 387 (8%)
Conservatives: 209, 166 (4%)
Liberal Democrats: 151 (3%)
Candidates duly nominated: Sabina Akhtar (Lab), Safiul Azam (Con), Kirsty Chestnutt (Green), Abu Talha Chowdhury (Ind), Will Dyer (Lib Dem), Afsar Khan (Ind), Jessie Macneil-Brown (Something New), Paul Shea (UKIP)

Tower Hamlets Mayoral By-Election (Tower Hamlets First defence)
Result of last election (2014): Tower Hamlets First 36,539 (43%), Labour 27,643 (33%), Conservative 7,173 (9%), UKIP 4,819 (6%), Green 4,699 (6%), Liberal Democrat 1,959 (2%), Trade Unionist and Socialist 871 (1%), Independents 531 (1%). As no candidate polled 50% of the vote plus one, second preference votes were counted. Tower Hamlets first gained 856 second preferences polling 37,395 votes (52.3%), Labour gained 6,500 second preferences polling 34,143 votes (47.7%). Tower Hamlets First HOLD with a majority of 3,252 (4.6%)
Candidates duly nominated: Elaine Bagshaw (Lib Dem), John Biggs (Lab), Andy Erlam (Red Flag), John Foster (Green), Peter Golds (Con), Vanessa Hudson (Animal Welfare), Hafiz Kadir (Ind), Rabina Khan (Ind), Nicholas McQueen (UKIP), Mohammed Rahman Nanu (Ind)

What can you say about Tower Hamlets that hasn’t been said already? Since 1990, the council has managed to appear in national headlines for one reason for another. In 1990, it was that rare success story for the Liberal Democrats, an inner London borough council under Liberal Democrat control. But things quickly fell apart as demonstrated in September 1993 when the BNP won the Millwall by-election electing their first ever councillor in London and from there on in it got worse as for the 1994 local elections the Liberal Democrats had splintered into a Liberal Democrat group and an Independent Liberal Democrat Focus Team group. Net result was that the Liberal Democrats lost 23 seats on the council and never really recovered. Then in 2004, a certain George Galloway crowed over his Respect party topping the poll in the Tower Hamlets council area in the European Elections and announced that he would stand for the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency at the next election. He won that by 853 votes and then launched into a tirade against the council and vowed that Respect could gain control of the council at the elections the following year. That didn’t come about (as they won 12 seats) but they did force Labour’s majority to collapse from 19 to just one. In 2010 however, fortunes were reversed. Labour’s majority on the council increased to 31, Respect and the Lib Dems were almost wiped out, George Galloway lost his seat (having decided that moving to Poplar and Canning Town was the better option, and losing there as well). And then things got really interesting, when Tower Hamlets agreed in a referendum to have a directly elected mayor (and following a major battle with Labour) Tower Hamlets First emerged as the victors forcing the council into a state of No Overall Control and winning the mayoral election by 5%. That was until an election court rules that the mayor had put undue influence on some voters by stating it was their duty to vote for him as they followed the same religion as him and he was thrown out of office (along with his agent who happened to be a councillor). Thus generating two by-elections for the price of one and no doubt, prompting the residents of Tower Hamlets to think “Is this mayor really worth the trouble?” and perhaps start looking to places like Stoke for inspiration about what to do next.

Harry Hayfield


A CON gain from UKIP the highlight of this week’s local by-elections

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Rothwell on Kettering
Result: Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives: Jelley 771, Sumpter 853 E, Talbot 777 E
Labour: Harris 614, Jones 623, Mills 951 E
United Kingdom Independence Party: Hogston 370
Green Party: Heath 82, Jones 119, Reeves 89
No change from 2011

Wisbech South on Cambridgeshire
Result: Conservative 1,020 (64% +33%), UKIP 298 (19% -19%), Labour 219 (14% -2%), Liberal Democrats 61 (4% -10%)
Conservative GAIN from UKIP with a majority of 722 (45%) on a swing of 26% from UKIP to Con


Harry Hayfield’s Local By-Election Preview : June 4th 2015

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

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Rothwell on Kettering

(Deferred Election, Two Con defences, One Lab defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 26, Labour 9, Independents 1
Result of ward at last election (2011): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives: Ian Jelley 1,103 (E), Margaret Talbot 1,079 (E), Neil Matthews 1,052 (37%)
Labour: Alan Mills 1,077 (E), Mark Hughes 847, Martin Fage 778 (36%)
Independent: Alan Pote 616 (20%)
Liberal Democrat: John Holt 230 (8%)
Candidates duly nominated:
Conservatives: Ian Jelley, Karl Sumpter, Margaret Talbot
Labour: Kathleen Harris, Malcolm Jones, Alan Mills
United Kingdom Independence Party: Sally Hogston
Green Party: Alan Heath, Rob Reeves

The traditional addage is “a week is a long time in politics”, but for the residents of Kettering in Northamptonshire, it’s almost as if the last twenty three years never happened. In 1992, Roger Freeman was the Conservative MP for the constituency with a very healthy 12,187 majority over Labour, this election saw Phillip Hollobone re-elected for the Conservatives with a majority of 12,590 over Labour but that seemingly no change results hides a multiude of sins. Firstly, Labour’s vote is down seven percent on 1992, the Liberal Democrat vote is down 12% on that election and UKIP are now on 16% (having only really started in 2005) however during this time the council has been solidily Conservative racking up majorities of 15 in 2003, 20 in 2007 and 16 last time in 2011 and with these results still outstanding if nothing were to change, the Conservatives would still have a majority of 16 but there was a 4% swing to the Conservatives in the constituency of Kettering so could the Conservatives (as they did in a large number of councils) knock out that sole Labour member and make a gain?

Wisbech South on Cambridgeshire (UKIP defence)

Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 32, Liberal Democrats 14, UKIP 12, Labour 7, Independent 4 (No Overall Control, Conservatives short by 3)
Result of ward at last election (2013): UKIP 774 (38%), Conservative 636 (31%), Labour 333 (16%), Liberal Democrats 281 (14%)
Candidates duly nominated: Susan Carson (UKIP), Samatha Hoy (Con), Josephine Ratcliffe (Lib Dem), Dean Reeves (Lab)

It is safe to say, that whatever you may think of them, UKIP have made their presence felt. Contesting 624 constituencies, they polled 3,881,099 votes (13.14% of the total) and although they only won one seat (Clacton), they came second in 120 seats and have up to seven realistic targets for the next election (Thanet South, Hartlepool, Boston and Skegness, Heywood and Middleton, Dagenham and Rainham, Rochester and Strood and Rother Valley). However, and this is a problem that UKIP have failed to tackle, they don’t have a very good track record of holding onto support. In 2014, UKIP had eight by-election defences all over the country and of those eight, they only managed to hold three (West Heath on Rushmoor, Peninsula on Medway and Aveley and Uplands on Thurrock) and in one of those losses (Penydarren on Merthyr Tydfil) they didn’t even field a candidate! If UKIP are really determined to challenge both the Conservatives and Labour at the next election, they are going to have to do what we Liberal Democrats were more than able to do in selected constituencies after we burst onto the scene in 1983 with the Alliance and that is hold on to your support.

Harry Hayfield


Harry Hayfield’s local election preview

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Rhyl South West on Denbighshire (Lab defence)
Result of council at last election (2012): Labour 18, Independents 12, Conservatives 9, Plaid Cymru 7, Liberal Democrat 1 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 6)
Result of ward at last election (2012): E denotes elected
Labour: Pat Jones 797 E, Margaret McCarroll 647 E (70%)
Independents: David Thomas 184, Glyn Williams 141 (16%)
Conservatives: Harry Bennett 116, Billy Dawson 96 (10%)
Liberal Democrats: David Dear 71 (2%)
Candidates duly nominated: David Dear (Lib Dem), Diana Hammam (Ind), Melanie Jones (Con), Pete Prendergast (Lab), David Wilmot (Plaid)

I have often commented on the fact that in some parts of Wales it is almost impossible for a party to get an overall majority and there is one common factor in those councils, Independents, and in Denbighshire Independents rule the roost in more ways than one. When the council was created in 1995 following the merger of Rhuddlan and Glyndwr councils, the Independents made their presence felt polling 42% of the vote (to Labour’s 34%) and winning 20 councillors (just one ahead of Labour) thus ensuring that like their previous numbers, Denbighshire would be NOC. In 1999, the Independents were still on top (polling 35% of the vote and winning 18 councillors) but there was a new Independent group on the block calling themselves the Democratic Alliance of Wales who polled a very respectable 12% and won 5 councillors, probably on the back of Gwynne Clague standing in the Assembly elections on the same day in the Vale of Clwyd constituency (where he polled 9% of the vote)

By 2004 however, the Democratic Alliance had fallen away and the Independents were now back to their 1995 levels of support and this time (thanks in part to the drop in support for Labour) they were now clearly the largest grouping on the council with the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru both chomping at the bit at becoming the second largest grouping on the council. At the next elections in 2008, the Conservatives clearly scented blood and for the first time since the council’s formation the Conservatives won the election polling 33% (+18% on the last elections) and winning 18 councillors (+11 on the last elections) and thus became the largest party on the council however this wasn’t to last as in 2012 Labour came roaring back as they polled 33% (+13% on the 2008 elections) and made a net gain of 10 seats to become the new largest grouping but still short of an overall majority.


Marf for tonight + Harry Hayfield’s local by-election preview

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Tonight’s local by- elections from Harry Hayfield

Hengoed on Carmarthenshire (Lab Defence)
Result of council at last election (2012): Plaid Cymru 28, Labour 23, Independents 22, People First 1 (No Overall Control, Plaid Cymru short by 10)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
People First 337, 261 (33%)
Labour 338, 253 (28%)
Plaid Cymru 315, 271 (28%)
Independent 213 (10%)
Non Party Independent 89 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: Martin Davies (Plaid), Stephen Davies (Con), Penny Edwards (Lab), Bramwell Richards (UKIP), Wynford Samuel (People First), Edward Skinner (Ind)

Since Plaid’s triumph in the 1999 Assembly elections, Plaid have suffered from the same sort of problems as Labour have been experiencing in areas where the local party are deemed to be out of touch only with Plaid, it’s not being out of touch that is the problem, it’s not looking after their traditional roots. The first rumblings started in 2004 when Llais Ceredigion (The Voice of Ceredigion) started the process to hold a referendum on the concept of a directly elected mayor when the county’s planning department called for a massive increase in the number of homes in the county which Llais Ceredigion said would lead to the Welsh language becoming a minority language in less than two decades and that a directly elected mayor would have the power to stop such a plan. The referendum was called for a month before the local elections and so Llais Ceredigion fielded candidates in the local elections hoping to captialise on the referendum result. Sadly for them, the concept of a mayor was rejected by a margin of two to one and no Llais candidates were elected, although that they did manage to poll 22% of the vote in the six wards they contested and in Beulah managed to attract 31% of the vote in direct opposition to the sitting Plaid Cymru councillor.

In 2008, a Llais came back to haunt Plaid in the biggest way possible. This time it was Llais Gwynedd and their gripe with Plaid Cymru was the fact that Gwynedd (controlled by Plaid since the council was formed in 1995) was closing Welsh medium primary schools. This time, however, unlike Llais Ceredigion, Llais Gwynedd was out in force and stood in 28 seats in the elections in 2008 and for the first time Plaid faced the real threat of losing overall control and when the votes were tallied Llais proved that they meant business. In the 28 seats they stood in they polled 7,119 votes (39%) to Plaid’s 7,091 (38%) and managed to win 12 seats (nine of which came from Plaid) including the ward of Bontnewydd represented in the 2004 council chamber by Dafydd Iwan, the Welsh folk singer and Plaid Cymru leader at the time. In fact, Llais Gwynedd were so impressed with their performance that they stood in the new Dwyfor, Meirionnydd constituency in 2011 in direct opposition to the Presiding Officer, Lord Elis Thomas and managed to poll 16% (13% of which came from Plaid Cymru)

In the same elections, more trouble was on the horizon for Plaid as Sian Caiach (the Plaid Cymru councillor for Hengoed) stood as a “People First” candidate in the Plaid battleground seat of Llanelli and managed to poll 8% of the vote which contributed to Labour gaining the seat but that didn’t stop her as he stood in 2012 as a People First candiate in the local elections and managed to hold on to her seat with her running partner a mere 76 votes behind the second seat, so as you can see this by-election will be a real test for People First, can they take a seat from Labour or prevent Plaid winning a seat? If they can, expect to see Sian standing in the general election for Llanelli and potentially making Plaid’s life even more difficult than it is already (with both Arfon and Carmarthen East as Labour targets and their Westminster leader standing down in Dwyfor)


Local By-Election Preview : February 5th 2015

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Brimington on Derbyshire (Lab Defence)
Result of council at last election (2013): Labour 43, Conservatives 18, Liberal Democrats 3 (Labour majority of 22)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Labour 1,857 (69%), Conservatives 301 (11%), Liberal Democrats 250 (9%), Independent (Mullins) 175 (6%), Independent (Mann) 119 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: John Ahern (Lib Dem), Mick Bagshaw (Ind), Tricia Gilby (Lab), Lewis Preston (Con), Paul Stone (UKIP)

Derbyshire has always been called a Labour heartland council (and yet despite that the county actually has some very Conservative areas as well). In the 1992 general election of the ten constituencies in Derbyshire, the Conservatives had six to Labour’s four and yet at the following year’s general election Labour had an overall majority of 20 on the council. In 1997, all the seats (bar Derbyshire West) voted Labour, very little happened on the county (thanks in part to Derby becoming a unitary authority) and in 2001 when the Liberal Democrats gained Chesterfield, very little happened again. It was only in 2005 that things started to happen when Labour’s majority slipped to 12 (with the Liberal Democrats gaining three and the Conservatives gaining two), and in 2009 the seemingly unthinkable happened as the Conservatives gained overall control (by three) so it should come as no suprise to hear that in 2010, the county went back to how it was in 1992 (only with an extra seat for Labour thanks to boundary changes). However in this by-election we have the UKIP factor in a ward they did not contest in 2013. Whether they will be able to upset the apple cart enough to gain the seat is debateable, but can they affect the outcome? Almost certainly.

Harry Hayfield


Local By-Elections: January 22nd 2014 – Harry Hayfield

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

This was Harry’s ward description before the result.

Kirkcaldy East on Fife (SNP defence)
Result of council at last election (2012): Labour 35, Scottish Nationalists 26, Liberal Democrats 10, Conservatives 3, Independents 3, Non Party Independent 1 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 5)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 1,111, 745 (50%)
Scottish National Party 610, 742 (36%)
Conservatives 224 (6%)
Pensioner’s Party 180 (5%)
Liberal Democrats 104 (3%)
Candidates duly nominated: Peter ADAMS (UKIP), Edgar COOK (Con), Liz EASTON (Lab), Ronald HUNTER (Ind), Callum LESLIE (Lib Dem), Alastair MACINTYRE (Ind), Marie PENMAN (SNP), Claire REID (Green)

Fife, along with the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Highland and the island councils, came through the reorganisation of Scottish local government in 1995 remarkably intact in fact it doubled in terms of membership of the council increasing from 46 members at the 1994 elections to 92 in the first unitary elections in 1995. At the local elections in 1990, Fife was a literal Labour fiedom as they won 30 seats and an overall majority of 14, the majority fell to 10 in 1994 as the Liberal Democrats made two gains but everyone knew that when the unitary authority was elected the following year if Labour failed to get a majority it would be a shock. As it happened Labour won 54 seats in the new enlarged council chamber and won with an overall majority of 16. By the time of the 1999 local elections, it had become clear that Fife was too big and so for those elections 14 councillors were given the heave ho, but Labour still won an overall majority on the new reduced Fife of 8 but the Liberal Democrats were by now becoming the clear challengers to Labour and in 2003, when they gained Inverclyde from Labour, they managed to knock Labour out of control in Fife but Labour were still the largest party on the council and were able to carry on in control, that was until 2004 when thanks to the Labour / Liberal Democrat coalition STV for local government was introduced and when the wards for the next elections in 2007 where formalised, the notional calculations for Fife shook Labour to it’s core. Labour would have won 31 seats, the Liberal Democrats 19 seats, the SNP 17 seats, the Conservatives 7 seats, with the Independents winning 4 seats. In other words, the Liberal Democrats, SNP and Independents would have enough seats to control the council and when all the votes were counted and seats allocated the effect of STV was clear. Labour only won 24 seats (-7 on the notional calculation), the SNP were on 23 (+6), the Liberal Democrats on 21 (+2), the Conservatives on 5 (-2) and the Independents on 5 (+1). In the five years between that election and the next in 2012, the SNP won and then gained an overall majority in Holyrood and everyone was thinking that time was up for Labour in Fife, so you can imagine the suprised faces when Labour actually gained seats (nine to be precise) in those local elections with the SNP only gaining three. For the Liberal Democrats those elections were a disaster as they lost eleven seats. The Conservatives lost two and the Independents lost one. This ward is part of the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency, that in May will not have Gordon Brown as the Labour candidate, but Labour know that they if they can gain this ward from the SNP, then Alex Salmond’s plan to lead the Westminster contingent of SNP MP’s into government might come a cropper.

Crowborough West on Wealden (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2011): Conservatives 47, Independents 5, Liberal Democrats 3 (Conservative majority of 39)
Result of ward at last election (2011): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,387, 1,225 (83%)
Labour 517 (17%)
Candidates duly nominated: Simon STAVELEY (UKIP), Jeannette TOWEY (Con)

Wealden council covers most, if of all, of the Wealden parliamentary constituency and like the seat that has voted Conservative all of it’s history the council is the same clocking up 34 Conservatives out of 55 in 2003, the same in 2007, and 47 in 2011 and thus creating a virtual one party state and as we have seen in past local by-elections, virtual one party states are a prime area for UKIP to make a statement and whilst UKIP did indeed win Wealden in the Euros, they only did so by 3% (on a 9% swing from Con to UKIP) inline with the regional swing in the South East a good deal less than the swing in neighbouring Lewes, Eastbourne and Rother suggesting that UKIP’s best hope here is to inflict a swing of 30% from Con to UKIP.