Parkfield & Oxbridge on Stockton On Tees Council
Labour hold the seat, but the bigger picture is still all blue
There was just the one local by election last night but an interesting one. While the seat up itself was a reasonably safe Labour seat, it was in the constituency of Stockton South, a Tory held Westminster marginal where Labour must win if they are to have any chance of forming a Government. So this was a good chance to get a guide of the position in a Westminster marginal for the first time in some time. As ever with local by elections, there were some anomalies to take into account when putting this into a wider perspective. There was no Green candidate, they got 8% last time, no Independent who got 11% last time and UKIP stood this time, they did not last time.
To win the constituency of Stockton South in 2020 Labour need a 4.5% swing across the whole constituency. So were they making this sort of progress? the answer is no. Both the Labour and Tory share of the vote went up, Labour by 7% and the Tories by 5%, and therefore the swing to Labour was just 1%. It appears Labour squeezed that Green vote and the Tories took some of the Independent vote. So a decent one off hold for Labour, but the bigger picture suggests the Tories are still well ahead in Stockton South and that is good news for David Cameron and the Conservatives and not so good for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.
MOON OF LIBERTY ELECTION SCOREBOARD
Parkfield & Oxbridge (Stockton On Tees) – Lab 598 Con 363 UKIP 113 LD 65 – Lab Hold – Swing (Against May 2015) Con-Lab 1%
Projected national UK share (Based on the last 20 local by elections fought by each party)
Con 36.9% Lab 29.9% LD 16.4% UKIP 8.8% SNP 4.1% Green 2.5% – Con lead 7%
Conservatives – Will be delighted with the increase in the vote and holding the Labour swing to just 1%, particularly given there was an 8% Green vote to be squeezed which is a scenario in which Labour usually perform better. Another strong performance in a Westminster marginal seat where looking ahead to bigger things, it really matters.
Labour – Can be pleased with the hold, but the result shows the limitations of their progress. The bigger picture outlook remains bleak, a swing of 1% where there was a Green vote to squeeze and a UKIP candidate to take votes from the Tories, is simply not good enough in marginal seats.
The Numbers – The Conservative projected share lead over Labour falls slightly from 7.1% to 7%, but the Tory share is actually at it’s highest level this year, Labour are also at their highest share this year, but have not quite got back to 30%. All the current poll and election figures can be found here.