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, October 26, 2007

Council By-elections

Last night's council by-election results seem to be in line with the opinion polls - very tightly competitive between Labour and Tory:

Cumbria, Penrith E division - LD hold

Great Yarmouth, Nelson Ward - Lab hold by 70 votes over an Independent who the Tories stood aside for

Harlow, Todbrook Ward - Con gain from Lab by 15 votes (with Respect unhelpfully taking 102 votes) compared to a Lab majority of 24 in May

Harlow, Little Parndon & Hare Street Ward - Lab hold by 196 votes over Con (up from majority of 184 in May) - the Tories had hoped to gain this ward as well as Todbrook

North Devon, Witheridge Ward - Con hold

Penwith, Gwinear Ward - Con hold

Sefton, Manor Ward - Con gain from Lab (adding to the other 2 seats in the ward they had already picked up)

Wrexham, Stanstey Ward - Lab gain from LD, overturning majority of 231

Waltham Abbey TC - Honey Lane Ward - Tories narrowly hold off BNP by 18 votes


Anonymous Andrea said...

"Lab hold by 70 votes over an Independent who the Tories stood aside for"

The Indy was the son of the deceased Labour councillor.

I think Sefton Central is left without Labour councillors and it's a 10%+ majority seat...is it just a seat with lots of marginal wards (and so when the tide turns against you, you lose everything) or is the CLP a bit ineffective?

9:47 pm, October 26, 2007

Blogger Merseymike said...

Sefton Central...hmmmm

Well, I live in a ward which has recently been removed from the constituency.

The last three weeks has seen the local rag full of stories about a former councillor for Manor ward up before the court for benefit fraud.

But Labour have rarely held any local council wards there. Manor, yes, but even that ward has its strong Tory areas. The two Formby wards, always Tory except two isolated Labour wins. The three Maghull/Aintree wards, LD, and Blundellsands, Tory.

Merseyside often votes differently in national and local elections, but these boundary proposals came from the local Tories, even though they split Crosby in two and there was a much less disruptive alternative available (moving Maghull/Aintree into Bootle and leaving Crosby intact)

On the face of it, though, local results would never give any sort of Labour lead, ever!

11:09 pm, October 26, 2007

Anonymous Andrea said...

Thanks Merseymike.
Do you think that in the long term can Labour weak presence at local level make things more difficult for Labour or not neccesserly?

10:20 am, October 27, 2007

Anonymous lord london fields lido said...

Not holding the council is usually a bonus in a marginal, but the impact of byelections is very hard to work out, and seems to depend more on local circumstances. The reasons for the byelections are often more important. This Sefton seat is a case in point, as you explained.

Although this was a bad night for Mr Akehurst's lot, I don't feel you can read an awful lot into it. It's when the Tories and Liberals start winning from third like Labour were doing in the mid nineties that you lot will need to panic.

It is intersting though, that Luke's analysis fails to point out that the Lib Dems increased their majority by nearly 14% in Penrith, and Labour failed to field a candidate, and that the Penwith one was only a Con hold as the Lib Dems didn't bother fielding a candidate as the seat is up again in May.

4:50 pm, October 27, 2007

Blogger Merseymike said...

Andrea: Merseyside has odd voting patterns and there are seats where on the face of it, Labour are nowhere , but seem to win nationally. Wirral West, the old Crosby seat, and Liverpool Wavertree the obvious examples

Personally, I don't think Sefton Central is winnable for Labour. The more Labour half of Crosby has gone into Bootle, the other Labour bit was in Manor Ward.

1:00 am, October 28, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Lord London Fields Lido,

I tend not to pass much comment on the Penriths and Penwiths as the interesting ones are the ones which are Lab vs Con fights in marginal parliamentary seats. This week those were the 2 Harlow ones - which were a score draw in the second most marginal seat in the country, and the Sefton one, which was a poor result but other commenters have explained the local circumstances.

11:41 pm, October 28, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Sorry should have added that Great Yarmouth is also a marginal parliamentary seat.

7:40 am, October 29, 2007

Anonymous Andrea said...

"that Great Yarmouth is also a marginal parliamentary seat."

considering the ward was in a marginal, would have not been better for the Tories to stand and using the occasion to raise their profile in the ward (all wards count in marginals at the end even those where you lose) rather than backing the Indy?
I suppose their logic to back the Indy was hoping in his victory to embarass Labour

8:56 am, October 29, 2007


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