Local By-Election Preview : October 24th 2013

Local By-Election Preview : October 24th 2013

Loughborough, Hastings on Charnwood (Lab Defence) and Shepshed West (Con Defence)
Last Local Election (2011): Con 33, Lab 16, BNP 1, Lib Dem 1, Ind 1 (Con overall majority of 14)
Loughborough, Hastings
Result of last election (2011): (emboldened denotes elected)
Labour 1,163, 1,104
Conservative 612, 492
Candidates duly nominated: Simon Atkins (Lib Dem), Sarah Maynard Smith (Lab), Andy McWilliam (UKIP), Judith Spence (Con), Kevan Stafford (British Democrats, Stop Immigration, Leave EU)

Shepshed West
Result of last election (2011): (emboldened denotes elected)
Conservative 1,000, 960
Labour 934, 801
Liberal Democrat 481, 396
Candidates duly nominated: Diane Horn (Lib Dem), Jane Lennie (Lab), Joan Tassell (Con)

For details about Charnwood council, please see the article published on September 5th 2013

Waterloo on Havant (Con Defence)
Result of last election (2012): Con 34, Lab 3, Lib Dem 1 (Con overall majority of 30)
Last results in ward in past electoral cycle
2010: Con 2,922 (56%), Lib Dem 1,646 (31%), Lab 466 (9%), Green 205 (4%)
2011: Con 2,216 (77%), Lib Dem 400 (14%), Green 259 (9%)
2012: Con 1,334 (60%), Lab 524 (24%), Lib Dem 356 (16%)
Candidates duly nominated: Anthony Berry (Lab), David Crichton (Lib Dem), Gary Kerrin (UKIP), Peter Wade (Con)

The one thing that Havant hasn’t got (despite all the things that a southern coastal constituency and town should have) is that strong an opposition. Even in 2003 (when the opposition was at it’s strongest) they could only muster 15 councillors compared to the Conservative’s 23 councillors, so now with a Conservative majority of 30 (84% of the council’s seats) you can see why UKIP must certainly fancy their chances having never contested this ward before.

Bovey on Teignbridge (Ind Defence)
Result of last election (2011): Con 26, Lib Dem 13, Ind 7 (Con overall majority of 6)
Result of ward at last election: (emboldened denotes elected)
Conservative 1,682, 1,493, 1,452
Liberal Democrats 1,131, 897, 843
Independent 483
Green 348
Labour 330, 303, 298
United Kingdom Independence Party 300
* Independent defence by virtue of Conservative winner in 2011 defecting to Independent grouping
Candidates duly nominated: Avril Kerswell (Con), Bruce Meechan (UKIP), Lisa Robillard-Webb (Lab), Charlie West (Lib Dem)

The electors of Teignbridge may be forgiven for some confusion over the years. In 2003, the Independents, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives were virtually neck and neck (Ind 16, Lib Dem 16, Con 14). In 2007 as part of David Cameron’s attempts to get Independents to vote for him the Conservatives managed to make five gains, however the Liberal Democrats had clearly come up with the same idea and also made five gains with the Independents losing ten and placing the council in a more usual leader, opposition, third grouping situation (Lib Dem 21, Con 19, Ind 6). However, as the effects of the Coalition rippled through the country the Conservatives turned on their Coalition allies and pinched six seats off them with the seventh going to the Independents). However, if there is one thing that can happen it that, sometimes, older members of a grouping may not agree with what the newer members of the group do and this has clearly happened in Bovey so that although the seat is technically an Independent defence, because it was a defecting Conservative I rather think that most experts will class it as either a Con HOLD or a (party) GAIN from Con.

Winstanley on Wigan (Lab Defence)
Result of last election (2012): Lab 63, Ind 9, Con 2, Lib Dem 1 (Lab overall majority of 51)
Result in ward over past electoral cycle
2010: Lab 2,465 (44%), Ind 1,279 (23%), Con 852 (15%), Community Action 433 (8%), BNP 376 (7%), UKIP 261 (5%)
2011: Lab 1,509 (48%), Ind 1,066 (34%), Con 552 (18%)
2012: Lab 1,216 (49%), Community Action 798 (32%), Green 237 (10%), Con 234 (9%)
Candidates duly nominated: Stan Barnes (Community Action), David Bowker (Ind), Andrew Collinson (UKIP), Steven Heyes (Green), Marie Morgan (Lab), John Skipworth (Lib Dem), Michael Winstanley (Con)

If Teignbridge is an example of electoral uncertainty, then with Wigan you know precisely what you get. Labour win every single time. That is except when small parties who are based on communities start to make a stand and in 2004 and 2008 that is precisely what happened when Labour’s majority crashed to single digits. So with it clear that Lab will control the council after this by-election and the closeness of the Community Action party will the voters of Winstanley flock to that party?

Upton on Wirral (Lab Defence)
Result of last election (2012): Lab 37, Con 22, Lib Dem 7 (Lab overall majority of 8)
Result in ward over past electoral cycle
2010: Lab 3,827 (50%), Con 2,143 (28%), Lib Dem 1,370 (18%), Green 286 (4%)
2011: Lab 2,850 (62%), Con 1,495 (33%), Lib Dem 226 (5%)
2012: Lab 2,504 (60%), Con 948 (23%), UKIP 381 (9%), Green 205 (5%), Lib Dem 164 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: Alan Davies (Lib Dem), Geoffrey Gubb (Con), Jim McGinley (Green), Matthew Patrick (Lab)

Wirral has, until quite recently, been a very equitable council. Between 2003 and 2008 all of the parties on the council were within inches of each other (the closest result coming in 2008 when the Conservatives won 24 councillors, Labour 21, the Liberal Democrats 20 and an Independent), however since then the Liberal Democrats have been slowly picked off by Labour and at the last elections Labour were able to gain control of the council for the first time since 2003 and therefore will be loathed to lose a ward that they won handsomely in 2012.

North Walsham East on Norfolk (Lib Dem defence)
Result of last election (2013): Con 40, UKIP 15, Lab 14, Lib Dem 10, Green 4, Ind 1 (No Overall Control, Con short by 2)
Result in ward at last election (2013): Lib Dem 1,068 (35%), UKIP 705 (23%), Lab 645 (21%), Con 500 (16%), Green 124 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: Stephen Burke (Lab), Lynette Comber (UKIP), Graham Jones (Ind), Paul Oakes (Green), Rhodri Oliver (Con), Eric Seward (Lib Dem)

Norfolk has been, when you consider how Conservative it has been in the past, always a slight disappointment for Labour. It’s best performance in the county elections came in 1997 when they won 34 councillors (at the same time as winning Norwich North, Norwich South, Norfolk North West and Great Yarmouth) but since then things have been unravelling slightly for them and the main people to blame have been the Liberal Democrats. In 1997, Labour had a lead of 21 councillors over the Liberal Democrats, by 2009 however that lead had turned into a deficit of 10 (thanks to a massive 19 Labour losses in those elections) so to make 11 gains could be seen as being quite respectable, if it wasn’t for the fact that UKIP made 14 gains. Will Labour be able to continue their increase or will UKIP once again prove that in an eastern county such as Norfolk, they have the capability of ruling the roost.

Warnham and Rusper on West Sussex (Con Defence)
Result of last election (2013): Con 46, UKIP 10, Lib Dem 8, Lab 6, Ind 1 (Con overall majority of 21)
Result of last election in ward (2013): Con 1,228 (55%), UKIP 673 (30%), Lib Dem 331 (15%)
Candidates duly nominated: Darrin Green (Green), Carol Hayton (Lab), Liz Kitchen (Con), Tony Millson (Lib Dem), Geoff Stevens (UKIP)

West Sussex has been a right old switcheroo council if ever there was one. In 1989, it was a rock solid Conservative bastion of a council (Con 45, Lab 17, Lib Dem 9) but in 1993 all the electoral certainties went out of the window. Nineteen Con losses with seventeen going to the Lib Dems and one each to Lab and Ind, saw the council swing from a Con majority of 19 to hung with the Lib Dems short by 2 of an overall majority. That situation was soon rectified in 1997 as the Conservatives recovered nine of their losses and retook control of the council. Things stayed pretty much the same until 2013 when UKIP stormed onto the scene gaining ten seats from a standing start with the Liberal Democrats being the main victims. Will that trend continue at this by-election or will fracking come back to make it’s own impact on the electoral state of the county?

Dunfermline South on Fife (Lab Defence)
Result of last election (2012): Lab 35, SNP 26, Lib Dem 10, Ind 4, Con 3 (No Overall Control, Lab short by 5)
Result of ward at last election (2012): (Emboldened denotes elected)
Labour 1,271, 1,194(43%)
SNP 1,012, 528 (27%)
Lib Dem 1,190 (21%)
Con 370 (6%)
Green 206 (3%)
Candidates duly nominated: Helen Cannon-Todd (SNP), Angela Dixon (Green), Robin Munro (Lib Dem), Billy Pollock (Lab), Judith Rideout (UKIP), David Ross (Con)

Hamilton South on South Lanarkshire (SNP Defence)
Result of last election (2012): Lab 33, SNP 28, Con 3, Ind 2, Lib Dem 1 (No Overall Control, Lab short by 1)
Result of ward at last election (2012): (Emboldened denotes elected)
Labour 1,975, 800 (51%)
SNP 1,255, 502 (33%)
Con 496 (9%)
Pensioners 199 (4%)
Christian Party 165 (3%)
Candidates duly nominated: Stuart Gallacher (Lab), Lyne Nailon (Con), Josh Richardson (UKIP), Craig Smith (Christian Party), Josh Wilson (SNP)

For more details on these elections, please visit Scottish Elections at www.scottishelections.org.uk/

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