Friday, 23 May 2014

Lincoln Council Elections 2014: UKIP Exceed Expectations But Fail To Win Any Seats

The overall result of Lincoln's City Council's 2014 local elections have been a reassuringly predictable affair. However the detail shows that the UK Independence Party performed better than expected, whilst Labour and the Conservatives both underperformed. 

There were only one set of local elections taking place in Lincolnshire yesterday. Lincoln City Council is the only authority in the county that still retains the system of electing it's members by 'thirds' - the process where each year one third of the seats are elected and in the fourth year elections take place for Lincolnshire County Council.
Click on the table above to enlarge.
The table above shows the predicted result for each party, in grey, based on a standard uniform swing calculation generated using data from ukpollingrport.co.uk on 5th May 2014. The second column for each party shows the actual result and the third column the difference between the two.

Lincoln is a key battleground in the coming General Election between Conservative incumbent Karl McCartney MP and Labour's Lucy Rigby who have been slogging it out for over two years now and have a year ahead of them of an increasingly bitter rivalry.

The net effect of the elections to Lincoln City Council was a loss of two seats by the Conservatives to Labour in the Birchwood and Minster wards. This means that the council now consists of 27 Labour members and 6 Conservatives.

The UK Independence Party failed to make any gains, despite polling a respectable 23.33%. This will be a substantive disappointment for them for two reasons; firstly that with such a healthy share of the vote they were not rewarded with any representation; and secondly that their share of the vote is down slightly on the local elections in Lincoln last year to Lincolnshire County Council.

Labour, despite success in securing new members on the council, have nothing to be happy about in terms of their share of the vote. Their share of the vote is down 2.13 percentage points on last year's county elections in the city and 12.62 percentage points on the comparable local elections of 2012. Since the 2010 local elections this would mean that Labour has only improved their share of the vote in the city by 4.68 percentage points. Given that Karl McCartney MP's majority is 2.32%. It is now possible to say, with some certainty that either could win the seat in 2015. However, on the basis that governing parties usually recover as an election approaches this poor performance by Labour is likely to prove insufficient to ensure Ms Rigby's election. Mr. McCartney will in all likelihood be Lincoln's Member of Parliament for at least the next six years.

It was surely a disappointing night for the Conservatives. Despite campaigning hard they struggled to convert votes into seats. Their share of the vote was up three quarters of a percentage point compared with the previous county elections in 2013. The loss of Cllr. Yvonne Bodger in Minster Ward means that she will not become Mayor of Lincoln for the coming civic year; depriving Lincoln's Conservatives of a significant platform in the run-up to the general election.

The Liberal Democrats performed much better than the prediction; however, this is more likely due to the fact that they are now only getting votes from their most ardent supporters. Nevertheless their share of the vote was down two thirds of a percentage point when compared with last year's county elections, and down 2.20 percentage points compared with the local elections of 2012.

Of the other parties and independent candidates contesting these elections, the Trades Unionists Socialist Against Cuts underperformed and continued to slip in terms of their share of the vote which was down 0.60 percentage point from their hight of 2.42% in 2012. The Greens performed considerably better than expected having fielded candidates for the first time in the city since 2011. The two independent candidates underperformed against the prediction.

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