The results for 16th July were a remarkable change from previous weeks. Two seats were won (Rother and Wrexham) and another was held with a large swing. The result in Greystoke in Cumbria was also very strong with a large swing. In the weeks following the General Election the party has held its ground. The Wallington South result in Sutton showed this as did the one in Mole Valley. What was seen this week was something completely different. Huge swings were evident that were not seen other than in the Ham by election in Richmond. There seems to have been a change in political mood reflected in these results. This is possibly caused by the budget which may be more unpopular than originally recognised.

The question remains as to whether this will be seen reflected in opinion polls. The current situation is that few polls are available as there are enquiries underway about why the polls failed to accurately predict the results. UK Polling Report however states that “Martin Boon has tweeted July’s results, which have topline figures of CON 38%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 13%, GRN 4%”. This would indicate little change since the General Election. As we get new polls it will be interesting to see if that changes. I expected to see the party’s rating bounce as Farron gets exposure in the press.

Another effect that has been seen here is that the old adage, that was discredited in the light of the General Election, ‘where we work we win’  does seem to have been more applicable than previously. It appears that where we had a reasonable history in an area we saw a large surge. The candidates who did not see a shift may have been paper candidates in some cases. These results may encourage candidates to stand in more of the by elections that are being fought. It would be good to see a full slate of candidates.

UKIP have done poorly in recent weeks and this trend continues this week with the loss of a seat to the Conservatives. It may be that the Conservatives win some seats off UKIP but lose some to the Lib Dems in coming months.

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