Wednesday, 18 August 2010

By-Election Preview (19th August)

With no top-tier by-elections to cover I'm having a look at the District vacancies that will be filled tomorrow night. They are taking place in Allerdale (Cumbria) and Broxtowe (Nottinghamshire); the latter looks the more interesting of the two.

The Broxtowe vacancy has arisen because of the disqualification of Conservative Cllr. Tony Rutherford for poor attendance. To be fair to Rutherford this is due to illness, but rules are rules and his 6 month absence has led to a by-election for the Cossall & Kimberly Ward. The Council is finely poised ahead of next year's full elections, and tomorrow's result will give an early indication of how that might pan out. The Liberal Democrats run the council with Labour's support, but the Conservatives held one more seat than the Lib Dems before Rutherford's disqualification. The 2007 result for this multi-member ward was very close as all three main parties managed to get a candidate elected. Labour probably have the edge as their combined vote total was the largest three years ago, but the Conservatives weren't far behind in second. Although the elected Lib Dem Councillor came second in votes, his two running mates were 8th and 9th so they have a little more ground to make up. To make matters simpler only the three main parties are fielding candidates for this by-election. This is clearly a fiercely competitive seat, and it would seem the 8 month term has not rendered this a friendly affair. Whatever the result, it should be close!

The by-election to fill the Christchurch seat in Allerdale is also being held because of a disqualification. This time the Conservative Councillor's (Les Lytollis) lack of attendance is due to "personal reasons". This is unlikely to be as tight as the Broxtowe election as the Tories easily carried both seats in the ward at the 2007 election. Labour were their only rivals three years ago, but they are not be fielding a candidate for this by-election. The Liberal Democrats and the Greens will provide the competition this time, but it will be tough to prevent the Tories holding the seat. They secured 65% of the vote in 2007, and they currently lead the anti-Labour coalition on the Council. As the main opposition group aren't running in this by-election, the political balance of the Council will remain unchanged whatever the result.

There are also three Town Council by-elections taking place tomorrow. The Conservatives are defending Marlborough West, Marlborough TC (Wiltshire); the Liberal Democrats are defending North Ward, Seaford TC (East Sussex); and a Residents Association is defending Chase, Malvern Hills TC (Worcestershire).

1 comment:

  1. Results: The Conservatives held their seats in Broxtowe and Allerdale. BlogPost (hopefully) later...