Richard Willis's Blog

First for local news and first for comment

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%

Corby By-Election

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.


November 18, 2012 - Posted by | National

1 Comment »

  1. Very much looking forward to the gloss you will attempt to put on the Tories abysmal performances in Rotherham, Middlesbrough and Croydon North.

    Comment by Phil the Greek | November 30, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: