Friday, 1 July 2016

My analysis of yesterday's by-elections and other thoughts

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

Luton UA, High Town: Labour 505 (39.7%, -13.5%), Green 273 (21.5%,+3.8%), Liberal Democrats 181 (14.2%), Conservative 141 (11.1%, -17.1%), Independent 102 (8%), UKIP 69 (5.4%).

Mole Valley DC, Leatherhead North: Lib Dem 862 (56.6%, +23.4%), Con 340 (22.3%,-6.4%), UKIP 157 (10.3%,-7.3%), Lab 135 (8.9%, -7.2%), Green 28 (1.8%, -2.4%). All changes are since May 2016.

Bexley LBC, St Michael's: Con 909 (37.4%, +2.7%), Lab 840 (33.5%, +11.5%), UKIP 456 (18.4%, -14.7%), Lib Dem 117 (4.7%), BNP 105 (4.2%, -6.2%), Green 54 (2.2%).

These are the first local by-elections in the post-Brexit era of the UK. Far from there being any surge for the United Kingdom Independence Party, given that UKIP wanted Britain to leave the EU more than any other British political party, UKIP's vote share dropped sharply once again, most notably in Bexley where back in 2014 they finished second to the Conservatives in the 3-member ward, actually winning one of the seats. Despite the news about a coup against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by the old Blairite faction of the Labour Party, with Wallasey MP Angela Eagle intending to challenge Jeremy for the Labour leadership, it was Labour who came close to winning the St Michael's local by-election. Meanwhile, my fellow Green Lyn Bliss was able to make a good stride in Luton due to the lack of presence by Labour, the local and national splits within the Conservative Party (the Independent candidate there, John French, was a local Conservative who did not get selected by his local Conservative association) and the fact she was the only candidate who lived in High Town ward itself. As for Leatherhead, it is just another sign of the Liberal Democrats' recovery in their stronger areas especially in light of last week's referendum.

On the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, I honour everyone who died in that conflict, those who survived it, and the families of those who died in that battle and of the veterans of that battle, since no World War I veterans survive today. Another reason for this centenary should be to remember why peace is important and how we must maintain that peace and avoid the mistakes of the past.

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