Wednesday, 24 August 2011

By-Election Preview (25th August)

Like last week there are two by-elections on Thursday; one in Scotland and one in England. Kristofer Keane will take you through Labour's chances of holding a seat in North Ayrshire whilst Tom Harris looks at who will replace a long standing Independent in Bolsover (Derbyshire).

This week's Scottish by-election comes from the Clyde coastal towns of Saltcoats and Stevenston on North Ayrshire Council, after the resignation of Labour councillor David Munn.

This four-member ward elected two Labour councillors, one SNP and one independent last time around, although in terms of the first preference vote share Labour and the SNP were pretty close with an independent candidate also winning a fair chunk of the vote.

There's a fair plethora of candidates standing in this one too. In addition to the big four (including the Lib Dems who didn't stand here in 2007), there are also representatives from the Socialist Labour Party, the All Scotland Pensioners Party, as well as a new independent candidate.

The Socialist Labour candidate is Louise McDaid, their party's Scottish leader who contested the Glasgow North East by-election back in 2009 and stands as a perennial candidate in her local area. The All Scotland Pensioners Party (previously the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party) is a minor party who previously had an MSP in the so-called "Rainbow Parliament" from 2003-07, whose primary focus is on campaigning for better pensions and greater rights for pensioners. That being said, neither of their candidates nor the independent (who I can't find anything about beyond the name) are likely to make an impact beyond possibly beating the Lib Dems into last.

As a typical Greater Glasgow seat, this one will be a battle between Labour and the SNP. Given the relatively narrow Labour lead on first preferences last time on top of recent SNP performances, it's likely to see an SNP gain as well. This could result in some pressure on the current Labour minority administration by reducing their plurality, but even an SNP gain is probably unlikely to result in a change of power so close to the all-out elections next year. KK

North Ayrshire Council













Saltcoats & Stevenston

By-Election Candidate


Jim Montomerie (Lab)


Nan Wallace (SNP)


N/C (Ind)


Chris Barr (Con)


Gordon Bain (LD)


Louise McDaid (SLP)


Jimmy Miller (Pen)


Gerard Pollock (Ind)


Having already covered election related news in Derbyshire once this week we are back in the East Midlands County for a by-election. The vacancy in Shirebrook South West, Bolsover DC is due to the death of Independent Councillor Alan Waring. He won his seat by just one vote in 2007 in a straight fight with Labour but his re-election this May was a lot more comfortable.

In the absence of the evidently popular Independent Labour should easily win in a ward they had held unopposed previous to Waring's intervention. The Conservatives and the BNP did at least present voters with the option in May but they, along with the Green candidate, are unlikely to pose much of a threat to Labour.

Labour currently hold all but five of the other seats in Bolsover and the Greens, with their solitary Councillor, are the only other political party represented on the Council. The next all-out elections here are due to take place in 2015. TH

Shirebrook South West

By-Election Candidate


N/C (Ind)


Sandra Peake (Lab)


Tom Key (BNP)


Bob Newholm (Con)


Ian Musgrove (Grn)



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