Monday, 20 December 2010

By-Election Preview (21st December)

For the second time in a month there is a by-election taking place on a Tuesday. Usually this would seem a bit odd but considering this Thursday is the 23rd December holding the vote a couple of days early makes a lot of sense. There is still a by-election taking place on Christmas Eve Eve, and I'll deal with that one on Wednesday.

Tomorrow the Bromham, Rowde & Potterne ward on the Wiltshire County Council be contested and like the last Tuesday contest the by-election is taking place as a result of the incumbent resigning under a cloud. The vacancy in Ceredigion three weeks ago was caused by a misconduct charge, but this one is in a slightly different league. The Conservative Councillor Philip Brown's handed in his resignation after he had pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and three counts of theft, which in total amounted to almost £50,000. Brown has since been sentenced to 10 months in prison for the offences, which would have disqualified him as a Councillor anyway.

Situations like these always leave the potential for a surprise result, but quite often the circumstances don't seem to have much effect on the by-election. For instance, last week the Conservatives easily held a ward following a resignation due to inappropriate behaviour to female staff. Like the Worcestershire contest three days ago UKIP appear to be best placed to take advantage of the Tories' woes but they are not contesting this by-election. The Liberal Democrats came third in 2009 but they are not having the best of times in Council by-elections at the moment. The Tories look likely to hold for lack of a real alternative. But there is a slight twist to this by-election which could shake things up. The Independent Pat Bryant is the mother of the Conservative candidate Liz Bryant. Furthermore, Bryant Snr. stood for UKIP at the General Election so she might take some of the anti-EU party's previous vote. There is certainly a lot going on in this by-election, but it remains to be seen whether any of it is enough to prevent a Conservative hold.

Bromham, Rowde & Potterne (Wilts.)



Liz Bryant (CON)




Paul Mortimer (LD)




Andrew Jones (LAB)


Pat Bryant (IND)



  1. My memory of rural council elections in the 1960's is that they took place on whatever was the day of the week that was early closing day in the respective town or district . I am sure I vaguely remember a byelection being held on a Saturday in the Stockport area back in the 1960's but I may be mistaken there .

  2. Bromham, Rowde & Potterne, Wiltshire County Council (Unitary:

    Liz Bryant (Conservative) 561,
    Paul Mortimer (Liberal Democrat) 358,
    Andrew Jones (Labour) 74,
    Pat Bryant (Independent) 55.

    Conservative Hold.