This post is strictly for politics nerds. Yesterday we looked at the result of the Police and Crime Commissioner and today I want to look at the results in some more detail.
First: a health warning. Direct comparisons between this result and the 2012 election are problematic to say the least. Firstly and most obviously, the winning candidate from 2012 didn’t seek re-election and, as an independent, there’s no party we can use as a basis for comparison. Secondly, the Lib Dems didn’t stand last time. Further, low turnouts in both elections may mean that lessons for other elections are difficult to draw. Nevertheless, I think it’s a worthwhile exercise, if only as a resource for later. Throughout this post, I’m going to talk only about the first round of voting, because that was the only one in which all the parties were represented. And,
This was the result:
The following table is the 2016 result in full, with the 2012 result for comparison, and the movement between elections (I’ve not included the Lib Dems):
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From this, we can see how the parties have fared in each of the Kent districts:
All of the major parties have increased their vote share in every district (except the Tories in Gravesham). That’s unsurprising: all of Ann Barnes’s votes from 2012 were up for grabs. The English Democrats’ Steve Uncles saw his vote share fall everywhere: remarkably, on a much-improved turnout his votes went down in every district too. He did particularly badly in Dartford, the district he lives in. I’m not going to pay him too much more attention, except to observe that, on the day London elected its first Muslim Mayor, race-baiting seems to be the fast-track to political oblivion.
Though the Tories won, Ukip will doubtless be pleased with these results. There are some impressive increases in vote share: particularly in Shepway, where it seems to be building up something of a power base. Labour really ought to have done better, though these results are far from disastrous for them: the fact that they didn’t do so is probably more to do with their lacklustre national performance than their local campaign. There’s little here to remind us, however, that there used to be a handful of Labour MPs in Kent: these are just the sorts of seats they need to win back if they are to have any hope of forming another Government.
Finally, the Lib Dems have slipped further into irrelevance.
Update: The Political Medway has a very comprehensive analysis of the results which is well worth a look.