The results from local by-elections from yesterday were as follows:
Cambridgeshire CC, Romsey: Labour 829 (37.3%), Liberal Democrat 782 (35.2%), Green 467 (21.0%), Conservative 100 (4.5%), UKIP 46 (2.1%).
South Kesteven DC, Market & West Deeping: Independent Broughton 612 (23.2%), Independent Baxter 609 (22.9%), Con 605 (22.9%), Independent Shelton 426 (16.2%), Lib Dem 229 (8.7%), UKIP 224/129/113 (5.9%).
We had high hopes of winning the tightly-fought Romsey by-election, in light of us being able to win over large numbers of Lib Dem votes in Cambridge (the Romsey ward boundaries are the same), but sadly it was not to be, with Labour narrowly winning instead. Nevertheless, we did well enough here, and have regained enough support in Cambridge itself, to give us a good chance of winning back representation on Cambridgeshire County Council in 2017.
Although there was no Green Party candidate in the Market & West Deeping local by-election (actually a deferred election) a former Green candidate, Ashley Baxter (he contested South Holland & The Deepings in 2010; I do not know why he left the Green Party, though), did win one of the three seats. Despite the very high Conservative strength in rural Lincolnshire, the Conservatives only stood one candidate for the three vacancies. I believe UKIP's poor performance in this deferred election is either a sign of the protest vote going towards independent candidates, their increasingly sour reputation within Lincolnshire given their internal problems, or both.
I am also pleased that Europe is making good progress towards considering the idea of a basic income, a key Green Party platform. Finland is planning to introduce it within the next few years, and the Dutch city of Utrecht will be planning a useful experiment with it. I firmly believe it will be a successful experiment, because it will substantially reduce stress levels in the universal income group, as they will feel less pressured, less anxious about potential problems, and will not have to work as hard. This will in turn boost confidence, allow them to rest more, and be more flexible with their lifestyles.