UK By-elections thread, 2021- (user search)
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  UK By-elections thread, 2021- (search mode)
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Author Topic: UK By-elections thread, 2021-  (Read 74649 times)
CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« on: March 19, 2021, 06:59:23 AM »

I feel Brexit will become the Tories ‘break glass in case of emergency’ tactic, in the same way Labour revert back to the NHS when they’re struggling... which itself ties into what the theme of this by-election will be for Labour!

Might also make it harder for the Tories to make vaccines a major part of their campaign.
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2021, 09:54:21 AM »

One potential huge issue for Labour is that the by-election is likely to be held on local election day (6th May) where the extremely popular Tory mayor of the Tees Valley (which includes Hartlepool), Ben Houchen, is expected to cruise to a landslide re-election. It's likely that he will have at least some coat tails which will significantly boost the Tory candidate's chances of gaining the seat.

Local politics rarely influence national voting, usually it's the other way round. It seems more likely that Labour's candidate for mayor will gain a bit from Labour supporters voting straight ticket who'd otherwise have voted for Houchen.

Spot on.  Plus it's difficult to have "coat tails" when turnout is only 25%.  Nobody cares about the metro mayors.

I don't think any metro mayors have coat tails but I think there's already two-tiers of them. Burnham, Street and Rotheram do actually have some sort of presence. I'm sure Houchen appears in the local newspaper a lot, and is obviously more well-known than Jacobs, but because Houchen has no real presence or relevance to national politics I'd be surprised if many voters even knew he was up for election, at least before they receive their poll card. Bowles, Jarvis and Palmer must be even less well-known.
Precisely.  I literally live in the same village as Bowles (he used to be my councillor) and nobody has ever heard of him or knows what West of England Mayor even means.

Burnham amd Street, as you correctly point out, are much bigger names.  The role is as big as you choose to make it I guess.

To an extent, though it also helps that GtrManc, Merseyside and even the W Mids are already fairly well defined regions with some (albeit fuzzy) sense of "identity".

Some of these other mayoral entities, though, are distinctly amorophous.

(what would "West of England" mean to you? Probably not what that position actually covers, for sure)
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CumbrianLefty
CumbrianLeftie
Junior Chimp
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Posts: 7,608
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2021, 09:38:41 AM »

Reform Party officially announces that they will stand in Hartlepool.

Also confirmed there will be a second Westminster byelection (both almost certainly on 6 May) for Airdrie and Shotts, where the sitting SNP MP is standing aside so they can run for Holyrood. Looks fairly safe for the Nats on paper, though their majority over Labour fell to under 200 at the 2017 GE.
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2021, 05:43:27 AM »

This is the first time it has happened - the SNP have now said "double hatting" is not allowed.
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2021, 06:16:26 AM »

It now looks likely that Airdrie/Shotts will be on May 13th, a week after the main elections. Holding it on the same day apparently fell foul of electoral regulations in this Covid period.
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2021, 10:13:05 AM »

Meanwhile, some excitement caused by a "poll" of Hartlepool which isn't actually a poll as such.
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CumbrianLefty
CumbrianLeftie
Junior Chimp
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2021, 12:35:59 PM »

And it shows Labour 3 points ahead.

For the record, they were 9 points ahead in December 2019, albeit with a divided opposition. Labour's overall percentage of the vote is about the same in this poll as it was in 2019.

To the extent any of this could be seen as indicative of what's on the ground, it's mostly bad news for Labour.

To reiterate, it isn't an actual poll.
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2021, 07:13:41 AM »

Lmao apparently NIP may run Thelma Walker, MP for Colne Valley for two years.

They have been busy having a go at Labour "parachuting" in their candidate (from distant Stockton) previously, so this would fit well with the level of political nous they have displayed thus far Wink
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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Posts: 7,608
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2021, 09:08:20 AM »

Well, Williams has strong ties to the constituency and represented another Teesside constituency even if it doesn't share a boundary, so that would ordinarily count as quite local. Dawson represented a constituency in northern Lancashire, but is actually from the North East - except that he is in no sense local as he is from and based in Northumberland. Walker's former constituency might as well have been in Cornwall.

Walker was a teacher in Stockton for a while, though.
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2021, 12:00:14 PM »

Distinct rumblings that not all Tories are happy with their chosen candidate in Hartlepool.
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2021, 06:59:01 AM »
« Edited: March 31, 2021, 08:42:35 AM by CumbrianLeftie »

Tbf the Tories picked quite a few people like that in 2019 in seats that they still won from Labour - the likelihood remains strong that by-elections are a different beast tho.

(any known reason why their Hartlepool candidate back then isn't getting another go?)
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2021, 08:14:31 AM »

Still awaiting confirmation of LibDem and Green candidates in Hartlepool (if any)
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2021, 10:46:34 AM »

Still awaiting confirmation of LibDem and Green candidates in Hartlepool (if any)

Both have now announced their hopefuls - in the former's case it is their candidate in 2017 and 2019.
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2021, 06:07:01 AM »

A union that has been publicly and volubly critical of Starmer's leadership (and in ideological terms, not just - as some other critics have mainly been - regarding issues of process)

Whilst the questions asked mostly seem straight enough - and of course Survation is a fully reputable pollster, even if their constituency polls at the last GE were more accurate in some cases than others - that still perhaps needs to be borne in mind when considering this poll.
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2021, 06:35:16 AM »


Oh, one does hope so Smiley
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2021, 06:51:00 AM »

I wonder how much CWU paid for it.

The numbers for NIP seem higher than I expect but equally the numbers for Reform UK are what I expect- I think if someone called me up and asked me on the spot what the Brexit Party is now called I'd certainly struggle

One does wonder if specifying "Reform UK - formerly Brexit Party" might have got a few points more.
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CumbrianLefty
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Junior Chimp
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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2021, 09:03:51 AM »
« Edited: April 07, 2021, 12:00:28 PM by CumbrianLeftie »

Survation have argued the recalled 2019 BxP figure is plausible and goes with previous precedent. But the fact remains that dropping from 28% to 3% is of a different order than from (say) 5% to 1%.
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CumbrianLefty
CumbrianLeftie
Junior Chimp
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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2021, 05:39:30 AM »

The UK press seems filled with stories about how the Tories are going to win Hartlepool and interviews with locals confirming that people are fed up with being taken for granted by Labour and are voting Tory but won't say so publicly etc. Is that just because it's the most exciting narrative or is this race actually trending Conservative now?

How important is the accusation that the Labour candidate helped shut down the local hospital?


Have to say, that is the bit that doesn't really ring true to me. Labour to Tory switchers in recent years have mostly been "loud and proud" about it - indeed if anything people have been more likely to talk about it than actually do it.

The hospital accusation was basically a Guido Fawkes smear, of course that doesn't in itself prevent it gaining traction (sadly) but I'm not sure if it actually has done so much.
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CumbrianLefty
CumbrianLeftie
Junior Chimp
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Posts: 7,608
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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2021, 06:57:21 AM »

The UK press seems filled with stories about how the Tories are going to win Hartlepool and interviews with locals confirming that people are fed up with being taken for granted by Labour and are voting Tory but won't say so publicly etc. Is that just because it's the most exciting narrative or is this race actually trending Conservative now?

The question to ask yourself is how easy it is likely to be, given the current restrictions (even easing as they are), to even find people happy to speak at great length to journalists about their political preferences. Or even how easy it is for journalists to actually get there at the moment.

Press narratives about by-elections are generally not based on much. Journalists mostly do not know the first thing about the places reported from and spend most of the (usually very limited) time spent in the constituency finding anecdotes or other information that supports the line they've already decided to to take. Sometimes they end up being 'correct', but sometimes they are miles out - there was a press consensus, for instance, that the Oldham West & Royton by-election was going to be very tight between UKIP and Labour and that UKIP were perhaps even slight favourites.

Though by-elections are hard to get a handle on - even for the campaigns! - at the best of times, and these are not those. A lot of the usual tools used to gauge what is happening are less reliable than normal or flat-out off the table.

Oldham East was a bit of an odd one actually - its easy to poke fun at the media "hot takes" given the actual result (and I did it myself) but the predominant feeling amongst Labour people *on the ground* in the days before the vote was that it was very likely going to be close.

Labour's big win was foreseen by genuinely few.
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CumbrianLefty
CumbrianLeftie
Junior Chimp
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Posts: 7,608
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2021, 08:16:50 AM »

Though it may or not be significant that Labour people are starting to brief "think we will do it".
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CumbrianLefty
CumbrianLeftie
Junior Chimp
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Posts: 7,608
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« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2021, 07:54:02 AM »


I think that it's a reasonable poll as constituency polls go, but it isn't hugely credible.

A few thoughts...
- Constituency polling in the UK has a terrible record. Some of them have been wildly inaccurate. That's due to many reasons, but small seat size and lack of experience by pollsters are two of the big ones.
- It's a poll of 301 people. That's a very small sample which is liable to a large margin of error even in a well conducted poll (+/- 5%). They actually polled 517 people. Then (unweighted) 464 people said they would vote, but 125 of them were 'undecided' and 32 'refused'. In total only 142 said they'd vote Conservative and 99 Labour.
- Survation only called landlines. Think who you know who answers landlines. Only my elderly grandmother would answer the phone and talk to a pollster. It's a very limiting, almost self-selecting, group.  It's now becoming more and more common for people to abandon landlines which I think would skew young and low income.
- This poll skewed pretty old in respondent age. Look at the tables. 57 people aged 18-34 responded which they weighted to 103. 145 responded who were 65+ which they weighted to 122. They weighted up the under 45s and down the 45+ age groups.
- It also skews wrong by party. They polled 124 2019 Labour voters, 155 2019 Conservative voters, 62 2019 Brexit Party voters and 32 others. Now they have weighted the numbers, but the raw unweighted sample is quite out-of-sync with the 2019 result when Labour got 39%, Conservatives 29%, Brexit 26% and others 8%.
- The data collected is a little dated at a week and a half old.

That said, I wouldn't like to be Keir Starmer or the Labour candidate right now.

Also, most 2019 BXP voters claimed they were "100% certain to vote" (!) and they then broke for the Tories in *far* greater numbers than is usually the case in polls.

Having said that, any defeat for Labour here would be bad - big BXP vote or no big BXP vote.
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CumbrianLefty
CumbrianLeftie
Junior Chimp
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Posts: 7,608
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« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2021, 05:42:48 AM »

There is an argument the West of England and West Yorkshire mayor contests are at least as vital as Tees Valley, and both could be bright spots for Labour.
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CumbrianLefty
CumbrianLeftie
Junior Chimp
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Posts: 7,608
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« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2021, 05:54:54 AM »

Mostly blind guessing here.
Hartlepool: Lab
West Midlands: Con
Tees Valley Lab
London: Lab
Scotland: SNP largest party

That really would be a *far* bigger shock than Labour holding Hartlepool.

(in truth, they are more likely to win W Mids - and that is a longish shot)
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CumbrianLefty
CumbrianLeftie
Junior Chimp
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Posts: 7,608
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2021, 09:48:20 AM »

Though the likeliest Tory gain in Wales isn't anywhere in the N, but the Vale of Glamorgan.

Missing out on that could be a sign they are failing to meet expectations overall.
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CumbrianLefty
CumbrianLeftie
Junior Chimp
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Posts: 7,608
United Kingdom


« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2021, 08:47:28 AM »

It looks like Starmer's "insiders" have moved on from Hartlepool to start dooming about a byelection in Batley and Spen that hasn't even been made official yet Roll Eyes

All that i will say for now is - yes at a superficial level the results of the two seats at the last GE look reasonably similar, but there are also genuinely differences. Which should make it an easier defence for Labour, always assuming that they don't totally mess things up.
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