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Local By-Election Preview : August 14th 2014

August 14th, 2014

South Normanton East on Bolsover (Lab Defence)
Result of last election to council (2011): Labour 32, Independents 4, Green 1 (Labour majority of 27)
Result of last election in ward (2011): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 647, 597
Conservative 248, 228
British National Party 176
Candidates duly nominated: Tracey Cannon (Lab), Robert Sainsbury (Con)

Bolsover is one of those places that if it wasn’t for characters like Dennis Skinner MP (the so called “Beast of Bolsover”) wouldn’t really generate any interest at all. As an example of how strong a Labour area it is, back in 2003 Labour’s 31 councillors were only opposed by an Independent group of 6 which in 2007 gained three new members (in the form of two Resident’s Association councillors and a Respect councillor) before returning to the normal mode of operations in 2011 with Labour winning both Residents’ seats and the Respect seat and three Independents as well (and seeing as how this is a straight forward Con / Lab fight, expect the Conservative vote to barely breach three figures)

Knight’s Hill on Lambeth (Lab Defence)
Result of last election to council (2014): Labour 59, Conservatives 3, Green 1 (Labour majority of 63)
Result of last election in ward (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 2,182, 2,169, 1,911
Conservatives 468, 442, 382
Greens 457, 388, 365
Liberal Democrats 256, 238, 202
United Kingdom Independence Party 249
Candidates duly nominated: Nelly Amos (Non Party Independent), Robert Hardware (Lib Dem), Christopher Hocknell (Green), Robin Lambert (UKIP), Heidi Nicholson (Con), Sonia Winifred (Lab)

When the Duchess of Deane (in the musical “Me and My Girl”) hears that the new Lord Hareford hails from this part of the capital, her expression is one of sheer distain and back in the 1920′s Lambeth was the sort of area that was best avoided, but nearly 95 years later things have changed (and Lambeth council has been through some interesting changes as well). The current Lambeth was created in the 1964 local elections and those first elections saw Labour romp home (Lab 42, Con 18). But that didn’t last as in 1968, as part of the massive Conservative swing that happened across the capital (that rated as 17% in Lambeth itself), the Conservatives gained control with a majority of 54 (and saw the election of a certain Cllr. Major). That Conservative rampage didn’t last long either as in 1971, Labour regained control (on a 24% swing to Lab) with a majority of 42 and thankfully retained a majority at every election until 1982 when thanks to the arrival of the Alliance (who won five seats) the council had a tie between Labour (32) and the Opposition (32) so as you can imagine Labour were determined to win the council back in 1986 and so Cllr. Ted Knight (the Labour leader) had a brilliant wheeze. In 1985, administration was subjected to ‘rate-capping’ with its budget restricted by the Government. Knight and most of the Labour councillors protested by refusing to set any budget. This protest resulted in 32 councillors being ordered to repay to the council the interest the council had lost as a result of budgeting delays, and also being disqualified from office but that did not stop them standing for election (in spite of the fact that Labour had nominated 32 replacements for them) so there were questions asked about “Which Labour is standing for election?”. The final result proved it was the old version of Labour as they won 40 seats (and an overall majority) on a swing of 8.5% from Con to Lab. By 1990 things had resolved themselves but by 1994, the Liberal Democrats were now in the frame as they managed to knock Labour out of control (gaining 20 seats) but also came within a whisker of winning the most votes. Sadly for the Lib Dems, this was just a one hit wonder as in 1998 things returned to normal (until 2002 when the Lib Dems did it again) and again in 2006 Labour regained control and they have been in charge ever since.