15 November Elections – An Overview
There was a whole raft of elections on Thursday 15 November: 3 Parliamentary by-elections, 41 Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections, 1 Mayoral election, and an unusually large number of local Council by-elections. As predicted Labour had a clean sweep of the Parliamentary by-elections, retaining the two safe seats of Manchester Central and Cardiff South & Penarth, plus gaining the marginal Corby seat from the Conservatives.
The PCC elections were more of a mixed bag for all of the parties. The Conservatives were the only party to win elections in all parts of England and in Wales, with Labour narrowly winning only Bedfordshire in the south of England. Contrary to expectations the Conservatives won several northern contests, with the biggest surprise being the defeat of Lord Prescott in Humberside as well as wins in North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Cheshire. Where the Conservatives lost out in the south it was to Independents. Overall the Conservatives topped the PCC elections with 16 Commissioners to Labour’s 13 and the Independents’ 12. UKIP, the Lib Dems and Greens did not win a single contest, although one Independent has since come out as a Lib Dem member.
In the sole Mayoral election in Bristol, Labour’s high hopes of winning were dashed when they were pipped at the post by an Independent candidate.
The biggest disappointment was undoubtedly the turnout. It was lower than I expected and the sceptics were right but even at this low level it was comparable to many local election results and to Labour’s “triumph” in the Manchester Central by-election. Had the elections been held in May when Conservative Ministers wanted undoubtedly the turnout would have been higher but the Lib Dems wanted the elections held in November for reasons best known to themselves!
Anyway here are the results:
Manchester Central By-Election
Labour – 11,507, Lib Dem 1,571, Conservative – 754, UKIP – 749, Green – 652, BNP – 492, Others (6) – 923
Lab Maj: 9,936 Swing: 16.77% Lib Dem to Lab Turnout: 18.16%
Cardiff South and Penarth By-Election
Labour – 9,193, Conservative – 3,859, Lib Dem – 2,103, Plaid Cymru – 1,854, UKIP – 1,179, Green – 800, Other (2) – 448
Lab Maj: 5,334 Swing: 8.41% Cons to Lab Turnout: 25.65%
Labour – 17,267, Conservative – 9,476, UKIP – 5,108, Lib Dem – 1,770, BNP – 614, Eng Dem – 432, Green – 378, Others (7) – 620
Lab Maj: 7,791 Swing: 12.67% Cons to Lab Turnout: 24.61%
Police and Crime Commissioner Elections
Avon and Somerset – Independent Turnout: 18.8%
Bedfordshire – Labour Turnout: 17.8%
Cambridgeshire – Conservative Turnout: 14.8%
Cheshire – Conservative Turnout: 13.7%
Cleveland – Labour Turnout: 14.7%
Cumbria – Conservative Turnout: 15.6%
Derbyshire – Labour Turnout: 14.4%
Devon and Cornwall – Conservative Turnout: 14.7%
Dorset – Independent Turnout: 16.3%
Durham – Labour Turnout: 14.4%
Dyfed-Powys – Conservative Turnout: 16.4%
Essex – Conservative Turnout: 12.8%
Gloucestershire – Independent Turnout: 16%
Greater Manchester – Labour Turnout: 13.6%
Gwent – Independent Turnout: 14%
Hampshire – Independent Turnout: 14.5%
Hertfordshire – Conservative Turnout: 14.1%
Humberside – Conservative Turnout: 19.2%
Kent – Independent Turnout: 16%
Lancashire – Labour Turnout: 15.1%
Leicestershire – Conservative Turnout: 15.9%
Lincolnshire – Independent Turnout: 15.3%
Merseyside – Labour Turnout: 12.4%
Norfolk – Independent Turnout: 14.5%
Northamptonshire – Conservative Turnout: 19.5%
Northumbria – Labour Turnout: 16.5%
North Wales – Independent Turnout: 14.8%
North Yorkshire – Conservative Turnout: 13.3%
Nottinghamshire – Labour Turnout: 16.4%
South Wales – Labour Turnout: 14.7%
South Yorkshire – Labour Turnout: 14.5%
Staffordshire – Conservative Turnout: 11.6%
Suffolk – Conservative Turnout: 15.4%
Surrey – Independent Turnout 15.4%
Sussex – Conservative Turnout: 15.3%
Thames Valley – Conservative Turnout: 12.9%
Warwickshire – Independent Turnout: 15.2%
West Mercia – Independent Turnout: 14.5%
West Midlands – Labour Turnout: 12%
West Yorkshire – Labour Turnout: 13.3%
Wiltshire – Conservative Turnout: 15.3%
Local Council By Elections
Thursday was a massive night for local Council by-elections, with important contests across the UK.
The Conservatives held onto fifteen seats: Bury (two seats), Bradford, Daventry, North Hertfordshire (two seats), East Northamptonshire, Central Bedfordshire (Biggleswade South ward), West Sussex, Chiltern, Swindon, Bath & North East Somerset, Bournemouth, Poole, and Wealden.
Conservatives also gained three seats, two of which were gains from Labour: Waveney (from Labour), Conwy (from Independent) and Dumfries & Galloway (from Labour).
Labour held onto nine seats: in Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Rugby, Harlow, Cherwell and Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Labour gained a seat from Merthyr Independents.
The Liberal Democrats held onto two seats: in Watford and one in Havant.
Lib Dem candidates gained three seats from the Conservatives in Eden, Harrogate, Ryedale, and one from Labour in North Tyneside.
An Independent gained a seat from the Conservatives in Central Bedfordshire (Silsoe & Shillington ward) and one from Labour in Melton.
The Green Party gained a seat from the Conservatives in St Edmundsbury.
(Info courtesy of Conservative Home)
It will be very interesting to see the total of votes cast in local Council by-elections and the national projection of the vote from this wide range of contests. I suspect it will not be good news for Labour!
Overall last Thursday tells us very little, other than that November is not a great time to hold important elections. Labour will be cheered by the Parliamentary by-elections but disappointed with the PCC, Mayoral and Council election results. Conservatives will be disappointed (but not surprised) to lose Corby to Labour but cheered by their success in winning more Police Commissioners than Labour (especially in Humberside), and by their success in the local Council by-elections. Winning the Waveney seat from Labour gives them overall control of the Council, and gaining a seat in Scotland from Labour was an unexpected delight. The Lib Dems have the consolation prize of a net gain of Council seats from the two major parties and the Greens can celebrate their one gain. By contrast the media hype around UKIP’s progress delivered them not a single win anywhere – not even a Council seat! Probably the winners of the night overall were the Independent candidates who won in 12 Commissioner elections, the Bristol Mayoralty and Council seats from both Labour and the Conservatives.