Readers, the results from local by-elections of yesterday that featured Green Party candidates were as follows:
Exeter BC, Pinhoe: Conservative 755 (42.3%, +7.2%), Labour 749 (42.0%,+5.5%), UKIP 143 (8.0%, -11.5%), Liberal Democrats 63 (3.5%,+0.1%), Green 62 (3.5%, -1.4%), Independent 11 (0.6%). Conservative gain from Labour.
Powys UA, Glasbury: Lib Dem 457 (44.4%), Con 415 (40.3%, -10.9%), Ind 106 (10.3%,-8.0%), Green 52 (5.0%). Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative.
Falkirk UA, Denny & Banknock: SNP 2576 (69.1%), Lab 549* (14.7%), Con 431 (11.6%), Green 170 (4.6%). SNP elected at the first count.
Warwickshire CC, Nuneaton Whiteside: Con 1281 (58.4%, +5.5%), Lab 503 (22.9%, -8.5%), UKIP 292 (13.3%), Green 119 (5.4%, -10.3%).
*The Labour candidate in the Denny & Banknock by-election, Andrew Bell, was dropped as a candidate by the local Labour branch earlier this week after he was caught making sectarian, anti-Catholic comments on Facebook, although his name still remained on the ballot.
There has been some speculation on Twitter as to whether the phenomenon of 'Corbynmania' (on the basis that Jeremy Corbyn has a good chance of being elected Labour leader) has been responsible for Labour's underperformance this week, and given that the Conservatives gained Pinhoe ward (where UKIP's vote fell heavily, and even when Labour holds that ward the Conservatives are in a respectable second place) and had a 7% swing to them in the Whiteside division of Warwickshire (located in the town of Nuneaton, traditionally a key battleground between Conservative and Labour), it may have played a part. It is still not certain whether Jeremy will win the Labour leadership contest in the end, let alone manage a full term (if this Parliament lasts a full five years, anyway, given the low and unstable Conservative majority).
Also, if you are a Green Party member and are reading this blog, and have not voted yet in the 2015 GPEx elections, you still have two weeks left to vote. I am standing for the post of Local Party Support Coordinator, because I have experience in providing local party support
within Hertfordshire, and because if you vote for me I will endeavour to help every area in England and Wales have its own Green Party (meaning more and more people will have the chance to vote Green locally and nationally), I will make sure Green Parties in rural areas get more equitable support (as we have a lot of potential there as well as in urban areas) meaning that we can win representation even in the remotest parts of the country, and in particular utilise grassroots support to help anti-fracking campaigns and other environmental campaigns succeed.