Wednesday, 31 August 2011

By-Election Preview (1st September)

It's a quiet start to a busy month this week with just one by-election taking place tomorrow, but at least it is an interesting one. The vacancy is in the Keswick ward on the Allerdale Borough Council (Cumbria); the very north west of North West England! The by-election is being held following the resignation of Independent Councillor David Robinson for health reasons.

It is customary to have a look at the previous result to help work out what might happen in a by-election but unfortunately there hasn't been a contested election for this District Council ward since 2003. Way back then the Liberal Democrats topped the poll for the three member ward with Conservative and Labour candidates edging out an Independent. Robinson was then the Lib Dem candidate in 2007 and he, along with a Labour and Conservative candidate, was returned unopposed. At some point during that term Robinson left the Liberal Democrats, who in turn did not run a candidate against him in this May's uncontested election.

As if all that wasn't odd enough there is yet more intrigue to be found in a handy by-election that took place this May. It was for the Keswick & Derwent division on Cumbria County Council and as the Keswick District ward accounts for over three quarters of the County division's electorate the result is very useful:

Keswick & Derwent

May Candidates


Ronald Munby (Con)


David Robinson (Ind)


Martin Pugmire (LD)


Brian Cope (Lab)


The Conservatives won the County by-election thanks largely to what I think is fair to assume is a split Liberal Democrat vote given Robinson's previous allegiance. Not only is it interesting that Robinson quit for health reasons less than two months after he had attempted to serve on yet another Council (he was also Mayor of Keswick before his resignation) but the Tories are not standing in this District by-election. Granted, the Tories emphatic victory in the Derwent District ward would indicate they aren't as strong in Keswick, but their absence from the ballot seems a little suspicious.

All of this surely leaves Martin Pugmire as the favourite given the area seems to lean Liberal Democrat and the fact he fought an election here just a few months ago. However, Labour have extra incentive to win this contest as victory would give them a one seat majority on the Council. Suddenly the lack of a Tory candidate is less of a surprise…?

Allerdale Borough Council












By-Election Candidate

Flic Crowley (Grn)

Tony Lywood (Lab)

Martin Pugmire (LD)


Tom Harris

1 comment:

  1. Since this site is called "Britain votes" not "England votes" I would point out that there's an awful lot of Britain north and west of Cumbria!:)