There are only two principle authority by-elections taking place tomorrow; one for a Unitary Authority and one for a District Council. The Liberal Democrats are defending a seat in Warrington (Cheshire) and the Conservatives hoping to hold a seat Fareham (Hampshire).
I'll start in Warrington where the Bewsey & Whitecross ward is up for grabs. The vacancy has been caused by the resignation of Liberal Democrat Councillor Jo Crotty, who feels she no longer has the time to attend meetings following a promotion. The Lib Dems currently hold two of the three seats in this multi-member ward but that looks set to change. In 2007 the Lib Dems easily gained a seat here with almost 60% of the vote, however in May Labour scored a comprehensive victory of their own to hang on to their one remaining representative in this ward. The 2010 result equated to a 21% swing from 2007 and, as regular readers will know, Labour have been consistently increasing their vote share in wards contested in the spring. Ann Raymond was the defeated Lib Dem candidate earlier in the year and she is unlikely to do a much better tomorrow. If Labour gain this then the Lib Dem/Conservative coalition on the Council will have a majority of just one for the next five months. As things stand Labour look set to gain full control of Warrington in May.
Bewsey & Whitecross (Warrington)
Ann Raymond (LD)
Jeff Richards (LAB)
Lance Reah (CON)
Lyndsay McAteer (GRN)
John Mulhall (IND)
The sole District by-election of the week in Fareham looks like an easy hold for the Conservatives, although perhaps I should be a little careful after the Poole result! The vacancy in the Fareham West ward has arisen following the resignation of Cllr. Diana Harrison due to ill health. The Tories secured over 60% of the vote here in the 2008 and 2010 elections, with the Liberal Democrats a long way back in second. The Conservatives' huge majority on the Council should remain unchanged.
Finally, there is a by-election for the Truro City Council taking place tomorrow. Don't be fooled; despite City status the Council is only Parish level. The Moresk ward is vacant following a resignation and Labour are hoping to hold the seat. Having spent my college years in Truro I have to say the 'city' (if it were a town the large wouldn't be used to describe it!) isn't natural Labour territory. Their challengers are the Liberal Democrats, who will take control of the Council if they win, and the Cornish Nationalist Party Mebyon Kernow (Sons of Cornwall). Not exactly one for the national picture but it certainly looks like competitive race!
As ever, tune in on Thursday night (hopefully) for the results!