There were five by elections this Thursday and in line with recent polls, it sees the Conservatives comprehensively in command in battles with Labour. The only slight disappointment for the Tories will be a light decrease in their vote in Pontefract North where UKIP scored a small swing against Labour in a safe Labour seat. Elsewhere, in East Anglia and on both sides of the Midlands, The Tories vote rose with universal swing to the Tories against Labour to hold seats with bigger majorities than before. Two of these were last fought on General election day, thus the Tories are doing better and Labour worse than in May.
MOON OF LIBERTY ELECTION SCOREBOARD
By Elections 24/09/2015
Pontefract N (Wakefield) – Lab 909 UKIP 453 Con 299 Yorkshire 1st 123 LD 86 TUSC 24 – Lab Hold – Swing from May 2015 Lab-UKIP 2%
Blakebrook & South Habberley (Wyre Forest) – Con 595 UKIP 252 Lab 247 Green 173 HC 167 LD 54 – Con Hold – Swing from May 2015 Ukip-Con 7%
Loddon (Norfolk CC) Con 1094 Lab 357 LD 235 UKIP 233 – Con Hold – Swing from May 2013 Lab-Con 6%
Chedgrave & Thurton (S Norfolk) Con 260 Lab 93 LD 69 UKIP 64 – Con Hold — Swing from May 2015 – :Lab-Con 4%
Derwent Valley (Derbyshire CC) Con 1107 Lab 466 LD 314 UKIP 285 – Con Hold – Swing from May 2015 Lab-Con 5%
Projected National Share (Based on last 20 by elections fought) Con 35.2% Lab 31.1% LD 17.4% UKIP 9% Green 3.3%
Conservative – An excellent night defending their four seats where normally a Government 5 years in should be struggling to defend some of these type of seats. The two big victories in Derwent Valley and Wyre Forest are of most significance as they demonstrate the Tories hold on the midlands is greater than they even had in May, in line with the polling in the midlands region. Having gone through the history it’s also worth noting the Derwent Valley result is the Tories best in that ward since the early nineties. To increase their vote in Norfolk in seats they started from a big base already is also very good news for David Cameron & Co. his week is more evidence that the Tories remain in command in this post new Labour world, even in spite of the weeks difficult headlines for the Prime Minister.
Labour – While they will be pleased to win Pontefract their vote dipped below the 50% mark they achieved here in May, so even their best result has it’s caveats. They were down everywhere else and their failure to compete in Derwent Valley and in the Wyre Forest seat will be hugely disappointing, especially Derwent valley as two MP’s went there to help the Get Out The Vote effort. If Labour were hoping for either a Corbyn bounce or that piggate and all were going to do the Tories some damage, their hopes are in tatters after this weeks polling, and even more so after these by elections. Those predicting Corbyn would be a disaster electorally for Labour, are so far being proved more right than even they probably imagined.
Lib Dems – Although not competitive in any of these seats, the Lib Dems will be pleased with their rebuilding of their vote this week. Both Norfolk and the Derwent Valley seat saw them take support from Labour even though Labour were supposedly the main challengers. Something to watch, a new form a tactical voting where people who cannot bring themselves to vote Tory,vote Lib Dem instead to thwart Corbyn’s Labour Party could be being created.
UKIP – UKIP have held two second places this week with an increase in Pontefract. Maybe the first signs of them bottoming out in local contests after a difficult period. The high profile of immigration on the current political agenda may have helped, it’s worth remembering despite those of the left calling for more what they deem ‘morality’ in calling for more migrants/refuges to be taken, most polling shows that most people think the 20,000 Cameron has committed to is too many already. Ground for UKIP to build on. It’s also worth pointing out UKIP’s fall in local elections has not been matched in the national polls. UKIP are far from dead as some sort of electoral force..