Why aren't the Tories doing better in local by-elections?
Last night Labour gained a council seat in Hyndburn, a Tory parliamentary seat in the '80s and part of an electorally very important belt of heavily owner-occupied seats on either side of the Pennines.
On www.vote-2006.co.uk someone has commented:
" Since 1st Jan 2006 the Conservatives have only gained 4 seats from Labour in council by-elections:
9.3.06 South Kesteven, Market and West Deeping (Con unopposed)
4.5.06 Suffolk, Pakefield (Con majority 241 over Lab)
18.5.06 Wyre, Park (Con majority 104 over Lab)
25.5.06 North Kesteven, Branston and Mere (Con majority 130 over Ind, Lab to 3rd)
The three contested losses for Labour all happened in the aftermath of the Home Office prisoner scandal.In the same period, Labour have gained 3 seats from the Conservatives:
16.3.06 Dacorum, Warners End (Lab majority 113 over Con)
5.10.06 Ellesmere Port and Neston, Little Neston (Lab majority 34 over Con)
2.11.06 Hyndburn, Rishton (Lab majority 266 over Con)"
Is the Cameron effect actually making any difference on the ground?