Readers, the results of local by-elections from yesterday that featured Green Party candidates were as follows:
Bolton MBC, Harper Green: Labour 1176 (50.7%, -6.3%), UKIP 777 (33.5%, -9.3%), Conservative 282 (12.2%,+0.0%), Green 38 (1.6%, -2.2%), Liberal Democrat 28 (1.2%, -1.7%), Independent 19 (0.8%).
Kingston-upon-Thames LBC, Tudor: Con 1062 (41.0%, +0.1%), Lib Dem 725 (28.0%, +10.3%), Lab 314 (12.1%, -2.1%), UKIP 269 (10.4%, -0.9%), Green 219 (8.5%, -7.5%)
York UA, Westfield: Lib Dem 1804 (60.2%, +25.8%), Lab 588 (19.6%, -23.8%), UKIP 398 (13.3%), Con 113 (3.8%, -10.0%), Green 87 (2.9%, -5.5%), English Democrats 5 (0.2%)
All in all, it has sadly not been a good night for my fellow Greens. I especially did not expect a significant swing from Green to Lib Dem in Kingston-upon-Thames, given that we fielded a Young Green, Ryan Coley, and that young people are much more likely to vote Green than Lib Dem (or UKIP) at the moment. The Greens are also still polling at 5-7% of the vote, neck and neck with the Lib Dems at times.
The Westfield local by-election was also a shock-not only did our vote share go down significantly, but also the Liberal Democrats won it from Labour on a 24.8% swing in their favour, at a time when the Liberal Democrats are struggling to avoid being pushed into fifth place in the polls. Also, Westfield ward is in York Central (a safely Labour constituency) and not York Outer (a Conservative leaning Con-LD marginal), where we are stronger. Despite this, the 'racist right' vote was stronger in York Central than in York Outer in 2010-and UKIP ripped the rather weak Conservative vote apart in that ward despite finishing a poor third. And just so you know, the pathetic English Democrats result of 5 votes is not a misprint.
On another note, I would like you to come and join the TUC demo 'Britain Needs a Pay Rise!' tomorrow, especially in light of Lord Freud's cruel ableist remarks and the fact that almost all of us are getting only below-inflation pay rises whilst rich executives are getting pay rises of 21% on average. I will be at the main march in London,please come and join us if you live in or near London.