The Sitwell By-Election What it Reveals!

A by-election was held on August 5th 2010 in the Sitwell Ward of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, the results reveal much about the rapidly changing fortunes of the main political parties and the overall political climate nationally when recent by-elections held in July in Walsall (15th) and Wolverhampton (29th) are factored in.

Here are the Sitwell Ward Results:

Rotherham MBC Sitwell Ward August 5th 2010
2008 Result 2008 % Vote 2010 May Result 2010 May % Vote 2010 By-Election Result 2010 By-Election % Vote % Change since 2008 % Change since May
Party
Tory 2300 58.5 2684 41.5 1213 45.5 -13 4.5
Lab 768 19.5 2238 34.6 864 32.4 12.9 -2.2
R Ind 751 11.6 252 9.5 -2.1
UKIP 793 12.3 241 8.9 -3.4
Lib 867 22 98 3.7 -18.3
Totals 3935 100 6466 100 2668 100

The picture painted by these results is very mixed, with Labour failing to increase vote share from May. Actually losing 2.2% of their share of the vote in 4 months, they must be beginning to feel they are still losing ground in Rotherham and local opinion polling continues to bear this out with the most disaffected being their own core supporters. Trust, it would appear, is at breaking point amongst Labour’s formerly loyal supporters and as more revelations of their cynicism pre election are made clear this is set to get steadily worse as the Labour Council is also obliged to cut essential services against increasing local opposition and their continued personal greed in these times of austerity sickens all but the most tribal of voters.

Liberals must be in despair, not only in Rotherham have the voters deserted them but as can be seen from the results below of recent by-elections in Walsall and Wolverhampton there too. This catastrophic loss of votes for the junior Coalition Government partner must be shaking Liberals across the whole country to their foundations. This pattern of voting in areas formerly having significant Liberal votes is not going to change any time soon.

UKIP also suffered a reverse losing vote share for the first time in Rotherham in an election battle with an extraordinarily poor candidate, John Wilkinson the local Party Secretary, who seems to be intent on proving his own ignorance in the letter columns of the Rotherham Advertiser almost every week, it seems, for many months! His views on global warming would be amusing if they were not so seriously wrong in terms of  the scientific ‘facts’ he insists on repeating mantra like as if something becomes true simply by endless repetition.

Dave Ridgway standing for the Rotherham Independents improved their position coming in third place as opposed to last in May, a creditable result in the circumstances.

Two other by-elections for local council seats have taken place since the General Election on May 6th, here are the results:

Walsall Bloxwich West Ward 15th July 2010
2008 2008 Vote % 2010 May 2010 May Vote % 2010 By-election 2010 By-election Vote % % Change since 2008 % Change since May
Party
Tory 1436 53.1 2329 40.7 800 37.5 -15.6 -3.2
Lab 465 17.2 2008 35.1 1142 53.6 36.4 1.3
Dem Lab 365 13.5
UKIP 286 10.6 91 4.3 -6.3
Lib 102 3.7 563 9.8 71 3.3 -0.4 -10.2
Green 97 1.7 28 1.3 -0.04
BNP 722 12.6
Totals 2704 5719 2132 100

There will be another by-election later in Walsall after the death of a second councillor was announced this week.

Wolverhampton Bilston North Ward 29th July 2010
2008 2008 Vote % 2010 May 2010 May Vote % 2010 By-election 2010 By-election Vote % % Change since 2008 % Change since May
Party
Tory 1272 44.6 1481 29.6 460 23.1 -21.5 -6.5
Lab 1180 41.4 2262 45.3 1292 64.9 23.5 19.6
UKIP 55 2.7
BNP 589 11.8 131 4.4 -7.4
Lib 209 7.3 663 13.3 52 2.6 -4.7 -10.7
Green 189 6.6
Totals 2850 4995 1990

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