Friday, 21 August 2015

My analysis of local by-election results from 18/08/15 and 20/08/15

Readers, the results from by-elections from yesterday (and one from 18/08/15) which all featured Green Party candidates, were as follows:

Orkney UA, West Mainland: Orkney Manifesto Group 593 (51.4%), Independent 446 (38.6%), Green 115 (10.0%). Orkney Manifesto Group elected at stage 1.

Durham UA, Shotton and South Hetton: Labour 595 (52.0%, +8.9%), North East Party 214 (18.7%), UKIP 131 (11.45%), Liberal Democrat 107 (9.35%), Conservative 67 (5.85%), Green 19 (1.65%)

Cornwall UA, Pendarves: Con 325 (30.3%, +0.4%), Lib Dem 311 (28.9%), Lab 220 (20.5%, +1.6%), UKIP 89 (8.3%, -23.5%), Mebyon Kernow 85 (7.9%, -11.8%), Green 31 (2.9%), Independent 13 (1.2%).

West Oxfordshire DC, Witney North: Con 264 (33.9%, -15.8%), Lib Dem 201 (25.8%, +19.8%), Green 136 (17.5%, +3.2%), Lab 114 (14.6%, -4.0%), UKIP 64 (8.2%, -3.2%).

I am pleased in particular about our progress in Witney North, although another local by-election comeback from the Liberal Democrats (who obtained a 17.8% swing from the Conservatives in their favour) prevented us from achieving second place, but we still achieved third place ahead of Labour. Our respectable debut in Orkney is also a good sign given that Orkney generally only elects non-partisan councillors (the Orkney Manifesto Group councillors were previously independents, who formed their own group to advocate the particular interests of the Orkney Islands).

Regionalism is also on the rise in the North East, with the North East Party making a strong start in a by-election in Durham Council (the North East Party did not exist when Durham Council last held elections in 2013). This may also be attributable to neither of the Independents from 2013 standing this time, and also the fact that this division is in the Easington constituency, which currently has the North East Party's strongest base (they made their first parish council gains in nearby Peterlee).

Over in Cornwall, however, Mebyon Kernow was not able to make nearly the same impact in Camborne, partly because of intervention and targeting by the Liberal Democrats who nearly gained the Pendarves division having not even fielded a candidate there in 2013. It was UKIP who suffered the heaviest loss, though, losing nearly three-quarters of their vote share in a division they had narrowly gained (notionally) from the Conservatives in 2013. I believe that in Cornwall it will be useful for the Green Party to ally with Mebyon Kernow in future elections, given that last time in many of the divisions of Cornwall Council, we and Mebyon Kernow did not stand against each other anyway (we fielded no candidate in any of the four council seats MK won, and MK conversely had no candidate in either St Ives council seat) and the fact such a pact worked reasonably well when it was tried for the 2005 general election.


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