Saturday, 26 December 2015

A list of upcoming council by elections and vacant seats

Link also to >>> Council Election results June 2015 - April 2016

Collated By MiddleEnglander

There are now 9 by-elections called for January and 8 already during February with a further 14 known vacancies, all in England, where there is as yet no date. It is probable that some of these will be left vacant until May when they will be filled by either "double" elections or following re-warding.

7th January - 1
Carlisle BC, Botcherby - Labour died - 3 candidates: Con, Lab, Ind

14th January - 1
Cornwall UA, Launceston Central - Liberal Democrat sitting as Independent resigned - 4 candidates: Con, LD, Green, Christian Peoples

21st January - 6
Hertfordshire CC, Bushey North - Conservative died - 4 candidates: Con, Lab, LD, UKIP
St Helens MB, Thatto Heath - Labour died - 4 candidates: Con, Lab, UKIP, Green
South Lanarkshire UA, Hamilton North & East - SNP died - 5 candidates: Con, Lab, LD, SNP, Green
Southwark LB, Faraday - Labour resigned - 7 candidates: Con, Lab, LD, UKIP, Green, All People, Ind
Thanet DC, Newington - UKIP resigned -7 candidates: Con, Lab, LD, UKIP, Green, 2 Ind 
Wealden DC, Crowborough East  - Conservative died - 3 Candidates: Con, Lab, LD

28th January - 1Stockton-On-Tees UA, Parkfield & Oxbridge - Labour resigned

4th February - 4East Cambridgeshire DC, Bottisham - Conservative resigned
North West Leicestershire DC, Measham South - Labour resigned
Northumberland UA, Hexham West - Conservative resigned
Shropshire UA, Oswestry South - Conservative resigned

11th February - 4Bolton MB, Crompton - Labour died
Chiltern DC, Amersham Town - Liberal Democrat died
Coventry MB, Lower Stoke - Labour died
Hounslow LB, Cranford - Labour died


Known vacancies in England - 14
Broxtowe BC, Greasley - Conservative died around 23rd November
Cambridgeshire CC, Sutton - Conservative died 19th December 
*** Craven DC, Embsay-with-Eastby - Conservative died around 30th November
** Dudley MB, Kingswinford North & Wall Heath - Conservative resigned around 23rd December
** Dudley MB, St James - Labour died 11th November
East Dorset DC, Alderholt- Conservative resigned around 15th December
** Eastleigh BC, West End North - Liberal Democrat died around 9th November
** Havant BC, Bondfields - Conservative died 20th December
** Knowsley MB, St Bartholomews - Labour died 14th September
** Knowsley MB, Shevington - Labour died 24th September
Rutland UA, Whissendine - Liberal Democrat resigned 6th November
Suffolk CC, Newmarket & Red Lodge - Conservative resigned 19th November
* Welwyn & Hatfield BC, Northaw & Cuffley - Conservative died 14th September
* Wolverhampton MB, Bilston East - Labour died around 6th October

* seat to be contested again in May
** ward to be contested in May, potential "double" election
*** Council elections in May but not this ward

Known vacancies in Scotland - 0

Known vacancies in Wales - 0

Vacancies under "6 month" rule - 3
Exeter BC, Pennsylvania - Conservative resigned 25th November
Newcastle-under-Lyme BC, Town - Labour resigned around 14th December
North East Lincolnshire, East Marsh - UKIP resigned 30th November

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Council By election Result 23rd December

CANDIDATES

Cameron Branston
Conservative

Gary Good
UKIP

Julian Alexander Newman
Liberal Democrats

No Labour or Green

Aylesbury, Grendon Underwood & Brill - Conservative hold

Party  2015 B votes    2015 B share    since 2015  
Conservative           326        43.5%     -11.1%
Liberal Democrat           275        36.7%     +25.8%
UKIP          148        19.8%       -2.1%
Green     -12.6%
Total votes          749        38%

Swing if meaningful Conservative to Liberal Democrat 18.4% since May.

Council now 43 Conservative, 8 Liberal Democrat, 4 UKIP, 2 Labour, 2 Independent


Friday, 18 December 2015

COMRES POLLWATCH: EU referendum: all still to play for but not neck and neck

By Katharine Peacock, Tom Mludzinski, Adam Ludlow
Political & Media team

The release of two EU referendum polls on Monday night appeared to put the question of Brexit on a knife edge. Some media outlets duly followed suit with headlines including “Britain is on the cusp of leaving the EU right now” and “Voters head for the Brexit”. Some in the market research world, the verdict on the state of the polls has a worrying air of familiarity to it.
During the General Election campaign earlier this year, ComRes put out its own briefing note challenging the prevailing “neck and neck” narrative being given to the election race, and suggesting that the Conservative Party was in fact definitively ahead. We pointed out that while online polling, which is conducted more frequently, was showing a narrow race, the less frequent telephone polling had begun to show a clear trend of the Conservatives being ahead. Our own telephone polling had not shown a Labour lead all year all and during the election campaign had started to show regular 3-4 point Conservative leads. Although of course, the telephone polls from the final week still didn’t predict the scale of Conservative victory.
We are now seeing a similar trend appear in the EU referendum polling. Much of the polling on the EU referendum since May has been done online, and much of it points to a race which is neck and neck. But telephone polling again suggests a different story: this time not showing a modest lead of a few points, but an unequivocal lead – for staying in the EU.
Our telephone poll released this week suggests that 56% of Britons would vote to remain in the EU if the vote took place tomorrow. This is a full 21 points ahead of the 35% who say that they would vote to leave (8% say they don’t know which way they would vote). Now, we would always caution against overemphasising any individual poll, but these figures are remarkably consistent with the last time we ran the question in September (when they were 55% vs 36%) and also in May with the new Conservative Government recently formed (51% vs 33%). Our poll in the final week of the General Election (which had a three point Conservative lead in the headline figures), also showed a 22 point lead for remaining in the EU (56% vs 34%).
ComRes are not alone in this. Ipsos MORI, the only other pollster currently polling the EU referendum by telephone, has also shown consistent double digit leads for Remain. Indeed, their poll released today shows a 17 point lead: 53% to 36%.  The largest lead in an online poll has been eight points, with the vast majority showing the race far closer.
               
We should at this point declare that as a research consultancy we are method neutral – meaning that we use both online and telephone methodologies as well as face to face where appropriate. We match the methodology to the project on a case-by-case basis depending on which we feel is most appropriate for the client’s business and research objectives. All survey methodologies have their different strengths and weaknesses, making each more or less appropriate for certain types of challenges.     
              
During the General Election campaign itself we used only telephone polling for all our voting intention polls. Now in peace-time (outside of official campaign time) we are back to using both methods for our voting intention polls. Indeed we anticipate using online polling for the London mayoral election, as the youthful, highly transient population mostly living in rented housing make it less suited to survey by telephone.
              
At a national level (where around half of voters are over the age of 55) telephone polling has the better record though: a telephone poll was most accurate at the 2010 General Election, at the 2011 AV referendum, at the Scottish independence referendum and was “least inaccurate” at this year’s General Election.        
              
Furthermore, the British Election Study, which is the one face to face survey on the EU referendum that’s taken place in the same time period, showed a large 17 point lead for remaining in the EU. On this occasion then, it looks as if two methodologies (phone and face-to-face) are showing the advantage currently with the “Remain” side while one methodology is not.        
              
Therefore, in order to understand this apparent difference between the methodologies we undertook our own experiment, asking the referendum question on our online and telephone surveys. The results were telling – both sets of data used the same question, were run within days of each other, had the same demographic weights applied and were past vote weighted in the same way – but despite this, the online polling showed the public split on the issue (as it does in polls conducted by other pollsters online), whereas the telephone polling showed a large lead for “Remain”.

ComRes experiment: EU Referendum poll conducted online and by telephone
That almost every single online poll has also shown the race neck and neck, suggests this is not just about house effects but an issue of online samples more generally when it comes to this particular subject.
  
When we conduct Westminster voting intention using both telephone and online methodologies, the results are relatively consistent, as is true for much of the commercial work we do.
  
The extent of the difference here seems to be instead related to the issue of the European referendum itself. Of course there is no way of telling at this stage which is more accurate, but some of the difference could be explained by the differing levels of engagement between online and telephone respondents.
  
At a General Election, the vast majority of the electorate vote the same way each time, based on long-term cultural exposure to the parties, being asked to choose between them every four or five years and political leaders gracing our televisions most evenings. However, at a referendum, there is a much more “low information” electorate, making any polling about the issue particularly sensitive to differences in the political engagement of the sample being surveyed.

People choosing to sign up to an online panel are by nature more online savvy. They are more likely to be engaged on social media and exposed to strongly held beliefs that we see in online encounters. Indeed, by being on an online panel, regularly receiving surveys probing your thoughts about particular details of current affairs you are becoming even more engaged and aware of the issues. This engagement gap makes little difference if you are responding occasionally about your opinions of satellite TV or your favourite chocolate bar, but on controversial subjects like the EU, where a minority hold their opinions strongly and the rest are less committed, it can make a crucial difference.
  
Whatever the reason for the methodological differences, the referendum race is not currently on the knife edge portrayed by some. This is not to say that Britain will definitively vote to remain a part of the European Union – past experience of referendums in the UK suggests the final voting blocs tend to fall into place only in the final few weeks before the vote, and on this occasion we don’t even have a date for polling day. Our polling for OpenEurope released today suggests that if David Cameron fails to secure his renegotiation, opinion shifts fairly dramatically towards a much closer race. But for the time being, we’ll be advising all our clients that if the referendum were held tomorrow – far from being a photo finish, we would be seeing a relatively comfortable victory for the Remain side.
            

A list of upcoming council by elections and vacant seats

Link also to >>> Council Election results June 2015 - April 2016

Collated By MiddleEnglander


23rd December - 1
Aylesbury Vale DC, Grendon Underwood & Brill - Conservative died - 3 candidates: Con, LD, UKIP


There are now 5 by-elections called for January and 2 in February with a further 16 known vacancies, all in England, where there is as yet no date.

7th January - 1
Carlisle BC, Botcherby - Labour died - 3 candidates: Con, Lab, Ind

14th January - 1
Cornwall UA, Launceston Central - Liberal Democrat sitting as Independent resigned - 4 candidates: Con, LD, Green, Christian Peoples

21st January - 3
Hertfordshire CC, Bushey North - Conservative died
South Lanarkshire UA, Hamilton North & East - SNP died
Southwark LB, Faraday - Labour resigned

11th February - 2
Chiltern DC, Amersham Town - Liberal Democrat resigned
Shropshire UA, Oswestry South (probably) - Conservative resigned


Known vacancies in England - 16
Bolton MB, Crompton - Labour died 9th October
Broxtowe BC, Greasley - Conservative died around 23rd November
Coventry MB, Lower Stoke - Labour died 14th October
Craven DC, Embsay-with-Eastby - Conservative died around 30th November
Dudley MB, St James - Labour died 11th November
East Cambridgeshire DC, Bottisham - Conservative resigned around 7th December
Eastleigh BC, West End North - Liberal Democrat died around 9th November
Hounslow LB, Canford - Labour died 15th November
North West Leicestershire DC, Measham South - Labour resigned around 4th December
Northumberland UA, Hexham West - Conservative resigned around 10th December 
Rutland UA, Whissendine - Liberal Democrat resigned 6th November
St Helens MB, Thatto Heath - Labour died 16th September
Suffolk CC, Newmarket & Red Lodge - Conservative resigned 19th November
Thanet DC, Newington - UKIP resigned around 25th November
Welwyn & Hatfield BC, Northaw & Cuffley - Conservative died 14th September
Wolverhampton MB, Bilston East - Labour died around 6th October

Known vacancies in Scotland - 0

Known vacancies in Wales - 0

Vacancies under "6 month" rule - 2
Exeter BC, Pennsylvania - Conservative resigned 25th November
North East Lincolnshire, East Marsh - UKIP resigned 30th November

of the now 18 vacancies where there is as yet no date for the by-election, 7 (39%) arose from the death of the previous councillor from mid September to mid October.

AuthorityWard
  Date of death  
  Term ends  
Knowsley MB St Bartholomews  
  14th September  
2019
Welwyn & Hatfield BC Northaw & Cuffley 
14th September
2019
St Helens MBThatto Heath
16th September
2016
Knowsley MBShevington
24th September
2018
Wolverhampton MBBilston East
circa 6th October
2016
Bolton MBCrompton
9th October
2019
Coventry MBLower Stoke
14th October
2018

Six of the vacancies are Labour seats in Metropolitan Boroughs, the seventh being in Welwyn & Hatfield a Conservative seat in a District Council.
- all the wards are considered safe with majorities ranging from 20% (Wolverhampton) upwards

The earliest these elections can be held is now late January or early February.  Any Councillor elected in St Helens and Wolverhampton would only serve for some 3 months before the May 2016 elections.
However all the vacancies will have local council elections in May so there is a possibility there will be no by-elections in any of the seats with then "double" contests in the other 5.

Council By election results 15th/16th/17th December

Link also to >>> Council Election results June 2015 - April 2016

Collated By MiddleEnglander

15th December - 1
Spelthorne BC, Shepperton Town - Conservative died - 5 candidates: Con, Lab, LD, UKIP, Green

16th December - 1
Conwy UA, Gogarth - Conservative resigned (now AM) - 5 candidates: Con, Lab, LD, Plaid Cymru, Ind

17th December - 4
Brent LB, Kensal Green - Labour died - 5 candidates: Con, Lab, LD, UKIP, Green
East Herts DC, Hertford Heath - Conservative resigned - 5 candidates: Lab, LD, UKIP, Green, No Description
Ryedale DC, Derwent - Conservative resigned - 5 candidates: Con, Liberal, Yorkshire First, Ind, No Description
Worcestershire CC, Stourport-on-Severn - Health Concern died - 5 candidates: Con, Lab, UKIP, Green, Health Concern

Conwy, Gogarth - Conservative hold

Party  2015 votes      2015 share  since 2012 "top"since 2012 "average"since 2008 "top"since 2008 "average"
Conservative         318       42.5%       +15.7%          +15.8%         +7.7%            +4.9%
Labour         187       25.0%         +1.4%             -0.4%         +5.2%            +3.3%
Plaid Cymru         167       22.53%         +3.7%            +1.6%         +3.3%            +4.4%
Liberal Democrat           49         6.5%  from nowhere     from nowhere         -3.5%            -2.8%
Independent           28         3.7%  from nowhere     from nowhere  from nowhere     from nowhere
Previous Independents        -31.1%          -27.3%       -16.5%          -13.5%
Total votes         749          63%             71%          57%             63%

Swing not meaningful

Council now 19 Independent, 13 Conservative, 12 Plaid Cymru, 4 Liberal Democrat

Brent, Kensall Green -
 Labour hold

Party  2015 votes    2015 share  since 2014 "top"since 2014 "average"since 2010 "top"since 2010 "average"
Labour         931       53.4%         -1.0%            -1.1%       +15.7%          +14.8%
Liberal Democrat          417       23.9%         +8.7%            +8.7%         -6.0%            -7.5%
Conservative         255       14.6%         +2.8%            +3.4%         +1.4%            +2.8%
Green         102         5.9%       -12.7%          -13.1%         -5.5%            -3.6%
UKIP           38         2.2%  from nowhere     from nowhere  from nowhere     from nowhere
Independent          -7.8%            -8.7%
Total votes     1,743         52%             53%          30%             34%

Swing Labour to Liberal Democrat ~5% since 2014 but Liberal Democrat to Labour ~11% since 2010 

Council now 56 Labour, 6 Conservative, 1 Liberal Democrat

Stourport-on-Severn -
 Conservative gain from Health Concern

Party  2015 votes     2015 share    since 2013 B  since 2013 "top"since 2013 "average"since 2009 "top"since 2009 "average"
Conservative         763       28.7%        +6.9%         +9.2%            +8.0%         -0.9%            -0.6%
Health Concern           725       27.3%        -3.3%         +0.8%            +0.7%       -10.2%            -9.8%
Labour                   581       21.9%        +4.3%         -0.8%            +0.2%       +10.5%          +10.4%
UKIP         547       20.6%        -5.3%         -6.9%            -6.4%  from nowhere     from nowhere
Green           42         1.6%        -0.6%         -2.3%            -2.6%         -3.5%            -3.5%
BNP        -1.1%        
Liberal Democrat         -0.9%         -4.9%            -5.0%
Independent         -8.0%            -8.2%
Liberal         -3.7%            -3.8%
Total votes     2,658         77%          53%             56%          42%             43%

Swing Health Concern to Conservative ~5% since 2013 by-election, ~4% if meaningful since 2013 and ~5½% since 2009

Council now 33 Conservative, 11 Labour, 4 Liberal Democrat, 2 UKIP, 2 Green, 2 Health Concern, 2 Independent, 1 Wythall Resident

Spelthorne, Shepperton Town - Conservative hold

Party  2015 B votes    2015 B share  since 2015 "top"since 2015 "average"since 2011 "top"since 2011 "average"
Conservative           858        62.0%          +6.1%            +7.3%         +3.4%            +5.9%
UKIP          180        13.0%          -5.4%            -5.2%         -6.2%            -7.4%
Liberal Democrat           154        11.1%          -0.8%            -2.0%       -11.0%          -12.3%
Labour          123          8.9%          -4.8%            -5.0%  from nowhere     from nowhere
Green            68          4.9%  from nowhere     from nowhere  from nowhere     from nowhere
Total votes      1,383          31%             34%          44%            47%

Swing UKIP to Conservative ~6% since both May and 2011

Council now 35 Conservative, 3 Liberal Democrat, 1 Labour

East Hertfordshire, Hertford East - No Description wins but in reality Conservative hold

Party  2015 B votes    2015 B share    since 2015    since 2011    2007 result  
No Description / Conservative            269        52.0%       +6.7%     -18.2%  unopposed
Liberal Democrat          101        19.5%from nowherefrom nowhere
UKIP            70        13.5%       -1.7%from nowhere
Labour            56        10.8%       -1.7%     -18.9%    
Green            21          4.1%       -1.8%from nowhere
Independent     -21.1%
Total votes          517        32%       47%

Swing not meaningful

Council now 50 Conservative

Ryedale, Derwent - Liberal (not Democrat) gain from Conservative

Party  2015 B votes    2015 B share  since 2015 "top"since 2015 "average"since 2011"top"since 2011 "average"
Liberal         283        35.5%    from nowhere     from nowhere  from nowhere     from nowhere
Conservative         278        34.8%       -11.8%            -7.7%         -6.9%            -5.3%
Independent         124        15.5%       -13.0%          -15.2%  from nowhere     from nowhere
No Description / Liberal Democrat            81        10.2%       -14.7%          -16.6%         -8.9%            -9.5%
Yorkshire First           32          4.0%  from nowhere     from nowhere  from nowhere     from nowhere
Previous Independent        -23.8%          -24.4%
Labour       -15.4%          -15.8%
Total votes         798        35%            37%         46%             48%

Swing not meaningful

Council now 19 Conservative, 5 Independent, 4 Liberal, 2 Liberal Democrat