21 November 2013

By election night 15

Last week's four by-elections proved pretty dismal for the party - with it polling just 191 votes and 16% in Winton East ward in Bournemouth - a ward the party used to hold.  In the other three contest the party polled 88 votes - in total - with shares ranging from 1.2% to 2.6%.  Labour had a good night gaining both of the Cumbria contests.

This week there are five contests with two Lib Dem seats up for grabs one of which - Eastfield ward in Scarborough - the party is guaranteed to lose after the withdrawal for personal reasons of its candidate.  The other Lib Dem seat is Comberton in South Cambridegshire where the threat may come from UKIP rather than the traditional Tory opponents.

The most interesting battle is in Kirklees's Golcar ward where Labour have leapt from third place in 2007 to first in 2011 and 2012 and are defending the vacancy.  Their majority is less than 150 over the Lib Dems - who still have a councillor in the ward - so the result ought to give some indication of whether the worst is over for the Lib Dems in northern cities.

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