Labour win the Tooting by-election

By-elections are usually huge events in British politics. They show who has the momentum and give some indication as to which parties are doing well. This by-election, however, has gone rather unnoticed for two reasons. Firstly the EU referendum and secondly the death of Jo Cox.

The seat has, rather unsurprisingly been held by Labour. I have uploaded the results here.

Labour and Conservatives

From the start it was clear than this by-election was going to be a Labour-Conservative contest. Indeed, Labour got 55.9% (+8.7) of the vote compared to the Conservatives 36.1% (-5.8). The swing from Conservative to Labour was 7.3%. If this swing were to be repeated in a general election under the current boundaries Labour would win 305 seats (+73) and the Conservatives would win 255 seats (-77). Labour would form the government, but have to rely on other parties, e.g. the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats, etc.

Remember that by-elections tend to exaggerate support for the opposition. By-elections have been known to show a complete collapse in support for governing parties only for that support to recover at the next general election. Really if Labour want to form a government then they are going to need to do better than this.

Major Minor Parties

The Green Party came a distant third with 2.6% (-1.5) of the vote. The Liberal Democrats came fourth with 2.6% (-1.3). UKIP came fifth with 1.6% (-1.3). It looks as though these three parties were all squeezed due to the perception that only Labour or the Conservatives could win.

Minor Minor Parties

Des Coke from the Christian Peoples Alliance came sixth. Alan Hope from the Official Monster Raving Loony Party came seventh. Bobby Smith from the Give Me Back Elmo Party made an appearance too. You may recall that he stood against David Cameron in Witney in Election 2015. In fact there were quite a few smaller parties and independents.
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