Readers, the results from yesterday's local by-elections that featured Green Party candidates were as follows:
Aberdeen UA, Hilton/Woodside/Stockethill: SNP 1690 (55.1%), Labour 771 (25.15%), Conservative and Unionist 350 (11.4%), Green 130 (4.25%), Liberal Democrats 125 (4.1%). SNP elected at first count.
Aberdeen UA, Kincorth/Nigg/Cove: SNP 1939 (61%), Lab 606 (19.1%), Con 313 (9.8%), Lib Dem 207 (6.5%), Green 114 (3.6%). SNP elected at first count.
North Kesteven DC, North Hykeham Mill: Con 286 (40.1%, -19.2%), North Hykeham Ind 180 (25.2%), Lab 161 (22.6%), Green 64 (9%), Lib Dem 22 (3.1%). Conservative gain from Lincolnshire Independent.
Given that we often struggle to find candidates in large rural counties such as Lincolnshire (we did not even have a parliamentary candidate for Sleaford & North Hykeham last time around) we have made a good start in North Hykeham, where the Liberal Democrats used to have substantial local strength. Rural areas and coastal towns are under the greatest amount of danger from the adverse effects of climate change, so expanding a Green presence into these areas (where we do not already have one) will be just as important as developing such strongholds as Brighton, Bristol, Norwich, Oxford and Stroud. It must be said that the SNP performing well in STV by-elections, where only one seat is up for election (as opposed to four in a standard STV local election), is pretty much par for the course, especially where the SNP's main opponent is Labour as it was in those two local by-elections in Aberdeen City.
In other news, Tim Ireland's election petition against Nadine Dorries, Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire, has been struck out without going to a hearing about its allegations-simply because he and his lawyers served the notice on her constituency address instead of her home address, rather than on the content of the petition. (Another petition in Woking, filed by Ruth Temple, which had no merit anyway as there was no reason why Jonathan Lord was not eligible to stand, has apparently been withdrawn, leaving only the petition against Alistair Carmichael still pending at this time.)
So, for those of you who may have to end up filing election petitions in future, make sure you know what you are doing before you file them (the security costs for filing an election petition in the UK are quite steep), note that constituency office addresses (as opposed to home addresses) are generally not stated on statements of persons nominated for a particular election, check your legal facts before filing, and if you do find leaflets containing statements which you know or reasonably believe to be defamatory or libellous, or which lack the required election imprint, keep them as evidence.