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, December 16, 2011


Congratulations to my friend Seema Malhotra on winning the Feltham & Heston by-election yesterday. Seema will make a brilliant MP – she is local to the area but a national calibre politician who has worked incredibly hard for the party for many years. Congratulations also to Malcolm Powers who was Campaign Co-ordinator for an extremely well run campaign on a short timetable.

The full results are worth listing:

· Seema Malhotra, Labour - 12,639 (54.42%, +10.79%)

· Mark Bowen, Conservative - 6,436 (27.71%, -6.32%)

· Roger Crouch, Liberal Democrats - 1,364 (5.87%, -7.87%)

· Andrew Charalambous, UKIP - 1,276 (5.49%, +3.45%)

· David Furness, BNP -540 (2.33%, -1.21%)

· Daniel Goldsmith, Green - 426 (1.83%, +0.74%)

· Roger Cooper, English Democrats - 322 (1.39%)

· George Hallam, London People Before Profit - 128 (0.55%)

· David Bishop, Bus-Pass Elvis Party - 93 (0.40%)

This is in a seat which the Tories held from 1983 to 1992 and were hopeful of gaining in 2010.

This swing (8.6% from Con to Lab, 9.3% from LD to Lab) repeated nationally on the current boundaries would see Labour gain exactly 100 seats from the Tories (down as far as the iconic Enfield Southgate) and 15 from the Lib Dems.

With this impressive result coming on top of four previous good by-election holds and over 800 council seats gained in May under Ed Miliband’s leadership, perhaps it is time for Dan Hodges to stop undermining our Leader and get out and do some canvassing for the Party instead. The same goes for anyone else who thinks infighting, plotting or armchair criticism is helpful or acceptable as opposed to a massive boon to our enemies.

There were a number of council by-elections yesterday as well as the Feltham & Heston poll:

Coombe Vale Ward, RB Kingston-on-Thames. 2X Con holds. Con 1340, 1308 (43.8%, +0.8), LD 908, 778 (29.7%, -7.5), Lab 526, 502 (17.2%, +7.3), Green 122, 108 (4%, -3.3), CPA 94, 76 (3.1%, +0.4), UKIP 70 (2.3%, +2.3). Swing of 4.2% from LD to Con since 2010. The substantial increase in the Labour vote share, holding almost exactly 100% of the raw vote we got in 2010 on a General Election day turnout, is indicative of the massive organisational effort going on in previously weak areas of outer London in the run-up to the mayoral election.

Frisby on the Wreake Ward, Melton DC. Ind gain from Con. Ind 212 (38.5%, +38.5), Con 187 (34%, -37), Lab 89 (16.2%, -12.8), Ind 62 (11.3%, +11.3). Swing of 37.8% from Con to Ind since May this year.

Clare and Shuttern Ward, Mid Devon DC. Con hold. Con 385 (63.6%, +4.1), Ind 166 (27.4%, -13.1), UKIP 54 (8.9%, +8.9). Swing of 8.6% from Ind to Con since May this year.

Central Ward, Shetland UA. Ind hold. All candidates were independents, except a Tory who got 4.2%.


Blogger Randal said...

Admittedly they are all quite tiny, but I find it interesting that UKIP in most if not all cases improved their share of the vote - and in some cases actually the vote (F&H) - in the week that the Tories were more eurosceptic than ever. It will be interesting to see who they are picking up their vote from and what Labour's response will be.

10:49 pm, December 16, 2011

Anonymous Alun said...

Did you note that the swing was obviously bigger than Tory spinners were prepared for? Of course they tried anyway; hilarious.

1:30 pm, December 17, 2011

Anonymous Will said...

It's very disappointing that there doesn't seem to have been a Labour candidate in the Devon seat, particularly as Labour has been making gains in that part of the country recently. Even if not, people should have the right to vote Labour if they want - forget candidate contracts, I think there should be a contract that Regional Directors / CLP chairs are required to do everything possible to select candidates for these seats.

4:29 pm, December 17, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but a national calibre politician"

That sort of statement may well indicate what is so wrong with politics in this country.

There are far too many MPs who want to be ministers and that is very unhealthy as they end up voting for things in order to further their career prospects rather than whether something is right or wrong.

2:25 pm, December 19, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have a newsletter about upcoming by-elections? I'd really like to find out how to keep abreast of what elections are coming up. I keep seeming to find out later than my colleagues.

10:54 am, December 20, 2011


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