Local By-Election Preview: June 19th 2014

Local By-Election Preview: June 19th 2014

Soham South on East Cambridgeshire (Independent Defence)
Result of council at last election (2011): Conservative 25, Liberal Democrats 10, Independents 4 (Conservative overall majority of 11)
Result of ward at last election (2011): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 745, 578, 547
Independent 598, 590
Liberal Democrats 397, 300
Labour 335

Candidates duly nominated: Daniel Divine (UKIP), Gerard Hobbs (Ind), Fiona Ross (Lab), Hamish Ross (Con), Charles Warner (Lib Dem), Geoffrey Woolard (Ind)

East Cambridgeshire is another example of what has happened to the Liberal Democrats since David Cameron was elected Conservative leader in 2005 and his policy of “lovebombing” the Liberal Democrats. In 2003, East Cambridgeshire was a hung council with the Lib Dems on 18 councillors, three ahead of the Conservatives and two short of an overall majority. Then the “lovebombing” started and in 2007, the Conservatives made nine gains (five of them from the Liberal Democrats) and gained overall control and in 2011 cemented that control as the Liberal Democrats lost another three seats with two going to the Independents and since then it’s been a one way slide for the Liberal Democrats so therefore it will simply be a question of whether the supporters of the previous Independent councillor agree that the duly nominated successor is the right person or should they take a punt on the United Kingdom Independence Party instead?

Southam on Stratford upon Avon (Conservative Defence)
Result of council at last election (2014): Conservative 35, Liberal Democrats 12, Independent 4, Labour 1 (Conservative overall majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2011): Conservative 1,162 (53%), Labour 772 (35%), Liberal Democrats 254 (12%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 390 (18%)

Candidates duly nominated: Emily Bleloch (UKIP), Tony Bromwich (Con), Bransby Thomas (Lab)

Stratford upon Avon (which next year will change from the third rule to all out elections every four years) has been so Conservative over the past decade as to beggar belief. Since 2003, the Conservatives have made a net gain of eight seats, the Lib Dems have lost ten seats, Labour although unchanged in that time had to suffer the ignominy of having no representation on the council between 2004 and 2012 with the Independents making a net gain of one. However in this year’s local elections, UKIP was the big story. They may have only contested ten of the eighteen wards up for election, but they still managed to poll 15% across all eighteen wards up for election (averaging 22% in the wards they actually contested) and in this ward in those elections polled a staggering 30% of the vote (reducing the Conservative majority from 654 votes over the Liberal Democrats in 2010 to just 198 over themselves). If any ward on Stratford was going to go UKIP, this has to be it.

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