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Friday, March 07, 2008

More Council By-Election Disasters - But Hope On The Scottish Horizon

Last night's council by-election results brought even more misery than usual.

Our best result was in the Warwickshire County Council by-election at Lawford and New Bilton in the new marginal Rugby parliamentary constituency, where candidate Doug Hodkinson hung on by just one vote after the Labour vote plummeted from 1,712 in 2005 to just 724 yesterday.

Meanwhile, back here in the Highgate ward by-election in the London Borough of Haringey, Rachel Allison won the seat for the LibDems with 1,339 votes and a huge swing, more than doubling the Liberal Democrat majority over the Tory candidate. The Labour candidate, David Heath, came third with 241 votes.

Counting was suspended in Cambuslang East Ward, South Lanarkshire County Council and will resume shortly. The seat is curently held by the nationalists (the other two seats both being held by Labour), but we are confident that Labour will regain it today following the death of SNP Councillor John Higgins. I'll keep you updated when the final result is in.

Postscript: Yes, we did it, as I predicted. We won the seat from the SNP with a terrific -20% increase in our vote. The official reason is that the STV system tends to favour the largest party in the multi-member ward in a by-election for a minority party seat. There is absolutely no relevance whatsoever in the report that "Voting papers and the data in the DRS Solutions system [operators of the STV system] remained under lock and key overnight in the school gym, where the count was held." Any similarity to arrangements in the 2006 Hackney local elections is purely figmentary and allegations to the contrary could result in a visit from Litty, Gate & Bankit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorrry Luke

This only counts as a "gain" because of the statistical quirk in the STV system between by elctions and the full election.

In fact in "gaining" the seat the Labour vote collpased by a full 20 per cent!