Today is going to be dominated by the Donald, but there’s still plenty to talk about in the UK. Yesterday we got a second poll showing both main parties increasing their vote share, but it turned out to have pre-dated Tuesday, so we’ll just have to be patient to see how the land lies.
In Northern Ireland the parties will be tasked with trying to form a new administration after 2nd March, but responsibility for that on the nationalist side will fall to someone new, after Martin McGuinness announced his retirement from politics.
But in the meantime we have by-elections in Great Britain – last night Norton in Worcestershire saw a swing of almost 12 per cent from Conservative to Labour, as the latter squeezed the Green vote and the intervention of UKIP (having not stood there in 2015) hurt the incumbents more. The Tories held the ward, with a sharply reduced majority.
But what about the upcoming Westminster by-elections at Copeland and Stoke Central? Politics Home is reporting (from a Senior Labour source) that both will be held on 23rd Feb. Separately, Labour made it official that their candidate will be Gillian Troughton, a Cumbria councillor.
Isabel Hardman took a look at the two constituencies and is the latest to make the “Scotland” comparison, whereby Labour is struggling the most in areas with low contact rates (which also sounds a bit like Sunderland last week). This situation will be the most serious in places like Stoke and Copeland, that have been Labour since before the war – even staying red in the 1980s – but are no longer have insurmountable majorities.
And now live to Washington…