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Boost for Brown in latest council by-elections

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Boost for Brown in latest council by-elections

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Central Government

Boost for Brown in latest council by-elections Boost for Brown in latest council by-elections

Labour easily won two by-elections in Stevenage, Hertfordshire in a big boost for Prime Minister Gordon Brown who this week visited the town to launch his party's nationwide campaign for May's main polls.

The results suggest that the Tories' post Budget surge has slackened and the prospects for the crucial contests in five weeks' time are evenly balanced.

This week Labour scored net swings from Conservatives at Stevenage's Pin Green ward and the area's Bedwell Hertfordshire county division.

On this showing it would have no problem in holding the town's key marginal Commons constituency at a General Election.

Analysis of 17 comparable results over March suggests a projected 12.5% nationwide Tory lead over Labour.

A calculation based on 10 wards fought both times by all three major parties gives a line-up of C 39.5%, Lab 27.5%, Lib Dem 26.1%.

Allowing for past observed differences in parties' relative performances in general and council elections this would indicate a small swing to Tories on May 1, with seat gains. But they must have a nagging doubt that this week's results indicate a recovering trend for Labour.

There is also evidence that Labour's vote could hold up in the London Assembly election. Although it lost to Liberal Democrats in Lambeth last week there was a swing to the party from the Tories in five out of seven by-elections in the capital over the past two months.

The only other by-election this week saw the BNP poll 177 votes to come second in safe Tory Redwell West at Northamptonshire's Wellingborough Borough.

RESULTS:

Hertfordshire County - Bedwell: Lab 1452, C 625, Lib Dem 329, Ukip 165.
(May 2005 - Lab 2690, C 1209, Lib Dem 949). Lab hold. Swing 0.8% C to Lab.

Stevenage Borough - Pin Green: Lab 671, C 303, Lib Dem 149, Ukip 61, Green 41.  (May 2007 - Lab 848, C 378, BNP 211, Lib Dem 205). Lab hold.
Swing 0.7% C to Lab.

Wellingborough Borough - Redwell West: C 665, BNP 177, Lab 169, Lib Dem 40, Ukip 39, Green 37 . (May 2007 - Two seats C 836, 818, Lab 243, 237).
C hold. Swing 5.5% C to Lab.
 

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