Bumper lot of council by-election results last night. A rather better set of results for Labour than we have been seeing recently.
Hampstead Town Ward, LB Camden. LD gain from Con. LD 1242 (44.1%, +11.5), Con 1114 (39.6%, -6.9), Lab 289 (10.3%, -1), Green 140 (5%, -3.3), BNP 29 (1%, +1). Swing of 9.2% from Con to LD since 2006. This is partly explained by the loss of Tory Councillor Mike Greene's personal vote, but may destabilise the Con/LD coalition running Camden as the Tories may wonder what electoral benefit they are deriving from it, having lost Highgate Ward to the Greens on 1 May. This result is also significant in terms of it being in Glenda Jackson's 3-way marginal parliamentary seat.
Chalfont St Giles Ward, Chiltern DC. Con hold. Con 927 (68.1%, +0.6), Lib Dem 434 (31.9%, -0.6). Swing of 0.6% from LD to Con since 2007.
Plumstead Ward, LB Greenwich. Lab hold. Lab 1318 (59.1%, +12.4), Con 542 (24.3%, +1.5), LD 195 (8.7%, -10.6), Green 175 (7.8%, +7.8). Swing of 5.5% from Con to Lab since 2006.
Pin Green Ward, Stevenage BC. Lab hold. Lab 716 (54.4%, +6.8), Con 321 (24.4%, -5.1), LD 112 (8.5%, -2.9), UKIP 85 (6.5%, +6.5), Free England 81 (6.2%, -5.4). Swing of 6% from Con to Lab since May this year - in a key parliamentary marginal.
Minster Cliffs Ward, Swale BC. Con gain from Sheppey First. Con 549 (48%, +1.4), Sheppey First 328 (28.7%, +28.7), Lab 204 (17.8%, +1.8), LD 63 (5.5%, -25.9). Swing of 13.7% from Con to Sheppey First since May 2008. The politics on Sheppey are confusing as Sheppey First and the Lib Dems are in an alliance.
Sheerness E Ward, Swale BC. Lab gain from Sheppey First. Lab 326 (38.4%, +6.6), LD 177 (20.9%, +10), Con 173 (20.4%, -1.8), Sheppey First 171 (20.2%, -14.9). Swing of 1.7% from Lab to LD since 2007, but a good increase in the Labour vote in one of the better bits of knife-edge parliamentary marginal Sittingbourne & Sheppey.
Alfriston Ward, Wealden DC. LD gain from Con. LD 495 (51.6%, +20.2), Con 465 (48.4%, -20.2). Swing of 20.2% from Con to LD since 2007.
Colden Common and Twyford, Winchester City Council. LD hold. LD 1108 (52.6%, -0.4), Con 935 (44.4%, -0.2), Lab 64 (3%, +0.6). Swing of 0.1% from LD to Con since this May.
Comments on http://www.vote-2007.co.uk/
discussion forum are interesting:
Mark Senior (a Tory): "A good set of results for LibDems this week in their important target areas , not bad results for Labour and poor for Conservatives"
Simon Cooke (a Tory): "these were a pretty poor set of results for the Conservatives (other than on the sainted isle of Sheppey of course). We are not converting a national poll lead into success in by-elections as we should and I suspect this is about effective campaigning on the ground - the party seems to have forgotten (other than on Sheppey it seems) some simple facts about campaigning, one of which is to actually do some. And shoving out a leaflet or two doesn't qualify."
Lib Dem Peer Lord Greaves: "This is a batch of quite extraordinary results (even apart from the eccentricities of Sheppey). They are, taken as a whole, very bad for the Tories. The kind of batch of results we used to get and have not seen for a very long time.They are odd, eccentric, bizarre, not in accordance with the world as it is has come to be seen as real. We should all be pinching ourselves.Whether they mean anything outside each of these particular places will be seen in the next week or two. But the LDs did gain a seat from the Tories in Suffolk last week which means three in two weeks.What they do mean, at the very least, is that there is still no automatic and unstoppable Tory tide flowing through the land. Whatever the opinion polls say."
HF (a Tory): "Yes they were a poor set of results for the Conservatives. They may however do some good in shaking up the idleness and complacency that some Conservative Associations seem to have fallen into due to the national polls. Winchester was very bad"