Moon of Liberty Elections – Local by elections 03/08/2017


Local by Election Round-Up

It was a big week for Labour in this week’s local by elections. They made three gains with big vote share increases in Worthing, Margate and Swale. The reason for these big wins will also vindicate Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit as all three victories came as a result of Labour taking the bulk of the collapsing UKIP vote, or in the case of the Worthing gain against the Conservatives, taking the bulk of a large UKIP vote where the party did not stand. The evidence is leave referendum voters have been driving these victories, which follows on from the General Election where Labour took far more leave voters than many expected, a key part of why we ended up with a Hung Parliament. a dilemma for those critical of Corbyn and who want a more pro-EU line from Labour.

The Conservative did not see huge vote share drops and made a technical gain from Labour in Kings Lynne where the Labour councillor elected in second place in a multi member ward last time stood down, and the Tories who had most votes in the ward last time overall, maintained that to take the seat. The is why though there was a small swing to Labour, it was still a Conservative gain.

One trend that continues from the General election is than the two big parties remain dominant. UKIP’s collapse drove this weeks result but the Lib Dems are making no progress at all and the small Green vote collapsed where they stood this week too. The era of two party politics appears to be here to stay for the time being.

Labour’s big week sees them move in front on projected UK vote share for the first time since Corbyn became leader. They lead the Tories by 0.9% after this weeks results. All the current up to date numbers can be found on the Elections and Polling numbers page.




Local by Elections 05/08/2017

Loughborough Spelthorpe (Charnwood) Lab 595 Con 591 LD 92 UKIP 29Lab HoldSwing (May 2015) Con-Lab 2.8%

Marine (Worthing)Lab 1032 Con 846 LD 246 Green 55LAB GAIN FROM CONSwing (May 2016) Con-Lab 17.1%

Margate Central (Thanet)Lab 454 Con 190 UKIP 52 LD 33 Ind 24 Green 23 Ind 13LAB GAIN FROM UKIPSwing (May 2015) UKIP-Lab 24.5%

Milton Regis (Swale)Lab 573 Con 255 UKIP 151 LD 86LAB GAIN FROM UKIPSwing (May 2015) UKIP-Lab 19.8%

Penshurst, Fordscombe & Chiddingstone (Sevenoaks)Con 438 LD 253 Lab 54Con HoldSwing (May 2015) LD-Con 2.6%

St Margarets & St Nicholas (Kings Lynne & W Norfolk) – Con 253 Lab 210 LD 173 Green 63CON GAIN FROM LABSwing (May 2015 top vote) Con-Lab 1.7%





Moon Elections – By Election round up 04 Feb 2016



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




Hexham West (Nothumberland) – Ind (Kennedy) 501 Con 454 Lab 200 Ind (Pickering) 125 Green 89IND GAIN FROM CON – Swing n/a

Measham South (NW Leicestershire) – Lab 257 Con 202 UKIP 141Lab Hold – Swing (May 2015) Lab-Con 0.5%

Oswestry South (Shropshire) – Green 518 Con 367 Lab 95 LD 81GREEN GAIN FROM CON – Swing (May 2013) Con-Green 14.2%

Bottisham (E Cambs) – Con 421 LD 403 Lab 99 UKIP 43Con 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.

Moon Elections – Parkfield & Oxbridge by election



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.



Parkfield & Oxbridge (Stockton On Tees)Lab 598 Con 363 UKIP 113 LD 65Lab 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.

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.

Ipsos-Mori – the first post pig gate poll.


Ipsos Mori have released a poll at the end of a week of embarrassing headlines for the Prime Minister relating to the publishing by the Daily Mail of the more sensation parts of a new unauthorised biography of Cameron by Lord Ashcroft. I won’t go into detail but the most shocking thing in the book involves an initiation ceromany and a dead pig that an unmamed MP claims Cameron took part in. It needs to be stressed there is no hard evidence and even the book and it’s authors make clear they cannot know for sure if it happened. The book also appears to confirm Cameron did smoke cannabis. This is something Cameron has never confirmed or denied.

After a week of such headlines the Prime Minister will be pleased to see this Mori poll does not appear to have done him or the Tory party much damage. The Conservative headline score is up on the last Mori poll to 39%. Labour are also up to 34% primarily to taking support from the Greens. Mori unlike other polls, also continue to have UKIP well down and below the Lib Dems, albeit with the Lib Dems on only 8%. There is no conference bounce for the Lib Dems seen in this poll.

The regional breakdowns suggest some good news for Jeremy Corbyn in Wales where the Labour vote appears to be doing a little better. This was seen in the two previous polls last week published by Com Res and YouGov. However, In Scotland the improvement seen in those other polls is not matched, the Scottish sample has the SNP on 53% and the Tories ahead of Labour. In England the news continues to be weak for Labour, the Tories are doing better in the north and the poll sees a 5% swing to the Tories in the midlands (Against the May result), an absolutely key battleground where there has been no evidence at all that Corbyn is anything but a disaster for the Labour vote and brand. Labour see an improvement in the south, I have written before though about how this should be treated with caution when other English trends are going the other way due to the difficulties of sampling a 27% Tory lead there. The other problem Labour has is even if this is true, they still need to do much better before making any serious southern gains.

Another finding of note in the wider poll is Jeremy Corbyn’s personal satisfaction rating of minus 3. Mori have asked this same question about leaders for many decades, Corbyn is the first leader of the opposition to ever start (This is Mori’s first poll since he was elected) with a minus rating.


Ipsos Mori (24/09/2015)

Voting Intention – Con 39% Lab 34% LD 8% UKIP 7% Green 4%

SNP Vote share in Scotland – 53%

Regional seat projection – Con 358 Lab 205 SNP 56 LD 8 UKIP 1 Green 1 NI 18Con Majority of 64


In a sense this poll demonstrates the folly of the Corbyn strategy. On the face of it 34% is not a disaster and as those votes are being taken from the Greens this is actually part of Corbyn’s approach, to try and reach out to those on the left and bring them into the Labour fold. However when broken down the gains come in areas that make little difference, where as where the Tories are making gains are in areas that can actually affect seats, and thus the outcome of the election. a 5% lead is a small swing to Labour nationally but it is not helping them due to where the votes are coming from. They must find a way to take Tory votes especially in the midlands. So after a tough week for David Cameron, he will be relieved by this poll, piggate has not really done him any damage and he is still beating a weak Labour Party.

Com Res poll – A chill wind for Labour


As part of wider Labour leadership polling Communicate Research had produced another Voting Intention poll along with it and the results are sensational. The poll gives David Cameron his biggest poll lead for five years with any pollster leading by 14% on the UK voting intention. The details give the Tories a 15% lead in England. Regionally broken down the poll gives the Tories a 7.5% swing against Labour across both the Midlands and Wales. More dramatically, it also give the Tories an 8.5% swing across the North of England, an area that until now has held up for Labour.

There is very little change in Scotland with the SNP still polling at 49%. The Tory vote edging up is statistically enough to take Berwickshire from the SNP, the averages also give the Tories 3 more seats against the Lib Dems which will be far more difficult to take in reality. The swings across the North, Wales and the Midlands would give the Tories 66 gains from Labour leading to the Tories having 401 seats, a Majority of 152 based on the projection for current boundaries. This would leave Labour a rump of 166 seats, only one more than the Tories had after the 1997 thrashing.


Communicate Research Poll 25/06/2015

Voting Intention – UK Wide Con 42% Lab 28% UKIP 9% LD 8% Green 6%

Voting Intention – Eng only Con 44% Lab 29% UKIP 10% LD 8% Green 6%

Voting Intention – Scot Only SNP 49% Lab 21% Con 17% Green 6% LD 4% UKIP 3%

Seat Projection (Based on regional patterns & Current Boudnaries)

Con 401 Lab 166 LD 5 SNP 55 Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern ireland 18

Conservative Overall Majority 152


There has been talk of the fact the Tories could win a landslide if Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership. Until now that has been theory. Of course polls like this at this point in the cycle have to be treated carefully and it is of course only one poll, but this is the first cold statistical evidence that such talk of a landslide in 5 years time is a very real possibility indeed, based purely on real numbers, not just talk, comment or theories.

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.