Even though Labour won just one seat of three in the recent by-elections the results have confirmed that Labour are on course to win next General Election. The British voting public nearly always tire of any political party that has been in government for more than ten years and the next election, expected in December 2024, will be after 14 years of Conservative government. It is therefore looking good for Labour.

They will almost certainly regain many if not most northern Red Wall seats (that was loaned to the Conservatives for Brexit) plus regain Scotland with the SNP in total disarray.

Obviously the Conservatives would wish to remain in government but history has shown a term in opposition will allow them to re-energise with new and better policies outside the responsibility of day-to-day government.

Nevertheless the by-election results must have sent an ice-cold shiver down the spine of every prospective Labour Parliamentary candidate in seats such as Stroud. For many decades Stroud was considered rock-solid Conservative but of late became a swing seat. During those Conservative years the LibDems always secured a handsome number of votes that latterly fell away which allowed Labour to win seat on various occasions. However the by-elections has shown a resurgence of LibDem support. Whether that increase is national or just regional remains

to be seen. If national, Stroud might remain a Conservative seat next December. And that would not be a bad outcome: - good government needs a strong opposition. If Stroud and other similar constituencies return a Conservative candidate it would make a future Labour government more cautious in trying to implement some of their more controversial policies.

Oh and yes the Greens, another left of centre political party, increased their support and Stroud has thriving grass-roots Green support.

Therefore possible the split votes amongst the various left-wing parties could allow a Conservative victory on a reduced majority.

Tactical voting is not usual in General Elections: - that only happens in by-elections.


Tom Newman