|Party||Votes Cast||% Votes Cast||Seats Won||Change|
GAINS and LOSSES
Conservative GAINS: Lyth Valley on South Lakeland from Lib Dem
Labour GAINS: Moredon on Swindon from Con, Coleridge on Cambridge from Con, Wednesbury North on Walsall from Con
Plaid Cymru GAINS: Cenarth on Carmarthenshire from Ind
Independent GAINS: Forres on Moray from Con
Today (Friday) is traditionally termed â€œBlack Fridayâ€ across the United States as itâ€™s the day when shops start to turn into profit. For any Liberal Democrats looking at the local by-election results since the coalition was formed, they might be also calling it black but for wholly different reasons.
Since the formation of the coalition, there have been 134 local by-elections across all parts of Britain and the general reaction of the British electorate in these wards is â€œWe donâ€™t like the government!â€. In May, the votes cast across the by-elections was Con 37% Lab 27% Lib Dem 22%, but in November the tally was Lab 33% Con 29% Lib Dem 14% reflecting recent opinion polls that suggest the Liberal Democrats are having their worst post general election performance since the Second World War.
But is this reaction is being felt all over the country? At the general election, the Liberal Democrats polled best in the South West (Con 43% Lib Dem 35% Lab 15%), however in the by-elections held in the South West since the Lib Dems are polling 43% (+8%), the Conservatives 30% (-13%) and Labour are on 19% (+4%). The worst area for the Lib Dems in the election was Scotland (Lab 42% SNP 20% Lib Dems 19% Con 17%) and in the by-elections since the tallies are Lab 35% (-7%) SNP 24% (+4%) Con 16% (-1%) Lib Dems 7% (-12%).
With attention now beginning to focus on next yearâ€™s set of local elections, Labour must be thinking it could be in for one of itâ€™s best nights ever in opposition. So far, there is a 3% swing in these local by-elections to Labour from the Conservatives as well as a 1% swing from the Liberal Democrats to Labour (suggesting that Newcastle and Pendle could fall to Labour from the Liberal Democrats and that the likes of Bolton, Leeds, North Tyneside, Sheffield, Blackburn, Redcar and Stoke could be gained from No Overall Control).