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.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Council by-elections

Three tonight including a stunning Labour gain on finely balanced Bassetlaw District Council, where the Tories now only have one more seat than Labour:

Worksop NE Ward, Bassetlaw DC. Lab gain from Con. Lab 1198 (74%, +9.9), Con 317 (19.6%, -16.3), Ind 75 (4.6%, +4.6), LD 28 (1.7%, +1.7). Swing of 13.1% from Con to Lab since 2010.

Romney Marsh Division, Kent CC. Con hold. Con 2222 (54.1%, +7.6), Lab 748 (18.2%, +11.5), LD 479 (11.7%, -1.3), UKIP 420 (10.2%, -13.3), Ind 238 (5.8%, -4.4). Swing of 2% from Con to Lab since 2009. Labour move from 4th to 2nd place.

Lydd Ward, Shepway DC. Con hold. Con 591 (49.3%, -0.8), Lab 247 (20.6%, +20.6), LD 184 (15.4%, -7.6), Ind 177 (14.8%, -12.1). Swing 10.7% from Con to Lab since 2007. A good example of Labour getting a respectable vote in a seat we failed to contest last time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tories are doing better in Lib Dem/Tory marginals than the Lib Dems BUT overall the support for the coalition parties in these seats is falling and Labour does appear to be making a better attempt at contesting seats in the South and West, where it’s support in the past has been pitiful. For instance:

There have been 9 local by-elections in the South and West in January/February 2011 and Labour’s share of the vote has increased in all of them:

Windsor & Maidenhead + 11.0%
Norfolk CC Humbleyard +11.4%
Cornwall Cambourne North +22.4% (Labour gained the seat from the Tories)
Kent CC Tonbridge +11.9%
Winchester +5.1%
Gloucestershire CC Rodborough +19.4% (Labour gained the seat from the Tories)
Stroud Amberley +10.8%
Kent CC Romney Marsh +11.5%
Shepway Lydd +20.6% (Labour did not contest previous election)

Average increase in Labour’s share vote of vote in these by-elections = 13.1%.

Latest YouGov poll increase in Labour’s share vote of vote 44% - 29.7% = 14.3%.

10:16 am, February 11, 2011

Blogger Baz said...


I think that you need to clarify your Bassetlaw history. Your percentage changes don't add up - a 9.9% increase to 74% wouldnt be a gain! In 2008 (this byelection was to replace the councillor elected then) the Tories won by 53.2% to 46.8% (source: Wikipedia), in 2010 Labour won by 35.9% to 64.1% (source: Bassetlaw DC) and in 2007 Labour won by 52.6% to 47.4% (source: Wikipedia) - all 2-way fights. Still a good result, though.

11:24 am, February 11, 2011

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Hi Baz.

The seat we gained in Bassetlaw had been held by a Tory councillor elected in 2008.

The other 2 seats in the ward went Labour in 2007 and 2010.

The change in share swing is since the ward was last contested in 2010, not since the 2008 contest (the swing since then is far higher).

I use the same format in reporting all by-elections: change in party holding is based on the party of the councillor dying or resigning, at the point they were elected; change in share and swing is based on the most recent contest in the ward even if it wasn't the one when the cllr dying or resigning was elected.

11:33 am, February 11, 2011

Blogger Baz said...

The Shepway result is VERY encouraging - Labour barely managed 1000 votes ACROSS THE DISTRICT in 2007!

6:30 pm, February 11, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bassetlaw result maens that the Tories have lost control of the council.

New Council - Tories 23 Labour 22 Independents 3

They were relying on the casting vote of the council chair.

9:30 pm, February 11, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...


There was another good result for Labour in Wales in a Town Council by-election last Thursday:

Dyfan Ward, Barry Town Council in The Vale of Glamorgan. Lab gain from Con. Lab 565 (44.1%, +6.8%), Con 321 (25.1%, -22.4%), Ind 244 (19.0%, +19.0%), Plaid (151, -3.5%). Swing of 14.6% from Con to Lab since 2008.

8:12 am, February 12, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whilst admiring your enthusiasm and desire to herald the good news, I fail to see how in Romney Marsh, where the Conservative share of the vote increased, there can be a swing from Con to Lab. Surely the swing is from those parties who share went down.

9:27 am, February 12, 2011

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Hi Anon 9.27

Swing is the average of the change in vote share of the first and second placed parties. When both these parties increase their share you subtract the smaller change from the larger change and divide by 2 to calculate it. There was a swing to Labour in these case because our vote share went up by more than the Tories', i.e. our position relative to them improved.

6:48 pm, February 12, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Tonight's YouGov Poll for tomorrow's Sunday Times:

Lab 45%
Con 35%
Lib 9%
Oth 11%

Please show this on your blog because I bet you'll have a hard time finding it in tomorrow's Sunday Times!

10:54 pm, February 12, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

surging back in Kent

well done Comrades

Keep the Red Flag Flying

Country Standardor Peace & Socialism in the Countryside

3:56 pm, February 13, 2011


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