Friday, 15 July 2016

My analysis of local by-elections from 14 July and thoughts on Theresa May's first cabinet

The results of yesterday's local by-elections featuring Green Party candidates were as follows:

Islington LBC, Barnsbury: Labour 1192 (51.6%, -5.7%), Liberal Democrats 409 (17.7%, +8.1%), Conservative 367 (15.9%, -2.4%), Green 302 (13.1%, +1.2%), Independent 40 (1.7%).

Newham LBC, Forest Gate North: Lab 1150 (52.5%, -4.0%), Green 681 (31.1%, +16.5%), Con 301 (13.8%, +0.6%), Lib Dem 57 (2.6%, -2.8%).

North Norfolk DC, Astley: Lib Dem 319 (40.8%), Con 198 (25.3%, -30.7%), UKIP 133 (17.0%), Green 81 (10.4%), Lab 51 (6.5%). Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative.

Wiltshire UA, Trowbridge Grove: Lib Dem 421 (45.9%), Con 196 (21.4%, +6.9%), UKIP 123 (13.4%), Lab 77 (8.4%), Independent 74 (8.1%), Green 27 (2.9%). Liberal Democrat gain from Independent.

The public infighting within Labour caused them considerable damage, since in addition to their poor results here, they lost Byram & Brotherton in Selby to the Conservatives and were soundly beaten in the Marchog by-election in Gwynedd. Only in the Wibsey by-election in Bradford did they manage a good result. Meanwhile, we managed a 10.5% swing towards us in the Forest Gate North by-election, and given the rock solidly Labour nature of Newham we managed an excellent result, even if it is not on the scale as our recent near-miss in Lambeth last month where the swing in our favour was 28%. However, we could not be match that result elsewhere, especially when the Liberal Democrats were on the march in Astley and Trowbridge, where they won spectacularly as they did in both Cornish local by-elections (where there was no Green candidate).

Meanwhile, Theresa May's first cabinet has just been formed and despite the departure of some of the worst ministers I have ever known (especially George Osborne, Michael Gove, Nicky Morgan, Oliver Letwin and John Whittingdale), it contains bad appointments of its own. The worst is Andrea Leadsom as Environment Secretary, especially given that she did not know whether climate change is real when she first took ministerial office and has shown no respect for or knowledge of environmental issues, which Britain must deal with soon. Jeremy Hunt has been retained as Health Secretary even after all those debacles with the junior doctors, and appointing Boris Johnson to Foreign Secretary has already caused international mirth and resentment given his previous offensive remarks about foreign countries in his old columns for the Daily Telegraph.

This cabinet will clearly be just as bad as the last one in many ways, especially with the Department for Energy & Climate Change not only being abolished but also being merged with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (you can probably see where this is going!) happening at the same time. I say that we must continue to fight for environmental protections to be retained, for the protection of our hard-won human rights and for Britain to stay with the ECHR (it does not need to be in the EU to do so), and to secure for ourselves a fair future for everyone and future generations.


1 comment:

  1. Happy with the Lib Dem growth and gains - although Greens did well in Forest Gate guess it's a sign of the change in demograph in the Eastern Suburbs of London