Friday, August 26, 2016

It's a flippin' Fife phenomenon as stormin' SNP secure a super 9.5% swing from Labour in local by-election

The Lochs was the second-weakest ward for the SNP in the whole of Fife in the 2012 local elections (the only worse one was the rarefied setting of St Andrews).  They put up only one candidate, who finished third and received just 19% of the vote, a whopping 27% behind the combined support for Labour's two candidates.  Remember all of that happened on a day when, across Scotland, the SNP defeated Labour in the popular vote by 1%.  So on paper, this should be just about as tough a ward for Nicola Sturgeon's party as you'll find anywhere - but you certainly wouldn't know that from the by-election result yesterday.  The SNP stormed into second place, and slashed Labour's lead to just 8.5%.

Labour 47.1% (+0.7)
SNP 38.6% (+19.6)
Conservatives 9.6% (+7.0)
Communists 3.1% (n/a)
Greens 1.6% (n/a)

As almost always seems to be the case, the quirks of the STV voting system are allowing some fairly extreme misinformation to do the rounds about the result. Labour are claiming to have "turned the tide" with a "gain". Well, yes, it's technically true that they "gained" the seat, in the sense that the vacancy was caused by the retirement of an independent councillor - but Labour topped the poll in the ward last time and did so again yesterday. Their vote effectively flatlined, in spite of the fact that a huge number of votes that had previously gone to the independent were now up for grabs.

On the other extreme, some people have claimed that the swing from Labour to the SNP was as high as 17%. I've squinted at the result in a number of different ways to try to understand where that figure has come from, but I'm mystified. Suffice to say it's inaccurate - the real swing was around 9.5%, which is plenty enormous enough to be getting on with.

UPDATE : It turns out that the 17% swing is not measured from the 2012 result at all, but from another by-election in the ward that was held in June 2014.  Well, I suppose that can be justified, although 2012 is the more natural baseline, and allows for direct comparisons with other recent by-elections.

41 comments:

  1. A couple of points to add to your post.

    The retiring councillor, though officially an independent was a member of the Communist Party (last elected Communist councillor in Britain) and it looks as if almost all his votes went to the SNP.

    The winner, though a Labour Party member, is an outspoken supporter of independence. I wonder if the Tories who gave her their second preference votes were aware of that.

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    1. I know Mary from my Labour days, she is very popular and well kent in Fife so she had that as an advantage too. With her winning, being well kent and well liked, Lea did well for SNP with the votes she got and the increase to SNP votes there. She will hopefully be an asset in encouraging unsure and No voters to the Yes side.

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  2. Is Mary Lockhart still openly pro-indy?

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  3. Everything seems, to me, to be ticking along nicely: SNP up 19.6% since 2012; swing from Lab to SNP c.15% since 2014; new Lab counsellor pro-indy. And all this after another anti-Scottish barrage from the britnat media.

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  4. I am still laughing at the fact that the Tory Yoons have voted for a vile Separatist, just to keep oot the vile Separatists. They truly are as thick as pigshit!

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    1. Thick as pigshit and mendacious with it

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  5. I checked her Facebook page and noticed her calling for Tommy Shepherd to be Shadow Scottish Secretary!

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  6. I checked her Facebook page and noticed her calling for Tommy Shepherd to be Shadow Scottish Secretary!

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  7. no it is the start of the great slab fightback the snp honeymoon is over mcternan says so

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    1. Haha! McTernan, we all know what he says is the very opposite of what actually happens. Mary is really well kent, trusted and liked in Fife, she is a proud pro Indy supporter and that in itself is a good thing, there was a time those who stayed in Labour would never vote for anyone who is pro Indy in Fife, changed days and I'm proud of Fife for that. It changed me from No to Yes, Labour to SNP :-)

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  8. Glasgow Working Class 2August 26, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    59.8% voted for parties that support the Union. Howzat Nat sis!

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  9. Glasgow Working Class 2August 26, 2016 at 8:24 PM

    Do explain Nat sis what difference it makes who will run the council. They all have the same budget and they will not raise council tax nor will the Scottish Government raise income tax to give to the councils.
    The fact is is that you Nat sis think all elections are for the purpose of independence the people are an afterthought.
    And you repetetive sockpuppet is that your excuse for not having any even minimal intelligence!

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2August 26, 2016 at 10:49 PM

      Braindead Nat sis.

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  10. Another sign that,apart from one individual,working class Scots now realise that Westminster isn't working for them.....and never has.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2August 26, 2016 at 11:54 PM

      Whats the sign?

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  11. These council elections are fought using STV and multi-member wards. So why, when there is a by-election do they not use the same multi-member wards and re-run the original election? That's what happens when an MP or MSP needs replaced.

    The situation as it stands now is farcical and is surely part of the labour/libdem axis plan to mess up Scottish politics. Have as many different electoral systems as you can fit into one country so that nobody knows how they're supposed to vote.

    Why do people still insist on ranking every candidate? And why do certain parties campaign on the basis that you MUST vote for everybody?

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    1. These council elections are fought using STV and multi-member wards. So why, when there is a by-election do they not use the same multi-member wards and re-run the original election? That's what happens when an MP or MSP needs replaced.

      How do you mean? MPs and MSPs don't stand in multi-member wards. Are you proposing that all councillors in a ward should stand again when one of them has to be replaced?

      The situation as it stands now is farcical and is surely part of the labour/libdem axis plan to mess up Scottish politics. Have as many different electoral systems as you can fit into one country so that nobody knows how they're supposed to vote.

      What would be the point of this? If nobody understands the voting system, that would cause Labour just as many problems as the SNP.

      Why do people still insist on ranking every candidate? And why do certain parties campaign on the basis that you MUST vote for everybody?

      Does it matter? Candidates ranked below your preferred candidate will only be counted if and when that candidate is elected/eliminated, so you won't damage your own first choice by ranking everyone.

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  12. On more sporting matters. I see that it has taken a whole 6 DAYS from the end of the olympic games for the first suggestion of abolishing Scotland. The english want to put team GBNIUKGJASIOMGOT into the 7s World Series instead of Scotland, Wales and them. The extermination of Scots continues and our beloved yoons look the other way.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2August 27, 2016 at 1:27 AM

      Extermination, that is serious!

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2August 27, 2016 at 10:13 AM

      Braindead Nat si.

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  13. Is Mary Lockhart still openly pro-indy?

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  14. Glasgow Working Class 2August 27, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    You have to give Corbyn some credit for ruling out an alliance with the right wing pro austerity Nat si party. He is not all that bad after all.

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    1. You have to give Corbyn and Smith some credit for killing stone-dead any faint hope of a Labour revival in Scotland

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2August 27, 2016 at 6:34 PM

      Exactly, we will have to settle for the right wing Nat sis pro austerity shysters.

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  15. Glasgow Working Class 2August 28, 2016 at 4:42 PM

    Even the Sunday Post have commented on the Nat si Gov giving millions to private bus companies. Wonder if any of the private bus company bosses donate to the Nat sis!
    And yet the Nat sis condemn giving money to private NHS suppliers. The Nat si hypocrisy is truly astounding.

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  16. Now I understand GWC's mental contortions - a Sunday Post reader!!

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2August 28, 2016 at 6:55 PM

      You understand nothing fash bhoy. The article was on radio Scotland this morning. And you Nat sis are pouring money into Thatcherite privatised companies and no doubt taking donations from them. Thatcher privatised the buses 1985 and you Tartan Tories are still letting the rackateers milk the taxpayer. However I knew you would fall for the mention of the SP you Knobend.

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  17. Serious question, what happens if you simply don't list all your preferences or if you make a mistake? Like how does the ballot prevent this?

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  18. Serious question, what happens if you simply don't list all your preferences or if you make a mistake? Like how does the ballot prevent this?

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2August 28, 2016 at 11:37 PM

      Why not change the subject fash bhoys!

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