Saturday, 1 November 2014

Local Council By-election Results ahead of #GE2015

Some fantastic work done by MiddleEnglander to provide the information below.

There were 34 by-elections during October, one for two seats, with 11 (31%) seats changing hands. The results can be summarised by:

Party  Candidates      Defended         Retained            Gained              Lost                Won         retention rate
Conservative             35          15           12            2          3           14          80%
Labour          29            8             7            2          1             9          88%
Liberal Democrats             19            2             2            2
             4        100%
SNP            2            1             1            1
             2        100%
UKIP          27            2             1            2          1             3          50%
Green          14

Resident Groups *               3            2

Independent **          16            5             1            2          4             3          20%
BNP            1

English Democrat               1

Justice            1          

OMRLP            1

TUSAC            1

Total        150          35              24          11        11           35          69%

* Canvey Island Independent, Derwentside Independent & Llandaff North Independent
** 16 Independents contested 13 wards

Although there were 11 seats that changed hands, just 2 were between the 3 traditional main parties:
- Labour gained a seat from a Conservative in Crawley whilst a Liberal Democrat gained a seat from Labour in York.

Conservatives gained 2 seats for County Councils last contested in May 2013
- regaining Essex, Brightlingsea from UKIP following a resignation on a 4½% swing in a division that had elected a Conservative in 2005 & 2009
- gaining Gloucestershire, Mitcheldean following the death of the Independent councillor who won a new 2013 division in a fairly traditional Conservative area
but lost 3 seats to varying opponents
- Crawley, Southgate to Labour in a 1½% swing since May 2014 in a split ward where the former councillor was a Conservative sitting as UKIP
- Swale, Sheppey Central to UKIP on a 32% swing since 2011 when 3 Conservatives were elected although Sheppey First won in both 2007 & 2008
- Telford & Wrekin, Newport West to an Independent where retiring Conservative won the single member ward in 2007 & 2011 but an Independent in 2003

Labour gained the Crawley, Southgate seat along with
- Durham, Burnopfield & Dipton from Derwentside Independent by 1 vote in a split two member ward where the Labour candidates polled most votes in 2013
but lost York, Westfield to a Liberal Democrat on a swing of 25% in ward where Labour gained all 3 seats in 2011 but late councillor was sitting as a Lib Dem

Liberal Democrats gained the York Westfield seat
- along with Rutland, Whissendime from an Independent elected in a 2008 by-election for the single member ward but now straight fight with a Conservative

SNP regained Argyll & Bute, Oban North & Lorn from an Independent who won the seat in July 2014 but died just 10 days later

UKIP apart from gaining Swale, Sheppy Central but losing Essex, Brightlingsea
- gained South Tyneside, Westoe from a late Independent in a ward Labour won in 2010, 2012 & 2014 but Independents won in other years since 2002

An Independent won in Castle Point, Canvey Island East gaining a seat from a disqualified Canvey Island Independent who had won each year since 2004

There were 98 by-elections for 99 seats during the 5 months June to October 2014 with 36 (36%) changing hand or 34 (34%) excluding 2 Lincolnshire Independent (classed as a Resident Group) gains from Independent.   The results can be summarised by:

Party  Candidates      Defended       Retained        Gained           Lost             Won       retention rate
Conservatives            99         33        22         7       11        29       67%
Labour          87         29        27         8         2        35       93%
Liberal Democrats             59         12          7         7         5        14       58%
SNP            4           3          1         1         2          2       33%
Plaid Cymru               1

UKIP          81           5          1         5         4          6       20%
Green          44           2          1         1         1          2       50%
Resident Groups *             6           2
         3         2          3         0%
Independents **          43         13          4         4         9          8       31%
No Description            3

Blue            1

BNP            2

Christian People's Alliance              1

English Democrats               3

Liberal            1

Mebyon Kernow            2

TUSAC            6

Others ***            4


Total        447         99        63       36       36        99       64%

*   Lincolnshire Independents, Its Our County in Herefordshire, Canvey Island Independent, Derwentside Independent and Llandaff North Independent
** 43 Independents contested 33 seats
*** 1 each for British Democrats, Justice, OMRLP and Patriotic Socialist

The Conservatives contested all the by-elections, Labour 88% and the Liberal Democrats 60% with UKIP contesting 82% and Greens 44%.

Although 36 seats changed hands during the five months, just 10 were between Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats
- Conservatives gained Broadland: Wroxham and Somerset: North Frome from Liberal Democrats
- Labour gained Charnwood: Thurmaston and Crawley: Southgate from the Conservatives and Craven: Skipton West from the Liberal Democrats
- Liberal Democrats gained Cornwall: Illogan, Epping Forest: Hemnall, Guildford: Lovelace and Maidstone: Staplehurst from the Conservatives
   together with York: Westfield from Labour

Conservatives gained 3 County Council divisions from a Liberal Democrat (Somerst), UKIP (Essex) and an Independent (Gloucestershire)
along seats from a Liberal Democrat in Broadland, an Independent in East Cambridgeshire, Green in Kings Lynn & West Norfolk and UKIP in Cornwall
- whilst losing 4 seats to the Liberal Democrats in Cornwall, Epping Forest, Guildford and Maidstone and 2 to Labour in Charnwood and Crawley
   together with 2 to UKIP in Shepway and Swale along with 1 each to Green and Its Our County in Herefordshire and 1 to an Independent in Telford & Wrekin

Labour gain from Conservatives in Charnwood and Crawley, Liberal Democrat in Craven, SNP in South Lanarkshire and UKIP in Merthyr Tydfil and Redditch
together with 1 each from Derwentside Independent and an Independent in Durham
- whilst losing a seat to a Liberal Democrat in York and another to UKIP in Doncaster

Liberal Democrats gain 4 seats from Conservatives in Cornwall, Epping Forest, Guildford and Maidstone and 1 from Labour in York
together with 1 from an Independent in both Northumberland and Rutland
- whilst losing a seat to a Conservative in Broadland and Somerset, Labour in Craven, UKIP in Worthing and another to Independent in North Yorkshire

Independents gained a seat from a Conservative in Telford & Wrekin, a Liberal Democrat in North Yorkshire and Canvey Island Independent in Castle Point
together with a seat from SNP In Argyll & Bute but was then lost at a subsequent by-election when the newly elected councillor died after just 10 days
- whilst losing a seat to a Conservative in both East Cambridgeshire and Gloucestershire, to a Liberal Democrat in both Northumberland and Rutland
  along with 1 to Labour in Durham, 1 to UKIP in South Tyneside, 2 seats to Lincolnshire Independents in North Kesteven and the seat to SNP in Argyll & Bute

UKIP gained a seat from Conservatives in both Shepway and Swale, one from Labour in Doncaster and another from Liberal Democrats in Worthing
as well as a seat from an Independent in South Tyneside
- but lost a seat to a Conservative in both Cornwall and Essex along with another to Labour in both Merthyr Tydfil and Redditch

Greens gained a seat from the Conservatives in Herefordshire but lost another to the Conservatives in Kings Lynn & West Norfolk
SNP lost a seat to Labour in South Lanarkshire and another to Independent in Argyll & Bute which they have subsequently regained
Its Our County gained a seat in Herefordshire from Conservatives along with Lincolnshire Independents 2 seat gain from Independents in North Kesteven
- whilst Derwentside Independent lost a seat to Labour in Durham and Canvey Island Independent to an Independent in Castle Point

Populus polling

COMRES POLLWATCH: The Tory campaign grid lights up

The Tory campaign grid lights up
This week the National Grid announced there would be no blackouts this winter, but election watchers may have noticed another grid lighting up over the last fortnight.
“Campaign grids” were introduced to the British political scene by Labour in the run-up to the 1987 election. Peter Mandelson and Philip Gould mapped out the policies that the party would discuss on particular days throughout the campaign period, perfecting the technique by the time of Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide.
Like any plan, half of the value of the grid is in the planning itself. It becomes a reference point for strategists, encouraging consistency and focus in a long campaign. But it is particularly effective when announcements are skilfully sequenced alongside external events to create “riffs” that catch the ear of the electorate and drown out your opponents’ attacks.
The triggers
Three events have caused the Conservative Party’s campaign grid to kick in: the end of the Scottish independence referendum, the end of the party conference season, and the forthcoming by-election in Rochester & Strood.
The Conservatives knew that a strong media presence during the Scotland campaign was likely to be counterproductive, mainly offering support behind the scenes or through the occasional set-piece announcement by George Osborne on the economic consequences of breakup.
Likewise, party conferences are a quiet period for campaign communications, a moment for navel-gazing or rousing the party faithful. Even the defection of Clacton MP Douglas Carswell to UKIP had relatively little effect on proceedings – once they had got over the shock, many Tories knew that he was well placed to win the seat, and on 9 October he did convincingly.
As Farage and Carswell basked in the glory of their victory, and Labour engaged in soul-searching of their own after nearly losing Heywood & Middleton, David Cameron (and Lynton Crosby) switched into daily campaign mode.
The campaign grid kicks in
Tue 14 Oct – David Cameron “sounds a call to arms in a meeting with the parliamentary party” ahead of the Rochester & Strood by-election; “every MP is under instruction to visit the constituency three times and each Cabinet minister five times” (source: Telegraph Morning Briefing).
Thu 16 Oct – David Cameron says immigration to be “red line issue in EU negotiations” and floats “emergency brake” policy.
Fri 17 Oct – Philip Hammond says Tory plans will “light a fire under the EU”.
Sun 19 Oct – Grant Shapps says “we cannot have an open-ended situation where people are always able to come to Britain in such a lop-sided arrangement”.
Mon 20 Oct – Jose Manuel Barroso visits UK and makes speech critical of Cameron at Chatham House; Cameron says “British voters, not Barroso” are his boss over EU immigration.
Tue 21 Oct – Jeremy Hunt says English hospitals “under intolerable pressure” from Welsh patients.
Wed 22 Oct – PMQs descends into argument about Labour-run NHS Wales.
Thu 23 Oct – As expected, NHS 5-year plan unveiled by health bosses – critical of government and argues that more spending needed; ComRes constituency poll in Rochester & Strood shows UKIP in the lead.
Fri 24 Oct – Cameron refuses to pay “surprise” EU bill of £1.7bn and says Britain being “punished” for economic success. (ComRes polling later that weekend shows Cameron is leader most trusted by voters to “stand up for Britain’s interests in the EU”.)
Sun 26 Oct – Michael Fallon says some towns being “swamped” by immigrants.
Mon 27 Oct – A story breaks about the UK refusing to support refugee rescue operations in the Mediterranean (based on a written statement given by Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay on Wed 15 Oct).
Tue 28 Oct – Nick Boles says “as long as Britain remains the most dynamic economy in the EU, we’re going to be the net recipient of a very large amount of immigration every year.”
Thu 30 Oct – David Cameron writes Times piece, “It’s our moral duty to bring down your taxes”.
Fri 31 Oct – Iain Duncan Smith says in the Daily Mail that every new policy will face a “family friendly” test to strengthen support for families.
Most of the key figures in this sequence are Cameron loyalists, and each has come out with a phrase calculated to generate headlines. From 19–28 October, a key theme emerged: that people (immigrants, Welsh hospital patients, the EU) were trying to exploit the “economic success” of Conservative-run England and Britain.
Sandwiching the release of a potentially destructive NHS England report (Thu 23 Oct) between attacks on Labour-run NHS Wales (Wed 22 Oct) and high-profile attacks on the EU’s £1.6bn bill (Fri 24 Oct) was exquisitely well played by Cameron’s strategists. ComRes research shows that the NHS is Labour’s most salient strength over the Conservatives, and the report release now looks like a missed opportunity for Labour.
This has all had two key effects on media coverage: first, while UKIP are doing brilliantly in the polls, they have had relatively little airtime; second, Labour have dropped off the face of the earth.
It may be that UKIP have no need for airtime, though. Despite a spin masterclass reminiscent of Shane Warne in his prime, the latest ComRes poll shows that is still all to play for in GE2015 (Con 30%, Lab 30%, LD 9%, UKIP 19%):
In spite of the difficult electoral maths, the Conservatives should be taken seriously as an electoral force. As the party of government, and marshalled by Lynton Crosby, they can set the agenda. The latest announcements on tax cuts and a “family friendly” test hint at the next barrage of headlines. The long campaign has started, and the onus is now on Labour to fight back.
Follow ComRes on Twitter for the latest polls and analysis:
Andy White

Political & Media Team
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In the run up to the election, and whilst the parties are drafting their manifestos, this research tool is ideal for ensuring that each of the parties know the importance of your policy issues to those who will be decisive in getting them elected. This can be very powerful for lobbying material or for generating media hits.
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Guaranteeing a sample of 100 of those MPs and PPCs who are most likely to take a seat in Parliament after 2015, ComRes is offering its clients a chance to gain vital insight into the levels of support for policy issues post 2015, enabling organisations to be on the front foot for when the new Parliament sits.
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ComRes, Four Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA

YOUGOV (SCOTTISH VOTING INTENTIONS POLL)  <<< Follow the link if you would like to join the YOUGOV panel and have your opinions heard

Survation - Rochester & Strood poll

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Result

 Confirmed South Yorkshire PCC turnouts:
Barnsley: 11.9%
Doncaster: 15.2%
Rotherham: 18.0%
Sheffield: 14.5%

Total 14.9%

Lab 74,060 (50.01%)
UKIP 46,903 (31.7%)
C 18,536 (12.5%)
ED 8,583 (5.8%)

Total 148,082. Labour were 19 votes over 50%.

Lab 10,877 - 50.7%
UKIP 6,609 - 30.8%
C 2,672 - 12.5%
ED 1,288 - 6%
Doncaster vote result (South Yorks PCC):
LAB - 15310
UKIP - 11380
CON - 4730
EDEM - 2314


Lab 15,006
UKIP 14,228
C 3,936
ED 2,044


LAB - 32867
UKIP - 14686
CON - 7198
EDEM - 2937
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner election in November 2012.

Labour            12,393 (56.19%)
English Democrats  2,996 (13.58%)
Conservative       2,940 (13.33%)
UKIP               2,400 (10.88%)
Liberal Democrats  1,325 ( 6.01%)

Labour            17,017 (48.17%)
English Democrats  7,321 (20.72%)
Conservative       5,433 (15.38%)
UKIP               3,232 ( 9.14%)
Liberal Democrats  1,694 ( 4.79%)

Labour            16,374 (51.14%)
English Democrat   5,034 (15.72%)
UKIP               4,737 (14.80%)
Conservative       4,660 (14.56%)
Liberal Democrats  1,211 ( 3.78%)

Labour            28,831 (51.00%)
Conservative       8,042 (14.23%)
English Democrat   7,257 (12.84%)
UKIP               6,404 (11.33%)
Liberal Democrats  5,993 (10.60%)

Labour            74,615 (51.35%)
English Democrats 22,608 (15.56%)
Conservatives     21,075 (14.51%)
UKIP              16,773 (11.54%)
Liberal Democrat  10,223 ( 7.04%)

Friday, 31 October 2014

Voting intention versus who would make best PM.  <<< Follow the link if you would like to join the YOUGOV panel and have your opinions heard

Council by election results for the 30th October

Castle Point, Canvey Island East - Independent gain from Canvey Island Independent

Party  2014 B votes     2014 B share     since 2014     since 2012     since 2011     since 2010   
Independent         389        39.1%from nowherefrom nowherefrom nowherefrom nowhere
Canvey Island Independent           323        32.4%      -34.4%      -15.6%      -23.8%      -19.7%
Conservative         208        20.9%        -0.2%        -2.6%        -8.9%      -13.6%
Labour           76          7.6%        -4.5%        -5.1%        -6.4%        -5.7%
Past Independent


Total votes         996
          66%          80%         58%         33%

Swing not meaningful

Neath Port Talbot - Sandsfields East - Labour hold

Party  2014 votes     2014 share     since 2013 B   since 2012 "top"since 2012 "average"since 2008 "top"since 2008 "average"
Labour         641       61.1%        +1.4%        +24.3%          +24.5%        +31.0%          +33.3%
UKIP         361       34.4%      +21.6%  from nowhere     from nowhere  from nowhere      from nowhere
Conservative           47         4.5%        +1.2%  from nowhere     from nowhere  from nowhere     from nowhere
Barry Kirk *

      -18.5%        -23.7%          -27.6%        -12.1%          -12.6%   
Plaid Cymru



        -39.5%          -35.8%        -40.9%          -42.7%
NPT Ratepayers   

        -17.0%          -16.9%
Row 9 column 1     1,049
         87%           37%             43%           34%             36%

* contested 2013 by-election as Port Talbot Residents Association, 2012 as Neath Port Talbot Independent and 2008 as New Millenium Bean Party

Swing Labour to UKIP ~10% ssince c2013 by-election lagely as others coalesce around UKIP but otherwise not meaningful

North Ayrshire, North Coast & Cumbraes - SNP hold

'- based on 1st preference

Party  2014 votes     2014 share     since 2012     since 2007   
SNP       2,021       38.7%      -6.2%      -0.6%
Independent         1,190       22.8%from nowherefrom nowhere
Conservative          1,125       21.6%      +3.2%      -0.6%
Labour          691       13.2%      -5.1%      -6.6%
UKIP          192          3.7%from nowherefrom nowhere
Past Independents  

     -16.3%    -12.4%
Socialist Labour   

Liberal Democrat   

Total votes       5,219
         84%        67%

Swing not meaningful

Telford & Wrekin, Ironbridge Gorge - Labour hold

Party  2014 votes     2014 share     since 2011     since 2007     since 2003   
Labour         325       44.1%       -8.9%      -11.1%      -11.6%
Conservative         276       37.4%       -9.6%        -7.4%      +12.9%
UKIP         136       18.5%from nowherefrom nowherefrom nowhere
Liberal Democrat  

Total votes         737
        66%         80%         67%

Swing Conservative to Labour ~0.4% since 2011 but Labour to Conservative ~2% since 2007

Telford & Wrekin, Newport East - Independent gain from Conservative

Party  2014 votes     2014 share     since 2011     since 2007     since 2003   
Independent         264       39.8%from nowherefrom nowherefrom nowhere
Conservative            179       27.0%      -37.0%      -53.1%        +2.5%
UKIP         157       23.7%from nowherefrom nowherefrom nowhere
Labour           63         9.5%      -26.5%      -10.4%             -11.4%
Past Independent  

Liberal Democrat   

Total votes           663
         70%         72%         60%

Swing not meaningful