Local elections

Latest by-election results: gains for Tories, Ukip and the SNP

There was a rich crop of 13 council by-elections on Thursday, including a mix of gains, holds and even an uncontested seat.

First, a local landslide for Conservative candidate Ronnie de Burle, who won a seat from Labour on Melton council:

Melton council by-election

The result saw a huge swing of 11.4% from Labour to Conservative.

Second, a gain for Ukip. In a rather unusual contest, the party took a seat on East Riding council from the SDP (yes, they do still exist), who did not field a candidate this time.

Instead, Ukip beat the Conservatives and no fewer than three independents:

East Riding by-election

Neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats entered candidates. The seat had fallen vacant following the death of SDP councillor Ray Allerston.

Elections for two other seats on East Riding council also took place on Thursday, again triggered by the deaths of the sitting councillors. In both cases Tory candidates held the seat, and both saw a modest swing from Labour to the Conservatives.
Here’s a summary of the nine other by-elections this week:
  • Plaid Cymru held a seat on Gwynedd county council, where they were unopposed.
  • Labour held a seat on Hillingdon council in London, with the Tories a close second and Ukip some way behind in third.
  • Three contests took place in Oxford, two for the city council and one for the county council. Labour held all three seats very comfortably. In one of the seats, Blackbird Leys, there was a  7.7% swing from Ukip to Labour.
  • The Tories held a seat on Huntingdonshire council, with Ukip second and Labour third.
  • The final three contests were in Scotland. The SNP won a seat from the Conservatives on Aberdeenshire council, taking 1,159 first preference votes – more than double the number won by the Tories, who came second with 574 votes. Elsewhere Labour won a seat from an independent on Midlothian council, and an independent candidate won a seat on Orkney council, replacing another independent in a contest that was fought entirely between – no surprise here – independents.
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