14 November 2013

By-election night 14

The most interesting thing about last week's ten by-elections would have been that all ten incumbent parties held on, if it wasn't for the dismal performance of the Lib Dems.

The party managed to increase its vote marginally in Crook ward in Durham and significantly in Bosworth ward, Harborough, but made no progress Tupley, Herefordshire where the It's our County increased their majority in the former Lib Dem division.  But outside of these contest the Lib Dem score was derisory - 18, 70, 78, 56 and 53 (a range of 1.6%-3.7%) showing how weak the party is becoming outside of a limited number of target seats.  And these contests included wards in Surrey, Oxfordshire and Harrow.

This week sees four contests: a split Lab/Ind ward in Allerdale, a split Lab/Tory ward in Stoke on Trent a safe independent division in Cumbria and a reasonably marginal Tory/Labour ward in Bournemouth that was comfortably Lib Dem until 2007.  It will be interesting to see whether the party can make any progress in any of these contests.  At least it is standing in all of them.

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