In Gloucester we saw a good 10% swing our way in Longlevens ward. Linda Castle leapfrogged Labour and UKIP to finish a very strong second, increasing our vote share by 23.7% after a hard fought campaign.
It wasn’t all good news though. Sadly we lost a seat we were defending in Inverurie & District, Aberdeenshire, to the Tories. This was partly as a result of how by-elections work in multi-member Scottish seats which are usually fought by STV. Alison Auld actually increased our share of the vote by 5.1% In nearby Banff & District the SNP also lost the the Tories, and Alistair Mason increased out vote share by 8.7%.
What are we doing wrong to gain votes but lose seats? Is it possible to develop campaign techniques to increase the vote and reduce the oppositions. Do we push the Union of england scotland etc enough? re the old Conservative voters (ie Landowners) coming out of the woodwork.
My colleagues in Aberdeenshire didn't do anything wrong. As the original post said, we increased our vote share in both wards.
A by-election in a multi-member STV ward is effectively an AV election. That mean although you might well win enough votes to win one of the seats in an all out election that is still not good enough to win the by-election. That is what happened in Inverurie. Our candidate actually increased our share of the vote and, if it had been an all out election for four councillors, she would have won a seat with more than a full quota.
In Banff, we had our best result ever and if Thursday's result were repeated next May we would stand a very good chance of winning a seat after transfers.
The Conservatives are doing well across Scotland just now and this was reflected in the result.
The real story of these two by-elections is how poorly the SNP did.