Archive for the 'Coalition' Category

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Local By-Election Results : March 3rd 2016

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Bloomfield (Lab defence) on Blackpool
Result: Labour 450 (58% +13%), Conservative 150 (19% -1%), United Kingdom Independence Party 118 (15% -10%), Green Party 32 (4% -5%), Liberal Democrat 31 (4%, no candidate in 2015)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 300 (39%) on a swing of 7% from Conservative to Labour

Alderholt (Con defence) on East Dorset
Result: Conservative 384 (47% -16%), Liberal Democrat 376 (46%, no candidate in 2015), Labour 49 (6%, no candidate in 2015)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 8 (1%) on a notional swing of 31% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat

Bondfields (Con defence) on Havant
Result: Conservative 207 (30% -3%), Liberal Democrat 187 (27% +16%), Labour 148 (22% -7%), United Kingdom Independence Party 143 (21%, no candidate in 2014)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 20 (3%) on a swing of 9.5% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat

Whissendine (Lib Dem defence) on Rutland
Result: Liberal Democrat 265 (65% -1%), Conservative 109 (27% -7%), United Kingdom Independence Party 33 (8%, in 2015)
Liberal Democrat HOLD with a majority of 156 (38%) on a swing of 3% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat



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South Carolina goes as expected – an overwhelming victory for Hillary

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

South Carolina Primary Election Results 2016   The New York Times
New York Times

A great platform for “Super Tuesday”

As I write the votes are still being counted in South Carolina but the networks all declared her the overwhelming winner of South Carolina based on the exit polls alone.

She’s certain to pick up the lion’s share of the 59 delegates at stake and goes into Tuesday very much as the presumptive nominee.

Mike Smithson





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Tonight’s local by-election line-up has 3 LAB defences and an LD one

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Crompton (Lab defence) on Bolton
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 39, Conservatives 15, Liberal Democrats 3, UKIP 3 (Labour majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Labour 2,363 (60%), UKIP 826 (21%), Conservative 456 (12%), Liberal Democrat 148 (4%), Independent 121 (3%)
Candidates duly nominated: Bilkis Bashir-Ismali (Lab), Laura Diggle (Green), Paul Eccles (UKIP), Ryan Haslam (Con), Garry Veevers (Lib Dem)

In the 2004 local elections something quite remarkable happened in Bolton, the Liberal Democrats became the largest party on the council (Lib Dem 21, Lab 20, Con 19) of course it didn’t last long and in 2006 they started a long slide to their three councillors at the moment and Bolton returned to it’s long term tradition of being a solid Labour council which poses the question therefore of whether Bolton wants an inbuilt majority for Labour or are they seeking an alternative but each option disappoints? If that is indeed the case then UKIP could be in for a very bad night indeed, after all polling 19% at last year’s elections (from a standing start in 2011) means that they have a long way to fall back.

Lower Stoke (Lab defence) on Coventry
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 41, Conservatives 13 (Labour majority of 28)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Labour 1,854 (47%), UKIP 938 (24%), Conservative 600 (15%), Green Party 259 (7%), Trade Unionist and Socialist 248 (6%), British National Party 70 (2%)
Candidates duly nominated:Aimee Challenor (Green Party), Christopher Glenn (Lib Dem), Harjinder Sehmi (UKIP), Rupinder Singh (Lab), Eliane Yebkal (Con)

When the Conservatives gained control of Coventry in 2004 Labour were sure “This is just a temporary blip” and it is true that just six years later Labour regained control and now have a majority of 28, but at the same time at the general election the three seats that make up Coventry there was a 0.45% swing to the Conservatives making Coventry North West as well as Coventry South into Labour marginal seats and whilst there is no chance of the Conservatives gaining Coventry in 2016, the fact that Coventry has seen a Labour lead of 33% in 1997 slump to just 15% in 18 years is something that will no doubt give Labour several sleepless nights for years to come.

West End North (Lib Dem defence) on Eastleigh
Result of council at last election (2015): Liberal Democrats 38, Conservatives 6 (Liberal Democrat majority of 32)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Liberal Democrat 1,156 (40%), Conservative 1,020 (35%), UKIP 446 (15%), Labour 280 (10%)
Candidates duly nominated: Andy Andrews (Lab), Janice Asman (Lib Dem), Steven Broomfield (Con), Glynn Fleming (Green), Hugh McGuinness (UKIP)

When the Conservatives brought Eastleigh back into the fold at the general election, they managed to do so on a very fractional increase in the Conservative vote (from 39% in 2010 to 42% in 2015) the real reason was the collapse in the Liberal Democrat vote from 47% to just 26% so you would expect therefore that in the Eastleigh council elections (held on the same day) the Liberal Democrat vote would collapse compared with the 2011 local elections (and while it did fall 10%) there was only a 7% swing from Lib Dem to Con compared to the 12% swing at the general election so therefore there has to be a very strong chance that the Lib Dems should be able to hold this ward.

Cranford (Lab defence) on Hounslow
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 49, Conservatives 11 (Labour majority of 38)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 2,085, 1,813, 1,643 (55%)
Conservatives 987, 851, 801 (26%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 508 (13%)
Liberal Democrat 235 (6%)
Candidates duly nominated: Sukhbir Dhaliwal (Lab), Nico Fekete (Green), Hina Malik (Lib Dem), Sukhdev Maras (Con), George Radulski (UKIP)

The last time that Labour had 49 seats back in 1994, the opposition was made up of 6 Conservatives and 5 Liberal Democrats and from that moment on Labour dropped so that by 2006 Hounslow was a hung council but that didn’t last too long and it only took two elections for Labour to get back to 49 councillors and eliminate the Liberal Democrats as an opposition group member. However, with the London Mayoral and Assembly elections on the way a good Conservative performance in a Labour heartland will allow them to say that they are the only challengers to Labour in the capital and that as a result, Zac Goldsmith should be elected Mayor to counter a Labour controlled Assembly.

Compiled by Harry Hayfield



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Trump and Sanders heading for big wins in New Hampshire

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

CNN   Breaking News  U.S.  World  Weather  Entertainment   Video News (1)



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If Trump fails to win tonight then his bid will effectively be over

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

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If Hillary can keep the gap in single figures she claim to be the “comeback kid”

As we saw after last week’s Iowa caucuses this stage in the White House race everything is all about expectations. So although Cruz won last week all the attention went on Rubio who did a fair bit better than expected.

Trump, quite remarkably, has led led in every single New Hampshire poll  since June – all  75 of them. He went into today’s New Hampshire primary with a 17% RCP polling average lead and needs a clear victory that reflects the perception that he’s the front runner. If by any chance he doesn’t make it people would question his ongoing national poll leads as well as the mountain of surveys from other states.  At least in Iowa last week he hadn’t been the leader in the polls.

Likewise Socialist 74 year old, Bernie Sanders, has to have an emphatic victory. He’s gone for a total of 40 polls all showing him in the lead and the Real Clear Politics Average currently has him 13.65 ahead. If Hillary comes in with the gap in single figures then her team will be claiming some sort of victory.

One factor about Sanders is that he’s a senator from Vermont and New Hampshire has a record of giving good support to contenders from neighbouring states.

If you are staying up have a good evening.  If it is not as clear cut as the polls we could have an exciting few hours.

Mike Smithson





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Tonight’s local by-election line-up: 3 CON defences and a LAB one

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Bottisham (Con defence) on East Cambridgeshire
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 36, Liberal Democrats 2, Independent 1 (Conservative majority of 33)
Result of ward at last election (2015) : Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,100, 1,002 (52%)
Liberal Democrats 678, 634 (32%)
Labour 347, 339 (16%)
Candidates duly nominated: Steven Aronson (Lib Dem), Daniel Divine (UKIP), Steven O’Dell (Lab), Alan Sharp (Con)

East Cambridgeshire is the essence of what has been happening to the Liberal Democrats since 2003 (their high water mark in local elections). At those elections, the Liberal Democrats polled 27% in the national projected vote share (tying with their performances in 1994 and 1987) and in those local elections they won 3,577 seats and controlled or had a hand in controlling 53 councils (including East Cambridgeshire where they had 18 councillors to the Conservatives 15 and the Independents 6), however just four years later and it was all reversed. Although the Liberal Democrat share in the national projected vote only fell by 3%, the Conservative share rose by 5% and that 4% swing was enough to cause the Conservatives to gain overall control in East Cambridgeshire and then the rot really started. A 3% swing from Lib Dem to Con saw the Conservative majority on the council increase to 11 and another 2% swing in 2015 saw the majority rocket up to 33 (on a swing of 5% overall since 2003). Since the general election though, the Liberal Democrats have started to recover some of their lustre but I think a 10% swing since May is asking just a little too much.

Measham South (Lab defence) on North West Leicestershire
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 25, Labour 10, Independents 2, Liberal Democrat 1 (Conservative majority of 12)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Labour 654 (55%), Conservative 533 (45%)
Candidates duly nominated: Annette Bridges (Con), Martin Green (UKIP), Sean Sheahan (Lab)

North West Leicestershire has always been a right royal battleground. Labour had a majority of 2 in 2003, which became a Conservative majority of 16 in 2007, then a Conservative majority of 4 in 2011 and then a majority of 12 in 2015, so when you have a seat that only requires a 5% swing for the Conservatives to gain it, you can imagine just how much chomping at the bit is going on in a constituency that has been swinging away from Labour almost since it went Labour in 1997. However, there is a complication this time around and that is UKIP. They will clearly poll very well (as they do in wards they did not contest last time) but who will their presence hurt the most? If it’s the Conservatives then Labour are home and dry, if it’s Labour then that gain becomes all the more likely.

Hexham West (Con defence) on Northumberland
Result of council at last election (2013): Labour 32, Conservatives 21, Liberal Democrats 11, Independents 3 (No Overall Majority, Labour short by 2)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Conservative 848 (48%), Liberal Democrat 540 (31%), Labour 261 (15%), United Kingdom Independence Party 105 (6%)
Candidates duly nominated: Tom Gillanders (Con), Derek Kennedy (Non Party Independent), Anne Pickering (Ind), Nuala Rose (Lab), Lee Williscroft-Ferris (Green)

Oswestry South (Con defence) on Shropshire
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 48, Liberal Democrats 12, Labour 9, Independent 1, Independent Community and Health Concern / National Health Action 1 (Conservative majority of 22)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Conservative 488 (46%), Green Party 337 (32%), United Kingdom Independence Party 175 (16%), Liberal Democrat 62 (6%)
Candidates duly nominated: Carl Hopley (Lab), Duncan Kerr (Green), Christopher Schofield (Con), Amanda Woof (Lib Dem)

Both Northumberland and Shropshire have a lot in common. They are very councils with very large land areas (Shropshire has a land area of 3,487 square kilometres and Northumberland 5,013 square kilometres), both had at one point Liberal Democrats in a position of power (in 2008 the Liberal Democrats were the largest party on Northumberland and in 2005, the Liberal Democrats were the offical opposition on Shropshire) and both councils have a claim to be “a town and not much else” (with Morpeth being the county town in Northumberland and Shrewsbury being the county town in Shropshire), so with so many similarities it is amazing how divergent the two councils are nowadays, with Labour in minority control in Northumberland and the Conservatives in majority control of Shropshire and with the Liberal Democrats in oppsition to the Conservatives in Hexham West and the Greens in opposition to the Conservatives in Oswestry South. We’ve only had one Green gain since the general election in Dorset, so could we have a second tonight or could we have undoubted evidence of a Lib Dem fightback with three Lib Dems gains from three Lib Dem candidates?



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Rubio moves to odds-on overall favourite after strong performance in Iowa

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016



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If Corbyn’s Labour has to have any chance it has to dent Osborne’s reputation on the economy

Monday, February 1st, 2016

LAB

Donald Brind: From a LAB perspective

Labour’s unrelenting focus should be on the economy. Even before the mockery that he earned with misjudged tweet on the modest Google tax payment  the Chancellor George’s Osborne’s claims to competence have been fraying fast.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell made a good fist of his duel with Andrew Neil on Sunday Politics. To highlight Labour’s demand for transparency he has published his personal tax returns and will challenge Osborne directly in the Commons on Wednesday.

Labour will seek to mount a broad attack on what Jonathan Ashworth, one of the best communicators on the Labour front bench, describes as Osborne’s “five years of mistakes that have left the economy more vulnerable than ever.

Ashworth cites the Centre for Cities report which, he says, shows that far from the UK becoming the “high wage, low welfare” economy the Chancellor claims “many cities are moving in the opposite direction, with workers plagued by low paid jobs and rising living costs.

“Not only does the report show that over half of Britain’s cities are ‘low wage, high welfare’, but welfare spending has actually grown fastest in the so-called high wage cities because of soaring costs of housing, leading to an upsurge in the need for housing benefit.”

Labour still have a long, long way to go being trusted on the economy. But the first step is to dent Osborne and the Tories reputation in this key area. And there is plenty of evidence to show that Osborne is failing on the fundamentals – on investment in infrastructure and skills — that are the key to long term prosperity and security for British people. Labour have the ammunition.

Donald Brind