Friday, 9 December 2016

Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election

The main result from yesterday:
Conservative (Caroline Johnson)               17517 53.5% (-2.7)
UKIP (Victoria Ayling)                               4426 13.5% (-2.2)
Liberal Democrat (Ross Pepper)                  3606  11.0% (+5.3)
Labour (Jim Clarke)                                   3363  10.2% (-7.0)
Others: Lincs Ind 2892. Independent 462, Loony 200, Independent 186. Independent 74. Bus Pass Elvis 55

First thoughts: The balance of the House has been improved. A man and a lawyer has been replaced by a woman paediatrician. The government's NHS policy is going to be increasingly interrogated from its own benches.

The UKIP vote did not fade as much as I expected. This, together with a similar slight fall in the Conservative Brexiter's vote, seems to demonstrate that East Anglia remains dominated by a desire to Leave. UKIP has taken over second place from Labour. It looks as if the party threw everything at this election, having given up on both Witney and Richmond Park.

There was a great Liberal Democrat campaign, reportedly reaching sections of the community not contacted for many years previously. Our campaigns depend to a larger extent than either Conservatives or Labour on volunteers. Not too many could have afforded to work in both Richmond Park and Lincolnshire, so it is understandable that our target of regaining second place was missed, but our vote increase augurs well for the future. It might have been a different story if the two by-elections had not come so close together.

Labour must be worried. Labour has polled consistently over 10,000 votes in this constituency in previous years. They clearly have an identity problem.

No comments: