Stoke-on-Trent Central Feb 26, 2017 19:11:04 GMT
Post by iainbhx on Feb 26, 2017 19:11:04 GMT
I think the Crewe and Nantwich by-election in 2008 gives a good idea of how hard it is for the Lib Dems to prosper in a seat which is thought by everyone to be a 2 horse race between two other parties. (Losing 4% and getting a lot less than the national polls at the time).In that context increasing the vote in both Stoke and Copeland was a pretty good performance. In my opinion if the Lib Dems had started from second place they might have won either of these seats. And if the Tories had been second in Stoke they might have won too..
The only way to test this would be a by-election in a Leave voting seat where the Lib Dems start second. However it will be interesting to see how they do in Walton where no-one can imagine Labour losing. The Tories may have some hoped in Leigh now...
I don't think we could ever have won Copeland. It's just not a third party place.
Nor do I think we could have won Stoke Central except by some freakish four way split.
Both the next two likely by-elections are solid Labour holds. Very solid. They will get at least 70% of the vote in Walton and probably closer to 80%, the real question will be can anyone else save their deposit. I also don't see Leigh as competitive, although I expect the Tories to increase their vote into the mid-to-high twenties if they make an effort.