Local By-Election Preview : March 24th 2016 (Maundy Thursday)

Local By-Election Preview : March 24th 2016 (Maundy Thursday)

Dalton (Con defence) and Moss Bay (Lab defence) on Allerdale
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 29, Conservatives 17, Independents 7, United Kingdom Independence Party 3 (Labour majority of 2)
Result of wards at last election (2015)

Conservative 510 (48%), Liberal Democrat 226 (21%), Green Party 168 (16%), United Kingdom Independence Party 153 (15%)
Candidates duly nominated: Eric Atkinson (United Kingdom Independence Party), Flic Crowley (Green Party), Marion Fitzgerald (Ind), Ross Hayman (Lab), Mike Johnson (Con)

Moss Bay
Three Labour councillors elected unopposed
Candidates duly nominated: Louise Donnelly (Con), Bob Hardon (United Kingdom Independence Party), Frank Johnson (Lab)

Allerdale (despite it’s rather Sherwood Forest sounding name) is not in Nottinghamshire, but is in fact in Cumbria and from it’s shores can be seen (assuming there is not any fog) Dumfries and Galloway so therefore as you might expect, there is a strong Independent streak on the council. In fact it is the Independents on the council that has prevented Labour from winning an overall majority on the council until this time where thanks to a double pronged attack by both the Conservatives and UKIP, the Independents lost nine seats (one to Labour, five to the Conservatives and three to UKIP) thus enabling Labour to gain control bit given how well UKIP do in areas of dominance (and you have to admit three Labour wins unopposed does sound like dominance to me) could Labour be in danger of losing overall control (having spent the best part of thirteen years trying to win a majority)

St. Peter’s (Con defence) on Kettering
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 26, Labour 9, Independent 1 (Conservative majority of 16)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,230, 1,038 (40%)
Labour 768 (25%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 563 (18%)
Green Party 501 (16%)
Candidates duly nominated: Kirsty Berry (Green), Eugene Dalton-Ruark (Lab), Mel Gosliga (Lib Dem), Ian Jelley (Con), Kevin Sills (United Kingdom Independence Party)

One of the biggest surprises of Election 1997, on a night of many, was the news that Roger Freeman (the Public Services Minister and MP for Kettering) had been defeated on a swing of 11% but only by 189 votes, and everyone naturally assumed come Election 2001 the Conservatives would win it back again which rather shows how bad that election was for the Conservatives when Labour held the seat by 665 votes (on a 0.45% swing to Lab). In fact it wasn’t until 2005 that the seat elected a Conservative MP again and now of course it has gone back to form with a Conservative majority of 12,590 (just fractionally higher than the 1992 notional majority). What is surprising though is that during all that time (1997 – 2015) just once (1999) did it not return a Conservative majority on the council so given that the Conservatives have a good lead anyway if Labour gain this ward then perhaps Osborne’s Budget woes have managed to trump Corbyn’s political woes.

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