UK By-elections thread, 2021-
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North Carolina Conservative
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« Reply #300 on: May 10, 2021, 06:27:58 PM »

Hartlepool is an absolute tossup as to who will win

Talk about expectations management.

This seat was easily won by Corbyn even in 2019, and when allegations against the Labour candidate were already known IIRC. BXP voters, who couldn't even bring themselves to vote Tory with that party running on a "Get Brexit Done" ticket, are very unlikely to vote Tory now; in this part of the world they are by and large ex-Labour. Add to that government by-election gains being rarer than hen's teeth.

This seat by all rights should be a Labour hold, even if they have troubles at local level. I doubt it would be fatal to Starmer's leadership, but failure to hold Hartlepool when a more toxic leader managed it would seriously undermine his position. You can imagine the crowing from the nuttiest parts of Labour.

Funny.

Not really, it was a fairly reasonable assumption at the time. The irony is that what happened was easy to "predict" if you don't know much about British politics, but quite surprising if you do (at least the size of the margin, but even the result itself). On Vote UK filled with British anoraks and generally centre-right leaning c. 70% of those voting in the poll thought it would be a Labour hold right up to the final day, including most Conservatives. The media narrative was that it would be a Tory win, but given the low quality of both political journalism and constituency polling in the UK that was hard to take entirely seriously.

No, it wasn't. But it's a good example of things be harder to observe the closer you get up to them.
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Lord Halifax
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« Reply #301 on: May 11, 2021, 11:42:33 AM »

When can we expect a date for Chesham and Amersham?
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Geoffrey Howe
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« Reply #302 on: May 11, 2021, 01:19:52 PM »

For reference, Chesham and Amersham voted 55% Remain - a very high figure for non-urban England - on an enormous 83% turnout, estimated highest in the country.

Despite this, it voted over 55% Tory in 2019, with the LDs in second, and over 60% in 2017. Indeed, it has never voted less than 50% Tory since its creation in February 1974; even 1997 when it was one of about ten seats to give Major an absolute majority. The only one in the country with that record I should imagine. So the Home Counties seat par excellence.

It was, incidentally, held by Sir Ian Gilmour.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #303 on: May 11, 2021, 01:48:29 PM »

The were local elections for the new Buckinghamshire unitary on Thursday: the Conservatives led in every ward and won all but one seat. I imagine the government will want this one done fairly soon to capitalise on the present climate - there are local issues that could cause trouble and that's more likely to be a risk if things are sliding generally. Labour won't bother much here, the LibDems will but so will, I suspect, the Greens.
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Sean Patrick Baloney
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« Reply #304 on: May 11, 2021, 08:03:52 PM »

For reference, Chesham and Amersham voted 55% Remain - a very high figure for non-urban England - on an enormous 83% turnout, estimated highest in the country.

Despite this, it voted over 55% Tory in 2019, with the LDs in second, and over 60% in 2017. Indeed, it has never voted less than 50% Tory since its creation in February 1974; even 1997 when it was one of about ten seats to give Major an absolute majority. The only one in the country with that record I should imagine. So the Home Counties seat par excellence.

It was, incidentally, held by Sir Ian Gilmour.

Any chance this swings to the Lib Dems? I would guess it would’ve been more likely pre-2019, when they were polling better nationally.
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Geoffrey Howe
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« Reply #305 on: May 12, 2021, 01:37:23 AM »

For reference, Chesham and Amersham voted 55% Remain - a very high figure for non-urban England - on an enormous 83% turnout, estimated highest in the country.

Despite this, it voted over 55% Tory in 2019, with the LDs in second, and over 60% in 2017. Indeed, it has never voted less than 50% Tory since its creation in February 1974; even 1997 when it was one of about ten seats to give Major an absolute majority. The only one in the country with that record I should imagine. So the Home Counties seat par excellence.

It was, incidentally, held by Sir Ian Gilmour.

Any chance this swings to the Lib Dems? I would guess it would’ve been more likely pre-2019, when they were polling better nationally.

Highly doubt it. But who knows what might’ve happened by then?
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YL
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« Reply #306 on: May 12, 2021, 03:18:40 AM »

For reference, Chesham and Amersham voted 55% Remain - a very high figure for non-urban England - on an enormous 83% turnout, estimated highest in the country.

Despite this, it voted over 55% Tory in 2019, with the LDs in second, and over 60% in 2017. Indeed, it has never voted less than 50% Tory since its creation in February 1974; even 1997 when it was one of about ten seats to give Major an absolute majority. The only one in the country with that record I should imagine. So the Home Counties seat par excellence.

It was, incidentally, held by Sir Ian Gilmour.

Any chance this swings to the Lib Dems? I would guess it would’ve been more likely pre-2019, when they were polling better nationally.

If Labour and the Greens both run essentially paper campaigns and lose their deposits (not that unlikely in this sort of place) the Lib Dems could have a chance; the Tories could be as high as 45% or so and still lose.  The local election results in the area don't suggest the Lib Dems have got it together yet, though.

Incidentally Nick Clegg grew up in Chalfont St Giles.
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Pericles
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« Reply #307 on: May 12, 2021, 03:29:40 AM »

My guess is that the Labour vote could surge there, even if they're far behind the Tories. The LibDems have fallen off the agenda since the 2019 election, they're polling much lower, and Starmer appeals to those Remainer LibDem voters. Looking at the constituency results, the LibDems don't have a huge ancestral vote, and their 2019 surge could have been a tactical Remain vote and Corbyn backlash. On the other hand, LibDems do have a good history in by-elections, even in tough seats.
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Geoffrey Howe
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« Reply #308 on: May 12, 2021, 05:30:29 AM »

My guess is that the Labour vote could surge there, even if they're far behind the Tories. The LibDems have fallen off the agenda since the 2019 election, they're polling much lower, and Starmer appeals to those Remainer LibDem voters. Looking at the constituency results, the LibDems don't have a huge ancestral vote, and their 2019 surge could have been a tactical Remain vote and Corbyn backlash. On the other hand, LibDems do have a good history in by-elections, even in tough seats.

Still highly doubt it. The Labour Party has always been unpopular in this part of the world (see 19% in 1997) and with the memory of Corbyn fresh, that is unlikely to change too much. The Liberals/Lib Dems have always been the main challengers too.
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morgieb
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« Reply #309 on: May 12, 2021, 05:56:42 AM »

In an AV world this certainly would be one to watch, as it is though I think the base Conservative vote would be too high to overcome especially given that Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens will likely split the anti-Conservative vote.
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YL
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« Reply #310 on: May 12, 2021, 10:48:56 AM »

The writ for Chesham & Amersham has been moved today.  17 June is the likely date, apparently.

Of course there's also Airdrie & Shotts tomorrow...
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Lord Halifax
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« Reply #311 on: May 12, 2021, 01:11:07 PM »
« Edited: May 12, 2021, 01:40:49 PM by Lord Halifax »


Of course there's also Airdrie & Shotts tomorrow...

Yeah, but everbody seems to consider the result a foregone conclusion, and the few bookies bothering with it have odds around 1.03/1.04 on an SNP win. I doubt even SLAB think they can win it.
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Blair
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« Reply #312 on: May 12, 2021, 01:12:54 PM »

I know its very much not how things are done but I don't see the logic in Labour running a candidate in Chesham
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Cassius
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« Reply #313 on: May 12, 2021, 01:26:00 PM »

They should run a candidate because they’re a national party with 200 seats in the Commons. They’ve gotta fly the flag even if it doesn’t do very much good. Plus, whilst I don’t think the Lib Dems have a hope in Hell of winning the seat, Labour running a candidate lessens the chances of the anti-Tory vote coalescing around them. It would hardly be great optics if the Lib Dems win/come close in a safe Tory seat months after Labour losing a traditionally safe seat to the government (and yes, obviously, different circumstances but that’s not how it would play in the media).
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #314 on: May 12, 2021, 01:27:59 PM »

I suspect that the Greens may fight quite hard for second here (at least in intent: I make no predictions as to how it would work out) given the salience of HS2 locally.
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adma
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« Reply #315 on: May 12, 2021, 06:17:48 PM »

And as we know from Tony Blair in Beaconsfield, remember how no-hope byelections can be treated as practice runs for future luminaries.
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #316 on: May 13, 2021, 07:13:47 AM »

They should run a candidate because they’re a national party with 200 seats in the Commons. They’ve gotta fly the flag even if it doesn’t do very much good. Plus, whilst I don’t think the Lib Dems have a hope in Hell of winning the seat, Labour running a candidate lessens the chances of the anti-Tory vote coalescing around them. It would hardly be great optics if the Lib Dems win/come close in a safe Tory seat months after Labour losing a traditionally safe seat to the government (and yes, obviously, different circumstances but that’s not how it would play in the media).

I know it was a different time and all that, but back in 1993 the general view of the LibDems was that Labour putting up token candidates in Newbury/Christchurch helped rather than hindered them.
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YL
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« Reply #317 on: May 13, 2021, 07:29:29 AM »

They should run a candidate because they’re a national party with 200 seats in the Commons. They’ve gotta fly the flag even if it doesn’t do very much good. Plus, whilst I don’t think the Lib Dems have a hope in Hell of winning the seat, Labour running a candidate lessens the chances of the anti-Tory vote coalescing around them. It would hardly be great optics if the Lib Dems win/come close in a safe Tory seat months after Labour losing a traditionally safe seat to the government (and yes, obviously, different circumstances but that’s not how it would play in the media).

I know it was a different time and all that, but back in 1993 the general view of the LibDems was that Labour putting up token candidates in Newbury/Christchurch helped rather than hindered them.

... which makes sense to me.

In those by-elections (and other more recent ones too, and I would think in any hypothetical Lib Dem gain or near gain in Chesham & Amersham) the Labour share has been very low, at deposit losing levels.  It's likely that much of that residual Labour vote is either very tribal or not keen on the Lib Dems for other reasons, and so might well not transfer to them even if there were no Labour candidate.  So I suspect the upside to the Lib Dems of having no Labour candidate is pretty small, a percentage point or two at the most.

And there is also a downside for the yellows.  If Labour stood down, then the Lib Dem candidate could easily start to be seen as a de facto Labour candidate by some of the electorate, making it harder to get Tory switchers.  Given the number of Tory switchers they need, I think that outweighs the upside.

Not that I'd suggest Labour run a serious campaign or anything.  A name on the ballot paper will do.
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Geoffrey Howe
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« Reply #318 on: May 13, 2021, 07:33:28 AM »

Will they beat their 2010 result? (Look at the 2008 Henley by-election, too.)
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #319 on: May 13, 2021, 09:38:57 AM »

And as we know from Tony Blair in Beaconsfield, remember how no-hope byelections can be treated as practice runs for future luminaries.

The present Shadow Chancellor lost her deposit as a Labour candidate in a by-election with a big LibDem surge.
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Geoffrey Howe
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« Reply #320 on: May 13, 2021, 09:47:19 AM »

And as we know from Tony Blair in Beaconsfield, remember how no-hope byelections can be treated as practice runs for future luminaries.

The present Shadow Chancellor lost her deposit as a Labour candidate in a by-election with a big LibDem surge.

Didn't the 5% threshold come in 1985?
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Conservatopia
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« Reply #321 on: May 13, 2021, 01:20:53 PM »

There's a non-zero chance of Labour losing their deposit in this by-election.  Would this be seen as "Labour in disarray" or would it not be all that big a deal?  When last did one of the two big parties lose a deposit at a Westminster seat?
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Alcibiades
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« Reply #322 on: May 13, 2021, 01:23:28 PM »

There's a non-zero chance of Labour losing their deposit in this by-election.  Would this be seen as "Labour in disarray" or would it not be all that big a deal?  When last did one of the two big parties lose a deposit at a Westminster seat?

Labour lost their deposit at the last general election in a few Lib Dem-Tory marginals, such as Winchester and Richmond Park off the top of my head.
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Conservatopia
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« Reply #323 on: May 13, 2021, 01:32:22 PM »

There's a non-zero chance of Labour losing their deposit in this by-election.  Would this be seen as "Labour in disarray" or would it not be all that big a deal?  When last did one of the two big parties lose a deposit at a Westminster seat?

Labour lost their deposit at the last general election in a few Lib Dem-Tory marginals, such as Winchester and Richmond Park off the top of my head.

Ah okay thanks.  So not a big deal then.

For what it's worth the odds have Tories picking up Batley.  It's probably all hype for now but that doesn't stop British Journalism® from saying "Tories favoured to win another one".
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Geoffrey Howe
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« Reply #324 on: May 13, 2021, 02:07:41 PM »

There's a non-zero chance of Labour losing their deposit in this by-election.  Would this be seen as "Labour in disarray" or would it not be all that big a deal?  When last did one of the two big parties lose a deposit at a Westminster seat?

Labour lost their deposit at the last general election in a few Lib Dem-Tory marginals, such as Winchester and Richmond Park off the top of my head.

They just scraped by in Richmond Park, but lost in Winchester. Labour have never got above 11% in Winchester since 1979.
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