Local By-Election Result (December 16th 2015) and Local By-Election Preview : December 17th 2015

Local By-Election Result (December 16th 2015) and Local By-Election Preview : December 17th 2015

Gogarth (Con defence) on Conwy
Result: Conservative 318 (42% +12%), Labour 187 (25% -3%), Plaid Cymru 167 (22% +10%), Liberal Democrat 49 (7%), Independent 28 (4% -26%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 131 (17%) on a swing of 7.5% from Labour to Conservative

Kensal Green (Lab defence) on Brent
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 56, Conservatives 6, Liberal Democrat 1 (Labour majority of 49)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Embooldened denotes elected
Labour 1,819, 1,808, 1,730 (54%)
Green Party 621 (19%)
Liberal Democrats 510, 502, 481 (15%)
Conservatives 394, 382, 330 (12%)
Candidates duly nominated: Chris Alley (Con), Jumbo Chan (Lab), Sarah Dickson (Lib Dem), Jafar Hassan (Green Party), Juliette Nibbs (UKIP)

The residents of Brent have been on one heck of a see saw ride over the years (and none more violent than the last twenty years). The wild ride started in 1998 when Labour made 15 gains (14 of which came from the Conservatives) to gain control of the council for the first time in 12 years, then in 2002 there was an indication that things might be about to change as the Lib Dems saw their seat tally increase in 12 years before they turned Brent politics upside down by coming within five of winning an overall majority. Sadly for the Lib Dems that didn’t last and the wild ride continued with Labour retaking overall control and inflicting ten losses on the Lib Dems which was then compounded again in 2014 as they lost another sixteen seats thus leaving them on the verge of being wiped out. I think is it fair to sat then when it comes to Brent, wild rides are the norm rather than the exception.

Hertford Heath (Con defence) on East Hertfordshire
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 50
Result of ward at last election (2015): Conservative 739 (45%), Independent 344 (21%), United Kingdom Independence Party 249 (15%), Labour 204 (13%), Green Party 96 (6%)
Candidates duly nominated: Jane Cullen (Green Party), Rob Lambie (Lib Dem), Peter Nickson (Lab), Sheila Pettman (UKIP), Rosemary Snowdon (Non Party Independent)

East Hertfordshire on the other hand has been so sedate over the last twelve years, you could be excused for dozing off. Comparing now with 2003, the Conservative domination of this council has meant that every single Liberal Democrat elected in 2003 has lost their seats (7 in 2003, 4 in 2007, 2 in 2011 and 0 in 2015) and whilst the Independents managed to hang on until 2015 they do couldn’t compete with the slow yet unrelenting Conservative advance. Which poses the question “Who’s the opposition?” Well, last time it was the Independent, but that group deciding that perhaps Non Party is the best way forward, could it be the Liberal Democrats (fielding a candidate despite not standing in May) who become that opposition? But then again it could so easily be Labour or indeed the Greens? One thing that East Hertfordshire can promise is that whoever that opposition is, they won’t be around for long!

Derwent (Con defence) on Ryedale
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 20, Independents 5, Liberals 3, Liberal Democrats 2 (Conservative majority of 10)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,077, 750 (47%)
Independent 659 (29%)
Liberal Democrat 574 (25%)
Candidates duly nominated: Darren Allanson (Non Party Independent), Toby Barran (Yorkshire First), Kenny Ennis (Con), Mike Potter (Liberal), Stephen Shaw (Independent)

For people with long memories of the Liberals, Ryedale always conjures up a smile because on the morning of May 9th 1986, Ryedale elected a Liberal Alliance MP (for the first time in many a decade). Sadly, however, like most Alliance gains, that was not carried through into the General Election and now the constituency is within that huge mass of Conservatism known as Thirsk and Malton but for all those people still carrying a flame for the Liberal party of old, their beacon is still burning in Ryedale (along with Peterborough, Liverpool, Harrogate, Mid Devon and Wyre Forest) with a total of 11 councillors elected in 2015, so with the Independent vote split between an Independent and a Non Party Independent and the Liberal Democrats not nominating a candidate, could the Liberals have another chance to shine?

Stourport on Severn (National Health Action / Independent Community and Health Concern defence) on Worcestershire
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 30, Labour 12, United Kingdom Independence Party 4, Liberal Democrats 3, Green Party 2, National Health Action 2, Independents 2, Liberal 1, Ratepayers 1 (Conservative majority of 3)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Emboldened denotes elected
United Kingdom Independence Party 1,385, 1,151 (28%)
National Health Action 1,335, 1,167 (27%)
Labour 1,141, 894 (22%)
Conservatives 984, 964 (21%)
Green Party 195 (2%)
Candidates duly nominated: Jill Hawes (Lab), John Holden (UKIP), Nicky Martin (National Health Action / Independent Community and Health Concern), Tony Muir (Con), Phil Oliver (Green Party)

The Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern / Independent Community and Health Concern / National Health Action Party were by far the story of Election 2001 and (when they retained the seat in 2005) their representative (Dr. Richard Taylor) along with Peter Law in Blaenau Gwent and George Galloway in Bethnal Green became the Three Musketeers of British politics (having been elected to Parliament outside the confines of mainstream parties at the same election) and that success was reflected in the county elections held on the same day as they polled 21% of the vote in the county wards that made up Wyre Forest district but only managing to win one seat and although the seat elected a Conservative MP in 2010, in 2009 they polled 29% of the vote in the district and managed to win a second seat. Of course as we saw at this election support for them has crashed and nowhere was this proven more than in Stourport where they lost one of their seats to UKIP, but don’t think for a moment that UKIP will gain this seat, because those with long memories will remember that Stourport’s UKIP councillor was forced off the council and began a long record of UKIP failing to hold seats won at elections. So if UKIP cannot win and the Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern / Independent Community and Health Concern / National Health Action Party may not win, who can? Labour, the Conservatives or could the electors of Stourport cry “a plague on all your houses” as they did in 2013 and vote Green?

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