Friday, September 11, 2015

Walkover in Leith Walk as SNP ease to by-election win

There was a real oddity yesterday - a by-election in a ward where there was more than one vacancy, allowing the STV system to come into its own.  However, the familiar discrepancy still applied - the Greens were defending one of the two seats in spite of finishing third last time, meaning they had to gain significant ground just to hold what they had.  Unfortunately from a pro-independence point of view, they didn't quite make it.

Leith Walk by-election (10th September) :

SNP 36.2% (+7.7)
Labour 25.7% (-7.5)
Greens 21.8% (+1.5)
Conservatives 7.9% (-0.2)
Liberal Democrats 4.0% (-1.1)
UKIP 1.6% (n/a)
SSP 1.5% (n/a)
Left Unity 0.5% (n/a)
Independent 0.4% (n/a)
Libertarian 0.3% (n/a)

Techincally that worked out as one SNP hold and one Labour "gain" from the Greens, but of course the real story is the 7.6% swing from Labour to the SNP.  That's significantly more modest than the swings in other recent by-elections - whether that's the Corbyn effect, or the 'Edinburgh is a different planet' effect, or something else entirely, is difficult to say.  Hopefully the Midlothian result will give us some clues.

Excluding a by-election in independent-dominated Orkney, this is also the first time since the general election that any local seat has been won by a party other than the SNP, but in this case it was impossible for them to take both seats - they only put up one candidate.

*  *  *

I'm still travelling, so have to save my battery, but as you may have seen by now, the swing to the SNP in the Midlothian by-election was very similar to the one in Leith Walk (slightly lower, in fact).  Coincidence, or evidence of a Corbyn bounce for Labour?  If the latter, we may have to get used to it, because the scale of Sadiq Khan's victory in London today surely makes it inevitable that Jeremy Corbyn will become Labour leader tomorrow morning.  Hold on to your hats - we're about to set off on a journey into the unknown.

23 comments:

  1. The voting system for by-elections should account for existing representation, ie, the fact Labour already have 2 councillors in that ward. Every by-election simply gifts more power to the biggest parties.

    They are supported by 1 in 4 votes yet now have 3 out of 4 councillors.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree. STV is a ludicrous electoral system for by-elections, but the only viable alternatives are to rerun the entire ward, or just ditch by-election altogether and have nominated reolacements.

      Not a fan of STV generally, myself.

      Delete
  2. Rather than a Corbyn effect or an Edinburgh is different effect, it looks more likely to be a Green effect: is SNP + Green = 36.2% + 21.8% = 58% any different from the recent usual SNP + Green totals?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's pretty much it.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. From our high percentage Leith Walk ward samples at previous counts, Referendum: Yes 54%. Westminster: combined votes for Yes parties: 57%.. And this week the entire count showed 58% combined votes for Yes parties. So all very much in line with reality on the ground here. Pity the turnout wasn't higher but council elections just don't enthuse more people (wish they did)

      Delete
    4. Let me apologise and correct myself. The SSP took 1.5% of Thursdays poll, meaning Yes-supporting parties took 59.5% of Thursdays total vote. So indy support in Leith Walk is right up there !

      Delete
  3. I did not realise that there were two vacancies in the Leith Walk ward. If the SNP had put up two candidates there would be the possibility of the two candidates splitting the SNP vote. Considering that the SNP polled less than Labour in 2012 it was wise to just put up one candidate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that sort of calculation is another reason why I hate STV. No matter how overwhelming the support a party actually achieves, if they've cautiously fielded only one candidate, that's all they'll get elected.

      Delete
  4. There will probably be a lower swing in the Midlothian ward as well, because it was an area where the SNP were already pretty strong before 2014.

    Turnout there was 31% per the Midlothian Council twitter a/c (@midgov)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Owen Thomson had a big personal vote which should be factored in to the mix.

      Delete
    2. Sure, he was the council leader at one time or another. I can't recall if he was the leader then Labour took control in 2012, or if he became council leader in 2012 and was still there entering GE2015.

      Result on the first ballot was SNP 43.0% (+3.5), Lab 26.4% (-9.0), Con 14.6% (+4.0), Green 10.4% (+5.2) Lib 4.5% (-1.1), Independent 0.7%.

      So a swing from 2012 of just over 6%. As said above, it's a lower swing than in other recent by-elections, but this is mainly because it was an area where the SNP were already relatively strong.

      Surprisingly good showing from the Greens there (for a ward in the Lothians outside Edinburgh).

      https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/642332294821343232

      Delete
  5. I guess I have beaten to listing the reasons why I hate STV as a voting system. The comfort I take from this is that the combined out and out Brit Nat vote continues to slide.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Who would like to have a discussion about the ScotPound concept? http://b.3cdn.net/nefoundation/3a512ad0ef4458b28b_ntm6bwk42.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  7. There is nothing to be concerned about at present.

    The SNP won some areas with less than 40% of the vote in May. Some areas will be strong like Dundee, Angus where it was 60% and others won't.

    A party who recently polled 58% is unbeliveable stuff, *even if it's down 4% from the previous poll*

    As an SNP supporter, things are going swimmingly. Keep plugging away, and hope % by % that the Yes vote continues to move whilst governing well - and we'll get there.

    Time will tell with Corbyn, but I do not think we'll see much a waltz back across the dancefloor to Labour - of course some may have an interest in his message, but if you are ever in Glasgow trying to talking to the ''I've always voted Labour'' folk - none of them are going back! None of them! I try never to stick my affilition in at all, but the baw is most certainly burst for Labour.

    Quite ironic on the eve of the announcement that we could potenitally have a new Labour more of the same mob running Labour in Jockland, and Labour UK being as left as a mainstream political party can get in the UK.

    The only winners out of this will be the Tories.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Glasgow Working ClassSeptember 11, 2015 at 11:15 PM

    Jings Crivens help ma boab another Nat si is a coonsillor. The wurkin class will be taking tae ra streets.Prosperity guaranteed. The rich will pay. Nae need tae wurk fur a livvin. The state wull provide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working ClassSeptember 11, 2015 at 11:34 PM

      I am just a troll.

      Delete
    2. Many a true word spoken in jest.

      Delete
    3. So GWC, isn't really a representation of the GWC? What do GWC want?

      Delete
  9. Do you know what troll. You are the dirt on my shoe. Go and seek help. Totally deranged. How many units does it take for you to get so mental. Everyone is bored with your psychosis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So stop feeding him. He loves all that stuff. nothing shames or embarrasses him. Just completely ignore. he's already bored to be doing this trolling, and can only get more bored as we ignore his comments.

      Delete
  10. If there is a Corbyn effect, it adds to my understanding of why Scotland struggles to stand up.
    Some cannot see that this is not a Presidential election, 'we' cannot vote for Corbyn in Scotland, no matter what our basic political beliefs. We can throw away the strength of of the votes we have by dilution.
    We voted Labour for decades with no advantage, only the illusion we were knocking the Tories, even while they were in power in Westminster, controlling the whole country.
    it is one of the biggest cons played on us by Labour.
    How may times have we heard, there is only one Tory in Scotland, as if it meant something profound?
    The reality is, So what? Westminster s full of them, and the real problem is that that will be the case again and again and again.

    ReplyDelete