Wednesday, 27 October 2010

By-Election Preview (28th October)

After a few busy weeks we have a quiet night on the by-election front tomorrow. There are only two top-tier vacancies to be filled this week, along with one District Council by-election. I'll be honest, they aren't that exciting!

The London Borough of Camden is holding its third election since May. The first was deferred from the full council elections following the death of a candidate, which the Liberal Democrats won handily, and the second was an easy hold for the Tories in a safe ward. This by-election is for another LAB/LD marginal, Kentish Town, which Labour are defending following the death of Cllr. David Horan. Labour gained all three seats in this multi-member ward from the Lib Dems early this year, and given their strong performances in by-elections they are favourites to hold this. But this isn't a forgone conclusion. The Labour victory in May wasn't large and they would have been helped by the General Election turnout. The Liberal Democrats won all 3 seats in 2006 and they only require a 2.5% swing to make a gain tomorrow. They also won two by-elections in this ward during the 2006-10 Council term, one of which was courtesy of their candidate for this election. Nick Russell was 196 votes shy of holding his seat in May and his two years as a Councillor will only aid his campaign. Labour are in a much better polling position nationally than they were in 2008, and even 2010, so it'll be tough for Russell to win another Kentish Town by-election.

Kentish Town (Camden)



Jenny Headlam-Wells (LAB)


Nick Rusell (LD)


Naomi Aptowitzer (GRN)


Will Blair (CON)






We have our second post General Election in by-election in Scotland, which gives us another chance to see the Alternate Vote in action. Unfortunately, it's in a ward where Labour received 40% of the vote in 2007. The East Kilbride West (yes, the West side of East Kilbride!) ward on the South Lanarkshire is vacant as the sitting Labour Councillor, Michael McCann, was elected as the new MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagam in May. In 2007 the Scottish National Party candidate topped the vote, but the combined first preferences of the two Labour candidates show they are favourites to win this by-election. Labour are in a much stronger position north of the border than they were in 2007 so it's likely they'll increase, their vote rather than suffer a swing against them. Labour are probably unlikely to win the 50% of the vote required to win this on first preferences alone, but the expected swing towards them should get them close enough to win with ease.

E Kilbrude W (S Lanarks)



Alan Scott (LAB)


Pat McGuire (SNP)


Ian Harrow (CON)


Gordon Smith


Brian Jones (EKA)


Raymond Burke (GRN)


Finally, the Liberal Democrats are defending Springbank, Cheltenham BC against the Conservatives. This is usually a straight fight between the Lib Dems and the Tories in full council elections, but Labour and the Greens are fielding candidates for this vacancy which could shake things up. The Lib Dems took 70% of the vote here earlier in the year though so it looks like an easy hold.

Unfortunately, my shifts haven't fallen well this week and the usual by-election service doesn't seem possible. Midnight is the earliest I'm likely to be online and any results that have come in by then will be tweeted.


Post a Comment