A good night for Labour in Norwich

Labour were the party with most to be happy about after the 13 Norwich by-elections (or delayed elections) that took place yesterday.

The Lib Dems lost one of their two seats to Labour, with the Conservatives losing both of theirs. The Greens, who had hoped for a breakthrough, held five seats but failed to make any gains.

The Lib Dems held Eaton ward with an increased share of the vote.

Compared to the last time the seats were fought in 2008:

Labour finished up three on seven seats
The Greens won five seats, the same as in 2008
The Lib Dems were down one on one seat
The Conservatives didn’t win any seats, compared to two in 2008

If my sums are right, that means the new makeup of Norwich City Council is:

Labour: 16
Green: 14
Lib Dem: 5
Conservative: 4

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This entry was posted in Council by-elections.
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26 Comments

  • James Thomas-Smith 10th Sep '10 - 2:55pm

    This is how its going to be in May ’11!

  • According to ALDC the LibDem loss was to the Greens in Thorpe Hamlet.

  • Did the real Exeter results pass you by Jayu – the results quoted on you link are wrong!

  • Is it easy to work out what would be the effective result in Simon Wright’s seat?

  • @David

    Here’s another link for you. just thought the other would be more to LibDem liking.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-11256928

  • Anthony Aloysius St 10th Sep '10 - 3:28pm

    “The Lib Dems lost one of their two seats to Labour …
    The Lib Dems held Eaton ward with an increased share of the vote.”

    Not according to the ALDC website, which shows the LD vote share in that ward down by 5.6%.

    Just to put into perspective that loss of only a single seat, the changes in the Lib Dem vote share in the Norwich CC elections were:
    -23.9, -23.4, -11.6, -11.3, -9.9, -9.8, -9.6, -8.8, -8.5, -6.5, -6.1, -5.6, -1.8.

    The University ward saw a swing of 22.9% from the Lib Dems to Labour, perhaps unsurprisingly.

    Equivalent figures for last night’s elections to Exeter CC were:
    -13.9, -12.9, -11.1, -9.5, -9.5, -9.4, -7.3, -6.7, -5, -3.8, -0.1, +3.6.

  • Surely though if the Lib Dems are so despised they would have lost all their seats. The Lib Dems should demand an alternative budget from Labour detailing all the cuts they would have made.

  • Patrick Smith 10th Sep '10 - 6:11pm

    Is n`t it usual for tougher wins in immediate By-Elections for a new Government in Office?

    The University Ward is clearly a volatile one but remains a place for `Liberal Activists’ to emerge.

    The `Coalition Government’ must be seen as a long term 5 year project for Liberal reform.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 10th Sep '10 - 6:22pm

    “The University Ward is clearly a volatile one but remains a place for `Liberal Activists’ to emerge.”

    To be fair, it will have made a difference that term hasn’t started yet, though 23% is still an absolutely huge swing.

  • In Norwich Lib Dems came fourth in a majority of seats

    What are the electorate saying ?

  • Rob Sheffield 10th Sep '10 - 6:44pm

    Just to put into perspective that loss of only a single seat, the changes in the Lib Dem vote share in the Norwich CC elections were:
    -23.9, -23.4, -11.6, -11.3, -9.9, -9.8, -9.6, -8.8, -8.5, -6.5, -6.1, -5.6, -1.8.

    The University ward saw a swing of 22.9% from the Lib Dems to Labour, perhaps unsurprisingly.

    Equivalent figures for last night’s elections to Exeter CC were:
    -13.9, -12.9, -11.1, -9.5, -9.5, -9.4, -7.3, -6.7, -5, -3.8, -0.1, +3.6.

    The worm is turning out there. This is but a calm prelude to the municipal and devolved legislature results next year. Get out while you still can- May 2010 was not a mandate for the level of purely ideological cutting that is going on. If you don’t want to listen to a Non LDer then:

    “A Liberal Democrat city councillor in Wolverhampton has just announced that she will be withdrawing her support for the city’s ruling Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. The council was exactly balanced, with 30 Labour members, 25 Conservatives and 5 Lib Dems, meaning that Claire Darke’s abstention causes the coalition to collapse.

    Darke has reportedly taken this action with the support of her local party, and has cited two main reasons for her departure — firstly, that a Labour victory in a July by-election demonstrated that the electorate were leaning away from the coalition, making it “morally wrong” for it to continue; and secondly, the “ideologically driven” Conservative spending cuts.”

  • I await the Guardian splash of the “Lib Dem collapse” in Norfolk tomorrow 😉

  • Rob Sheffield 10th Sep '10 - 9:51pm

    @Ryan

    I await the Guardian splash of the “Lib Dem collapse” in Norfolk tomorrow

    Why?

    They would be right if they reported it that way…

  • Taking the 25 wards together thats a typical loss of about 9%, a hit but not the meltdown Labour were predicting.

  • Nich Starling (see the sidebar) gives the clue as to what happened when he tells us that only one ward in the whole city was worked properly with regular Focus. All of us who are familiar with local campaigning know that in urban areas if you don’t maintain regular Focus deliveries you don’t win. Many of the other wards have a record of Liberal Democrat councillors getting elected and then losing again through failure to maintain regular Focus deliveries and the other necessary things to keep in touch with their constituents. If people feel let down by a party that majors on local work and keeping in touch, recovery can take a very long time. Labour has succeeded in getting its core vote out on a low turnout. That won’t help them in the long run. All it will do is prevent disaster slipping into Armageddon. Simon Wright, who was elected on a falling vote through the vagaries of FPTP, will have his work cut out to hold on. The one good bit of news is that the Greens have peaked in Norwich, and are boxed out of the Parliamentary seat by Simon Wright being the obvious recipient of anti-Labour votes.

  • Hi
    Bit confused as to the ‘Good night for Labour in Norwich ‘ theme of this piece.
    Are we in danger of believing Labours spin machine on results because as far as Iam concerned a hold is a hold not a dramatic win.
    Ive looked at the results on the ALDC by-election result site and the results paint a different picture. Yes we have a problem with a drop in percentage vote but that’s another issue.

    Labour: Held 6 ….won 1 from the cons with a majority of 46……..lost non

    Libdems Held 1….Won Non…..Lost 1

    Conservatives Held non….Won Non……lost 1

    Greens Held 4…..Won 1 from LibDems…..Lost Non

    We had an average drop of around 10% apart from 2 with low 20% drop and labour had a an increased percentage of around 5% apart fro one 21%

  • Anthony Aloysius St 11th Sep '10 - 11:27am

    “Nich Starling (see the sidebar) gives the clue as to what happened when he tells us that only one ward in the whole city was worked properly with regular Focus.”

    Of course, in local elections there are always going to be local factors at work. And, as you say, the turnout is generally low.

    But that’s exactly why I think it’s so dangerous to try to argue on the basis of local by-election results that the national opinion polls are wrong. Local by-elections simply don’t provide a reliable indicator of national opinion. And in any case, the picture is far more mixed than the loyalists would have us suggest. There have been some good results, but equally these results from Norwich and Exeter are far from the first to show big drops in the Lib Dem vote share, particularly in urban areas.

  • As the new Lib Dem candidate in Exeter who did not hold on the Lib Dem seat in Duryard ward (lost by 12 votes after being the candidate for only 6 weeks), I can confirm that the Exeter results given here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-11256928 are the correct ones.

  • PS. I should have said that two major factors were the absence of university students (more than 50% of my electorate) and also a 20% turnout.

  • I think the Greens have given up on University ward given the candidate they put up this time.

    The lesson for Norfolk is clearly no Norwich ward approaches Eaton for the strenght of it’s organisation but even in some of the wards we didn’t get good results in much more literature is delivered and year round campaigning done than in many other seats.

  • Terry Gilbert 14th Sep '10 - 7:20pm

    It sticks in the craw, but it seems likely that Lib Dems will suffer in left leaning urban areas during the Coalition, unless they can persuade Tories to back them as the only realistic alternative, or maintain left-cred as a rebel, like Bob Russell in Colchester.
    Norwich’s malaise goes back about six or seven years, since the Greens started out-campaigning Lib Dem Councillors. Except for Eaton, and parliamentary elections (where the Greens still lack cred), we are pretty much down to the bedrock.
    It remains to be seen whether Lib Dems in rural areas will suffer too, as I suspect they might, because left leaning anti Tories will not vote tactically for us again. The best message for these voters is: a Tory Govt on its own would have been far worse. But they may still not forgive us, even if they agree; and given Clegg’s apparent enthusiasm for most things Tory, they may not even agree.

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