Monday, 16 May 2016

Tories down, Labour up - a look at recent results in Southend-on-Sea



Here is how Labour's vote share (percentage) has changed in recent years across a number of wards in Southend-on-Sea. I have ignored General Election years as these skew the data.

ward
2008
2011
2012
2014
2016
nett change
Westborough
9.4
26.5
31.0
33.2
33.9
24.5
Milton
25.8
32.5
35.8
36.4
45.3
19.5
Prittlewell
7.9
16.1
17.1
14.5
27..0
19.1
Victoria
37.7
48.7
50.4
39.5
54.7
17.0
Blenheim Park
9.1
18.6
16.5
14.3
24.6
15.5
Kursaal
38.0
44.5
38.8
31.5
42.2
4.2
St Luke's
19.4
21.3
25.8
26.5
20.9
1.5

By comparison, here are how the Conservative vote has changed over the same period.
ward
2008
2011
2012
2014
2016
nett change
Southchurch
37.0
38.0
35.8
38.8
35.1
-1.9
St Laurence
42.5
35.3
35.9
28.2
38.2
-4.3
Belfairs
43.9
51.7
29.6
44.7
39.2
-4.7
West Leigh
58.0
50.0
49.7
40.6
44.6
-13.4
Eastwood Park
57.2
52.3
50.9
41.8
42.6
-14.6
Chalkwell
56.6
47.3
41.7
37.3
38.5
-18.1
West Shoebury
56.3
51.7
39.1
34.8
36.0
-20.3

I have selected the best seven wards for both parties. Every Labour ward has seen improvement, significant in five of the seven. In contrast the Conservatives are down in all wards, significantly in four of them.

Whilst I cannot prove any correlation, the slump in Tory voter numbers matches the rise in UKIP support. The imminent pact may have consequences beyond handing power to an increasingly unpopular Conservative Party.

The slump in Liberal Democrat fortunes does not appear to have transferred voters in any significant numbers to Labour (or so it appears to me).  In 2010 there was certainly some transfer from yellow to red, but in recent years this has levelled out, and I would guess that it is the Greens who are benefiting from disaffected Liberal supporters. The caveat here, though, is that where Labour can seriously challenge the Tories then former Lib Dems votes are going red. The challenge for the Greens (and UKIP) is proving to voters that they can win wards - otherwise voters will peel off towards parties that do stand a realistic chance of seeing their candidates elected.

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