26 September 2013

By election night 7

Lib Dem Voice had a partial round up of last week's results - which saw the Lib Dems losing both seats they were defending - Labour picking up Oxford North and the Tories in Woking.  But in a not unsurprising result the Tories lost to UKIP in Canterbury in a ward they were just 83 in front the last time it was fought in May.

This evening Vote UK reports another bumper crop of ten by-elections.  There's a distinctly southern bias to the contests with eight out of the ten in the south and south west of England and just two in the north - in Blackpool and Barnsley.  But Labour are defending five, with the Tories four and the Lib Dems just one - in the delighfully named Mickelham, Westhumble and Pixham ward of Mole Valley dictrict in Surrey.

Once again UKIP are standing more candidates than the Lib Dems (10:7).  Labour are also standing in seven and the Tories once again field a full slate.

There are three wards of interest for Lib Dems including the previously mentioned Mole Valley contest which the Lib Dems gained marginally from the Tories in 2011.  The Crockenhill and Well Hill ward in Sevenoaks was solidly Lib Dem until 2011, when they failed to stand and an Independent picked it up unopposed until Labour won it in a by election last March  where again the Lib Dems didn't field a candidate.  With the party finally standing again - it will be interesting to see what sort of vote it can recover.

The blue remembered hills of the Forest of Dean provide two contests - a very safe Tory seat in Redmarley and a more interesting contest in Coleford East caused by the death of a Labour councillor.   The ward has traditionally swung between the reds and the blues until 2009 when in a by-election an independent won it in a tight four way contest where the Lib Dems came second.  In 2011 Labour narrowly won two seats, with an independent taking the third from the Tories.  The Lib Dems improved their vote, but came in last.  UKIP did well in the Forest in the county elections earlier this year and with an independent forming the fifth runner 30% ought to be enough to win.

And the Storrington division of West Sussex could also provide an indication of the extent of public support or opposition to fracking with the intervention of a specifically anti-fracking Green (and former Lib Dem councillor) in a tightish Tory/UKIP contest.

No comments:

Post a Comment