An array of nine by elections took place last night. The first result looked good for Labour as they gained a seat in Essex from the Tories. However it then got worse, they failed against the Tories in Lancaster with a pro Tory swing against General election day, failed in Ashfield despite two independents splitting the vote in two seperate contests, failed in Newport where the same thing happened, and were easily beaten in two marginal seats in Scotland by the SNP where Labour had won on 1st preferences in 2012. By the end, what started like being a night with some electoral respite for the struggling Labour leadership, ended up being another night of overall misery.
MOON OF LIBERTY ELECTION SCOREBOARD
By Elections 26/11/2015
Rochford (Rochford) – Lab 332 Con 328 UKIP 250 LD 114 – Lab GAIN From Con – Swing (May 2015) Con-Lab 4.9%
Dunfirmline North (Fife) SNP 1056 Lab 719 Con 304 LD 230 Green 63 UKIP 58 – SNP Hold – Swing (May 2012) Lab-SNP 15.3%
Rosyth (Fife) SNP 1214 Lab 926 Con 245 LD 97 UKIP 88 Ind 66 Green 51 – SNP Hold – Swing (May 2012) Lab-SNP 11.3%
Pwilheli South (Gwynedd) Ind 269 Plaid Cymru 168 Ind 106 Llais Gwynedd 49 – Ind GAIN from Llais Gwynedd – Swing n/a
Bettws (Newport) Ind/Cleverly 336 Lab 294 Ind/Jordan 275 Con 114 Green 29 LD 7 – Ind Hold – Swing (May 2012) Ind-Lab 4.4%
Selston (Ashfield) Selston Ind 1180 Ind 294 Lab 172 UKIP 77 Con 52 – Selston Ind Hold – Swing (May 2015) Sel Ind -Ind 13.4%
Selston (Notts CC) Selston Ind 2054 Ind 794 Lab 355 UKIP 161 Con 103 – Selston Ind Hold – Swing (May 2013) Lab-Selston Ind 13%
Carnforth & Millhead (Lancaster) Con 1238 Lab 981 Green 242 – Con Hold – Swing (May 2015) Lab-Con 4.8%
Salisbury ST Edmund & Millford (Wiltshire) Con 425 LD 262 Lab 232 Green 215 Ind 45 – Con GAIN from LD – Swing (May 2013) LD-Con 16.9%
Projected National Share (Based on the last 20 by elections fought by each party)
Con 34.1% Lab 28.5% LD 17.7% UKIP 10.1% SNP 4.5% Green 2.9%
Conclusion by Party
Conservatives – Rochford will put a cloud on an otherwise good night. They brushed aside the Labour challenge in Lancaster in a key Westminster marginal seat, and got a big gain against the Lib Dems in Wiltshire. The 5.6% lead over Labour on the projected share is also the biggest for some time. The Tory projected share across the by elections they fought this Thursday averaged over 36%, so there is scope to go higher if they can continue as they are and avoid too many results like Rochford.
Labour – Rochford is the one off they will rightly play for all it is worth. It is a good result, but they did not have any others last night. Their vote share projection has been going down noticeably in the last couple of weeks as well, in line with their struggles at national level. Next weeks Parliamentary by election in a seat they should win very easily, will be very interesting indeed.
Lib Dem – This is their worst week for a while and their defeat in Wiltshire is obviously the most notable aspect of this week for them, but they did not really rebuild a vote anywhere else where not competitive either this week. They will hope this is a blip rather than the start of a trend.
SNP – Not much to say, their victories over Labour suggest they are on course for gains from Labour at the Hollyrood elections, and on course to win big yet again.
Plaid Cymru – After they took a seat from Llais Gwynedd last week on a huge swing, their failure to beat an Independent and do the same this week is a poor result for Plaid, yet typical of the unpredictability of Gwynedd politics.