Archive for the 'Harry Hayfield’s local election preview' Category

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Local By-Election Preview : June 9th 2016 (Referendum Day -14 days and counting)

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Basildon, Laindon Park and Fryerns (Lab defence) on Essex
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 42, Labour 9, Liberal Democrats 9, United Kingdom Independence Party 9, Greens 2, Canvey Island Independent 1, Independent 1, Ratepayers 1, Tendring First 1 (Conservative majority of 9)
Result of ward at last election (2013) : Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 2,277, 1,980 (37%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 2,175, 1,684 (36%)
Conservative 958, 784 (16%)
Liberal Democrats 215, 187(4%)
National Front 171 (3%)
Green Party 138, 116 (2%)
Independent 119 (2%)
Trade Unionist and Socialists 73 (1%)
Candidates duly nominated: Gavin Callaghan (Lab), Frank Ferguson (UKIP), Gary Maylin (Con), Philip Rackley (Green)

South ward (Lab defence) on North East Lincolnshire
Result of council at last election (2016): Labour 19, Conservatives 11, United Kingdom Independence Party 5, Liberal Democrats 5, Independents 2 (No Overall Control, Lab short by 3)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Labour 1,681 (43%), United Kingdom Independence Party 1,278 (32%), Conservative 742 (19%), Liberal Democrat 172 (4%), Trade Unionist and Socialist 83 (2%)
Candidates duly nominated: Paul Batson (Con), Loyd Emmerson (Green), Janet Goodwin (Lab), Val O’Flynn (TUSC), Stephen Whittingham (UKIP)

Essex and North East Lincolnshire are prime UKIP areas and in all reality, these two wards should be easy UKIP gains, but since the general election UKIP have been polling four percent less than they did last time (8% as opposed to 12% last time) and have managed to lose half of their seats net.

If neither of these two seats elect a UKIP councillor, just a fortnight before a referendum on UKIP’s reason for existing, the EU, then Nigel Farage might as well admit defeat and go back to being a commodities trader.

Gipsy Hill (Lab defence) on Lambeth
Result of council at last election (2014) : Labour 59, Conservatives 3, Green 1 (Lab majority of 55)
Result of ward at last election : Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 2,242, 2,202, 2,183 (67%)
Conservatives 436, 434, 423 (13%)
Green Party 364, 317, 257 (11%)
Liberal Democrats 164, 161, 133 (5%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 142 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: Pete Elliott (Green), Rosa Jesse (Lib Dem), Elizabeth Jones (UKIP), Robin Lambert (Ind), Leslie Maruziva (Con), Luke Murphy (Lab), Steven Nally (TUSC)

Surrey Docks (Lib Dem defence) on Southwark
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 48, Liberal Democrats 13, Conservatives 2 (Lab majority of 33)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Liberal Democrats 1,039, 837, 780 (31%)
Labour 712, 697, 655 (21%)
Conservatives 655, 562, 548 (19%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 502, 468 (15%)
Green Party 486, 360 (14%)
Candidates duly nominated: Colin Boyle (Green), Craig Cox (Con), John Hellings (Ind), Will Holmes (Lab), Toby Prescott (UKIP), Dan Whitehead (Lib Dem)

If UKIP have a London problem, then the Lib Dems have a London disaster area. In the London Assembly constituency elections, their vote (which was pretty static at 19% in 2000 and 2004) has nosedived to just 7% in May and it is even worse in some of their stronger parts.

Croydon and Sutton (taking in their strongest council area) their vote fell from 26% in 2000 to 10% in May (only just beating UKIP by five hundred votes) and in their parliamentary heartlands (South West constituency) they have gone from 30% (and within a whisker of winning the seat) to just 14% suggesting that the much talked about Lib Dem fightback is only occurring in areas that they are currently strong in (as opposed to historically strong in), so therefore does this mean that Labour will take another Lib Dem seat in Southwark or will there be Conservative tactical voting to keep Labour from dominating the council even more than it does at the moment?

Harry Hayfield



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Local By-Elections : June 2nd 2016 (Referendum Day -21 days and counting)

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Oban North and Lorn (Ind defence, elected as SNP) on Argyll and Bute
Result of council at last election (2012) : Independents 15, Scottish Nationalists 13, Liberal Democrats 4, Conservatives 4 (No Overall Control, Independents short by 4)
Result of ward at last election (2012) : Emboldened denotes elected
Independents 421, 807, 125, 361, 222, 58 (55%)
Scottish National Party 410, 707 (31%)
Conservatives 332 (9%)
Liberal Democrats 188 (5%)
Candidates duly nominated: Kieron Green (Ind), David Pollard (Lib Dem), Breege Smith (SNP), Andrew Vennard (Con)

The Returning Officer for the Argyll and Bute council area must really hate his job at the moment. Since the beginning of 2014 he has had to audjudicate over the Scottish Independence Referendum (October 2014), the Westminster General Election (May 2015), the Scottish Parliament Elections (May 2016), the EU Referendum (June 2016) and if that wasn’t enough THREE local by-elections in the same ward.

Yes, that’s right, three out of the four councillors elected for this ward in 2012 have created by-elections in the space of two years! The first one was in July 2014 (Ind GAIN from SNP), then October 2014 (SNP GAIN from Ind) and now this one. I hope, therefore after the referendum that returning officer has some well deserved rest before next year’s local elections.

Dyserth (Con defence) and Denbigh Lower (Ind defence) on Denbighshire
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 wards at last election (2012)

Dyserth: Conservative 369 (51%), Labour 275 (38%), Liberal Democrat 84 (12%)
Candidates duly nominated: Hugh Hughes (Con), Richard Jones-Abbas (Lab), David Parry (Ind), Heather Prydderch (Lib Dem), David Williams (Ind), Janice Williams (Plaid)

Denbigh Lower: Emboldened denotes elected
Independents 977, 579, 505, 204(78%)
Plaid Cymru 386 (13%)
Liberal Democrat 138 (5%)
Conservative 118 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: John McGuire (Lab), Lara Pritchard (Con), Rhys Thomas (Plaid), William Williams (Lib Dem), Mark Young (Ind)

Denbighshire is one of the counties where no matter how hard anyone tries, a majority is impossible to manage. In 1995, when the council was created, the Independents had a 8% lead over Labour (which was translated into a one seat lead) and by 1999, that lead has only fallen to 7% but the seat lead increased to five thanks to the creation of the Democratic Alliance for Wales and in 2004 saw the Independent vote lead increase to 15% (and the seat lead to 12) leading everyone to assume that Denbighshire was almost certain to go Independent.

However in 2008, the Conservatives did not read the memo as they polled 33% (+18%) and became the largest party on the council pushing the Independents into second before Labour recovered in 2012 and taking first place. And yet despite all these changes, Denbighshire has been in a state of No Overall Control since day one.

Sherborne Rural (Con defence) on Dorset
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 26, Liberal Democrats 12, Labour 5, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Conservative majority of 8)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Conservative 1,258 (37%), Liberal Democrat 1,168 (34%), United Kingdom Independence Party 746 (22%), Green Party 129 (4%), Labour 85 (3%)
Candidates duly nominated: Geoff Freeman (Lab), Matthew Hall (Lib Dem), Mary Penfold (Con)

In three weeks time, the people of the United Kingdom will be asked whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union, a referendum that UKIP have been calling for since their foundation. UKIP are involved heavily on the LEAVE side and yet, bearing that in mind, since the general election have lost nine of the twelve seats that they were defending in local by-elections and, to make matters even worse for them, here in a ward where a strong UKIP challenge would make all the difference, they cannot even find a candidate. If LEAVE do win in three weeks time, I do not think it will be UKIP who will be cheering the loudest, it will be those LEAVE campaigners in the Conservative Party as they will have managed to defeat UKIP at their own game.

Lewes Bridge (Lib Dem defence) on Lewes
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 24, Liberal Democrats 11, Green Party 3, Independents 2, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Conservative majority of 7)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Liberal Democrats 905, 641 (28%)
Green Party 677, 410 (21%)
Independent 540 (16%)
Labour 529, 447 (16%)
Conservatives 395, 359 (12%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 240 (7%)
Candidates duly nominated: Roy Burman (Con), Johnny Dennis (Green), Will Elliott (Lib Dem), Richard Hurn (Lab)

It goes to show what a terrible night the general election was for the Liberal Democrats when in Lewes, a constituency they held in 2010 with a majority of 7,647 votes becomes a Conservative GAIN with a majority of 1,083 and in the local elections at the same time, the Greens gain a seat that has been Lib Dem for ages. Since then however, there has been the famed “Lib Dem fightback” which at the locals this year saw the Lib Dems make their first net gain in councillors since 2008, but with only a 3.5% swing needed for the Greens to win a second seat, will there be tactical voting by the Conservatives and Labour (as we saw in a number of seats in Scotland and Wales) to ensure that mainstream parties carry the day.

Barking and Somersham (Con defence) on Mid Suffolk
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 29, Green Party 5, Liberal Democrats 4, Independents 2 (Conservative majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Conservative 542 (42%), Suffolk First 411 (32%), United Kingdom Independence Party 194 (15%), Liberal Democrat 154 (12%)
Candidates duly nominated: Anne Killett (Green), Jemma Lynch (Con), William Marsburg (Lab), Mark Valladares (Lib Dem)

Local Independents have a very patchy track record. Some are very long standing like Llais Gwynedd in Wales (who prevented Plaid Cymru winning overall control of Gwynedd in both 2008 and 2012) and then there are very short lived ones like Llais Ceredigion (which forced a mayoral referendum in 2004 and then vanished shortly thereafter). The Suffolk First Independents first appeared on the scene in 2007 when they contested three wards (and won seats in two of them, one from the Conservatives and one from the Lib Dems). They stood in the same three wards in 2011 and held both their seats but in 2015 fell by the wayside as they only fielded a candidate in the seats they had won in 2011 and lost them both.

Now clearly Suffolk First no longer exist and therefore the question is “Where will their support go?”. If it goes to UKIP (which has happened in the past) then UKIP will cheer their first councillor, if it goes to the Lib Dems, they will cheer winning one of their historical seats back and if it goes to Labour or the Greens they will cheer proving that they can pick up local independent support.

Harry Hayfield



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Local By-Election Preview : May 26th 2016

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Northallerton South (Con defence) on Hambleton
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 27, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Conservative majority of 26)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,414, 758 (49%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 762 (26%)
Labour 739, 654 (25%)
Candidates duly nominated: Caroline Dickinson (Con), Chris Pearson (Yorkshire First), Dave Robertson (UKIP), David Tickle (Lab)

Northallerton (Con defence) on North Yorkshire
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 45, Independents 8, Liberal Democrats 8. Labour 7, Liberals 2, United Kingdom Independence Party 2 (Conservative majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Conservative 825 (52%), United Kingdom Independence Party 489 (31%), Labour 259 (16%)
Candidates duly nominated: Michael Chaloner (Green), Caroline Dickinson (Con), Chris Pearson (Yorkshire First), Stephen Place (UKIP), David Tickle (Lab)

The North Yorkshire section of the Green Party probably cannot believe their luck. In a week of a local by-election to the county council (caused by the death of the sitting member who was also a district councillor on Hambleton) the county go ahead and vote in favour of hydraulic extraction (or “fracking” as it is commonly known) despite the fact there his a lot of anger and hostility to the policy which the Greens themselves also oppose.

If the Greens don’t manage to win this (and get their first seat on the council ahead of the local elections next year) then maybe it is possible that economic considerations outweigh environmental concerns in the leafy Conservative shires.

Stapenhill (UKIP defence) on East Staffordshire
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 25, Labour 12, United Kingdom Independence Party 1, Liberal Democrat 1 (Conservative majority of 11)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 1,251, 1.235, 865 (32%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 1,228 (31%)
Conservatives 963, 819, 714 (25%)
Green Party 488 (12%)
Candidates duly nominated: Sally Green (UKIP), Thomas Hadley (Green), Craig Jones (Lab), Susan Paxton (Ind),
Michael Teasel (Con), Hugh Warner (Lib Dem)

UKIP have a problem when it comes to local by-elections. It’s a problem that has been demonstrated in Wisbech, Camborne, Watton and Newington and that problem is “being simply unable to hold a local by-election defence”. Since the general election up to the local elections at the start of May UKIP have managed to lose six of the eight seats they have been defending in local by-elections and (to make matters worse) seen their vote share drop from 10% at the last elections to 7% now

Fervent UKIP supporters will of course say “But that’s in the past, we have shown that we can win seats where we have contested before, look at Thurrock!” (and yes, whilst I agree that in Thurrock, compared with 2012, UKIP’s vote increased by 21%) they have yet to show this resilience at the local by-election level.

Harry Hayfield



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Local By-Elections : February 18th 2016

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Emboldened indicates the by-election was caused by a death
Emboldened italics indicates the by-election was caused by a resignation

Oban North and Lorn (Argyll First defence, was Independent) on Argyll and Bute
Result of council at last election (2012): Independents 15, Scottish National Party 13, Conservatives 4, Liberal Democrats 4 (No Overall Control, Independents short by 4)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Independents 421, 807, 125, 361, 222, 58 (55%)
Scottish National Party 410, 707 (31%)
Conservatives 332 (9%)
Liberal Democrats 188 (5%)
Candidates duly nominated: Kieron Green (Ind), Julie McKensie (SNP), Pat Tyrrell (Green), Andrew Vennard (Con)

Greasley (Con defence) and Toton and Chilwell Meadows (Con defence) on Browtoxe
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservative 25, Labour 11, Liberal Democrats 4, Independent 1 (Conservative majority of 9)
Result of wards at last election (2015) : Emboldened denotes elected

Greasley
Conservatives 1,933 , 1,726, 1,605 (48%)
Labour 1,036, 993, 896 (26%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 795, 678 (20%)
Liberal Democrats 263, 220, 182 (7%)
Candidates duly nominated: Tracey Cahill (UKIP), Chris Chandler (Lab), Eddie Cubley (Con), Keith Longdon (Lib Dem)

Toton and Chilwell Meadows
Conservatives 2,631, 2,570, 1,939 (45%)
Labour 1,243, 1,187, 1,022 (21%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 773 (13%)
Independent 632 (11%)
Green Party 585 (10%)
Candidates duly nominated: Lisa Clarke (Lab), Graham Heal (Lib Dem), Stephanie Kerry (Con), Gordon Stoner (Green)

Sutton (Con defence) on Cambridgeshire
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 32, Liberal Democrats 14, United Kingdom Independence Party 12, Labour 7, Independents 4 (No Overall Control, Conservatives short by 3)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Conservative 817 (49%), Liberal Democrat 542 (33%), Labour 295 (18%)
Candidates duly nominated: Pete Bigsby (UKIP), Mike Bradley (Con), Lorna Dupre (Lib Dem), Owen Winters (Ind)

Amersham Town (Lib Dem defence) on Chiltern
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 35, Liberal Democrats 3, Independents 2 (Conservative overall majority of 30)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,229, 880 (39%)
Liberal Democrats 1,052, 545 (33%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 455 (14%)
Labour 450 (14%)
Candidates duly nominated: Jules Cook (Con), Richard Phoenix (UKIP), Robin Walters (Lab), Richard Williams (Lib Dem)

New Brighton (Lib Dem defence) on Flintshire
Result of council at last election (2012): Labour 31, Independents 23, Conservatives 7, Liberal Democrats 7, Plaid Cymru 1 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 4)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Liberal Democrat 469 (45%), Labour 334 (32%), Conservative 229 (22%)
Candidates duly nominated: Sara Parker (Lib Dem), Linda Pierce (Lab), Zula Taylor (Con), John Yorke (Ind)

Chadsmead (Lib Dem defence) on Lichfield
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 41, Labour 4, Liberal Democrat 1, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Conservative majority of 35)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 747, 515 (33%)
Liberal Democrats 563, 357 (25%)
Labour 547, 524 (24%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 382 (17%)
Candidates duly nominated: Colin Ball (Lab), Adam Elsdon (Green), Jan Higgins (UKIP), Brian McMullan (Con), Paul Ray (Lib Dem)

Higher Blackley (Lab defence) on Manchester
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 96, no opposition
Result of ward at last election (2014): Labour 1,737 (55%), United Kingdom Independence Party 1,046 (33%), Conservative 194 (6%), Green Party 142 (5%), Liberal Democrat 53 (2%)
Candidates duly nominated: Peter George (Lib Dem), Anne Power (Lib Dem), Martin Power (UKIP), Paula Sadler (Lab), David Semple (Con), George Walkden (Pirate)

Newmarket and Red Lodge (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
Result of ward at last election (2013): Conservative 968 (45%), United Kingdom Independence Party 615 (28%), Labour 450 (21%), Liberal Democrat 136 (6%)
Candidates duly nominated: Andrew Appleby (West Suffolk Independents), Roger Dicker (UKIP), Tim Huggan (Lib Dem), Michael Jefferys (Lab), Robin Millar (Con)

It’s been rather a tricky week for me this week, my grandmother was admitted to hospital with a glaucoma infection at the end of last week and although now home has to have four sets of medicinal drops placed into her eyes each day (which she is unable to do herself because of precision), this coupled with some of the nominations for these by-elections being so well hidden on council’s websites they were only e-mailed to me this morning plus our family’s normal schedule being mucked up by car engines not starting and other commitments meant there has not been time to compile the usual detailed preview of each council area, however I am sure that PBers (in particular Nick Palmer the former Labour MP for Broxtowe) will be able to comment on these areas. My grandmother’s treatment is due to end on Saturday and therefore next week normal service will be resumed.

Harry Hayfield



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Local By-Election History and Candidates : December 10th 2015: 4 Con, 2 Lab and 1 LD Defences

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Kinson South (Two Conservative defences) on Bournemouth
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 49, Independent 1, United Kingdom Indepdence Party 1 (Conservative majority of 48)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,638, 1,579, 1,439 (33%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 1,362 (27%)
Labour 1,060, 918, 814 (21%)
Green Party 526, 484 (10%)
Liberal Democrat 453 (9%)
Candidates duly nominated by party:
Conservatives: Norman Decent, Roger Marley
Labour: Beryl Baxter, Mel Semple
Liberal Democrats: Phil Dunn, Gill Pardy
United Kingdom Independence Party: Duane Farr
Green Party: Geoffrey Darnton, Carla Gregory-May
Bournemouth Independent Alliance: Phillip Davenport, Roger West
Patria: Kevin Dixon

This was the ward where polling books from the wrong ward were given to electors and an election court ruled that because of it, the second and third placed Conservative councillors could not have been judged to have been elected without doubts being raised of their validity

Clifton (Conservative defence) on Flyde
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 32, Independents 14, Ratepayers 2, Liberal Democrats 2, Labour 1 (Conservative majority of 13)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,385, 1,136, 1,087 (46%)
Independent 1,081 (36%)
Labour 554 (18%)
Candidates duly nominated: Peter Anthony (Con), Luke Gibbon (Lib Dem), Noreen Griffiths (Ind), Jed Sullivan (Lab), Tim Wood (UKIP)

Market Harborough, Logan (Liberal Democrat defence) on Harborough
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 29, Liberal Democrats 8 (Conservative majority of 21)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Liberal Democrats 996, 660 (36%)
Conservatives 975, 645 (35%)
Labour 416 (15%)
Green Party 368 (13%)
Candidates duly nominated: Paul Bremner (Con), Robert Davison (UKIP), Barbara Johnson (Lib Dem), Anne Pridmore (Lab), Darren Woodiwiss (Green)

Coal Aston (Conservative defence) and Holmwood and Heath (Labour defence) on North East Derbyshire
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 34, Conservatives 18, Independent 1 (Labour majority of 15)

Result of wards at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Coal Ashton
Conservatives 1,034, 941 (52%)
Labour 691, 608 (34%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 283 (14%)
Candidates duly nominated: David Cheetham (Lab), Gareth Hopkinson (Con)

Holmewood and Heath
Labour 948, 841 (72%)
Conservatives 376, 325 (28%)
Candidates duly nominated: Suzy Cornwell (Lab), Caroline Ellis (Con)

Blantyre (Labour defence) on South Lanarkshire
Result of council at last election (2012): Labour 33, Scottish National Party 28, Conservatives 3, Independents 2, Liberal Democrat 1 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 1)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 1,144, 756, 579 (54%)
Scottish National Party 929, 470 (31%)
Independent 40, 234 (6%)
Conservative 176 (4%)
Christian People’s Alliance 209 (4%)
Liberal Democrats 32 (1%)
Candidates duly nominated: Sean Baillie (Scottish Socialists), Gerry Chambers (SNP), Emma Docherty (UKIP), Taylor Muir (Con), Mo Razzaq (Lab), Stephen Reid (Lib Dem)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield

I do apologise for the lack of a write up for these wards, but on Sunday I came down with a flu vaccine influenced cold and have been exceptionally tired as a result of it therefore have only been able to tally the results last time and the candidates standing. I am pleased to report though that I am feeling better than I was on Tuesday and hope (fingers crossed) to be back to my normal self by Sunday in readiness for a Monday by-election, Tuesday by-election and four Thursday by-elections in the same week!



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Local By-Election and Westminster By-Election Results : December 3rd 2015

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Ash South and Tongham on Guildford (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 540 (43% unchanged), Liberal Democrat 286 (23% +6%), United Kingdom Independence Party 153 (12%, no candidate in 2015), Guildford Greenbelt 145 (12% -7%), Labour 125 (10% -11%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 254 (17%) on a swing of 3% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat

Teme Valley on Malvern Hills (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 266 (64% -8%), Labour 96 (23%, no candidate in 2015), United Kingdom Independence Party 56 (13% -15%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 170 (41%) on a notional swing of 15.5% from Conservative to Labour

Belvoir on South Kesteven (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 603 (53% -17%), Independent 212 (19%, no candidate in 2015), Labour 175 (15% -15%), United Kingdom Independence Party 159 (14%, no candidate in 2015)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 391 (34%) on a notional swing of 18% from Conservative to Independent

Boleyn on Newham (Lab defence)
Result: Labour 1,440 (72% +8%), Liberal Democrat 181 (9%, no candidate in 2014), Conservative 171 (9% -12%), Green Party 117 (6%, no candidate in 2014), United Kingdom Independence Party 78 (4%, no candidate in 2014), Independent 10 (1%, no candidate in 2014)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 1,259 (63%) on a notional swing of 0.5% from Labour to Liberal Democrat

Meole on Shropshire (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 490 (43% -12%), Labour 303 (27% -11%), Liberal Democrat 223 (20% +13%), United Kingdom Independence Party 64 (6%, no candidate in 2013), Green Party 56 (5%, no candidate in 2013)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 187 (16%) on a swing of 0.5% from Conservative to Labour

Oldham West and Royton for Westminster (Lab defence)
Result: Labour 17,209 (62% +7%), United Kingdom Independence Party 6,487 (23% +2%), Conservative 2,596 (9% -10%), Liberal Democrat 1,024 (4% unchanged), Green Party 249 (1% -1%), Monster Raving Loony Party 141 (1%, no candidate in 2015)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 10,722 (39%) on a swing of 2% from United Kingdom Independence Party to Labour

Compiled by Harry Hayfield

* A personal message to Paul Nutall MEP (UKIP, North Western England): Your accusations against the postal voting system in the United Kingdom would bear investigating, if it were not for the fact that in the 2014 European Elections (an election where in the North Western England electoral region you polled 27% of the vote, up from the 16% you polled in 2009) 17.5% of all votes counted on the night were postal votes (second only to the North Eastern England electoral region where you also won an MEP). Either you accept that all postal votes are valid or that no postal votes are valid, you cannot have it both ways!

 



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Local By-Election Preview : October 29th 2015 – 3 Con, 2 Lab and 1 Lib Dem defences

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Risedale on Barrow in Furness (Lab defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 27, Conservative 9 (Labour majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2015) : Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 1,474, 1,361, 1,310 (77%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 438, 348 (23%)
Candidates duly elected: Michael Cassells (Lab), Carole Friend (Con), Colin Rudd (UKIP)

For such a Labour heartland, Barrow and Furness’ constituency results have been, of late, anything but a heartland. At the 1992 general election John Hutton won the seat with a majority of 3,578 (6%) which as a result of the Labour landslide in 1997 rocketed up to nearly 15,000 (30%) and it only slowly started to fall as Labour’s popularity waned and then came the kicker.

The Boundary Commission said that Barrow and Furness should increase it’s land area and that meant taking in land from Westmorland and Lonsdale (a Conservative / Liberal Democrat battleground), in order words let in more Conservative voters and whilst in 2010 the new Labour MP John Woodcock held on with a majority of 5,208 (12%) the introduction of bits of Westmorland and the collapse in the Lib Dem vote meant that in 2015 he only just scraped home with a majority of 795 (2%) meaning that whilst Barrow district will elect Labour councillors forever and a day, Barrow constituency is back into it’s usual pattern of a Conservative / Labour battleground

Shenfield on Brentwood (Lib Dem defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 23, Liberal Democrats 10, Labour 2, Independents 2 (Conservative majority of 9)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Liberal Democrat 892 (44%), Conservative 783 (38%), United Kingdom Independence Party 282 (14%), Labour 81 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: Cameron Ball (Lab), Alison Fulcher (Lib Dem), John Hamilton (Green), Jan Pound (Con), Peter Sceats (UKIP)

Since 2003, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have been involved in what might be deemed an unruly brawl over this Essex council. First the Lib Dems were the largest party, then the Conservatives gained control and built up a very impressive majority of 19 in 2008 but then the Lib Dems started to make their presence felt and in 2014 (against the national trend) managed to force the council into a state of No Overall Control (helped by the Independents making four gains).

Sadly for the Lib Dems that was a one off as this year the Conservative took back control but in an age of Lib Dems fighting back and as we have seen twice this week threatening to expose the lack of a Conservative majority in the Lords, how long will it be before Brentwood goes back to No Overall Control and Tim Farron is able to travel to Essex after a set of local elections and announce (for the first time in nearly 11 years) “Liberal Democrats : Winning Here”

Congleton East on Cheshire East (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 53, Labour 16, Independents 11, Liberal Democrats 2 (Conservative majority of 24)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 2,969, 2,603, 2,361(39%)
Labour 1,506, 1,438, 1,340 (20%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 1,290, 1,055 (17%)
Independent 1,067 (14%)
Liberal Democrats 736, 666, 658 (10%)
Candidates duly nominated: Dawn Allen (UKIP), Geoff Baggott (Con), Robert Boston (Lab), Denis Murphy (Lib Dem)

Cheshire East is rather a strange beast of a council. Created by the merger of Crewe and Nantwich, Congleton and Macclesfield, you would expect it to be a Conservative heartland and yet in some parts of the council, the results are a lot closer than you might think (and this is one of them). I admit that a 9% swing from Con to Lab to gain this ward is a little unlikely, but when you consider that to win Congleton constituency Labour need a 16% swing and to gain Macclesfield a 15% swing, 9% seems very easy in comparison but that’s because there was an Independent polling 14% who is not contesting this by-election which poses the question: “Can UKIP pick up those Independents?” If not, Con hold with a stonking swing from Lab, but if they can, then Lab gain Congleton East?

Euxton North on Chorley (Lab defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 31, Conservatives 14, Independents 2 (Labour majority of 15)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Labour 692 (45%), Conservative 570 (37%), United Kingdom Independence Party 289 (19%)
Candidates duly nominated: Tommy Gray (Lab), Alan Platt (Con), Christopher Stuart (UKIP)

I know that being made Deputy Speaker is a great honour and I am sure that he will carry on being Deputy Speaker until he stands down from Parliament, but I miss Lindsay Hoyle popping up every so often in that broad Lancastrian accent and bringing the Government of the day to account but I dare say that the borough of Chorley quite likes have a Deputy Speaker as it’s member of Parliament and if the recent elections in Chorley are anything to go by, the electors of Chorley don’t seem to mind either.

After all, back in 1992 this was a notional Conservative seat and although not as safe as it was when Lindsay Hoyle gained the seat in 1997, the fact that he recorded a Con to Lab swing of 1.78% (when Lancashire as a whole recorded a 1% Con to Lab swing) does suggest that Labour should be fairly confident of holding what is a marginal on the council.

Peterborough West on Peterborough (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 27, Labour 12, Independents 7, Liberal Democrats 4, United Kingdom Independence Party 4, Liberals 3 (No Overall Control, Conservatives short by 2)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,553, 1,482 (42%)
Labour 1,137, 1,050 (31%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 702 (19%)
Liberal Democrats 290 (8%)
Candidates duly nominated: Alex Airey (Green), Lynne Ayres (Con), John Myles (UKIP), Malcolm Pollack (Lib Dem), Mohammed Sabir (Lab)

Peterborough at the general election was a disaster for Labour. They only needed a swing of 5.41% to gain the seat (not impossible given some of the pre-election polls) and what happened? They only managed a 3.37% swing. And yet in 2014, when this ward was last contested Labour came within 4% of winning the popular vote (Con 33%, Lab 29%, UKIP 16%) so what happened? Well, I don’t have a clue but if Labour cannot figure out what happened (and fast) when Peterborough votes next year (when they are defending six seats and were 8% behind the Conservatives in the popular vote) then the Conservatives could well be celebrating a rather unexpected gain in the East of England.

Hellingly on Wealden (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 50, Independents 5 (Conservative majority of 45)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,722, 1,599 (48%)
Liberal Democrats 1,253, 1,145 (35%)
Independent 608 (17%)
Candidates duly nominated: Paul Soane (Ind), David White (Lib Dem), Alex Willis (Con)

Wealden, in the rolling countryside of East Sussex, has been slowly changing from a council with an effective opposition to a Conservative one party state. Back in 2003, there were 15 Liberal Democrat councillors but every four years that figure declined. They lost three in 2007, nine in 2011 and were wiped out in this year’s local elections.

If ever a Lib Dem fightback was needed it was here and interestingly, we have (for the first time in quite a while) a complete match with the last election (no additional parties, no parties taking a breather) meaning that if the Liberal Democrats do fightback to win a seat here we shall be able to see exactly where that support has come from (and give a clue to potential Liberal Democrat gains across the south coast next year).

Harry Hayfield



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Local By-Election Preview : October 22nd 2015 – 4 Con and 2 Lab defences

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Tottington on Bury (Lab defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 35, Conservatives 12, Independents 2, Liberal Democrats 2 (Labour majority of 19)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Labour 1,085 (42%), Conservative 965 (38%), United Kingdom Independence Party 379 (15%), Liberal Democrat 135 (5%)
Candidates duly nominated: David Foss (Lib Dem), Martin Hayes (Lab), Ian Henderson (UKIP), Greg Keeley (Con), John Southworth (Green)

Bury is that sort of council that can either be a battleground council (as it was between 1990 – 1994 and 2006 – 2011) or it can be as safe as houses (as it was between 1995 – 2003 and 2012 – today) but when it does become safe as houses, it’s always Labour who control it. The best the Conservatives have ever done is a majority of one in 2008 (leading to the suspicion that Bury naturally trends Labour) which makes this by-election of a Labour marginal in a council area that trends Labour very interesting indeed and with polls suggesting that the “Corbyn bounce” is coming to an end and past evidence that when UKIP contest an election after appearing for the first time, their vote falls, could the Conservatives buck the trend?

Dedham and Langham on Colchester (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 27, Liberal Democrats 20, Labour 9, Independents 4 (No Overall Control, Conservatives short by 4)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Conservative 596 (71%), Liberal Democrat 81 (10%), Labour 81 (10%), Green 78 (9%)
Candidates duly nominated: Anne Brown (Con), Bill Faram (UKIP), George Penny (Lib Dem), John Spademan (Lab)

Colchester has also been a battleground over the years only instead of flipping between Conservative and Labour, it’s the Liberal Democrats who provide the challenge and must one of the few councils in Britain to have remained in a state of No Overall Control since 2003 although you might think looking at the result here in 2012 the Conservatives wouldn’t have a thing to worry about. However, look whose making an appearance? UKIP and with their track record of doing very well in first time apperances, plus the continuing Liberal Democrat flightback will there be enough of a shift for the ward to change hands?

Chandlers Ford on Hampshire (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 45, Liberal Democrats 17, United Kingdom Independence Party 10, Labour 4, Independent 1, Community Campaign 1 (Conservative majority of 12)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Conservative 1,919 (39%), Liberal Democrat 1,557 (32%), United Kingdom Independence Party 1,073 (22%), Labour 238 (5%), Green Party 124 (3%)
Candidates duly nominated: James Duguid (Lib Dem), John Edwards (UKIP), Judith Grajewski (Con), Sarah Smith (Lab)

And whilst we are on the subject of Lib Dem fightbacks, how’s this for a possible humdinger of an election? This ward, located in Eastleigh borough, recorded a pro Lib Dem swing in 2013 (5% from Con to Lib Dem) when across Hampshire as a whole there was a 0.5% swing to the Conservatives (proving that Eastleigh Liberal Democrats can put up a heck of a fight when they want to) and with the reduction in support for UKIP when they fight again it’s all a question of “Which party will pick up the support?”. By my reckoning if the Liberal Democrats are able to pick up two thirds of the UKIP drop they will gain the ward, but if they can only manage less than half, the Conservatives will hold.

Northfield Brook on City of Oxford (Lab defence)
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 33, Liberal Democrats 8, Green Party 6, Independent 1 (Labour majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Labour 700 (72%), Conservative 112 (12%), Green 111 (11%), Liberal Democrat 55 (6%)
Candidates duly nominated: Lucy Ayrton (Green), Gary Dixon (Con), Joe Lawes (UKIP), James Morbin (TUSC), Jennifer Pegg (Lab)

Oxford is one of a new breed of councils that ignores the third rule completely and has elections every even numbered year (just like the American Congress) and as such gives a more hotch potch history than some other councils but despite that one thing is clear in Oxford, Labour have been taking support from both the Lib Dems and the Greens since 2006 (when the Lib Dems were last the largest party on the council).

Since then however Labour have gained 16 seats (11 of which came from the Lib Dems, 2 of which came from the Greens and 3 of which came from the Independents leaving you with a situation as here with a very dominant Labour party and a scattered opposition. But Labour can’t rest on their laurels too much as they have a double threat here, not only from UKIP but from the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (especially when you consider that this ward once elected a true Socialist as recently as 2002)

Sonning Common on South Oxfordshire (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 33, Labour 1, Liberal Democrat 1, Independent 1 (Conservative majority of 30)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 2,444, 2,432 (60%)
Labour 651, 510 (16%)
Green 519 (13%)
Liberal Democrats 431, 424 (11%)
Candidates duly nominated: Will Hall (Con), Susan Cooper (Lib Dem), David Winchester (Lab)

It says a lot about a council when 92% of the seats are won by a single party (mind you when you see that 45% of the vote went to the Conservatives you can understand why) so the fact that UKIP have ignored this ward seems a little bit strange, after all at the local elections in May they polled 7% of the vote and you would think with such a one party state they would certainly influence the result, but they haven’t and so it is safe to say that this will be another romping Conservative hold in a part of the country that clearly votes Conservative until the cows come home.

Bryanston and Dorset Square on City of Westminster (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2014): Conservatives 44, Labour 16 (Conservative majority of 28)
Result of ward at last election (2014) : Emboldened enotes elected
Conservatives 1,207, 1,180, 1,049 (52%)
Labour 468, 415, 391 (20%)
Green Party 381 (16%)
Liberal Democrats 286, 240 (12%)
Candidates duly nominated: Julia Alexander (Con), Jill Sarah de Quincey (UKIP), Steve Dollond (Baker Street, No Two Ways), Ananthi Paskaralingam (Lab), Hugh Small (Green), Martin Thompson (Lib Dem)

And whilst I am pretty sure there aren’t any cows in Westminster this is another Conservative heartland (mind you in 1986 that dominance looked as it may have come to an end) as the Conservative majority shrank from 26 in 1982 to just four in 1986 but had recovered back to 30 at the 1990 local elections (and presumably Cllr. Boothroyd, Lab, Westbourne) who seems to know Westminster like the back of his hand will be able to explain why this was the case.

And whilst it is true that we have UKIP standing for the first time, UKIP have a definite “London problem” which means that the candidate to watch may be Mr. Dollond who (as you may have guessed) is not entirely convinced by the merits of turning Baker Street (made famous by a resident by the name of Sherlock Holmes and the piece of music by Gerry Rafferty) into a one way street and whilst it is a little unlikely that he will be able to win, his influence could turn a rock solid Conservative seat into a very tight marginal.

Harry Hayfield