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, January 04, 2008

Council by-election results

Two local council by-election results yesterday:

Cambridgeshire County Council, Roman Bank and Peckover Division: Con hold. Con 61.1% (up 1.1%), Lab 25.9% (did not stand in 2005), UKIP 13.1% (did not stand in 2005), Lib Dems did not stand this time despite getting 41% in 2007.

Welwyn Hatfield DC, Welham Green Ward: Con hold. High turnout of 47%. Con 40.7% (down 25.9% from 2006), LD 36.5% (up 17.8%), BNP 16.2% (did not stand in 2006), Lab 6.6% (down 8.1%).

7 Comments:

Anonymous rich said...

As a Labour voter don't these results worry you.

"Cambridgeshire County Council, Roman Bank and Peckover Division: Con hold. Con 61.1% (up 1.1%), Lab 25.9% (did not stand in 2005), UKIP 13.1% (did not stand in 2005), Lib Dems did not stand this time despite getting 41% in 2007.

Welwyn Hatfield DC, Welham Green Ward: Con hold. High turnout of 47%. Con 40.7% (down 25.9% from 2006), LD 36.5% (up 17.8%), BNP 16.2% (did not stand in 2006), Lab 6.6% (down 8.1%)."

In nealy all the polls and by elections Labour are down massively. As my own poll has shown the fringe parties are in some cases over taking Labour and becoming real contenders.

I'm convinced that Labour will come third at the next general election.

12:14 pm, January 04, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

The net change in council by-elections during 2007 was Labour +5 seats, Tories -2 seats, LDs +1 seat.

In the last 3 opinion polls of 2007 Labour gained 4%, 4% and 3%. We spend six months of the year ahead of the Tories - in the middle of our third term.

In December there were 12 by-elections where Labour stood both this time and the last time. The change in the Labour vote was:

Sandwell +12.4%; Castle Point +6.9%; Southwark +6.0%; Hounslow +3.2%; Wokingham +0.8%; Hackney +0.4%; Harrow -0.1%; Brighton & Hove -0.6%; Richmond -1.0%; Reigate -1.9%; Merthyr Tydfil -5.1%; Derbyshire Dales -8.8%

None of this suggests you know very much about opinion polls, by-elections, the state of public opinion or the likely outcome of the next election.

12:46 pm, January 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Luke

Happy New Year.

Local knowledge about the Welwyn result suggests the BNP worked the ward hard. The local Party didn’t, but with their absolute antipathy to anyone outside Welwyn Hatfield, would not have welcomed support from elsewhere so it wasn’t offered. Welham Green used to be lumped in with South Hatfield to create a safe Labour 3-member ward. South Hatfield was lost in May by a handful of votes – again due mainly to Party inactivity. At this rate the Party will be wiped out in the district soon – and there are all out elections in May. Labour could be down to 3 or even 0 seats.

Whatever the polls are showing and I agree with you Luke, Labour's standing is undoubtedly relatively robust at this stage in the British General Electoral cycle. But Labour is about local as well as national delivery.

This local story is not untypical of the challanges facing the Party's Leadership - how to rebuild locally.

4:38 pm, January 04, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I agree Peter, but whereas you think a "command party" is part of the problem I think it is part of the solution.

I want a national and regional party with enough staff that where a CLP is failing to deliver on local campaigning (or its other duties - there are some CLPs where the ruling clique does not want a mass party) we can send in a professional organiser to sideline ineffective officers, recruit a new set of activists and kick start proper campaigning.

6:46 pm, January 04, 2008

 
Anonymous lord london fields lido said...

"I want a national and regional party with enough staff that where a CLP is failing to deliver on local campaigning or its other duties - there are some CLPs where the ruling clique does not want a mass party) we can send in a professional organiser to sideline ineffective officers, recruit a new set of activists and kick start proper campaigning."

Can I suggest Hackney as the first candidate please?

9:27 pm, January 04, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

It already happened about 12 years ago.

7:52 pm, January 05, 2008

 
Anonymous Merseymike said...

But, Luke, you will only get a mass party if people feel that the party is worth joining and that their views are listened to.

So many of us who gave up our party membership, and who were very active, simply aren't convinced enough to think that our views are valued.

The fact is that the party really is moribund in many areas, some of which we hold nationally but now have hardly any local presence.

1:35 am, January 06, 2008

 

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