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Thursday's by-election in the Glyn Ward of the Bay of Colwyn Town Council could normally pass without in-depth political analysis, but since it was contested by the BNP - who also contested it at the last all-out elections in May 2008 - it's worth reviewing. Bear in mind also that the BNP has been moderately active in this area with a handful of members being elected (usually unopposed) to community councils (though even this has usually ended in tears with resignations and miscellaneous bickering!).
Now I must start by pointing out that the Bay of Colwyn Town Council is, in fact, that uniquely Welsh thing, a Community Council. The Welsh equivalent of a Parish Council (diestablishment having taken place in Wales, they shun the use of parishes for civil purposes). Its powers are very limited, and it is hardly a hotbed of political interest or activism - shown by the fact that only five names were put forward in May 2008 for the four seats on offer.
The result on that occasion was:
Plaid Cymru - 709 - Elected
Labour - 546 - Elected
Labour - 414 - Elected
Independent - 196 - Elected
BNP - 143 - not elected
Note that none of the parties came close to fielding a full slate of candidates, and that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats couldn't nominate a single name! Note also that the BNP was just 54 votes short of being elected.
At the byelection on March 25th there were six candidates (but still no Conservative), and they polled:
Labour - 150
Plaid Cymru - 121
Liberal Democrat - 78
Independent - 62
BNP - 35
Independent - 26
It's very difficult to make comparisons because of the switch from people being able to vote for up to four candidates to a single vote. There were probably round 900 votes cast in 2008, and 472 at the by-election. What we do know is that on Thursday the BNP share of the vote was 7.4%.
Oh, and one other interesting footnote. The gentleman from Plaid Cymru who polled 709 votes in 2008 was one Abdul Mukith Khan. We like Glyn ward!