A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, September 21, 2007

By-election results

Last week saw 3 Labour gains, 2 from Con, 1 from LD in council by-elections.

Last night saw a continuation of the same trend:

Nuneaton and Bedworth, Abbey Ward - Labour gain from LDs, removing the final LD seat from the council

Birmingham, Brandwood Ward - Labour gain from Tories with a 300 majority (Tom Watson is quoting this as a 6.6% swing)

Worcester, St Clements Ward - Tory seat with 470 majority gained by Labour with 126 majority, Tories lose overall control of council

Pembrokeshire CC, Pembroke St Michaels Ward - result awaited

Wigan MBA, Wigan West Ward - result awaited

Copeland BC, Harbour Ward - Labour hold

Southend On Sea UA, Shoeburyness Ward - Independent gain from Tory

so the scores on the doors so far are:

Labour - 3 gains, 2 from Con, 1 from LD, and 1 hold, all in relatively marginal areas
Tories - 3 losses, 2 to Lab, 1 to Ind, no holds

Any bets on an October election?


Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Yes, if Gordon Brown wants to lead a smaller party wavering between second and third largest in local government, out in Scotland, clinging on in London through the Mayor, bedded with the nationalists in Wales - October would be a good time for an election. But, hey at least it keeps the majority of the PLP in line for better pensions, while the Leadership prepare for Belgian style negotiations in smoke-free rooms about who will form a government .............

10:21 am, September 21, 2007

Blogger Hughes Views said...

Why take the risk, what's going to happen between now and June 2009 (or even, in extremis, May 2010) to make our position worse or the Tories' better?

But perhaps better now, when GB can still claim he needs a proper mandate, than in Spring 2008 when it'll look like 'cut and run' (© Michael Foot 1983) before some bad news....

10:34 am, September 21, 2007

Blogger David Boothroyd said...

It's being so cheerful as keeps Peter Kenyon going.

11:03 am, September 21, 2007

Anonymous Andrea said...

Wigan is a Lab hold. Labour a bit down compared to last time...but it may have to do with the causes of the byelection (the sitting councillor resigned after being arrested in a "porn investigation")

11:24 am, September 21, 2007

Anonymous GW said...

Caerphilly CBC Moriah Ward (Lower Rhymney & Abertysswg)

E Jones (IND) 230
R Pugh (LAB) 638

Labour Hold T/O circa 30%

12:09 pm, September 21, 2007

Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear David Boothroyd

Right on.

You should be lurking here:


for the latest tummy-tickler.

12:21 pm, September 21, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pembrokeshire CC, Pembroke St Michaels Ward - result awaited"

this one is Con gain from LD

12:56 pm, September 21, 2007

Anonymous jdc said...

"Why take the risk, what's going to happen between now and June 2009 (or even, in extremis, May 2010) to make our position worse or the Tories' better?"

A tight Comprehensive Spending Review and a wobbly global economy?

5:55 pm, September 21, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its the fortnightly election fever, I wonder how many constituencies are actually ready? Does the party have central literature ready to go? It would be difficult to fight an election without all the infastructure in place (e.g. new IT system for voter ID) but if the polls are good now, with no guarantee they will be next year - the overall standing of the party might justify an October election - although I would prefer not.

Paul Smith

8:45 am, September 22, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


I disagree. I don't think a new IT system would win or lose an election, it just makes campaigning easier.

As an Agent in 1997, the timing of the election caught the Party's register downloading process on the hop and non-key seats could not use Elpack for the start of the campaign.

It was a problem but not an unresolvable one - we just went back to canvassing from good old-fashioned cut and pasted paper electoral registers for a few days.

I don't think tactical local organisational preparedness should be a matter of material consideration for Gordon when calling an election. When it's important enough, people will always find a way to muddle through at an tactical level. The strategic national position should determine the timing.

6:23 pm, September 23, 2007

Blogger Dave Brinson said...

Luke- I don't doubt the organisational truth of your last comment, but would certainly question whether constituences are financially prepared for a snap election. The wide anticipation of an election in the spring will provide momentum for a round of serious fundraising, but an October election would require a lot of CLPs (not just the third-placers like mine either !) to divert campaigning time into a round of serious cheque-book chasing !

12:49 am, September 24, 2007


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