Friday, October 28, 2016

October's local election results

Indebted to Political Betting for the following roundup of council by-elections:

Last night the Conservatives and Labour both held seats they were defending and an Independent seat stayed Independent (not sure it counts as a hold when one Independent councillor replaces another.)

But the pattern of those seats which did change hands in October is interesting ...

GAINS

SNP GAIN Garscadden and Scotstounhill on Glasgow from Labour
UKIP GAIN Headland and Harbour on Hartlepool from Labour
Liberal Democrats GAIN Culloden and Ardersier on Highland from Labour
Local Residents GAIN Limpsfield on Tandridge from Conservative
Labour GAIN Witham North on Braintree from Conservative
Independent GAIN Abergele, Pensarn on Conwy from Labour
Liberal Democrats GAIN St. Mary’s on the East Riding of Yorkshire from Conservative
Conservatives GAIN Rothwell on Kettering from Labour
Independent GAIN Heacham on King’s Lynn and West Norfolk from Conservative
Conservatives GAIN Strood South on Medway from UKIP
Plaid GAIN Blaengwrach on Neath and Port Talbot from Labour


Spot the pattern here?

Good for non-party candidates who took seats from the Conservatives and Labour (Net gain three seats).

Good for the Lib/Dems who took one seat from the Conservatives and one from Labour, and for the SNP who took a seat from Labour

Mixed for UKIP who took a seat from Labour while losing one to the Conservatives, net change zero.

Slightly disappointing for the Conservatives who took a seat from UKIP while swapping seats with Labour, but lost seats to the Lib/Dems and non-party candidates, net loss two seats.

Very disappointing for Labour who lost seats to the SNP, UKIP, Lib/Dems, Conservatives, Plaid and Independent candidates, getting just one back, a net loss of five seats and, perhaps more significantly, Labour lost a council seat last month to every one of the main opposing parties and to an Independent.

The electorate in those wards has sent a warning shot in front of the bows of both the main political parties: this picture gives the Conservatives good reason not to get complacent, but it should be a serious warning to a Labour leadership which had any sense.

Of course, council by-elections are not a great guide to general election performance but it is more usual for the main opposition party to be winning seats from all the others than for them to be losing seats to all the others.

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