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Local By-Election Preview: April 3rd 2014

April 3rd, 2014

Blacko and Higherford on Pendle (Conservative defence)
Result of last election to council (2011): Conservatives 18, Labour 16, Liberal Democrats 12, British National Party 2, Independents 1 (No Overall Control, Conservatives short by 7)
Result of ward at last election (2011): Conservative 583 (80%), Labour 148 (20%). Conservative HOLD with a majority of 435 (60%)
Candidates duly nominated: Noel McEvoy (Con), Robert Oliver (Lab), Darren Reynolds (Lib Dem), Mick Waddington (UKIP)

Pendle’s electoral history since 2003 reads like “I’m a Voter, GET ME OUT OF HERE!” for the simple reason that the council seems to change hands so often (at the local, Westminster and European level) it’s akin to being on a roller coaster. Back in 2003, the Liberal Democrats had the upper hand (Lib Dem 23, Lab 15, Con 11) and this was reflected in the 2004 European elections when Pendle voted Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem 27%, Con 20%, Lab 18%, BNP 13%, UKIP 11%). However, this was not reflected at the 2005 general election when Pendle constituency stayed with Labour (Lab 37%, Con 32%, Lib Dem 23%).

Not that this bothered the Liberal Democrats who in 2007 gained overall control of Pendle with a majority of 6 (Lib Dem 27 (+4), Con 14 (+3), Lab 6 (-9), BNP 1 (+1)), however this Liberal Democrat surge was starting to wane as demonstrated in the 2009 European elections when the Conservatives gained the area on a swing of 11% from the Lib Dems (Con 29%, Lab 18%, UKIP 14%, Lib Dem 14%, BNP 12%) and this Conservative surge was proved in the General Election of 2010 when the Conservatives gained the constituency on a swing of 7% (Con 39%, Lab 31%, Lib Dem 20%) and this carried on until 2011 when the Conservatives robbed the Lib Dems of their overall control and became the largest party themselves making 4 gains which coupled with Labour’s 10 gains, the BNP’s gain and an Independent gain meant the Liberal Democrats lost over half their councillors (-15)

I have now completed my work towards the European Elections and as well as doing the local by-election previews in their usual full sense again as well as a preview in the five weeks leading to the European election outlining the battlegrounds for the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP as well as the Greens, Plaid and the SNP.