Sunday, 25 May 2014

A review of the 75 additional Council By elections which took place 22nd May

A great review as per usual from MiddleEnglander. Thank you

There were 75 local council by-elections on 22nd May with 19 (25%) changing hands.  There were 35 contests for a single seat but 40 were "double" elections where the by-election was combined with the annual election. This has had two impacts on the analysis:
i. the convention used in the "double" elections was the leading candidate won the annual election whilst the runner-up won the by-election
- this can have the effect of exaggerating somewhat the number of seats changing hands
ii. it is not possible in "double" election seats to determine the number of candidates in the by-election if a party puts up only one candidate.

The results can be summarised by:

Party   Defended       Retained         Gained             Lost              Won       retention rate
Conservative            31        26          3          5        29        84%
Labour         29        23          5          6        28        79%
Liberal Democrats           6          5
          1          5        83%
UKIP           1          1          5
          6      100%
SNP           1

Green           2          1          4          1          5        50%
Independent Socialist             1

Independent           4                    2          4          2          0%
Total         75        56        19        19        75      100%

Conservative gained a seat each from Labour, Lib Dem and Independent whilst losing a seat to each Labour, UKIP and Green together with 2 to Independents
* gained Southampton, Millbrook from Labour, a Labour seat in 2010 (1.8% majority), 2011 (3.6%) and 2012 (4.6%), narrowly second in "double" election
* gained Tewkesbury, Brockworth from Lib Dem on a ~19% swing since 2011
* gained Scarborough, Derwent Valley from Independent sitting as UKIP with a 42% share; Conservative topped poll in 2011 in "split" 2 member ward with 46% share
* lost Coventry, Chelysmore to Labour whilst gaining the annual seat from Labour as Conservative topped the poll; Labour won 2010, Conservative 2011 & 2012
* lost Adur Mash Barn to UKIP in "double" election where UKIP gained the annual seat from a Liberal Democrat, UKIP polled 24% in 2012 rising to 45% in 2014
* lost Babergh, South Cosford to first recent time Green by 16 votes (1.7%); Lib Dem single member ward in 2003 and 2007 but no by-election candidate
* lost Bradford, Craven to Independent in "double" election where Conservative topped poll; Conservative in 2011 but former Conservative as Independent in 2012
* lost Scottish Borders, Hawick & Denholm to Independent; Conservative 1st Preference share in 2014 21.6% compared to 14.0% in 2012 and 26.0% in 2007

Labour gained 1 seat each from Conservative, SNP, Green, Independent Socialist and Independent whilst losing a seat to Conservative, 3 to UKIP and 2 to Green
* gained Coventry, Chelysmore from Conservative - see above
* gained Argyll & Bute, Oban South & the Isles from SNP sitting as Independent;  SNP led on 1st Preference votes, winner was an Independent in 2012 polling 7.6%
* gained Watford, Callowland from Green in "double" election on a 18% swing since 2012 and 6% since 2010
* gained Preston, Town Centre from Independent Socialist in a "double" election with 2 Labour and 1 Conservative candidates
* gained Southend, Westborough from Independent in "double" election where Labour gained the annual election seat from Lib Dem and now hold all 3 seats
* lost Southampton, Millbrook to Conservatives - see above
* lost Basildon, Lee Chapel North to UKIP along with the annual seat on a swing of ~18% since 2012
* lost Basingstoke & Deane, Brighton Hill South to UKIP whilst gaining the annual seat from Lib Dems in 2 member ward; UKIP doubled share since 2012
* lost Harlow, Mark Hall to UKIP along with the annual seat who had not contested the seat before
* lost Lancaster, Scotforth to Green on a swing of around 5% since 2011
* lost Lancaster, University to Green on a swing of around 16% since 2011

Other seats to change hands were:
* Green gained Stroud, Central from Independent who won single member seat in 2011, previously held by Conservative in 2003 & 2007 when Green was runner-up
* UKIP gained Maidstone, Harrietsham & Lenham from Independent at first attempt in "double" election where Independent gained annual seat from Conservative

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