Wednesday, 1 July 2015

By-election Previews: 2 July 2015

Note from the editor: Apologies for the lack of updates recently.  I've been severely unwell, eventually having to go into hospital for some urgent treatment for a bad infection.  On the mend now though, and hopefully things will start to get updated soon!

Two by-elections on Thursday 2nd July:

HAMPTON WICK
Richmond upon Thames London borough council
Caused by the resignation of Conservative councillor Tania Mathias, who defeated the Business secretary Vince Cable in May to become MP for Twickenham.  She had served as a Richmond councillor since 2010.

St John the Baptist, Hampton Wick
This ward is on the Middlesex side of Richmond borough, directly opposite Kingston upon Thames and running north-west along the Kingston Road and Broom Road from Kingston Bridge and Hampton Wick railway station (on the Kingston Loop line from Waterloo).  It is probably still best known as the location for the 1970s ITV sitcom George and Mildred.

Although Richmond council is closely fought between the Tories and Lib Dems, this is a safe Tory ward.  In 2014 the Tory slate had 50%, with the Lib Dem slate narrowly falling into third place behind the single Green candidate; both those parties polled 18%.  At the top of the Tory slate with a clear personal vote is Tony Arbour, who has been a Richmond councillor since 1968 and represents the borough on the London Assembly.  At the most elections to that Assembly, in 2012, Boris beat Ken 61-20 here in the Mayoral ballot, while the Tories topped the list ballot with 45% to 19% for Labour, 16% for the Lib Dems and 12% for the Greens.

Defending for the Conservatives is Jon Hollis, chairman of the Twickenham Conservative association, who describes himself on Twitter as "husband to a wife, father to a son, slave to 3 cats".  He lost his council seat in his home Teddington ward last year.  Standing for the Greens is construction entrepreneur Anthony Breslin, who appears to be the only candidate to live in the ward.  The Lib Dems have selected school governor Geraldine Locke, who only joined the party last month.  Also standing are Dr Paul Tanto for Labour, independent candidate Michael Lloyd and the ward's first UKIP candidate, Sam Naz.

Parliamentary constituency: Twickenham
ONS Travel to Work Area: London

May 2014 result C 1870/1708/1586 Grn 696 LD 676/647/593 Lab 522/520/474
May 2010 result C 2670/2321/2297 LD 1956/1908/1672 Grn 831 Lab 590/498/460
May 2006 result C 1949/1726/1721 LD 1061/804/721 Grn 577 Lab 248/242
May 2002 result C 1621/1484/1476 LD 741/693/636 Grn 370 Lab 297/278/275

May 2012 London Assembly results (excludes postal voters)
Mayor: Boris 1553 Ken 514 LD 152 Grn 150 Ind 119 UKIP 43 BNP 14
Assembly list: C 1153 Lab 480 LD 413 Grn 304 UKIP 105 BNP 31 EDP 22 CPA 21 TUSC 11 House Party 8 Alagaratnam 2 NF 1 Hayat 1


GRANTHAM BARROWBY
Lincolnshire county council
Caused by the resignation of Conservative councillor Jo Churchill, who is now the MP for Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.

Barrowby Village Sign
This county division combines the south-west corner of the town of Grantham with the village of Barrowby just to the west.  The Grantham half of the division, based on the old Earlesfield district ward (the district wards were redrawn this year, but the county divisions here haven't yet caught up) has some light industry and distribution, notably the book distribution company Grantham Book Services.

The division was narrowly won by Labour at the 2005 election, but they fell to a poor third place in 2009 with the Tories gaining.  Jo Churchill was first elected here in 2013 in a three-way marginal result, polling 38% to 32% for an independent candidate and 30% for Labour.  District council results make it clear that the Labour vote comes out of the town rather than Barrowby, but in May's district council election the redrawn Grantham Earlesfield ward saw the Labour slate lose a seat to the single UKIP candidate, who was not opposed by the Tories and topped the poll.

Mark Whittington defends for the Tories: he is a self-employed accountant and Barrowby parish councillor.  The independent candidate from 2013, Mike Williams, tries again as candidate of the Lincolnshire Independents, a well-organised county council group.  Labour have selected Rob Shorrock, who lost his district council seat in Grantham Earlesfield in May.  Also on the ballot is UKIP's Maureen Simon.

Parliamentary constituency: Grantham and Stamford (Grantham part), Sleaford and North Hykeham (Barrowby part)
ONS Travel to Work Area: Grantham

May 2013 result C 558 Ind 476 Lab 442
June 2009 result C 761 Lincs Ind 511 Lab 324 LD 253

May 2005 result Lab 1646 C 1486

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