Local by Elections 21/01/2016
A night that tells us exactly where Labour’s bases are
There were six by elections this week with Labour, by their standards, having a decent night gaining a seat from UKIP in Thanet and scoring good holds in Southwark and ST Helens. They were beaten in Lanarkshire by the SNP but even there the swing was lower than in most Scottish by elections in 2015, so there may be a glimmer of hope there too, although they are still well behind the SNP. The perspective here is the seats Labour did better in are seats that fit the pattern of seats that are more ‘Corbyn friendly.’ These fit into four groups:-
- Where Labour are 10% or more ahead to start with
- Where Labour face UKIP as the main challengers
- Where there is a decent green vote to squeeze
- Large parts of London (Although it would be wrong to say all of London)
The seat in ST Helens had a big Labour lead to start with and UKIP were second last time, The seat in Thanet was a straight fight with UKIP and Southwark has a 10% plus Labour lead, was in London and had a reasonable green vote, so the templates were met. Labour barely registered in the other two seats on Hertfordshire County council and Crowborough in Wealden, where the Tories safely held both seats. Below are all Thursday’s results.
MOON OF LIBERTY ELECTION SCOREBOARD
Local by elections 21/01/2016
Bushey North (Hertfordshire CC) – Con 881 LD 333 Lab 287 UKIP 176– Con Hold – Swing (May 2013) UKIP-Con 10.7% – LD from 4th place to 2nd place
Thatto Heath (ST Helens) – Lab 964 UKIP 182 Con 147 Green 62 – Lab Hold – Swing (May 2015) UKIP-Lab 3.6%
Hamilton N & E (S Lanarkshre) 1st Preference votes – SNP 1089 Lab 885 Con 469 Green 83 LD 45 – SNP Hold – Swing (May 2012) Lab-SNP 8.3% – SNP hold the seat after the 4th round on the AV system used
Faraday (Southwark) – Lab 1072 LD 255 Green 128 Con 117 UKIP 93 Ind 47 APP 37 – Lab Hold – Swing (May 2013) Green-Lab 1.6% – LD from 3rd to 2nd
Newington (Thanet) – Lab 288 UKIP 229 Con 156 Ind 49 Green 20 LD 12 Ind 10 – Lab GAIN from UKIP – Swing (May 2015) UKIP-Lab 7.7%
Crowborough E (Wealden) – Con 517 LD 189 Lab 93 – Con Hold – Swing (May 2015) LD-Con 4.5%
Projected UK Share (Based on the last 20 by elections fought by each party)
Con 36.5% Lab 29.4% LD 16.9% UKIP 8.7% SNP 4% Green 2.5% – Con lead 7.1%
Conclusion by party
Conservatives – Another night to be reasonably pleased with. They comfortably held their two seats, their vote share was up by 8% in the Scottish by election and Crowborough was a particularly good result with a 4,5% swing against a Lib Dem challenge. There share of the vote continues to hold up against their general election performance as well, although there were no seats in Westminster marginals in this group of by elections.
Labour – Can now be pleased at least they have a clear base of safe seats and seats, particularly where UKIP have done well in the past and Labour compete, where they are holding up. The problem is this is so far very limited to certain areas and types of seats and their projected share remains below 30% based on local by elections at the moment.
Lib Dem – The Lib Dems have moved into 2nd place in two of these by elections so are rebuilding their vote, Crowborough will be a big disappointment however, in a straight fight with the Tories, they lost ground when you would have expected them to gain ground at least. There ability to compete where they are competitive has slid in recent weeks, this is the main reason their projected vote share has dropped below 17%
SNP – Officially their result was a hold but this was due to a councillor elected on PR standing down. in 2012 Labour actually won more votes, the SNP did this time. Despite the swing being a bit down on what they have been getting, they will be please to hold this seat in this manner and with Holyrood polls now looking very strong, the SNP are well on course to remain in Power in Edinburgh which is the top priority for them right now.
UKIP – Another very poor night at local level, losing a seat in their stronghold of Thanet to Labour and losing their second place in Heertforshire. The national opinion polls continue to be strong for UKIP, but it is not backed up at local level at the ballot boxes and UKIP could face a tough night in May’s English local elections.
The numbers – A slight improvement for Labour in seats that are more friendly sees them close slightly on the projected share from 7.6% to 7.1% behind the Conservatives. The Lib Dems slip below 17% and UKIP below 9%. All the updated numbers for polling and election projections can be found here.