Mixed bag of results may provide pointers to Parliamentary by elections to come
This week saw three by elections with very different scenarios all producing very different results. In East Staffordshire the Conservatives held their seat with a swing to them against Labour outperforming their General election day position in line with current opinion polls. The two by elections in Rotherham also had differing scenarios. The Dinnington ward had UKIP defending a seat against Labour which they lost. The other in the Brimsworth & Catcliffe ward was a Labour defence with UKIP in a distant second place last time. However in the same vain as we saw in a seat in Sunderland a few weeks ago, the Liberal Democrats came through from nowhere to take this seat on a huge swing
Looking ahead these trends may give some pointers to the upcoming Parliamentary by elections in Copeland and Stoke On Trent. Regarding Copeland, The result in East Staffordshire is another example of where it is a Tory verses Labour battle, in most cases the Tories have been winning. This may bode well for a Tory gain in Copeland. As for Stoke, good and bad news for Labour, clearly UKIP are struggling to make an impact which if this trend continues, suggests a UKIP gain in Stoke is unlikely, however, where Labour have the seat but UKIP are second, these are the conditions for the Liberal Democrats to take advantage. On a higher Parliamentary by election turnout this may not prove to be the case, but the warning is definitely there from both Rotherham and Sunderland before it. As ever all the caveats in translating lower turnout local contests with parliamentary by elections apply.
The current projected national share sees the Conservative lead over Labour currently 7.4% with the Lib Dems closing into just 4.2% behind Labour for second place as a result of their huge win. All the current numbers can be found here. This weeks by election numbers are below.