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 23, 2011

Council By-elections

There were four this week, with one held on Tuesday. Turnout was relatively good in all the wards except the Walsall one, despite the timing.

Tuesday 19th

Worlingham Ward, Waveney DC. Con hold. Con 708 (45.9%, -7.1), Lab 586 (38%, +4.8), Green 137 (8.9%, -5), UKIP 64 (4.1%, +4.1), LD 48 (3.1%, +3.1). Swing of 6% from Con to Lab since May this year. A good result for Labour in a parliamentary marginal.

Thursday 22nd

Wembley Central Ward, LB Brent. Lab hold. Lab 1402 (48.3%, +4.9), LD 1022 (35.2%, +0.4), Con 349 (12%, -6.3), Green 130 (4.5%, +1.1). Swing of 2.3% from LD to Lab since 2010. This is in Brent North constituency.

Westbourne Ward, Brighton & Hove UA. Con hold. Con 1027 (39.3%, +3.8), Lab 826 (31.6%, +2.1), Green 645 (24.7%, -1.6), LD 45 (1.7%, -5.9), UKIP 36 (1.4%, +1.4), TU + Socialist 20 (0.8%, +0.8), European Citizens 13 (0.5%, -0.6). Swing of 0.9% from Lab to Con since May this year. Main point to note here is the Green bandwagon in Brighton (they run the council) stalling.

Birchills Leamore Ward, Walsall MBC. Lab hold. Lab 835 (52.8%, -2.2), Con 512 (32.4%, -1.2), Eng Dem 130 (8.2%, +8.2), UKIP 59 (3.7%, +3.7), Green 46 (2.9%, +2.9). Swing of 0.5% from Lab to Con since May this year. This ward has returned a Tory councillor as recently as 2008.


Blogger Jim Jepps said...

Not contradicting you here but genuinely interested in how you work out the percentages.

I have 24.5% for the Greens at the previous election in my ad hoc spreadsheet. (which means a tiny, tiny increase this time rather than a drop).

I got that number by adding up the votes for the all the candidates at the last election (where two seats were elected) and getting the Green (and everyone else's) share of that.

In this case 1526 votes of 6222 total cast.. or 24.53%

You must be using a different method, curious as to what it is because yours may be the better way.

11:37 am, December 23, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Green leader on Norfolk CC joins Tories!

1:45 am, December 24, 2011

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Hi Jim

there are 2 methods used by psephologists to calculate vote share in multi-member wards when not all parties run a full slate.

I calculate share based on the highest ranked candidate for each party.

The other often used method is to calculate it based on the average vote for each party's candidates.

Your method would make it look like parties that ran 3 candidates in a 3 member ward were more popular than parties that ran 2 or 1, which isn't the case as voters can cast up to 3 votes.


1:39 pm, December 24, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for that Luke.

I suppose the thing I worry about is that you can have a genuinely popular candidate with a personal vote which distorts the party vote.

For example, if you take Camden's Highgate ward one Green topped the 2010 poll fairly easily and then the three Labour candidates beat the other two greens with many votes to spare.

Your method makes it look like the Greens are more popular than Labour there when the reality is although they are both the top two parties the party vote clearly goes to Labour while the personal vote goes Cllr Maya de Souza (who everyone seems to know and like).

More to the point I suspect all the methods have drawbacks (as you point out) and the key thing is to be aware of them and not blindly follow the numbers.

Thanks again for the clarification. Very helpful.

Jim Jepps

3:30 pm, December 24, 2011


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