Thursday, 30 September 2010

By-Election Preview (30th September)

We have another fairly busy week for by-elections with five top-tier vacancies and one District to be filled today. The closest contest on paper is taking place in Battle Hill, North Tyneside. Labour Councillor Mary Glindon was elected as the new MP for North Tyneside in May and she has since resigned from her Council seat. This has left a competitive ward open and Labour will be wary of the threat from the Liberal Democrats. Glindon won the ward in 2007 by just 11 votes and although Labour carried Battle Hill in May by a greater margin the Lib Dems won here in 2006 and 2008. Although the political climate at the time was a lot more favourable for the yellows they still have a good chance of gaining this seat today. Their candidate, Dorothy Bradley, lost her seat in 2010 but considering the advantage Labour enjoys with General Election turnouts she wasn't too far off. Bradley is likely to have a personal vote to draw on and so with a low turnout almost guaranteed Labour will have to work hard to prevent a loss during the week of their conference.

The vacancy in Tameside (Greater Manchester) is another seat where Labour will have to be wary. The by-election in the Longdendale has been trigged following the death of Cllr. Roy Oldham, who led the Council until May this year. Oldham was Labour's leader on the Council for thirty years and had been a Councillor for almost half a century, which makes his relatively small margin of victory this year seem fairly odd. As Labour hold the other two seats in this multi-member ward the loss of Oldham's personal vote shouldn't be too much of a problem but the Conservatives may feel they have an outside chance here. Labour enjoy a very large majority on Tameside Council so the political balance won't be affected whatever the result.

Moving to Wales now where voters in Gwynedd will be heading to the polling stations for the second time since the General Election. In July, Llais Gwynedd (The Voice of Gwynedd) successfully defended a seat on the Council despite the vacancy arising because the sitting Councillor resigned in disgrace. A week after that by-election victory Dafydd Lloyd Hughes resigned for undisclosed 'personal reasons' resulting in today's by-election in the Bowydd & Rhiw Ward. In a similar situation to the last by-election this will be a straight fight between Llais Gwynedd and Plaid Cymru in a ward where another party put up a candidate in the last full Council elections. The local party managed just managed to hold off Plaid earlier in the summer, and they almost secured 50% of the vote in this ward in 2007, so they look very capable of hanging on here. Incidentally, there will be yet another by-election in Gwynedd next week following the death of an Independent Councillor. Plaid run the Council as a minority but if they won gained both seats they would hold 37 of the 75 seats. This is certainly the most important by-election today in terms of local impact.

Elsewhere, Labour are defending the Brandon ward on the Durham County Council. This is taking place following the death of Cllr. Ronnie Rodgers and it's another Council with a second by-election taking place in the near future. Labour will be defending another seat in Durham in two weeks time and as they currently hold a slim majority on the Council they could do with a couple of holds. Back over to the North West again and the Conservatives are defending the Alderley ward on the Cheshire East Unitary Authority. This by-election is taking place following the death of Cllr. Liz Gilliland. The Tories have a large majority on the Council and a safe margin in the ward.

Finally, the District by-election in Sedgemoor (Somerset) could be a close battle between Labour and the Conservatives. The Tories were only 18 votes away from a gain in 2007 and they'll be looking to add to their already comfortable majority on the Council. However, Labour have been getting the better of the Conservatives in recent contests across the country so a it will be a tough ask. As usual, a run down of all the results will be up at the end of the week.

Battle Hill (North Tyneside)


Longdendale (Tameside)







Lesley Spillard (LAB)




Janet Cooper (LAB)


Dorothy Bradley (LD)




Rob Adlard (CON)






Kevin Misell (UKIP)


Wendy Morton (CON)




Melanie Roberts (GRN)


Dan Ellis (IND)




Anthony Jones (BNP)



Bowydd & Rhiw (Gwynedd)


Brandon (Durham)






Donna Morgan (LG)



John Turnbull (LAB)


Paul Thomas (PC)



Maureen Smith (LD)





Marc Krajewski (CON)





Alderley (Cheshire E)





Matthew Lloyd (CON)



Oliver Romain (LD)









1 comment:

  1. Bowydd & Rhiw (Gwynedd) result

    Plaid Cymru 338 (58%)
    Llais Gwynedd 246 (42)