PoliticsHome By-election Breakdown 9th November
PoliticsHome looks at this week's local by-elections and predicts who's in, who's out, who's lost the plot.
Wandsworth LB, Thamesfield Ward
May 2014 result C 2579/2466/2437 Lab 953/880/790 Grn 846 LD 554/479/399 UKIP 298
We start this week off in the Capital, in one of the two London seats which are up for grabs. The Thamesfield contest is being viewed as an excellent bellwether for the upcoming Londonwide ‘all-out’ local elections in May 2018. On paper this should be an easy Conservative hold, but with London Tories still reeling from the reception they got in the General Election campaign, and a decent Labour canvass team on the ground, they are shook.
Despite her Cabinet position, Justine Greening has still had to go out on a soggy Saturday and knock on doors. Who said politics is glamorous? Maybe an indication that the Tories are feeling the heat here despite their huge majority last time around. As one Tory source on the ground told us, ‘it is going to be very, very close.’ We agree.
Prediction: Conservative Hold (just)
Camden LB, Gospel Oak Ward
May 2017 by-election Lab 1468 LD 587 C 523 Grn 273 UKIP 75
May 2014 result Lab 1687/1590/1534 C 634/551/456 Grn 549/527/429 UKIP 361 LD 248/245/158 TUSC 110
The politics of Marx have returned to London. No, not that one (though he is buried 1.3 miles away in Highgate Cemetery). Marx de Morais, the colourful Tory candidate who stood earlier this year for Gospel Oak Ward in a similar by-election.
Marx, sporting what is quickly becoming the standard issue Conservative coiffure, has become a bit of a local celeb in Gospel Oak with his guerilla gardening and eclectic taste in trousers.
Born in the German Democratic Republic, he has been quoted likening Jeremy Corbyn to being ‘quite like one of those dictators in East Germany”, and his leaflets are unlike any we have ever seen before.
Unfortunately for Marx, he is likely to be stopped in his tracks by the real reds in Camden, Jenny Mulholland of the Labour party, whose chances have been boosted by the Greens curious decision to not stand a candidate this time around even though this is one of only 4 London boroughs where they have an elected presence. Altogether now, PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE.
We also have a challenger in the form of the little known English Democrats who stood in 7 General Election seats and got their worst vote on record, only polling <0.01% of the vote. Starting a fundraiser for their candidate in this seat with a target of £1000, they have raised the whopping total of a tenner…. Punchy.
This ward did elect 3 Tories back in 2006, one of whom was Chris Philp, a Tory PPC in Hampstead & Kilburn, before he bagged the safe seat of Croydon South. We doubt the narrow Tory victory here of 11 years ago will be repeated any time soon!
Prediction: Labour Hold
Fareham BC, Stubbington Ward
May 2016 result UKIP 899 LD 772 C 772 Lab 123
May 2014 result UKIP 1227 C 841 LD 646 Lab 114
With UKIP in terminal decline, the Conservatives should have a walk in the park in Stubbington, but with a tied vote last time around, the Liberal Democrats are putting up a fierce fight. Shored up by their unexpected win against the blue team last week in Aldwick West along the coast in West Sussex, they have been hitting the pavements and the phones hard here. The numbers indicate that this could be a close contest. We are are divided on this one but suspect it will be a Lib Dem gain given the efforts from activists elsewhere in the south east.
Prediction: Lib Dem Gain
Flintshire UA, Buckley Bistre West Ward
May 2017 result Lab 750/445 LD 527 Ind 250
This seat became vacant after the sad death of Ron Hampson, who was elected to the area’s council in 1991, the same year that one of our columnists was born. It is always worth noting the decades of dedication to public service that many of these councillors have shown. So, thanks Ron!
This should be a fairly easy hold for Labour, and we wouldn’t be overly surprised to see an increased Labour majority in this seat.
The Liberal Democrats, who came second last time around, have impressively managed to make a single issue campaign around free car-parking into a divisive issue which has descended into a verbal spat on their facebook page. #NotWinningHere
We have also got a GREAT RESPONSE ON THE DOORSTEP KLAXON (plus extra points for mentioning the obligatory dreadful weather) from the Conservative candidate.
Prediction: Labour Hold
High Peak BC, Limestone Peak Ward
May 2015 result C 575 Lab 306 UKIP 263
A bit more of a swingy one to end the day on. The people of High Peak seem to be unable to make up their minds. In 2015 they voted the Conservatives into overall control of the council, while at the same time re-electing Andrew Bingham as their Conservative MP on an increased majority. In May 2017 the Tories gained even more council seats….and then 5 weeks later they ousted their MP in favour of Labour’s Ruth George.
However, as Ed Miliband will fatefully remember, Labour and Limestone are often not the best of partners, and we think the Blues will manage to hold this seat by the skin of their teeth.
Prediction: Conservative Hold
So far we have predicted 11 out of 13 results correctly.