So that’s that then*. A solid result for Labour. A hold with an increased majority. I think the result was about as expected – you could, I suppose, argue the Tories did slightly worse and Lib Dems slightly better than expected – if that is correct then it is a function of:
- The Conservative CCHQ seemed to do no more than the bare minimum to support their candidate – there is suspicion that a tactical decision was taken not to allow a result that would undermine Clegg and this meant not fighting too hard. I’m sure there will be some angst between the grass-roots and the tacticians in the Party about this over the coming weeks.
- Partly as a result of the above, and partly regardless, many Tories will have tactically voted Lib Dem this time around. Clearly not enough to compensate those switching Lib Dem to Labour.
- The turnout was down but I would expect this to be spread evenly between the parties.
All in – no real news. Easily a good enough result to keep Ed knockers in the party on the leash, but not quite good enough that they wont still be straining on it. As by-election swings go it is pretty undramatic.
*Full Result: Labour: 14,718 (42.1%) Lib Dems: 11,160 (31.9%) Conservatives: 4,481 (12.8%) UKIP: 2,029 (5.8%) BNP: 1,560 (4.5%) Green Party: 530 (1.5%) Monster Raving Loony Party: 145 (0.4%) English Democrats: 144 (0.4%) Pirate Party: 96 (0.2%) Bus Pass Elvis Party: 67 (0.1%)