Friday, 18 November 2016

Analyses of by-elections from 17/11/16 and other thoughts

Readers, the results of this week's local by-elections featuring Green Party candidates were as follows:

Bath and North East Somerset UA, Abbey: Conservative 350 (32.8%, +2.4%), Liberal Democrats 273 (25.6%, +4.7%), Green 252 (23.6%, -4.5%), Labour 126 (11.8%, -4.9%), Independent (Jenny Knight) 43 (4.0%, +0.1%, UKIP 23 (2.2%). Conservative gain from Green.

Dumfries & Galloway UA, Annandale North: Con 2041 (57.4%, +16.9%), SNP 749 (21.1%, +4.3%), Lab 611 (17.2%, -2.4%), Green 152 (4.3%, -10.0%).

Welwyn Hatfield BC, Haldens: Con 507 (34.3%, -2.5%), Lab 454 (30.7%, -5.8%), Lib Dem 437 (29.5%, +19.9%), Green 81 (5.5%, -11.6%).

The result in Abbey, in the centre of the fine city of Bath (I would like to live there someday), is a particular disappointment for the Green Party, who campaigned hard in one of the most marginal wards in the country, with high turnouts (for local government elections) to match. Even though the Conservatives have consistently led in this ward, despite it being frequently split (we were defending the seat this time), they could still not even manage 1/3 of the votes cast in that by-election, showing the high potential for change. Bath is certainly an area to watch psephologically for how things will change in the next few years. The same goes for Welwyn Hatfield, where Labour seemed poised to gain the classic marginal ward known as Haldens yet were stymied by another Lib Dem recovery, which turned the result into a three-way marginal.

I would like to pay tribute to all victims of the tram crash at Croydon which happened recently, and commend Transport for London for offering to pay the funeral costs of the seven who died. In these difficult times, we must band together and remember how important maintaining community spirit is, irrespective of who we are or where we come from.

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