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Local Government By-election Report – June 2017

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Following the May local elections where 34 local authorities across the country had full Council elections and there were an extra 107 by-elections in areas of England not holding their full elections, June was expected to have been a relatively quiet month elections-wise. With a snap General Election announced however, this obviously didn’t happen but there were also a few by-elections that hadn’t made the May 4th election day, and were held in the following weeks.

In Hammersmith and Fulham, two by-elections held on 8th June, alongside the General Election, led to no change with Conservatives holding Sands End and Labour holding Avonmore and Brook Green (although the latter is a split ward with two Conservatives to the one Labour Councillor and Labour saw a 12% increase in their vote whilst Conservatives deceased by 8% – a concern for the Conservatives in a ward and a borough where they need to be picking up seats in the 2018 London elections).

In Ashford, in Kent, the Conservatives held one seat but lost vote share to UKIP and Green but lost another split ward to Labour where the collapse of UKIP saw their vote go more towards Labour than Conservative.

In Canterbury Labour took a Council seat from Conservatives (at the same time as taking the Parliamentary seat for the first time in over 100 years) in a ward where they were previously in third place behind the Lib Dems. The Council remains solidly Conservative with a 23 seat majority.

In Hassocks in Mid Sussex, a double by-election saw the Conservatives hold one seat but lose the second to the Lib Dems in a ward, that in 2015 they won by 770 votes. This new Lib Dem Councillor is now the entire opposition to the Conservative majority group.

In Hatfield Labour took a seat from Conservatives by 7 votes in a ward where Conservatives had previously held a 51% vote share in 2016. Labour also gained in the split East ward of Peterborough. In 2016 Conservatives took two seats to Labour’s one (the third seat in the ward) but on General Election day Labour won the ward by 790 votes

In Merthyr Tydfil the Cyfarthfa ward had its results from 4th May countermanded and a new election run for the three Council seats. Labour and Merthyr Independents both held a seat from may but the latter lost their second seat to a separate Independent candidate.

The sole gain for the Conservatives on the day was in Lewes where they took a seat from Independents, but even this wasn’t a new success as the Independent was standing down and won the seat as a Conservative and already left the Conservative Group before resigning from the Council.

Overall there were 39 by-elections held on June 8th. The Conservatives lost 6 of the 19 seats they were defending whilst Labour held all 14 of theirs and picked up 4 new seats.

On 22nd June there were 5 by-elections with the only notable one being in Powys where the Yscir ward near Brecon elected a Conservative after the ward had had no nominated candidates at the regular elections in May. Powys is run by an Independent/ Conservative coalition.

On 29th June a three way split ward in West Lancashire between Conservative/ Labour/ Our West Lancashire saw the local political party take the seat from Conservatives to take their second seat in the ward and on the Council.

Upcoming elections include a poll pending in Loughborough in a split Labour/ Conservative ward; a Conservative/ Lib Dem split ward in Lewes; a UKIP seat in Swale in a ward they split with Conservatives in 2015; a Labour/ UKIP split ward in Thanet; a Lib Dem/ Conservative split ward in Three Rivers on 13th July where a Conservative win would put them only one seat behind the Lib Dems, and another Conservative/ UKIP split ward in New Romney on 20th July.

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