Friday, 19 August 2011

LibDems get a kicking

The LibDems took a kicking in a council by-election in Edinburgh yesterday.  LibDems taking a kicking in Scotland?  No change there then!  But this election was interesting for a number of reasons.

  • First it was an STV election so we see how the second preferences redistributed.
  • Second the ward was basically a 5 way dead heat last time!  
  • Third the LibDems are in power with the SNP in the city
  • Fourth the ward is right in the heart of the controversial Edinburgh Trams project and there was an anti trams independent.
The by-election in Central ward was caused by an SNP councillor resigning as he is going abroad to work.

There was a strong Conservative candidate who fought the election for Holyrood in May.  There was a feisty and high profile Independent fighting on the red hot issue of the Trams.  Going on second hand reports from the hustings there was a weak SNP candidate who should have been favourite.  Again, from second hand reports the Green, LibDem and Labour candidates all had their strengths and weaknesses and showed promise – the LibDem and Greens were first time candidates I believe.
  • The LibDems, Conservatives and Labour have all supported the Trams.
  • The Independent is anti-tram.
  • The SNP have positioned themselves as anti-tram though, as part of the administration, have voted for it but they distance themselves from decisions and the running of the transport brief.  

The basic numbers are these:

Last time
SNP 20%, Con 20%, LD 20%, Lab 18%, Green 17%

This time - First preferences
Con 837 (24%) SNP 797 (23%) Lab 682 (20%) Green 494 (14%) Independent 394 (9%) LD 251 (7%)

Second stage
LibDem votes then redistributed largely to the Tory and to the Green

LD Redistribution
67 to the Tory, 28 to SNP, 34 to Labour, 82 to the Green

Con 904, SNP 825, Lab 716, Green 576, Ind 402

Third stage
The Independent votes then redistributed to the Tory but with healthy numbers to the SNP and Green too.

Ind redistribution
139 to the Tory, 68 to SNP, 29 to Labour, 59 to Green

Con 1043, SNP 893, Lab 745, Green 635

Fourth stage
More Greens transferred to Labour than SNP

Green redistribution
67 to Tory, 188 to SNP, 223 to Labour

Con 1110, SNP 1081, Lab 968

Fifth stage
More Labour votes transfer to SNP but a surprisingly high amount go to the Tory.

Labour redistribution
154 to Tory, 287 to SNP  

SNP 1368, Con 1264

SNP Hold

A strong showing by the Tories, but with a good, known candidate.  Alright for the SNP and Labour advancing on 2007, but Labour should be disappointed they cannot do better.  The SNP nearly lost what should have been an easy win, but a stronger candidate would probably do better.  A poor result for the Greens and a disastrous one for the LibDems where they are being crushed between the rocks of the Coalition, the Trams and an unpopular council.  And will there be any anti-tram independents across the city next May?    

(Numbers sourced from @BritainVotes live feed)

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