Numbers Round up – By Elections 26th November


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.


By Elections 26/11/2015

Rochford (Rochford) – Lab 332 Con 328 UKIP 250 LD 114Lab GAIN From Con – Swing (May 2015) Con-Lab 4.9%

Dunfirmline North (Fife) SNP 1056 Lab 719 Con 304 LD 230 Green 63 UKIP 58SNP Hold – Swing (May 2012) Lab-SNP 15.3%

Rosyth (Fife) SNP 1214 Lab 926 Con 245 LD 97 UKIP 88 Ind 66 Green 51SNP Hold – Swing (May 2012) Lab-SNP 11.3%

Pwilheli South (Gwynedd) Ind 269 Plaid Cymru 168 Ind 106 Llais Gwynedd 49Ind GAIN from Llais Gwynedd – Swing n/a

Bettws (Newport) Ind/Cleverly 336 Lab 294 Ind/Jordan 275 Con 114 Green 29 LD 7Ind Hold – Swing (May 2012) Ind-Lab 4.4%

Selston (Ashfield) Selston Ind 1180 Ind 294 Lab 172 UKIP 77 Con 52Selston Ind Hold – Swing (May 2015) Sel Ind -Ind 13.4%

Selston (Notts CC) Selston Ind 2054 Ind 794 Lab 355 UKIP 161 Con 103Selston Ind Hold – Swing (May 2013) Lab-Selston Ind 13%

Carnforth & Millhead (Lancaster) Con 1238 Lab 981 Green 242Con Hold – Swing (May 2015) Lab-Con 4.8%

Salisbury ST Edmund & Millford (Wiltshire) Con 425 LD 262 Lab 232 Green 215 Ind 45Con 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.


Numbers Update – by elections & two polls


By Elections

This week saw seven local by elections. The main winners were the Conservatives with 3 gains, including one from Labour in a seat the Tories had never won before, they also had a spectacular victory in Epsom where the Tories finished 5th in 2013, but won this week.

Local By Elections 19/11/2015

Watton (Norfolk) Con 822 Ind 793 Lab 105 Green 81Con GAIN from UKIP – Swing n/a as no UKIP candidate.

South Smallburgh (Norfolk) LD 1383 Con 697 UKIP 219 Lab 103 Green 52LD Hold – Swing (May 2013) Con-LD 13.1%

Llanaelhaearn (Gywnedd) Plaid Cymru 200 Llais Gwynedd 112 Ind 99Plaid Cymru GAIN from Llais Gwynedd – Swing (May 2012) LG-PC 29.7%

Dewi (Gwynedd) PC 189 Lab 110 LD 19PC Hold – Swing (May 2012) Lab-PC 1%

Kidwelly (Carmarthenshire) Lab 288 PC 248 Ind 177 People 1st 58 Con 53 Ind 28Lab Hold – Swing n/a as no PC candidate last time.

Aylesford Green (Ashford) Con 110 UKIP 109 Lab 106 Ind 92 LD 42 Green 10Con GAIN from Lab – Swing (May 2015) Lab-Con 5.5%

Epsom West (Surrey) Con 619 Resident Association 591 LD 588 Lab 578 UKIP 168 Green 58Con GAIN from LD – Swing (May 2013) LD-Con 8.1%, Con were 5th in 2013.

Projected Nation share (Based on last 20 local by elections fought)

Con 33% Lab 28.6% LD 19.3% UKIP 10.1% SNP 4.3% Green 2.8%

Opinion Polls

ICM and Ipsos-Mori have released their October voting intention polls. Both see increased Conservative leads and both regionally project a healthy Conservative Majority. In line with what we are seeing in the by elections with the Tories in control where it matters and Labour continuing to do badly, especially in the Midlands where most of the key seats are. The Liberal Democrats will be disappointed to see there is still no breakthrough in the national polls considering their improved performance at local level.

ICM 17/11/2015

Voting Intention UK – Con 39% Lab 33% UKIP 12% LD 7% Green 4%

Regional Seat Projection – Con 353 Lab 210 LD 6 SNP 58 Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18Con Majority 56

Ipsos-Mori 19/11/2015

Voting Intention UK – Con 41% Lab 34% LD 7% UKIP 7% Green 4%

Regional Seat Projection – Con 358 Lab 206 LD 6 SNP 58 Plaid Cymru 2 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18Con Majority 66

Conclusion by party

Conservative – An excellent set of number for the Tories, 3 gains in the by elections and still well ahead in the polls and seat projections where it matters. David Cameron remain in complete control of the UK political scene right now.

Labour – This is Labour’s worst week for sometime. With terrorism in the headlines, Jeremy Corbyn appears particularly weak when anything of that nature comes up. I have always said Corbyn cannot win a General Election, I have seen nothing to come even close to changing my mind.

Lib Dems – Another decent week locally, a good result in Norfolk, although a poor result losing in Epsom in Surrey. Their poll ratings remain at the same low level they got in May too. Mixed news for the Lib Dems but at least at local level the pointers are to some decent results in May 2016.

UKIP – Struggling to find an identity post May, UKIP’s problem is they are not competing where they should be. The Mori poll has them down on 7% nationally in line with evidence they have fallen back since May. The Parliamentary by-election in Oldham West will be a big test of where UKIP are, it is a by election they should be competing in, current trends suggest they will fall well short.

SNP – No local elections this week but Scottish polling suggests they are still on course to match or better their performance last May in the Scottish Parliament elections. Doing so will mean further advances as the SNP got 45% in the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections, so they would be up by a further 5% at least if they repeat their General Election performance. Bad news for Labour who would be the main losers.

Plaid Cymru – Plaid are another big warning for Labour. They have done well in Welsh local elections recently, the potential for them to score some upsets at Labour’s expense in the Welsh Assembly elections looks to be on the increase. Plaid are the wild card that could really spoil Jeremy Corbyn’s night next May, as holding Wales is something Labour are banking on.

By Election round up


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.


By Elections 24/09/2015

Pontefract N (Wakefield) – Lab 909 UKIP 453 Con 299 Yorkshire 1st 123 LD 86 TUSC 24Lab Hold – Swing from May 2015 Lab-UKIP 2%

Blakebrook & South Habberley (Wyre Forest) – Con 595 UKIP 252 Lab 247 Green 173 HC 167 LD 54Con 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 285Con 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..

By-Elections round up & Com Res poll



There were four by-elections this week. The first, unusually held on a Tuesday in the Orkney’s saw an ‘Orkney manifesto’ candidate elected. It will be interesting to see if this is the start of a trend of island focused candidates/parties taking over from traditional independents who have historically dominated the politics of the North Scottish Islands at local level.

On Thursday saw three by-elections. One in Durham which saw the first outing for the new North-East Party who finished second in Durham but not with enough to worry Labour’s North-East dominance just yet. The other two elections said more about the national picture. With Jeremy Corbyn excitement sweeping Labour, the strategy his supporters put forward of winning back Green and UKIP voters could to an extent be put to a small scale test. One election was in Witney, where the Tories were expected to win and did so, but there was a 20% Green vote for Labour to squeeze. In Cornwall the seat was a defense by UKIP, thus a big UKIP vote for Labour to squeeze if they are serious about winning these votes back.

In both cases Labour failed. The Tories held the Witney seat but it was the Lib Dems to jumped from fourth to second to squeeze these votes, and Labour’s vote actually fell. In Cornwall, the Tories gained the seat and yet again it was the Lib Dems who did a good job at squeezing the UKIP votes, not Labour. If there was excitement from supporters of minor parties about Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader, it could have showed on Thursday, it didn’t



West Mainland (Orkney) Orkney Manifesto 593 Ind 446 Green 115Orkney Manifesto GAIN from Ind – Swing n/a


Shotton & S Hetton (Durham) Lab 595 N-E Party 214 LD 107 UKIP 131 Con 67 Green 19.- Lab Hold – Swing n/a as no North-East Party candidate last time

Witney North (W Oxfordshire) –Con 264 LD 201 Green 136 Lab 114 UKIP 64Con Hold – Swing (From May 2012) Con-LD 12.9%

Camborne Pendarves (Cornwall) – Con 325 LD 311 Lab 220 UKIP 89 Mebyon Kernow 85 Green31 Ind 13CON GAIN FROM UKIP – Swing (May 2013) UKIP-Con 12%

National Projected Share (Based on last 20 by-elections fought by each party)

Con 33.2% Lab 29.8% LD 15.4% UKIP 10% Green 3.5%

Communicate Research Poll

Communicate Research latest poll put the Conservatives 11% ahead on voting intention. Again this does not point to enthusiasm amongst the general public for the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn Labour leadership. It should be said this poll does see a decent swing to Labour in the south, The big Tory lead in the south is as I have said before difficult to model correctly. What this means is the poll probably has Labour doing better in the south than they really are, which means the Tory lead could be even bigger than reported. The poll also sees the Tories ahead of Labour in Scotland, 3 of the 4 most recent polls have also shown this. Due to small samples an anomaly is always possible on the region breakdown, however 3 out of 4 suggest there maybe more too it. The regional breakdown on seats would, in line with all other post election polls so far, see an increased Conservative Overall Majority


Communicate Research Poll 17/08/2015

Vote Share UK Wide – Con 40% Lab 29% UKIP 13% LD 8% Green 4%

Seat Projection based on regional patterns 

Con 351 Lab 214 LD 6 UKIP 1 SNP 56 Plaid Cymru 3 Green 1 Northen Ireland 18

Con Overall Majority 52


What is interesting is that in local contests the Lib Dems are doing better and the Tory vote, while not soaring, is doing just enough to continue to hold key seats. The Lib Dem revival is not yet translating into the national picture. they are 7% higher in local contests than in the national polls, and the Tories are doing 7% less well in local contests than in National polls, Given this 7% gives the Tories a higher rating than in the national polls, this means there are Labour 2015 voters, now willing to back the Lib Dems in local contests, but say they would vote Tory in a General Election. The last few weeks has seen the Tories do much better when head to head with Labour which further backs this up. The Lib Dems can be cautiously confident when claiming their fightback, but we with no certainty that the improvement will translate into commons seats nationally.The Tories can be cautiously confident of their dominant position, but not overly so.

The SNP scored 48% in Scotland on the Com Res poll and are still dominating Scotland. The Cornwall and Witney by-elections are contests UKIP would have done much better in a couple of years ago, their position appears to remain stagnant. It is Labour who have the most to worry about. They will claim as they have no leader this is not a surprise. This is a hollow claim given the huge publicity they have had and claims of all this apparent excitement around Jeremy Corbyn with him packing 1000 seater halls around the country. Many people have a Corbyn win penciled in, they may be wrong, but are going to the polls on the assumption Corbyn will be the leader. The reality is amongst the quiet moderates in marginal seats, particularly in the shires is, there is no excitement for Labour, or the leader most of them now think will win, at all.

Polls and local by elections


Local By elections 23/07

There were 5 local by elections this Thursday. Labour held their four safe seats that were up for grabs and the Liberal Democrats continued their recent good run by holding a marginal seat in Elmbridge with a good swing against the Conservatives. The results are below.

Mill Hill (Blackburn) Lab 505 UKIP 179 Con 109 LD 69Lab Hold – No UKIP Can last time so swing n/a

Croft Baker (NE Lincs) Lab 788 Con 513 LD 323 UKIP 318 TUSC 85 Green 66Lab Hold – Swing (From May 2015) Lab-Con 0.5%

Harrow Road (Westminster) Lab 1139 Con 334 UKIP 38Lab Hold – Swing (From May 2014) Con-Lab 6.6%

New Tredegar (Caerphilly) Lab 648 UKIP 90 Con 47Lab Hold – No UKIP or Con candidate last time, swing n/a

Long Ditton (Elmbridge) LD 770 Con 611 Green 79 UKIP 61LD Hold – Swing (From May 2012) Con-LD 4.5%

National projected share based on last 20 local by elections –

Con 33.6% Lab 32.5% LD 16.3% UKIP 11.1% Green 3,7%

Ipsos-Mori Poll

Mori have released their first voting intention poll since the General Election in May. The figures seen some erratic regional changes but the headline figures are as you were for the Tories and Labour. The Liberal Democrats move ahead of UKIP, in line with what we have been seeing in the by elections. The regional movements would see the Tory majority increase due to an improvement in the North of England and Scotland. Labour would win a few seats back in the south but lose most of the gains they made in the North-West. The breakdown would also see UKIP gaining Hartlepool from Labour.


Vote Share – Con 37% Lab 31% LD 10% UKIP 9% Green 8%

Seat projection (Changes compared to May 2015 General Election) – Con 345 (+14) Lab 227 (-4) LD 11 (+3) SNP 43 (-14) UKIP 2 (+1) Green 1 (NC) Plaid Cymru 3 (NC) Northern Irelands 18 (NC)

Conservative Majority of 40

Local By-Elections 09 July 2015


This week saw an array of local council by elections which generally confirmed the recent patterns. No seats changed hands and incumbency won the day, although this was a technicality in The Scottish seat in North Lanarkshire as the seat was held by an SNP finishing third in the previous election where three members were elected, however Labour actually has far more votes last time. The results are as follows, with the ward name followed by the Council the ward is for in brackets.

Thorniewood (North Lanarkshire) Scottish National Party 1,555 (47% +23%), Labour 1,410 (43% -28%), Conservative 149 (5% unchanged), Scottish Socialist Party 81 (2%, no candidate in 2012), Green 51 (2%, no candidate in 2012), Scottish Christian Party 33 (1%, no candidate in 2012), UKIP 29 (1%, no candidate in 2012) – SNP Hold Swing (Compared to average of the 3 candidates last time) Lab-SNP 25.5%

Morfa Nefyn (Gwynedd) Plaid Cymru 315 (72% -5%), Llais Gwynedd 123 (28% +5%) – Plaid Cymru Hold Swing Plaid-Llais 5%

Brentford (Houndslow) Labour 1,292 (54% +8%), Conservatives 664 (28% +13%), Green 209 (9% -4%), Liberal Democrat 116 (5% -1%), UKIP 113 (5% -7%) – Lab hold Swing Lab-Con 2.5%

Central ST Leonards (Hastings) Labour 481 (44% -9%), Conservative 259 (24% +11%), Indepedent 184 (17% +10%), UKIP 77 (7% -9%), Green 75 (7% -1%), Liberal Democrat 17 (2% -1%) – Lab Hold Swing Lab-Con 10%

ST Helens (Hastings) Conservative 663 (44% +4%), Labour 557 (37% +3%), Liberal Democrat 136 (9% +5%), UKIP 120 (8% -14%), Green 48 (3%, no candidate in 2014) – Con Hold Swing Lab-Con 0.5%

Old Hastings & Tressel (East Sussex) Labour 961 (57% +8%), Conservative 368 (22% +6%), UKIP 174 (10% -12%), Green 149 (9% +1%), Liberal Democrat 48 (3% -1%) – Lab Hold Swing Con-Lab 1%

Spring Hill (Hyndburn) Labour 778 (55% +5%), Conservative 475 (34% unchanged), UKIP 137 (10% -6%), Green 17 (1%, no candidate in 2014) – Lab Hold Swing Con-Lab 2.5%

Newton (Sandwell) Labour 1,152 (59% +14%), Conservative 452 (23% +8%), UKIP 310 (16% -14%), Green 36 (2%, no candidate in 2014) – Lab Hold Swing Con-Lab 3%

Projected National share of the vote based on last 20 local by elections

Con 36% Lab 34% UKIP 11.1% LD 11% Green 3.9%


All in all nothing much appears to have changed. generally small swings have been the pattern so far with the exception of Scotland, where the SNP are still in total control. Things will change once Labour and the Lib Dems have a new leader in place, right now though I expect more of the same in the coming weeks.