The electoral challenge: How are Labour performing in by-elections since Corbyn became leader?

Luke Akehurst


As it is near Christmas you will forgive me if I don’t contribute any carefully thought through prose but instead let some numbers do the talking, and let you draw your own conclusions.

A prominent Corbyn supporter challenged me on Twitter last week about why I wasn’t doing the weekly update on council by-election results I used to post on my own blog until the General Election. The simple answer is that the excellent @britainelects Twitter feed now publishes them in real time as the results come out on each Thursday night.

By way of a round-up, here is the change in Labour vote share in all the council by-elections where there has been a Labour candidate (and there was a Labour candidate in the previous contest so a comparison can be made) since the leadership election in September, grouped by region so you can see the regional pattern.

Eastern (average Labour vote share -4.1%)
Bourn (S Cambridgeshire) +2.9%
Chedgrave & Thurton (S Norfolk) -0.8%
Dedham & Langham (Colchester) -4.3%
Hertford Heath (E Herts) -1.7%
Huntingdon East (Huntingdonshire) -2.9%
Loddon (Norfolk) -8.4%
Rochford (Rochford) -16.0%
Shenfield (Brentwood) -0.7%
S Smallborough (Norfolk) -5.3%
Watton (Norfolk) -5.4%
West (Peterborough) -2.1%

East Midlands (average -5.6%)
Belvoir (S Kesteven) -15.1%
Coal Ashton (NE Derbyshire) -6.7%
Derwent Valley (Derbyshire) -1.7%
Holmewood & Heath (NE Derbyshire) +7.4%
Market Logan (Harborough) -5.9%
Selston (Ashfield) -4.3%
Selston (Nottinghamshire) -13.2%

London (average +3.3%)
Boleyn (Newham) +7.9%
Bryanston & Dorset Square (Westminster) -5.7%
Kensal Green (Brent) -1.0%
Noel Park (Haringey) +7.5%
S Camberwell (Southwark) +9.0%
Woodside (Haringey) +1.9%

Howgate (Cumbria) -12.9%

North West (average -5.5%)
Carnforth & Millhead (Lancaster) -2.8%
Clifton (Fylde) -9.6%
Congleton E (E Cheshire) +1.4%
Euxton N (Chorley) +12.7%
Risedale (Barrow in Furness) -24.1%
Tottington (Bury) -10.5%

Scotland (average -8.8%)
Ayr E (S Ayrshire) -7.3%
Blantyre (S Lanarkshire) -7.0%
Dunfermline N (Fife) -18.7%
George Street/Harbour (Aberdeen) -5.4%
Glenrothes W & Kinglassie -9.3%
Irvine Valley (E Ayrshire) -6.3%
Linlithgow (W Lothian) +2.6%
Midstocket/Rosemount (Aberdeen) -11.2%
Rosyth (Fife) -13.2%
Stirling E (Stirling) -11.9%

South East (average -2.6%)
Ash South & Tongham (Guildford) -5.1%
Aylesford Green (Ashford) -32.4%
Chandler’s Ford (Hampshire) +1.9%
Epsom W (Surrey) +2.1%
Goldsworth E (Woking) -1.0%
Goldsworth W (Woking) +1.3%
Grimsbury & Castle (Cherwell) +5.9%
Northfield Brook (Oxford) +2.1%
Sandford & the Wittenhams (S Oxfordshire) -3.7%
Shepperton Town (Spelthorne) -4.8%
Sonning Common (S Oxfordshire) +4.7%

South West (average no change in Labour vote)
Clifton with Maidenway (Torbay) -9.0%
Kinson South (Bournemouth) +7.0%
Rodwell (Dorset) -7.3%
Salisbury St Edmund & Milford (Wiltshire) +5.6%
Totnes (South Hams) +3.7%

Wales (average +0.1%)
Bettws (Newport) +6.8%
Dewi (Gwynedd) -0.2%
Gogarth (Conwy) +1.4%
Kidwelly (Carmarthenshire) -10.6%
Ogmore Vale (Bridgend) +3.7%
Riverside (Cardiff) -0.8%

West Midlands (average -10.6%)
Belle Vue (Shropshire) -28.7%
Blakebrook & S Habberley -1.7%
Meole (Shropshire) -11.0%
Stourport-on-Severn (Worcs) -0.8%

Yorkshire & Humberside
Pontefract N (Wakefield) +0.1%

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