Readers, the results of recent local by-elections from yesterday featuring Green Party candidates were as follows:
Elmbridge DC, Long Ditton: Liberal Democrat 770 (50.6%, +4.4%), Conservative 611 (40.2%, -4.7%), Green 79 (5.2%), UKIP 61 (4.0%, -4.9%).
North East Lincolnshire UA, Croft Baker: Lab 768 (37.0%, -3.0%), Con 513 (24.7%, -1.9%), Lib Dem 323 (15.6%, +11.3%), UKIP 318 (15.3%, -8.1%), TUSC 85 (4.1%, +2.3%), Green 66 (3.2%, -0.7%).
Given that it has been 12 years since we last contested the Long Ditton ward of Elmbridge Council, I am pleased that we were able to beat UKIP, who even in the most affluent parts of Surrey can post respectable results. I must also state that the Liberal Democrat recovery in the Croft Baker local by-election, which partly explains why our vote share dropped slightly there, is not that surprising-they won that ward in the few years after the illegal invasion of Iraq under Labour, and given the Liberal Democrats' then opposition to the Iraq war they were able to secure large swings from Labour both locally in many areas and also in by-elections of the 2003-05 period. UKIP's vote share once again dropped significantly in all of the local by-elections, and it polled a derisory 38 votes in the Harrow Road local by-election in Westminster (where we should have had a candidate in place, in my opinion).
A national opinion poll the same day by Ipsos Mori has also shown UKIP falling behind the Liberal Democrats and only drawing level with the Green Party, and I believe we can overtake UKIP in the national polls soon enough.
Labour's abstention on the Welfare Reform Bill's second reading, which will result in £12,000,000,000 worth of cuts to the poorest and most vulnerable people in Britain, who have already been hit hardest by austerity, shows that its poor performance at the most recent general election (especially its losses of numerous safe seats in Scotland to the SNP) has not changed it at all-with most Labour MPs abstaining (notably, not a single Labour MP from the South West region voted against that second reading) the Conservatives, supported by no-one except sole UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, easily got a second reading (the Lib Dems opposed it, and even the DUP opposed it). Just 48 Labour MPs opposed it-and most of these were among nominators of (and/or supporters of) Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership race. Was your MP among those brave enough to oppose this dangerous bill?