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Local By-Election Preview : June 12th 2014

June 12th, 2014

Now, I know there is the small matter of a massive football competition happening in Brazil over the next few weeks which will (according to Bloomberg television) attract some $5 billion worth of bets during the competition, but let’s not forget that with the Liberal Democrats on 6% of the vote in some polls and UKIP’s leader declaring over £200,000 worth of gifts in the last ten years, British politics and it’s elections will still carry on regardless so with that in mind

Sleaford, Quarrington and Mareham (Ind Defence) and Sleaford, Westholme (Ind Defence) on North Kesteven
Result of council at last election (2011): Conservatives 27, Independents 13, Liberal Democrats 3 (Conservative overall majority of 11)
Result of ward at last election (2011) : Emboldened denotes elected

Sleaford, Quarrington and Mareham
Conservatives 1,014, 863, 813
Independents 941, 698
Lincolnshire Independent 611
Candidates duly nominated: Nigel Gresham (Ind), Mark Suffield (Lincs Ind), Garry Titmus (Con)

Sleaford, Westholme
Independent 581 (79%)
Conservatives 150 (21%)
Independent majority of 431 (58%)
Candidates duly nominated: Steve Fields (Lincs Ind), Robert Greetham (Lab), Andrew Rayner (Con)

North Kesteven (the area of Lincolnshire around Lincoln itself) has often been seen as a place where party politics doesn’t really come into it all that much. In 2003, the council was hung with the Conservatives three short of an overall majority with 18 councillors, there were 13 Independents, five Liberal Democrats and four Labour, however as time went on the people of North Kevesten began to think that maybe parties were such a good idea and in 2007, Labour were wiped out, the Liberal Democrats lost one whilst the Conservatives gained control with a majority of seven, the Independents made a gain. The same thing happened in 2011, the Lib Dems lost another seat, as did the Independents with them both going to the Conservative but hardly breaking the Independent block in an area that at Westminster is a foregone Conservative conclusion. And then there’s the Lincolnshire Independents who managed to win 8 seats on the county council last year so don’t count them out either.

Collington on Rother (Ind Defence)
Result of council at last election (2011): Conservatives 27, Liberal Democrats 5, Independents 4, Labour 2 (Conservative overall majority of 16)
Result of ward at last election (2011) : Emboldened denotes elected
Independents 1,096, 1,034
Conservatives 871, 819
Labour 239
Candidates duly nominated: Alan Bearne (Lab), Phillip Moore (UKIP), Douglas Oliver (Ind), Gillian Wheeler (Con)

Rother is one of the most solid Conservative parts of the South East of England and as the major part of the Bexhill and Battle parliamentary constituency (Con 52%, Lib Dem 28%, Lab 12%, Ind 5%, BNP 4%) you can see why the Conservatives can be confident of racking up a healthy majority on the council. Which makes what happened at the European Elections in Rother even more odd. UKIP polled 39% of the vote (+16% on the 2009 result) with the Conservatives on 31% (-3%), and Labour a distant third on 11% (+5%). So you have to imagine that it’s advantage UKIP (especially as they are fielding a candidate for the first time ever).