UK By-elections thread, 2021-
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afleitch
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« Reply #1475 on: June 24, 2022, 09:36:31 AM »

If we look at English by-elections (and excluding Southend West) we have the following average vote share changes

Conservative: -10.7%
Labour -4.4%
Lib Dem +11.4%

These elections also include Hartlepool (the first by-election; a Conservative gain) and Batley and Spen (intervention).

Without Hartlepool (a reverse intervention), the Tory vote drops on average by 15.5

If we look at the same picture in the 1992-1997 Parliament, but only during the years Blair was leader of the Labour Party, the Tory share dropped by 17.7 points on average (Labour up 13.9, Lib Dems down 2.0). These were contests on more favourable seats for Labour than the current crops of seats up for election.

So the Tory share is as down by almost as much as it was during the period in which they were heading for the exit.

The Lib Dem gains now are even more impressive given that in most seats they are recovering from relative historic lows for a third party.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #1476 on: June 24, 2022, 09:43:43 AM »

If we look at English by-elections (and excluding Southend West) we have the following average vote share changes

Conservative: -10.7%
Labour -4.4%
Lib Dem +11.4%

These elections also include Hartlepool (the first by-election; a Conservative gain) and Batley and Spen (intervention).

Without Hartlepool (a reverse intervention), the Tory vote drops on average by 15.5

If we look at the same picture in the 1992-1997 Parliament, but only during the years Blair was leader of the Labour Party, the Tory share dropped by 17.7 points on average (Labour up 13.9, Lib Dems down 2.0). These were contests on more favourable seats for Labour than the current crops of seats up for election.

So the Tory share is as down by almost as much as it was during the period in which they were heading for the exit.

The Lib Dem gains now are even more impressive given that in most seats they are recovering from relative historic lows for a third party.

Though is that Lib Dem average that meaningful? In three out of elections they got more than 45% of the vote, in the remaining five they couldn't break 4%. It's a pattern of really striking advances where they're the most plausible anti-Tory option and absolutely nothing where they aren't.
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« Reply #1477 on: June 24, 2022, 11:36:25 AM »

"Worst Labour result in Wakefield since 1931" is the deathless take of Very Online Left Twitter.
When I saw this, I thought, they can't possibly be saying that, but they are!
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DINGO Joe
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« Reply #1478 on: June 24, 2022, 12:17:17 PM »

If we look at English by-elections (and excluding Southend West) we have the following average vote share changes

Conservative: -10.7%
Labour -4.4%
Lib Dem +11.4%

These elections also include Hartlepool (the first by-election; a Conservative gain) and Batley and Spen (intervention).

Without Hartlepool (a reverse intervention), the Tory vote drops on average by 15.5

If we look at the same picture in the 1992-1997 Parliament, but only during the years Blair was leader of the Labour Party, the Tory share dropped by 17.7 points on average (Labour up 13.9, Lib Dems down 2.0). These were contests on more favourable seats for Labour than the current crops of seats up for election.

So the Tory share is as down by almost as much as it was during the period in which they were heading for the exit.

The Lib Dem gains now are even more impressive given that in most seats they are recovering from relative historic lows for a third party.

Though is that Lib Dem average that meaningful? In three out of elections they got more than 45% of the vote, in the remaining five they couldn't break 4%. It's a pattern of really striking advances where they're the most plausible anti-Tory option and absolutely nothing where they aren't.

I presume that as long as strategic voting is all the rage, you'll see more and more of that.
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c r a b c a k e
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« Reply #1479 on: June 24, 2022, 12:37:03 PM »

Just realised Honiton was the constituency of infamous "Sea Wolf" Thomas Cochrane, who was actually associated with the Radicals (even though he was hilariously corrupt).
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Tintrlvr
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« Reply #1480 on: June 24, 2022, 01:14:35 PM »
« Edited: June 24, 2022, 01:18:20 PM by Tintrlvr »

If we look at English by-elections (and excluding Southend West) we have the following average vote share changes

Conservative: -10.7%
Labour -4.4%
Lib Dem +11.4%

These elections also include Hartlepool (the first by-election; a Conservative gain) and Batley and Spen (intervention).

Without Hartlepool (a reverse intervention), the Tory vote drops on average by 15.5

If we look at the same picture in the 1992-1997 Parliament, but only during the years Blair was leader of the Labour Party, the Tory share dropped by 17.7 points on average (Labour up 13.9, Lib Dems down 2.0). These were contests on more favourable seats for Labour than the current crops of seats up for election.

So the Tory share is as down by almost as much as it was during the period in which they were heading for the exit.

The Lib Dem gains now are even more impressive given that in most seats they are recovering from relative historic lows for a third party.

Though is that Lib Dem average that meaningful? In three out of elections they got more than 45% of the vote, in the remaining five they couldn't break 4%. It's a pattern of really striking advances where they're the most plausible anti-Tory option and absolutely nothing where they aren't.

I presume that as long as strategic voting is all the rage, you'll see more and more of that.

It would be really interesting if we got a by-election in a seat where the 2019 result was something like Con 45 Lab 25 LD 23 where the LDs are in third but with a strong base and requiring a much lower swing than their recent gains and Labour is in second and isn't completely out of contention but far enough back that a straight Con->Lab flip is unlikely.

It's worth noticing that in the 1992-1997 by-elections Labour gained a lot more than they are now, especially in straight Con-Lab fights (Dudley West, SE Staffs and Wirral to a lesser extent had Con-Lab swings that nowadays seem like only the LDs can achieve).
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« Reply #1481 on: June 24, 2022, 01:17:27 PM »

If we look at English by-elections (and excluding Southend West) we have the following average vote share changes

Conservative: -10.7%
Labour -4.4%
Lib Dem +11.4%

These elections also include Hartlepool (the first by-election; a Conservative gain) and Batley and Spen (intervention).

Without Hartlepool (a reverse intervention), the Tory vote drops on average by 15.5

If we look at the same picture in the 1992-1997 Parliament, but only during the years Blair was leader of the Labour Party, the Tory share dropped by 17.7 points on average (Labour up 13.9, Lib Dems down 2.0). These were contests on more favourable seats for Labour than the current crops of seats up for election.

So the Tory share is as down by almost as much as it was during the period in which they were heading for the exit.

The Lib Dem gains now are even more impressive given that in most seats they are recovering from relative historic lows for a third party.

Though is that Lib Dem average that meaningful? In three out of elections they got more than 45% of the vote, in the remaining five they couldn't break 4%. It's a pattern of really striking advances where they're the most plausible anti-Tory option and absolutely nothing where they aren't.

I presume that as long as strategic voting is all the rage, you'll see more and more of that.

It would be really interesting if we got a by-election in a seat where the 2019 result was something like Con 45 Lab 25 LD 23 where the LDs are in third but with a strong base and requiring a much lower swing than their recent gains and Labour is in second and isn't completely out of contention but far enough back that a straight Con->Lab flip is unlikely.

It's worth noticing that in the 1992-1997 by-elections Labour gained a lot more than they are now, especially in straight Con-Lab fights.
Perhaps a Cornwall constituency or some seat in Wimbledon might fit the bill here?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1482 on: June 24, 2022, 01:28:56 PM »

It's worth noticing that in the 1992-1997 by-elections Labour gained a lot more than they are now, especially in straight Con-Lab fights (Dudley West, SE Staffs and Wirral to a lesser extent had Con-Lab swings that nowadays seem like only the LDs can achieve).

Though that itself was very unusual.
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The Hunt for the Red October Surprise
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« Reply #1483 on: June 24, 2022, 01:32:35 PM »

If we look at English by-elections (and excluding Southend West) we have the following average vote share changes

Conservative: -10.7%
Labour -4.4%
Lib Dem +11.4%

These elections also include Hartlepool (the first by-election; a Conservative gain) and Batley and Spen (intervention).

Without Hartlepool (a reverse intervention), the Tory vote drops on average by 15.5

If we look at the same picture in the 1992-1997 Parliament, but only during the years Blair was leader of the Labour Party, the Tory share dropped by 17.7 points on average (Labour up 13.9, Lib Dems down 2.0). These were contests on more favourable seats for Labour than the current crops of seats up for election.

So the Tory share is as down by almost as much as it was during the period in which they were heading for the exit.

The Lib Dem gains now are even more impressive given that in most seats they are recovering from relative historic lows for a third party.

Though is that Lib Dem average that meaningful? In three out of elections they got more than 45% of the vote, in the remaining five they couldn't break 4%. It's a pattern of really striking advances where they're the most plausible anti-Tory option and absolutely nothing where they aren't.

I presume that as long as strategic voting is all the rage, you'll see more and more of that.

It would be really interesting if we got a by-election in a seat where the 2019 result was something like Con 45 Lab 25 LD 23 where the LDs are in third but with a strong base and requiring a much lower swing than their recent gains and Labour is in second and isn't completely out of contention but far enough back that a straight Con->Lab flip is unlikely.

It's worth noticing that in the 1992-1997 by-elections Labour gained a lot more than they are now, especially in straight Con-Lab fights.
Perhaps a Cornwall constituency or some seat in Wimbledon might fit the bill here?

Another wall for Labour and the Lib Dems to crush haha.

This is where the strategic voting attempts that weíve seen could fall apart. I think that Rees-Moggís seat is one of those where Labour and Lib Dems are both projected in the mid-20s and heís projected  in the mid-30s.

On a related note, I know Labour has a policy of running people everywhere, but it would be nice if they could coordinate with the Greens, Lib Dems, and maybe even Plaid for Labour to only run paper candidates in some seats where Labour doesnít have a snowballís chance in hell, but their 10% could help another anti-Tory party. Basically what we saw in 2019, but maybe something that could actually have results if it happened.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1484 on: June 24, 2022, 02:30:59 PM »

Labour run paper candidates in a fairly high proportion of constituencies every General Election. It's just that a Labour paper candidate will poll more votes than paper candidates of other parties if all non-Conservative candidates standing in a constituency are essentially paper candidates: as has been the case in quite a few constituencies in recent GEs. But I suspect rather less next time.

Though as a general point, constituency campaigning by Labour at GEs tends to be much more decentralised than for other parties: there's a degree of national targeting and allocation of resources, but the burden falls very heavily on local parties and even most sharing of resources and pooling of activists is sorted out regionally.
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Blair
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« Reply #1485 on: June 24, 2022, 02:32:12 PM »
« Edited: June 24, 2022, 02:39:48 PM by Blair »

Since we donít have ward level data itís impossible to know but Labour seem to think they did very well in the the rural (Tory) part of Wakefield- this is very similar to Batley and Spen, where iirc, Labour won because they had their best result in the traditional Conservative wards for 30 odd years, and survived on the basis of Tory voters switching.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1486 on: June 24, 2022, 02:35:43 PM »

Since we donít have ward level data itís impossible to know but Labour seem to think they did very well in the the rural (Tory) part of Wakefield- this is very similar to Batley and Spen, where iirc, Labour won because they had their best result for 30 odd years, and survived on the basis of Tory voters switching.

Labour can do well in those parts of the constituency in good elections, so this wouldn't be surprising given the margin: especially as Akbar's voters will have been concentrated in the city wards (especially East) and will mostly have voted Labour last time - therefore for such a big lead despite that...
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Lief 🐋
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« Reply #1487 on: June 24, 2022, 04:13:19 PM »

Do these Lib Dem victories portend anything enduring in all these safe Tory seats? Or are they just one time by-election protest votes and these seats will return to the fold in the GE? Would be interesting if we saw a similar phenomenon to what happened in Australia here.
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Pericles
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« Reply #1488 on: June 24, 2022, 04:21:09 PM »

Do these Lib Dem victories portend anything enduring in all these safe Tory seats? Or are they just one time by-election protest votes and these seats will return to the fold in the GE? Would be interesting if we saw a similar phenomenon to what happened in Australia here.

Tiverton and North Shropshire look like normal Leave voting safe Tory seats. The LibDems are on track to do very well in highly educated Remain voting (or narrowly Leave seats) imo, I think they retain Chesham and Amersham. It does show the Tories have a very low floor to a minor party opposition.


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Tintrlvr
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« Reply #1489 on: June 24, 2022, 04:24:44 PM »

Do these Lib Dem victories portend anything enduring in all these safe Tory seats? Or are they just one time by-election protest votes and these seats will return to the fold in the GE? Would be interesting if we saw a similar phenomenon to what happened in Australia here.

Tiverton and North Shropshire look like normal Leave voting safe Tory seats. The LibDems are on track to do very well in highly educated Remain voting (or narrowly Leave seats) imo, I think they retain Chesham and Amersham. It does show the Tories have a very low floor to a minor party opposition.




Tiverton is also in an area with significant LD history, though. I think they could well retain this one, although the boundary changes will be a bit of a wildcard. I agree North Shropshire is the biggest stretch - but you never know, if the Tories are getting walloped nationwide they won't have the resources to spare to try to fight to win it back.
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Coldstream
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« Reply #1490 on: June 24, 2022, 04:30:28 PM »

Do these Lib Dem victories portend anything enduring in all these safe Tory seats? Or are they just one time by-election protest votes and these seats will return to the fold in the GE? Would be interesting if we saw a similar phenomenon to what happened in Australia here.

Tiverton and North Shropshire look like normal Leave voting safe Tory seats. The LibDems are on track to do very well in highly educated Remain voting (or narrowly Leave seats) imo, I think they retain Chesham and Amersham. It does show the Tories have a very low floor to a minor party opposition.




Tiverton is also in an area with significant LD history, though. I think they could well retain this one, although the boundary changes will be a bit of a wildcard. I agree North Shropshire is the biggest stretch - but you never know, if the Tories are getting walloped nationwide they won't have the resources to spare to try to fight to win it back.

North Shropshire was unique due to the circumstances surrounding Patersonís resignation, itís not really that favourable to the Lib Dems - though farmers turning on the Tories doesnít hurt them - whilst Tiverton isnít that different from other rural West Country seats like Yeovil that they held for a long time, itís just never had the local organisation in the past which is why they didnít win it 1997-2010.
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« Reply #1491 on: June 24, 2022, 05:10:36 PM »

Do these Lib Dem victories portend anything enduring in all these safe Tory seats? Or are they just one time by-election protest votes and these seats will return to the fold in the GE? Would be interesting if we saw a similar phenomenon to what happened in Australia here.

Tiverton and North Shropshire look like normal Leave voting safe Tory seats. The LibDems are on track to do very well in highly educated Remain voting (or narrowly Leave seats) imo, I think they retain Chesham and Amersham. It does show the Tories have a very low floor to a minor party opposition.




Tiverton is also in an area with significant LD history, though. I think they could well retain this one, although the boundary changes will be a bit of a wildcard. I agree North Shropshire is the biggest stretch - but you never know, if the Tories are getting walloped nationwide they won't have the resources to spare to try to fight to win it back.

Current proposal is sending Tiverton in a new cross-county seat with Minehead.
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c r a b c a k e
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« Reply #1492 on: June 24, 2022, 05:13:02 PM »

Do these Lib Dem victories portend anything enduring in all these safe Tory seats? Or are they just one time by-election protest votes and these seats will return to the fold in the GE? Would be interesting if we saw a similar phenomenon to what happened in Australia here.

Tiverton and North Shropshire look like normal Leave voting safe Tory seats. The LibDems are on track to do very well in highly educated Remain voting (or narrowly Leave seats) imo, I think they retain Chesham and Amersham. It does show the Tories have a very low floor to a minor party opposition.




Tiverton is also in an area with significant LD history, though. I think they could well retain this one, although the boundary changes will be a bit of a wildcard. I agree North Shropshire is the biggest stretch - but you never know, if the Tories are getting walloped nationwide they won't have the resources to spare to try to fight to win it back.

North Shropshire was unique due to the circumstances surrounding Patersonís resignation, itís not really that favourable to the Lib Dems - though farmers turning on the Tories doesnít hurt them - whilst Tiverton isnít that different from other rural West Country seats like Yeovil that they held for a long time, itís just never had the local organisation in the past which is why they didnít win it 1997-2010.

Yeovil proper has a more post Industrial feel than anything in Tiverton.
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« Reply #1493 on: June 24, 2022, 05:20:26 PM »

Do these Lib Dem victories portend anything enduring in all these safe Tory seats? Or are they just one time by-election protest votes and these seats will return to the fold in the GE? Would be interesting if we saw a similar phenomenon to what happened in Australia here.

Tiverton and North Shropshire look like normal Leave voting safe Tory seats. The LibDems are on track to do very well in highly educated Remain voting (or narrowly Leave seats) imo, I think they retain Chesham and Amersham. It does show the Tories have a very low floor to a minor party opposition.
Tiverton is also in an area with significant LD history, though. I think they could well retain this one, although the boundary changes will be a bit of a wildcard. I agree North Shropshire is the biggest stretch - but you never know, if the Tories are getting walloped nationwide they won't have the resources to spare to try to fight to win it back.
North Shropshire was unique due to the circumstances surrounding Patersonís resignation, itís not really that favourable to the Lib Dems - though farmers turning on the Tories doesnít hurt them - whilst Tiverton isnít that different from other rural West Country seats like Yeovil that they held for a long time, itís just never had the local organisation in the past which is why they didnít win it 1997-2010.

Worth mentioning that on occasion even seats with little local LD presence have managed to stay with the party for a while, but yes, Tiverton and Honiton is likely especially vulnerable to the LDs staying in. I'd actually say that a lot of the pre-2015 LD southwestern seats now held by the Tories would also be vulnerable, e.g. I feel that Andrew George is favoured to retake St Ives.
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« Reply #1494 on: June 24, 2022, 05:43:47 PM »
« Edited: June 24, 2022, 07:22:17 PM by Oryxslayer »

I mean the perpetual issue for the Lib-Dems is that they are three local parties in a trench coat. A few areas have actual base Lib-Dems: areas that once would be called too wealthy for Labour, too reformist for the Tories, but I suspect if the Lib-Dems vanished these areas would now vote Labour. The remainder of their strongholds are places where the local Lib-Dem brand is strong, even though the national one is weak. Sometimes it is precisely because the national brand is weak, and the Lib-Dems are the most organized local opposition to unquestioned local control by whichever of the larger parties happens to consider said region safe turf.

Which is one main reason why the Lib-Dems can always attach rocket boosters to their campaigns during by-elections but run out of steam in a general. By-elections allow the candidate to align with the local brand, and run against an unpopular government action without needing to propose solutions. Because by-elections are likely to occur in safe seats statistically, it will be the Lib-Dems who take up the opposition mantle most often. General Elections require the Lib-Dems to propose policy and run against other large platforms, which weaken their local advantages.

As noted up-thread with the comparison to Christchurch, the Lib-Dems are likely to loose a lot of the turf they gained in these by-elections. We even have the example of 2019 to show that a bunch of former conservative incumbents couldn't win their seats when the Tory brand is at high tide. It does however suggest that the Lib-Dems could make sizable gains in more realistic targets like say Hazel Grove, Cheltenham, Woking, and Winchester - now that the Tory brand is receding.
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« Reply #1495 on: June 24, 2022, 07:00:26 PM »

The Lib Dems are polling nationally at their 2019 general election, Labour are 8% up and the Conservatives are down 9%. In seats that are like T&H but havenít had by-elections, we would expect Conservative wins with a plurality but perhaps not a majority of the vote, Labour a clear but distant 2nd, and the Lib Dem well behind in 3rd. The national tactical vote (people tactically voting Labour based on them being the main opposition nationally regardless of local conditions) means that places that do not feature a strong Lib Dem campaign will be basically UNS from 2019. The hope for the Lib Dems is that results like T&H show that the Labour/Green vote is very soft and where they are the clear and credible challengers to the Conservatives, it will very much not be UNS but instead a large amount of tactical voting for the Lib Dems. This happened in the past eg; 1997, but it looks like it will be even more concentrated this time.
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« Reply #1496 on: June 25, 2022, 01:34:15 AM »

The usual playbook is to have a hyper active local MP who campaigns to save the childrens playground, opens a new gate and opposes every new planning application.

The coalition and Brexit both basically killed their ability to do this; because their brand was so damaged and voters had bigger issues to vote on.
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« Reply #1497 on: June 25, 2022, 01:59:54 AM »

Do these Lib Dem victories portend anything enduring in all these safe Tory seats? Or are they just one time by-election protest votes and these seats will return to the fold in the GE? Would be interesting if we saw a similar phenomenon to what happened in Australia here.

History suggests that they are more likely than not to lose them, but holds are definitely possible.  After winning Berwick in a 1973 by-election, they managed to hold it for 42 years.  A lot depends on the atmosphere at the following General Election; 1997 and Feb 1974 were good elections for Lib Dems holding by-election gains, while 1992 was not.  Something also depends on the perceived quality of the MP, which is a bit of an unknown at this point.

I concur that Chesham & Amersham is the most likely of the three to be held.  Iím not so sure Iíd rank Tiverton & Honiton ahead of North Shropshire, especially as the latter isnít likely to have major boundary changes; indeed I suspect the minor ones proposed are helpful.
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« Reply #1498 on: June 25, 2022, 06:44:15 AM »

T & H has historic LibDem strength whilst N Shropshire never really did, however.
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« Reply #1499 on: June 25, 2022, 08:49:11 AM »

Do these Lib Dem victories portend anything enduring in all these safe Tory seats? Or are they just one time by-election protest votes and these seats will return to the fold in the GE? Would be interesting if we saw a similar phenomenon to what happened in Australia here.

Tiverton and North Shropshire look like normal Leave voting safe Tory seats. The LibDems are on track to do very well in highly educated Remain voting (or narrowly Leave seats) imo, I think they retain Chesham and Amersham. It does show the Tories have a very low floor to a minor party opposition.




Tiverton is also in an area with significant LD history, though. I think they could well retain this one, although the boundary changes will be a bit of a wildcard. I agree North Shropshire is the biggest stretch - but you never know, if the Tories are getting walloped nationwide they won't have the resources to spare to try to fight to win it back.

Current proposal is sending Tiverton in a new cross-county seat with Minehead.

I know. Somerset if anything has been more LD-friendly than Devon recently. Although Minehead perhaps less so. But in any case itís trading super-Tory areas around Honiton and Axminster for less Tory areas in Somerset.
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