The results of this week's local by-elections were as follows:
Christchurch DC, Mudeford & Friars Cliffe: Conservative 629 (46.8%, -7.2%), Independent 466 (34.8%), Labour 91 (6.8%, -9.9%), UKIP 85 (6.3%, -23.0%), Green 72 (5.4%).
Redcar & Cleveland UA, Hutton: Conservative 860 (57.4%, +2.9%), Liberal Democrats 326 (21.8%, +3.5%), Labour 183 (12.8%, -15.0%), UKIP 129 (8.6%).
Redcar & Cleveland UA, Newcomen: Liberal Democrats 426 (44.6%, +7.5%), Labour 259 (27.1%, -6.9%), UKIP 153 (16.0%, -4.0%), Independent Hannon 52 (5.4%), Independent Stones 36 (3.8%, -5.0%), Conservative 29 (3.0%).
Salford MBC, Kersal: Conservative 850 (42.0%, -1.4%), Labour 553 (27.3%, -21.5%), Independent Wineberg 354 (17.5%), UKIP 182 (9.0%, -2.0%), Green 48 (2.4%, -2.0%), Liberal Democrats 39 (1.9%). Conservative gain from Labour; all changes are since May 2016.
The Conservatives' gain of Kersal may sound like a surprise, but considering the actual situation in Salford it is not-the Independent candidate, Johnny Wineberg, stood on a platform on opposition to the stadium redevelopment that the solidly Labour Salford council recently rammed through, which has angered so many local people. Perceived anti-Semitism in Labour (Kersal has a large Jewish population) also hit Labour badly as well. Labour have been having a bad night in local by-election terms this week, with their vote share falling more than half in Hutton and in Mudeford & Friars Cliffe, to say nothing of another swing against them by the Liberal Democrats in Newcomen. UKIP's spectacular collapse in Mudeford & Friars Cliffe is attributable to Independent candidate Sheila Gray, as well as their crumbling organisation outside their strongest areas.
Sir Gerald Kaufman, Father of the House, died earlier this week aged 86, which has triggered a by-election in Manchester Gorton, which he had represented since 1983 (he represented Manchester Ardwick from 1970-83 before it was abolished). Manchester Gorton was one of only four seats where the Greens came second to Labour, and with the Green Party now clearly the main contenders with the Liberal Democrats having collapsed locally and nationally in the majority of the city of Manchester, this could give the Greens a parliamentary by-election breakthrough. With the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill coming close to Royal Assent, and with many environmental and human rights legislation under threat as a result, green politics needs to truly rise to the national fore.