Super Thursday 2016 : 24 hours until polls close

Super Thursday 2016 : 24 hours until polls close

Some of the more choice local by-elections being held tomorrow

Tormohun on Torbay (Con defence)
Main Election: Mayoral Referendum
Result of council at last election (2015): Con 25, Lib Dem 7, Ind 3, UKIP 1 (Con majority of 14)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Liberal Democrats 1,304, 1,067, 933 (25%)
Conservatives 1,289, 1,154, 1,125 (25%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 971, 909 (19%)
Labour 944, 662, 588 (18%)
Green Party 620, 511, 416 (12%)
Candidates duly nominated: Darren Cowell (Lab), Michelle Goodman (TUSC), Stephen Morley (Green), Nick Pentney (Lib Dem), Jackie Wakeham (Con), Steve Walsh (UKIP)

Up until 1997, Torbay could always be relied upon to elect a Conservative MP whether it was Charles Williams or Rupert Allason (aka Nigel West) but that all collapsed in 1997 when the Liberal Democrats gained the seat with a majority of just 12 votes and held it until the last election when naturally the Conservatives must have thought “Ah, normal service has been resumed”. Sadly though for the Conservatives that does not appear to have been the case, as demonstrated at the Clifton with Maidenway by-election last November when said defeated Lib Dem MP (Adrian Sanders) held the seat for the Liberal Democrats on a massive 27% swing from Conservative to Liberal Democrat and whilst clearly the Conservatives would still control the council, if the referendum were to pass and the Liberal Democrats nominated Mr. Sanders as their mayoral candidate I think a large number of Conservatives would wish the referendum had failed.

Mynyddbach on Swansea (Lab defence)
Main Election: Swansea East Assembly Constituency
Result of council at last election (2012): Lab 49, Lib Dem 12, Con 4, Swansea Ind 3, Ind 3, Rates 1 (Lab majority of 26)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 1,348, 1,321, 1,190 (62%)
Swansea Independents 683, 476 (19%)
Independent 699 (11%)
Conservatives 199, 135 (5%)
Liberal Democrat 215 (3%)
Candidates duly nominated: Shan Couch (Plaid), Mike Lewis (Lab), Patrick Morgan (Con), Ashley Wakeling (Ind), Charlene Webster (Lib Dem), Noel West (Swansea Independents)

The eastern side of Swansea has always been as safe as houses for Labour (having been represented by the party since 1922) so you might naturally think “Yawn, Lab HOLD, next!” however given the right set of circumstances some very strange things can happen in Swansea. In 2004, for instance Labour actually lost control of the council and in 2008 managed to lose even more support resulting in the Liberal Democrats offering a viable alternative coalition to the Labour administration that the Swansea Independents (with their eight councillors) could support, so don’t rule anything in or out when it comes to Swansea

Churchdown on Gloucestershire (Lib Dem defence)
Main Election: Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner
Result of council at last election (2013): Con 23, Lib Dem 14, Lab 9, UKIP 3, Ind 2, Green 1, People Against Bureaucracy 1
Result of ward at last election (2013): Lib Dem 1,439 (49%), Con 873 (30%), Lab 414 (14%), Green 227 (8%)
Candidates duly nominated: Graham Bocking (Con), Ed Buxton (Lab), Jack Williams (Lib Dem)

St. Paul’s on Tendring (UKIP defence)
Main Election: Essex Police and Crime Commissioner
Result of council at last election (2015): Con 23, UKIP 22, Ind 6, Lab 4, Rates 3, Lib Dem 1, Tendring First 1 (No Overall Control, Con short by 8)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
United Kingdom Independence Party 944, 760 (37%)
Conservatives 838, 611 (33%)
Tendring First 766, 754 (30%)
Candidates duly nominated: Chris Bird (Lab), William Hones (Ind), Danny Mayzes (Con), Jack Parsons (UKIP)

St. Neot’s, Eaton Socon and Eynesbury on Cambridgeshire (Ind defence)
Main Election: Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner
Result of council at last election (2013): Con 32, Lib Dem 14, UKIP 12, Lab 7, Ind 4 (No Overall Control, Con short by 3)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Emboldened denotes elected
Independents 1,311 , 1,141 (42%)
Conservatives 728, 710 (25%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 692, 470 (20%)
Labour 250, 209 (8%)
Liberal Democrats 162 (3%)
Green Party 126 (2%)
Candidates duly nominated: James Corley (Ind), Doctor Johnson (Lab), Simone Taylor (Ind), Karl Wainwright (Con)

The last PCC elections were a triumph for the “Do we have to?” party as turnout across the country was a staggeringly low 14.67% with the range of turnouts at the local areas from as low as 8.14% in Barrow and Furness to as high as 34.52% in Corby (but then the small matter of a parliamentary by-election did help matters) and who won those elections, well in a manner of speaking nobody. Both the Conservatives and Labour tied on 111 local area wins each and in terms of actual PCC’s elected with 16 Conservatives, 13 Labour and 12 Independents of various hues no one could claim to have a majority of them. This time however things are bound to change with everyone taking part (Con, Lab, Lib Dem, Plaid, Green, UKIP and the myriad of Independents) which means that the poor electors of these three by-elections will have to deal with two different methods of voting on the same day. So what effect could this have? For instance could we see in Churchdown the number of rejected ballots exceed not only the majority for the winner but the winning candidates actual tally? In St. Paul’s (in one of the most Eurosceptic parts of the country) will the Independent gain the seat from UKIP because people mark the wrong ballot paper? And in St. Neot’s, with two Independents standing could there be such a mix-up that the returning officer announces that to be sure everyone knows what actually happened, they’ll do it all over again in a few weeks time. Oh, what a wonder the polls in May can be!

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