Archive for the 'By elections' Category

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This week’s by-elections: A LAB & CON hold plus a CON loss to LD on a 41% swing

Friday, April 13th, 2018

St. Olaves on St. Edmundsbury (Lab defence)
Result: Lab 365 (59% +27% on last time), Con 150 (24% -7% on last time), Ind 77 (12% -26% on last time), Lib Dem 31 (5%, no candidate last time)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 215 (35%) on a swing of 17% from Con to Lab (26.5% from Ind to Lab)

Middleton, Cheney on South Northamptonshire (Con defence)
Result: Con 391 (42% -22% on last time), Lib Dem 316 (34%, no candidate last time), Lab 183 (20%, no candidate last time), Green 38 (4%, no candidate last time) (No Independent candidate this time -36%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 75 (8%) on a notional swing of 28% from Con to Lib Dem

Rogate on Chichester (Con defence)
Result: Lib Dem 444 (56%, no candidate last time), Con 319 (40% -27% on last time), Lab 21 (3%, no candidate last time), Green 12 (2% -18% on last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -13%)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 125 (16%) on a notional swing of 41.5% from Con to Lib Dem

Compiled by Harry Hayfield



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Gains for the LDs and Greens the highlights of this week’s local elections

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Caol and Mallig on Highland (SNP defence)
First Preferences: Con 183 (9% unchanged on last time), Lib Dem 658 (31% +22% on last time), Campbell (Ind) 98 (5%), MacKinnon (Ind) 146 (7%), SNP 574 (27%, Wood (Ind) 454 (21%) (No Lab candidate this time -6%,
Total Independent vote: 698 (33% -19% on last time)
Liberal Democrat lead of 84 (4%) on a swing of 20.5% from Ind to Lib Dem

No candidate elected on first count, Campbell (Ind) eliminated
Second Count: Con +5, Lib Dem +13, MacKinnon (Ind) +30, SNP +37, Wood (Ind) +17 Non Transferable 16
No candidate elected on second count, MacKinnion (Ind) eliminated
Third Count: Con +12, Lib Dem +35, SNP +24, Wood (Ind) +68 Non Transferable 53
No candidate elected on third count, Con eliminated
Fourth Count: Lib Dem +85, SNP +2, Wood (Ind) +41 Non Transferable 125
No candidate elected on fourth count, Wood (Ind) eliminated
Fifth Count: Lib Dem +177, SNP +120 Non Transferable 408
Liberal Democrat GAIN from SNP on fifth count

Heyhouses on Fylde (Con defence)
Result: Con 655 (58% +11% on last time), Lab 202 (18% -13% on last time), Lib Dem 138 (12% -10% on last time), Green 133 (12%, no candidate last time)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 453 (40%) on a swing of 12% from Lab to Con

Milford on New Forest (Con defence)
Result: Con 1,057 (76% -4% on last time), Lib Dem 200 (14%, no candidate last time), Lab 126 (9% -11% on last time)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 857 (62%) on a swing of 9% from Con to Lib Dem (3.5% from Lab to Con)

Wiveliscombe and West Deane on Taunton Deane (Ind defence)
Result: Green 600 (45% +32% on last time), Lib Dem 389 (29% +13% on last time), Con 352 (26% -6% on last time) (No Independent candidate this time -39%)
Green GAIN from Independent with a majority of 211 (16%) on a swing of 9.5% from Lib Dem to Green (notional swing: 35.5% from Ind to Green)



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Analysis of the Q1 local by-elections finds CON struggling to benefit from the almost total collapse if the UKIP vote

Friday, March 30th, 2018

Vote changes from by-elections in previously CON held wards

Vote changes from by-elections in previously LAB held wards

Vote changes from by-elections in previously UKIP held wards

The real story of the local by-elections in the first quarter (and I suspect one that will be repeated in just five weeks time) is the collapse of UKIP losing 90% of it’s vote compared to last time and showing that it’s not just UKIP voters now voting Con, but UKIP candidates not even standing as UKIP but instead as “Name of local area” candidates.

Analysis and charts by Harry Hayfield



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CON, the LDs and SNP net gain of one each while LAB finish all square. This week’s local elections

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Penicuik on Midlothian (Lab defence)
First Preference Votes: SNP 1,663 (35% unchanged on last time), Con 1,433 (30% +4% on last time), Lab 1,310 (28% +2% on last time), Green 344 (7% +1% on last time) (No Lib Dem candidate this time -7%)
SNP lead on the first count of 230 on a swing of 2% from SNP to Con
Estimated Lib Dem split: 57% to Con, 29% to Lab, 14% to Green
No candidate elected on first count, Green candidate eliminated
Second count: Green Transfers Con 1,496 +36, Lab 1,414 +104, SNP 1,803 +140
No candidate elected on second count, Lab candidate eleminated
Third count: Lab transfers Con 1,788 +319, SNP 2,237 +434
SNP GAIN from Labour on the third count

Bunbury on Cheshire East (Con defence)
Result: Con 663 (53% -17% on last time), Lib Dem 342 (28% no candidate last time), Lab 178 (14% -4% on last time), Green 60 (5% -7% on last time)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 321 (25%) on a notional swing of 22.5% from Con to Lib Dem (6.5% from Con to Lab)

Leek West on Staffordshire, Moorlands (Con defence)
Result: Lab 487 (43% +23% on last time), Con 370 (33% -1% on last time), Lib Dem 218 (19% +8% on last time), Ind 61 (5% -4% on last time) (No Green candidate this time -12%, No local Independent candidate this time -15%)
Labour GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 117 (10%) on a swing of 11% from Con to Lab

Worksop South East on Bassetlaw (Lab defence)
Result: Lab 1,004 (77% +10% on last time), Con 197 (15% +9% on last time), Lib Dem 98 (8% +5% on last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -24%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 807 (62%) on a swing of 0.5% from Con to Lab (17% from UKIP to Lab)
Estimated UKIP split: 42% to Lab, 38% to Con, 21% to Lib Dem

Central and Walton on Aylesbury Vale (Con defence)
Result: Lib Dem 551 (41% +18% on last time), Con 425 (32% -1% on last time), Lab 267 (20% +1% on last time), Green 61 (5% -3% on last time), Ind 44 (3% no candidate last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -17%)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 126 (9%) on a swing of 9.5% from Con to Lib Dem

Ridgeway on Chiltern (Ind defence)
Result: Con 268 (38% +17% on last time), Lab 230 (33% no candidate last time), Lib Dem 203 (29% +12% on last time) (No Independent candidate this time -61%)
Conservative GAIN from Independent with a majority of 38 (5%) on a notional swing of 8% from Con to Lab

Ockendon on Thurrock (UKIP defence)
Result: Con 696 (36% +7% on last time), Lab 696 (36% +9% on last time), Local Independent 531 (28% no candidate last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -44%)
Tied election between Con and Lab on a swing of 1% from Con to Lab (25.5% swing from UKIP to Con)
After the drawing of lots, the Conservative candidate was deemed elected
Conservative GAIN from UKIP

Harry Hayfield



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Ahead of the May local elections Prof Michael Thrasher on the resources of The Elections Centre

Saturday, March 17th, 2018

 

Several recent up-dates and have been made to the Elections Centre website that should interest followers of Politicalbetting as we approach what appear to be an intriguing set of May local elections. The website also has two important additions – a new section covering council by-elections and another that hopefully will push the local elections database beyond the million candidate mark.

The councils compositions calculator now covers the position up to and including last May’s local elections. There are other websites that track recent changes, particularly useful when councillors switch party allegiance or vacancies arise, but no-one else as far as we know lets users look at each council’s composition over time. In the case of the London boroughs, of course, the starting year is 1964. Another modification is that the data are now arranged in descending rather than ascending year order, figuring that most people want to focus on recent electoral history. Summary data from both the 2016 and 2017 May local elections have been added to what we refer to as ‘theme’ and ‘year’ tables. Those familiar with the Local Election Handbook will know that these tables replicate the summary information contained in that series. So, those looking for data on turnout, contestation, the fate of incumbents, numbers of women standing and elected, for example, then the themed tables would be the place to start:

Alternatively, if the user wants to view the overall picture or examine each party’s performance in specific authorities then the year tables are more useful. So, with one eye on May 3 people may want to note how the parties fared in the 2014 equivalent local elections, the proportion of seats contested last time compared with this and the likely efficiency of each party’s votes to seats conversion. Of interest will be party shares of votes and seats for each council. The parties of interest are Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green, UKIP, Independents and Others. In the case of Wales, Plaid Cymru is added.

We’ve been covering council by-elections since the early 1980s. In the early days, there were very few published sources for these data but that has changed markedly over the past decade. Some websites specialise in alerting everyone to new vacancies and impending by-elections while others provide invaluable background information about each contest. Another group of sites provide details of each result, whether the seat represents a gain/loss and in some cases the change in vote share since the last May election. A frustration for us has been that sites often overlook the percentage turnout of voters and/or the ward electorate. Most (though still not all!!) council websites contain these figures but finding the relevant page is sometimes a challenge.

Our frustration is now over, it appears. One of the growing legion of election enthusiasts is now sharing his extensive by-election data with us . The data include by-elections from the beginning of each May (i.e. coincident with the main May elections) through to the following April. The series, thus far, begins in 2015-16. The most recent file covers the period since May 2017 but please don’t expect up-dates to occur on the Friday morning following the latest batch of Thursday contests.

The huge merit in these new files is that the author includes not only the electorate and turnout data but a wealth of hitherto difficult to extract information. For each by-election there is also a list of the candidates, the name of the previous incumbent and the cause of the vacancy. Useful summary sheets provide an overview of seat gains and losses, the results in chronological order as well as breakdowns by type of authority (London, metropolitan boroughs etc) and country/region.

Please leave feedback via email on the website if you like this new development or have suggestions for ways in which it might be presented differently.

Our own data on by-elections (more than ten thousand results and counting) covers a much longer period but we have never recorded details of the candidates standing, only the parties represented on the ballot paper. Nevertheless, depositing these data online is something that we’ve discussed and in principle agreed to do. Watch this space, therefore.

Finally, a new development for a long-term project. The British Local Elections Database, available at the data archive at Essex University, contains results for council seats from the late nineteenth century onwards. At the last count the database contains details for over nine hundred thousand candidates that have stood for local election over the past 130 years. Although the data include all elections held since the 1973 reorganisation the period 1945-1972 is patchy and is largely restricted to the former county boroughs.

However, Alan Willis has been busy rummaging through the local newspaper archives that have recently become available online. He has compiled a series of 27 spreadsheets (no elections held in 1948) for the more than three hundred non-county boroughs, ranging alphabetically from Abergavenny to Yeovil . For some authorities the information is reasonably good but for others it is not. We are appealing for assistance in building the data coverage. So, for those who might have newspaper clippings stored in the attic or know of alternative online sources for some of the missing data then look at the current data and get in touch. Help us past the one million candidate mark!

Michael Thrasher

 

 



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After last week’s Tory loss of 5 local by-elections the blue team returns to its winning ways

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Two CON holds and a gain

Stamford, St. George’s on South Kesteven (Con defence)
Result: Con 309 (46% +13% on last time), Ind 174 (26%, no candidate last time), Lab 114 (17% +1% on last time), Lib Dem 68 (10%, no candidate last time), Green 13 (2% -10% on last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -19%. No Stamford Independent this time -19%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 135 (20%) on a notional swing of 6.5% from Ind to Con (16% from UKIP to Con)

Stamford, St. John’s on South Kesteven (Con defence)
Result: Con 327 (39% -10% on last time), Ind 267 (32%, no candidate last time), Lib Dem 156 (19%, no candidate last time), Lab 66 (8%, no candidate last time), Green 15 (2%, no candidate last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -22%, No Stamford Independent candidate this time -29%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 60 (7%) on a notional swing of 21% from Con to Ind (9.5% from Stamford Independent to Con)

Longbeck on Redcar and Cleveland (Ind defence)
Result: Con 494 (33% +7% on last time), Lib Dem 397 (26% +12% on last time), Lab 337 (22% +4% on last time), Ind 282 (19% -3% on last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -20%)
Conservative GAIN from Independent with a majority of 97 (7%) on a swing of 2.5% from Con to Lib Dem (5% from Ind to Con)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield



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Tories lose all FIVE seats they were defending in party’s worst night of local elections since TMay became PM

Friday, March 9th, 2018

But LAB only makes net gain of one

Farnworth on Bolton (Lab defence)
Result: Con 153 (6% -3% on last time), Lab 969 (38% -10% on last time), Lib Dem 23 (1% -2% on last time), UKIP 169 (7% -29% on last time), Green 18 (1% -3% on last time), Residents 1,204 (47%, no candidate last time)
Residents GAIN from Labour with a majority of 235 (9%) on a notional swing of 28.5% from Lab to Residents (9.5% from UKIP to Lab)

Droylsden East on Tameside (Lab defence)
Result: Con 489 (31% +23% on last time), Lab 986 (62% +14% on last time), Lib Dem 30 (2%, no candidate last time), Green 98 (6% +1% on last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -39%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 497 (31%) on a swing of 4.5% from Lab to Con (26.5% from UKIP to Lab)

Wollaton West on Nottingham (Con defence)
Result: Con 1,920 (43% +8% on last time), Lab 2,193 (49% +10% on last time), Lib Dem 237 (5% -2% on last time), Green 72 (2% -8% on last time), Others 41 (1% (No UKIP candidate this time -9%)
Labour GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 273 (6%) on a swing of 1% from Con to Lab

Oakham South East on Rutland (Con defence)
Result: Con 204 (40% +1% on last time), Ind 300 (60% +21% on last time) (No Liberal Democrat candidate this time -22%)
Independent GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 96 (20%) on a swing of 10% from Con to Ind (21.5% from Lib Dem to Ind)

Little Parndon and Hare Street on Harlow (Lab defence)
Result: Con 394 (31% +5% on last time), Lab 781 (62% +8% on last time), UKIP 80 (6% -13% on last time)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 387 (31%) on a swing of 1.5% from Con to Lab

Northcurch on Dacorum (Con defence)
Result: Con 260 (28% -32% on last time), Lab 97 (11% -1% on last time), Lib Dem 545 (59% +40% on last time), Green 19 (2% -7% on last time)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 285 (31%) on a swing of 36% from Con to Lib Dem

Rochester West on Medway (Con defence)
Result: Con 1,007 (40% -3% on last time), Lab 1,212 (48% +27% on last time), Lib Dem 119 (5% +1% on last time), UKIP 104 (4% -16% on last time), Green 107 (4% -6% on last time) (No Others this time -1%)
Labour GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 205 (8%) on a swing of 15% from Con to Lab

Petersfield, Bell Hill on East Hampshire (Con defence)
Result: Con 145 (27% -20% on last time), Lab 56 (10% -5% on last time), Lib Dem 156 (29% +15% on last time), UKIP 11 (2% -10% on last time), Ind 178 (33%, no candidate last time) (No Green candidate this time -11%)
Independent GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 22 (4%) on a swing of 9% from Lib Dem to Ind (26.5% from Con to Ind)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield



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Lib Dems can do it on a drizzly Thursday in February – but what about on 3 May?

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

By-election gains may well be yet another false dawn

Up until last year, Sunderland had carved out for itself one, and only one, niche in British political life: it counted its votes at general elections faster than anywhere else. For six successive elections from 1992 to 2015, the southern Sunderland seat was the first to declare in the country. Other than that, the city was politically unremarkable: it’s returned two Labour MPs ever since the 1960s and the Red team is similarly dominant at local level.

2017 saw a bit of a turnaround on both scores. Local rivals Newcastle won the race to be the first to declare at the general election, while five months previously the Lib Dems gained a local by-election on a massive 36% swing. That was admittedly back at a time when Labour was very much struggling for support nationally, polling in only the upper-twenties, but it was still an extraordinary result.

Nor was it a one-off. In the first two months of the year, the Lib Dems gained two seats from Labour and no fewer than six from the Conservatives, despite the national polling showing the Tories up in the 40s while the Lib Dems remained marooned on around 10% with most firms. Against that, they lost just the one seat (to an Independent). They’d had similar success in 2016 by-elections, gaining 30 councillors that way and losing just four.

And yet come the local elections in May, Tim Farron’s party lost a net 42 seats, with net losses in each of England, Scotland and Wales. The tremendous by-election successes were simply not replicated when there were a large number of simultaneous elections, when voters’ attention was focussed more nationally, and when there was a larger turnout. The fact that the general election campaign was already underway no doubt played a part in the Lib Dems’ relative failure there but only a part. After all, activists will still work where they are most effective and given the relatively small number of target seats, in many areas, those priorities would be local rather than national.

So what of this year? Well, in a carbon copy election, the Lib Dems once again pulled off a Sunderland spectacular, gaining Pallion ward on a 33% swing, and followed that up this Thursday with three very impressive gains from the Conservatives (two in Teignbridge borough, proving that it’s not all down to targeting).

And yet. The national polls are worse for Vince Cable’s party than they were in May last year, and while the Tories are off even more (they were in the high-forties in early May 2017), Labour is far better off.

Not that that’s the best comparator. Local elections run on a four-year cycle and those being contested this time were last fought in 2014, give or take the odd boundary review. Back then, Ed Miliband’s Labour held about a two-point lead over David Cameron’s Tories, with Nigel Farage’s UKIP in the mid-teens and Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems around 8-9%. The local elections were no doubt affected by the simultaneous Europoll, contributing to the election of 166 UKIP councillors. The Westminster VI polls translated directly to the local election NEV, with the Labour gaining a 2-point lead in the NEV, UKIP on 17% and the Lib Dems as usual outscoring their Westminster share, taking 13%.

What can we expect this time? The battlefield in this round has thrown up the curious possibility of all the main parties doing well and badly at the same time.

UKIP is not a main party any more and will be annihilated at the election. They may well lose every single seat, though there’s the possibility of isolated exceptions clinging on due to a local profile. That means that the other parties effectively start off with net gains of over 150.

Labour will be most pleased about London being the main battleground. More votes might be cast elsewhere but the capital always attracts disproportionate media attention, which will suit Labour very nicely given how they gained a swing in the multicultural, pro-Remain world-city three times that of the national average at the general election.

By contrast, while the Tories might worry about their prospects in London, the rest of the country (that country being England – there are no Scottish or Welsh elections), looks more fertile ground given the direct windfall from UKIP and the polls showing a small swing from Lab to Con and a larger one from LD to Con since May 2014. The Blue Team should reasonably expect to make net gains – something which a government party has only achieved once since the 1980s, and that previous exception (2011) being mainly at the expense of a different governing party.

As for the Lib Dems, they, like Labour, have opportunities in London – albeit in far more restricted areas – but after that can expect a tougher fight. They do, however, have one of their two mayoralties to defend in Watford, where Dorothy Thornhill is seeking, and should comfortably win, a fifth term. But that should be one of the few high points. The Sunderland or Teignbridge results remain much more likely to be another false dawn than a yellow sun rising.

David Herdson