|January council by elections||Votes Cast||% Votes Cast||Seats Won||Change|
Are there any pointers to May’s big elections?
And so starts a new year of local by-elections, and for the first time since July 2010, the Conservatives polled the most votes.
But despite this, they made two losses (Camborne North to Labour and Marl to the Liberal Democrats.) With this year being the “big electoral test” with almost 300 councils up for election, Labour will be looking to see if they can build on their gains in 2010.
When looking at the seats last contested in 2007, it is the Conservatives who are top of the pile (Con 33% Lab 23% Lib Dem 23%) suggesting a modest 2% swing to Labour from the Conservatives, a similar swing from the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats and no swing at all from the Liberal Democrats to Labour.
Although this would make May 5th a very good night for Labour it is not quite as promising as was initially hoped. I am still convinced that Labour will gain several NOC councils (including Bolton, Wolverhampton, North Tyneside, Leeds, Sheffield, Blackburn with Darwen, Warrington, Redcar and Cleveland, Thurrock, Stoke-on-Trent, Lincoln, Ipswich, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Norwich, Hyndburn, Worcester and Preston).
But Labour might find it a bit of a challenge to hit councils that the Conservatives have gained over the years (such as South Derbyshire, North Warwickshire, Bassetlaw, Great Yarmouth and West Lancashire).