Saturday, 19 June 2010

Labour gain two seats in District Council by-elections

There were three district level by-elections on Thursday night and the Labour party were celebrating victory in two of them. The more surprising of the two gains came in East Lindsey, Lincolnshire where Labour did not field a candidate in the North Holme ward at the last election. Coming from nowhere they took the seat off the Liberal Democrats following the death of the sitting Councillor. The Lib Dems slipped to a disappointing fourth place, polling less than the BNP. In Hastings, East Sussex secured a majority on the Council by gaining the Ore ward off the Conservatives. The election was delayed from May 6th due to the death of the incumbent Conservative Councillor who was standing for re-election. The victory was achieved by a 12.9% swing on the 2008 result and Labour now hold 17 of the 32 seats on the Council.

The Conservatives enjoyed a gain themselves on the Wellingborough Council in Northamptonshire. They won the by-election in the Earls Barton ward following the resignation of the sitting Independent Councillor. The result doesn't change the balance of power on the Council as the Conservatives already have a huge majority in Wellingborough. The Tories also hold onto a seat on the Chichester Council in West Sussex by virtue of the fact no-one was willing stand against their candidate in next weeks by-election.

So the big news as far as local government goes is the pick up by Labour in Hastings. The Council was in No Overall Control prior to last month's election but Labour gained three wards to hold half the seats on the council. Victory in this deferred election gives Labour a majority of two, which will give the local party a welcome boost after they lost the Parliamentary seat in a close battle last month. It's hard to know what to make of the result in East Lindsey. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives contested the seat when the whole Council was up for election in 2007, and the Liberal Democrats won with ease. The Lib Dems will be looking to the many Principal Authority elections next month and hoping this result was just a blip due to local factors and/or a personal vote for the previous Councillor. As for the Conservative victory in Wellingborough it appears to be fairly regulation. They already held 30 of the 36 seats and so the gain is possibly a nice reflection on the Council's performance.


Post a Comment