Tuesday, 16 February 2016

By-election Preview: 18 February 2016

Nine by-elections on 18th February 2016, seven in England, one in Wales and one in Scotland.

NEW BRIGHTON
Flintshire county council
Caused by the resignation of Liberal Democrat councillor Amanda Brigg on health grounds.  She was in her first term, having served since 2012.

St James' Church, New Brighton
There are a few New Brightons around the UK, but this is probably the most obscure: a small village just outside Mold on the road to Queensferry.  The division lies at the eastern end of the Mold bypass, and also extends over it to include part of Mynydd Isa, a post-war Buckley suburb.  The ward has a skilled working-class economic profile combined with a high number of retirees.

This is a safe Lib Dem ward, although of the type which tends to vote for the candidate rather than the party.  At the most recent Welsh local election in 2012 the Lib Dems had 45% here to 32% for Labour and 22% for the Tories.  In what's likely to be the last local by-election in North Wales before the Senedd election in May, all the parties will be looking to make a good impression.

Defending for the Lib Dems is Sara Parker, who back in the 1990s was the founding editor of Groove, a Liverpool music magazine; she now runs a community cafe in Mynydd Isa.  The Labour candidate is Linda Pierce, who will be hoping for an improvement on the 21% she polled here in 2004.  The Tories have selected Zulya Taylor, a foreign language teacher.  Also standing is independent candidate John Yorke.

Parliamentary and Assembly constituency: Delyn

May 2012 result LD 469 Lab 334 C 229
May 2008 result LD 676 Ind 373 Lab 92
June 2004 result LD 913 Lab 240