By Elections 04 Feb 2016
Tories lose two seats in a poor night for the Blues
There were four elections on Thursday night which showed the first signs the electorate were willing to give the Government a bloody nose as local elections are traditionally used for. The Tories were defending three of the seats and lost two of them, one to an Independent in Hexham and the other to the Greens in Shropshire. Both looked good on paper given recent trends and suggest there may be a shift away from the Government in certain circumstances. The third seat they only narrowly held against the Lib Dems in Cambridgeshire with a strong swing to the Liberal Democrats who failed to make the gain by just 18 votes. The one caveat to the Tories doing less well is there is no sign of this helping Labour. While Labour held their seat in Leicestershire, there was a small swing to the Conservatives against what happened on General Election night. The full numbers are below
MOON OF LIBERTY ELECTION SCOREBOARD
Hexham West (Nothumberland) – Ind (Kennedy) 501 Con 454 Lab 200 Ind (Pickering) 125 Green 89 – IND GAIN FROM CON – Swing n/a
Measham South (NW Leicestershire) – Lab 257 Con 202 UKIP 141 – Lab Hold – Swing (May 2015) Lab-Con 0.5%
Oswestry South (Shropshire) – Green 518 Con 367 Lab 95 LD 81 – GREEN GAIN FROM CON – Swing (May 2013) Con-Green 14.2%
Bottisham (E Cambs) – Con 421 LD 403 Lab 99 UKIP 43 – Con Hold – Swing (May 2015) Con-LD 9%
Projected national UK share (Based on the last 20 local by elections fought by each party)
Con 34.5% Lab 29.8% LD 16.5% UKIP 9.6% SNP 4.2% Green 3.6% – Con lead 4.7%
Conservative – If what we saw this week becomes a trend this is a worrying time. It suggests in contests against anyone other than Labour there now is scope for the electorate to go with the protest. The fact Labour are not benefiting from this is the one solace of the evening which is the worst set of results for the Tories since the May General Election
Labour – Will be frustrated that while there are stirrings of votes to be won against the Government for the first time, they are not winning them. The Measham result, while a win, suggests they are still bumping along at slightly below the 30% mark, and another swing to the Tories against General election night suggests Labour are continuing to make virtually no progress at all.
Lib Dems – Will be pleased they competed in Cambridgeshire as they had been struggling in competitive seats as of late. Despite not quite taking the Bottisham seat, it was a very encouraging result.
UKIP – Not in any competitive races this week but their vote share appears to be going back in the right direction, taking votes from Labour and the Conservatives.
Green – Gaining a Conservative seat on a big swing. A great night for the Greens which may give them confidence they can compete at local level on a ‘give the Government a kicking’ platform.
The Numbers – The Tories take a substantial hit and see their lead over Labour fall from 7% to 4.7%. It should be pointed out this is due to the Tories losing vote share to other parties, not due to any Labour improvement. All the current polling/election numbers can be found here.