By Elections 23rd February 2017
Parliamentary by Elections – Stoke & Copeland
An historic event in Copeland took place as the Conservatives gained the seat, the first time Labour have not won there since the 1930’s. It is also the first by election gain for the Government from the main opposition since Angela Rumbold took Mitcham and Morden in 1982. The 6.5% swing is in line with current polling pointing to a general election landslide for the Tories of about 120.
In Stoke there in terms of perception was some better news for Labour who held off a challenge from UKIP. However in context the result looks different. Labour lost 2% vote share which is only the eighth parliamentary by election the main opposition has lost vote share since the Second World War. Both the UKIP and Conservative share went up, suggesting little appetite for tactical voting by Tories towards UKIP.
Had that occurred there is a real chance Labour could have lost this seat, the irony is the strength of the Conservatives right now actually saved this seat for Labour, in the longer term that is not good news. The Tories may also be quite pleased Jeremy Corbyn has a win to cling on to, as they see him staying as their key to a 2020 landslide, these by elections are a further indication they may well be right.
Local by elections
The Liberal Democrats continued their improvement in local level by elections taking two seats from the Conservatives having not stood last time. Victories in Kettering and South hams, both areas that voted leave in the Referendum, add to the evidence of the Parliamentary by elections that in standard party political contests people are not dividing their vote along Referendum vote lines. The Conservatives easily held on to Chigwell Village. The parliamentary by elections suggest while there is a Lib Dem improvement, replicating some of their spectacular local by election gains at national level, will have it’s limits. At local level however, expect the Lib Dem improvements to continue for some time to come yet.
The projected national share at local level now has the Conservative lead down to 3.4% over Labour due to primarily poor showings against the Lib Dems dragging their vote share down. All the current numbers can be found here.
MOON OF LIBERTY ELECTION SCOREBOARD
Parliamentary by elections – 23rd Feb 2017
Stoke On Trent Central – Lab 7853 UKIP 5233 Con 5154 LD 2083 Green 294 Ind 137 MRLP 127 BNP 124 CPC 109 Ind 56 – Lab Hold – Swing Lab-UKIP 2.1%
Copeland – Con 13748 Lab 11601 LD 2252 UKIP 2025 Ind 811 Green 515 Ind 116 – CON GAIN FROM LAB – Swing Lab-Con 6.7%
Local by elections – 23rd Feb 2017
Barton (Kettering) – LD 644 Con 337 UKIP 106 Green 42 – LD GAIN FROM CON – Swing n/a as no LD last time
Charterlands (South Hams) – LD 474 Con 404 Lab 110 Green 40 – LD GAIN FROM CON – Swing n/a as no LD last time
Chigwell Village (Epping Forest) – Con 453 LD 143 – Con Hold – Swing n/a as no LD last time