By-Election Preview : October 9th 2014

By-Election Preview : October 9th 2014

Waterloo on Blackpool (Conservative defence)

Result of council at last election (2011): Labour 27, Conservatives 14, Liberal Democrats 1 (Labour majority of 12)

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

Labour 937, 659
Conservatives 793, 728
Liberal Democrats 263

Candidates duly nominated: John Braithwaite (UKIP), Kathy Ellis (Lab), Mike Hodkinson (Lib Dem), Jack Renshaw (BNP), Derek Robertson (Con)

Bicknacre with East and West Hanningfield on Chelmsford (Conservative defence)

Result of council at last election (2011): Conservatives 40, Liberal Democrats 15, Labour 1, Independents 1 (Conservative majority of 23)

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

Conservatives 1,322, 1,279
Labour 298, 281
Liberal Democrats 225, 216
Candidates duly nominated: Matt Flack (Con), Reza Hossain (Green), David Kirkwood (UKIP), Tony Lees (Lab), Andy Robson (Lib Dem)

Southgate on Crawley (UKIP defence from Con defection)

Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 20, Conservatives 16, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Labour majority of 3)

Result of ward at last election (2011) : Conservatives 1,091 (44%), Labour 995 (41%), Green 366 (15%)
Candidates duly nominated: Simon Darroch (UKIP), Arshad Khan (Justice Party), Michael Pickett (Lab), Jan Tarrant (Con)

West Heath on Rushmoor (UKIP defence)

Result of council at last election (2011): Conservatives 24, Labour 12, United Kingdom Independence Party 3 (Conservative majority of 9)

Result of ward at last election (2012) : Emboldened denotes elected

United Kingdom Independence Party 868, 828, 821
Conservatives 498, 473, 451
Liberal Democrats 252, 230, 223
Labour 237, 220, 186
Candidates duly nominated: Dave Bell (UKIP), Charlie Fraser-Fleming (Lib Dem), Sue Gadsby (Lab), Brian Parker (Con)

Brightlingsea on Essex (UKIP defence)

Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 42, United Kingdom Independence Party 9, Liberal Democrats 9, Labour 9, Greens 2, Residents 1, Tendring First 1, Canvey Island Independent 1, Independent 1 (Conservative majority of 9)

Result of ward at last election (2013) : United Kingdom Independence Party 1,429 (30%), Liberal Democrats 1,264 (27%), Conservatives 1,156 (25%), Labour 585 (12%), Greens 165 (4%), Tendring First 102 (2%)

Candidates duly nominated: Carol Carlsson Browne (Lab), Alan Goggin (Con), Beverley Maltby (Green), Anne Poonian (UKIP), Gary Scott (Lib Dem)

Clacton Westminster By-Election (UKIP defence from Con defection)

Result of constituency at last election (2010): Conservatives 22,867 (53%), Labour 10,799 (25%), Liberal Democrats 5,577 (13%), British National Party 1,975 (5%), Tendring First 1,078 (2%), Green 535 (1%), Independent 292 (1%). Conservative majority of 12,068 (28%)

Candidates duly nominated: Douglas Carswell (UKIP), Andy Graham (Lib Dem), Alan “Howling Lord” Hope (Loony), Charlotte Rose (Ind), Bruce Sizer (Ind), Chris Southall (Green), Giles Watling (Con), Tim Young (Lab)

“I say, I say, I say, what do you get if you cross a Conservative MP defecting to UKIP, one highly annoyed UKIP PPC and a television vicar?” Now, I know that may sound like the start of a terrible joke at an open mic comedy night but that is precisely what has been happening in Clacton over the past few weeks and look at what’s happened.

First Mr. Carswell defected and, in a move not seen since the defection of Bruce Douglas-Mann in 1982 from Labour to the SDP, he resigned his seat at Westminster and announced that he would contest the by-election as UKIP. Which was rather news to Cllr. Roger Lord (UKIP, Brightlingsea) who was the PPC for the constituency who suddenly found himself out of a job and when interviewed by the BBC’s Look East said “Right, if that’s the way the cookie is going to crumble, then I’m going to defect to the Conservatives and become their candidate!” to which Clacton Conservatives said “Okay, but you will have to submit yourself to an open primary” which is how Giles Watling, a councillor on Tendring council got the nod as the Conservative candidate.

His face is very familiar to people who watched the 1980’s sitcom “Bread” because before becoming a councillor on Tendring, he was an actor who played a vicar who married Avaline. So fed up was Cllr. Lord at his treatment by UKIP that he resigned his seat on the county council in protest and just a couple of days ago said “Vote Lib Dem for Brightlingsea” so as you can see Clacton and Brightlingsea have the potential to produce two very interesting, if in opposite directions, results come Friday morning.

Heywood and Middleton By-Election (Labour defence)

Result of constituency at last election (2010): Labour 18,499 (40%), Conservatives 12,528 (27%), Liberal Democrats 10,474 (23%), British National Party 3,239 (7%), United Kingdom Independence Party 1,215 (3%), Independent 170 (0%). Labour majority of 5,971 (13%)

Candidates duly nominated: John Bickley (UKIP), Iain Gartside (Con), Abi Jackson (Green), Liz McInnes (Lab), Anthony Smith (Lib Dem)

Heywood and Middleton has been around since 1983 but the constituency itself has been moving. In 1983 when the seat was won by James Callaghan (not the former Prime Minister was who elected in Cardiff South and Penarth), the constituency was shaped like a C with the two Burys on it’s western edge and Rochdale separating it from Littleborough and Saddleworth. However in the 1997 boundary changes, things shifted to the right and the constituency gobbled up what was Rochdale, as the new Rochdale shifted into the top end of Littlebrough and Saddleworth and the remainder of the seat became known as Oldham East and Saddleworth which is how it remains to this day.

As for the politics of the seat, well, Labour stronghold is the best way of describing it. Even in the Labour disaster of 1983, Labour won it by 9% so therefore this is a classic Labour heartland so if UKIP are indeed polling a very strong second (as the polls of late suggest) then maybe Ed Milliband should be worried about the advance of UKIP in the north because although they may take a lot of their political support from the Conservatives, the fact that over half their support in total comes from people who did not vote in 2010 and given that in Labour safest seats in 2010, the turnout was 58% (compared to 61% in all Labour seats) that proves that there is a sizeable number of people who are willing to suport UKIP in Labour seats.

Apologies for the lack of background on the local by-elections today, I did the background for the parliamentary by-elections when nominations closed but on Friday caught a doozy of a flu cold and have only started to feel better today

Harry Hayfield

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