Thirsk & Malton
The votes in Thirsk & Malton finally had their voice heard in the 2010 General Election and, as predicted, there wasn't a shock result. The Conservative candidate, the pre-election Vale of York MP Ann McIntosh, easily won this newly established seat. Of more interest to most observers was how the Liberal Democrats' vote share would change in the first Parliamentary election after forming a Coalition Government with the Conservatives. The result would suggest Clegg and co. have little to worry about. The seat acted pretty much in line with the regional and national swings which occurred on May 6th. In fact, the Lib Dems out performed their regional increase of 2% whilst Labour's vote dropped by almost 10%.
This is excellent news for the Lib Dems as it comes hot on the heels of a council by-election victory in the London Borough of Camden. It seems that voters are, at least for the time being, taking a 'wait and see' approach to the coalition, and they are certainly not punishing the Lib Dems for their decision. But how this will change when the honeymoon period is over, and Labour have elected a new leader, will be the true test. Next year's Scottish and Welsh elections are likely to be regarded as a more accurate measure of the Coalition's popularity. But for the time being Lib Dems across the country will be breathing a sigh of relief and Labour strategists need to concentrate on how they are going to effectively oppose this Government, rather than just expecting it to fail by the end of the week.
So, congratulations to Ann McIntosh; the new MP for Thirsk & Malton.
Ann McIntosh (CON)
Howard Keal (LD)
Jonathan Roberts (LAB)
Toby Hawton (UKIP)
John Clark (LIB)