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Local By-Election Review 2017 – how the parties have performed

December 30th, 2017

To describe 2017 as a year of two halves would be absolutely correct, as the general election held on June 8th marked a distinct dividing line not only at Westminster (between a Conservative majority of 12 and no majority) but also in local by-elections with the electoral pendulum swinging rapidly from one side to the other and so therefore it is best to look at the year before and after the general election

Before the General Election (January 1st – June 7th 2017)
Prior to the general election, it was the Liberal Democrats who were having the biggest successes but in the crucial context of the Conservative / Labour battle it was the Conservatives having a field day gaining seats like Hutton on Redcar and Cleveland in February on a 10.5% swing from Lab to Con, Coulby Newham on Middlesbrough in April on a 7% swing from Lab to Con or even Marsh Home on Blackburn with Darwen on an 8% swing from Lab to Con

After the General Election (June 9th – December 2017)
But as soon as the polls closed on General Election Day, that progress stopped dead. Marine on Worthing in August on a swing of 17% from Con to Lab, North Worle on North Somerset in the same month on a 9% swing from Con to Lab (akin according to a friend of mine from the area to Labour gaining Beaconsfield in a general election) and even Marsh Barn on Adur in October on a 8.5% swing from Con to Lab (where the Labour vote increased by a staggering 35% on last time)

So if anyone ever tells you that local by-elections are boring, you tell them “See that 2017? Was that boring?”

Harry Hayfield