Readers, the results of yesterday's by-elections that featured Green Party candidates were as follows:
Greenwich LBC, Eltham North: Conservative 1335 (41.7%, +10.1%), Labour 1297 (40.5%, +9.3%), Liberal Democrats 279 (9.3%, +6.0%), UKIP 160 (5.0%, -14.5%), Green 110 (3.4%, -6.1%).
North Hertfordshire DC, Hitchin Oughton: Lab 258 (31.9%, -17.4%), Independent (Jackie McDonald) 200 (24.8%), Con 158 (19.6%, -12.4%), Lib Dem 150,(18.6%, +9.9%), Green 42 (5.2%, -4.8%). All changes are since May.
Wandsworth LBC, Queenstown: Lab 1551 (53.3%, +14.1%), Con 987 (33.9%, -5.7%), Lib Dem 249 (8.6%, +3.3%), Green 122 (4.2%, -4.8%).
Given the gentrification that has set in in Wandsworth, and Queenstown in particular (so much that it was notably chronicled by comedy writer John O'Farrell in his book Things Can Only Get Better), the substantial swing in Labour's favour is reflective of a strong London-wide trend towards Labour and reinforces resistance to further gentrification.
In Hitchin, the Independent made a very strong impact, damaging the votes of the Conservatives and Labour in particular, in the same way 'local representatives for local people' Independents made an impact in quite a few constituencies in 2015 (Hartlepool and Preseli Pembrokeshire spring to mind). Interestingly, the Liberal Democrats still doubled their vote share amidst Jackie McDonald's campaigning, suggesting that she was taking a lot of protest votes that would otherwise have gone to UKIP or the Green Party.
The downward spiral of UKIP has been having a significant impact once again, leading to a Conservative gain in Eltham North; Eltham is by some measure the strongest area of Inner London (i.e. the 1889-1965 County of London area) for UKIP, and surprisingly the Conservatives reaped the seeds from UKIP's loss of nearly 3/4 of its previous vote share, although they only won narrowly in what is normally one of their strongest wards in Greenwich. As a result of all this squeezing in competitive wards, my fellow Greens have not fared that well this week.
The Sleaford & North Hykeham by-election deadline for nominations has been confirmed as 15 November, with a polling date of 8 December. If you are reading this, are from Lincolnshire and also a Green Party member, please help ensure that there will be a Green Party candidate to vote for in that by-election, to help fight for change in these difficult times.