Local By-Election Preview: May 8th 2014

Local By-Election Preview: May 8th 2014

Roman Bank on Fenland (Conservative defence)

Result of last election for council (2011): Conservatives 34, Independents 4, Liberal Democrats 2 (Conservative majority of 28)

Result of last election for ward (2011) : Emboldened denotes elected

Conservatives 1,256, 1,092, 1,007
Labour 590
Liberal Democrats 361

Candidates duly nominated: Samantha Clark (Con), Stephen Court (Lib Dem), Barry Diggle (Lab), Alan Lay (UKIP), Erbie Murat (Ind)

Fenland (located between Huntingdonshire and King’s Lynn) is about a bedrock of Conservative support as you can possibly get. In 2003 they won 36 seats out of 40 (3 Labour and an Independent providing the opposition), in 2007 just the Independent was left and although they lost five seats (Independent gain three, Lib Dem gain 2) they still have a comfortable majority and therefore you would assume that the Conservatives would be extremely confident about holding this ward.

However, the voters of Fenland have been known to kick back from time to time and these usually happen at European Elections. In 2004, the Conservatives “won” Fenland with a majority of 14% (Con 36%, UKIP 23%, Lab 14%) and whilst they still “won” Fenland in 2009, there was a 2% swing from Con to UKIP therefore with a swing from Con to UKIP of about 8% since those elections (putting Fenland well within the reach of UKIP) and having a UKIP candidate standing at this by-election (with the party’s proven track record of scoring well into the 20’s or even 30’s percent mark), this ward has the potential to spring a surprise.

Harry Hayfield

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