Lib Dems gain a seat from the Tories in Shropshire

New Shropshire Councillor Andrew Bannerrman
Photo also available on Flickr here.

From the Independent:

Liberal Democrats celebrated a gain in the latest council by-elections from Tories who, however, defended two other marginal seats and control of South Cambridgeshire District.

Andrew Bannerman triumphed for Lib Dems at Quarry and Coton Hill, Shropshire despite a strong intervention by Labour which did not fight last time.

The result in Quarry and Coton Hill:

LD Andrew Bannerman 356 (41.8; +5.7)
Con 268 (31.5; -12.1)
Lab 197 (23.1; +23.1)
Ind 30 (3.5; -2.3)
[Green (0.0; -14.4)]
Majority 88
Turnout 30.47%
LD gain from Con
Percentage change is since June 2009.

Heather Kidd, Councillor Bannerman’s agent, said:

This was a great team event for Lib Dems in Shropshire. We worked hard, got lots of paper out and ran a full election day.

Labour worked hard and tried hard to switch our vote but it did not work well enough! They fought an election on national issues and it did have a real affect. An 8.9% swing from the Tories was worth all the effort.

In Bourn, South Cambridgeshire DC, Liberal Democrat Nick Glynn came second behind the Conservative candidate.

In Kenton, in the London Borough of Brent, Liberal Democrat Chunilal Hirani was in fourth place as the Conservatives held the seat.

For full results and commentary visit the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors website.

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17 Comments

  • Okayish result from Shropshire. I wish you would publish all the results though as that paints a more complex picture and indicates things are not as rosy as you would make out.

    It is not surprising you can make some gains from the Tories in some areas as you are playing on their pitch now – Labour seem to be mopping up all the centre-left vote.

    It will be interesting what policies your conference is discussing in a short while. I hazard a guess that the activists have not got the message you are a centre-right liberal/libertarian party no with very little social democratic aspect left. Tabman who posts here gives a clue to the type of person holding sway – right-wing liberal than centre-left liberal democrat

    Kenton Ward, LB Brent. Con hold. Con 1063 (44.1%, -0.3), Lab 907 (37.7%, +2.6), Ind 185 (7.7%, +7.7), LD 179 (7.4%, -8.6), Green 75 (3.1%, -1.4). Swing of 1.5% from Con to Lab since 2010.

    Quarry & Coton Hill Division, Shropshire UA. LD gain from Con. LD 356 (41.8%, +5.7), Con 269 (31.6%, -12), Lab 197 (23.1%, +23.1), Ind 30 (3.5%, +3.5). Swing of 8.9% from Con to LD since 2009.

    Bourn Ward, South Cambridgeshire DC. Con hold. Con 874 (56.3%, +11), LD 345 (22.2%, -16.9), Lab 334 (21.5%, +10.1). Swing of 14% from LD to Con since 2010

  • Depressed Ex 18th Feb '11 - 10:02pm

    There also seems to be a policy of not reporting on local by-elections here unless there is some kind of success story to mention – hence nothing for the last three weeks, during which time there have been some dire LD performances.

    It’s perhaps worth singling out this one from the West Country which, though actually much better than many in terms of percentage change, shows Labour leap-frogging from a poor fourth place to take what would presumably have been a promising LD target in normal times:

    Gloucestershire CC, Rodborough
    Thursday 03 February 2011 12:00

    Lab 793 (31.7; +19.4)
    Con 790 (31.6; -3.7)
    LD Christine Headley 660 (26.4; -4.9)
    Green 260 (10.4; -10.7)
    Majority 3
    Turnout 34.1%
    Lab gain from Con
    Percentage change is since June 2009

  • Where we work, we win.

    Seems like we get pasted where we don’t.

  • An issue which concerns me as active in the party, but recognising the problems mentioned by bazsc and Depressed above, is: We are fighting byelections at present, and so have had some chance of concentrating our resources. In May we will be back to very limited resources (prob on average less than recent all up elections). Without the ability to answer back / rebut in detail on the doorstep, we may well be in for the pasting Tony Dawson mentions.

  • Thet won’t be smiling come May 🙂

  • I fear Tim13 is right: up until the Coalition agreement, and in particular the leadership’s breaking of the promise to the students, we had achieved over two decades of hard work a solid base of people who voted for us at every election. That support has been trashed by the leadership. There may be limited circumstances in which we can gain a seat here and there in May. However, the pattern from by-elections is of Labour substantially increasing their vote at our expense and Tory support declining to a much smaller degree, and if this is repeated in May we are going to get hammered, losing hundreds of seats to the Tories. There will be a lot of angry ex-councillors at that point who will be extremely bitter at the leadership for what they have done to the party.

  • Peter Chivall 19th Feb '11 - 11:24am

    Coton Hill and Quarry is smart suburb of Shrewsbury. Demographic not so different from Bourne. No reason why results should be so different especially as Cambs. Tories on a hiding with massive cuts and effective LD opposition and Labour weak in area.. Maybe Martin Land could comment.
    On the wider issue of LibDems as centre/left/right, there’s no doubt the centre-right image of the leadership by association with Coalition. However, heart of Party’s activists is solid centre-left. Read the online Agenda for next month’s spring conference, especially the discussion paper on Inequality. This is far more radical than anything Labour have publicly considered, especially Section 5 which considers taxes on intergenerational gifts, land value taxes, taxes on empty property etc., etc.

  • @ bazsc

    “I hazard a guess that the activists have not got the message you are a centre-right liberal/libertarian party no with very little social democratic aspect left.”

    And I would hazard a guess that you have still failed to understand the nature of coalition governments i.e. that you get some of the policies your party wants, but many that you don’t.

    The party is exactly what it always was, but in the context of coalition government, policies are a wish list. It is up the the leadership to try to negotiate the maximum possible number of those polices into the government’s programme.

    Given that the Lib Dem party IS its activists, your assertion that it is a “centre-right liberal/libertarian party” has very little basis in reality.

  • Robert C

    Another patronising ‘you don’t understand etc etc etc’.

    Noone forced you into Coalition supporting these policies. Your leadership seems to be very happy on all policies being followed and are not shy in backing them.

    I don’t believe the leadership and its right-wing agenda is representative of the views of most LD – I lived in the urban North until recently and I cannot remember ever seeing a LD promising reorganisation/further privatisation of the NHS, massive cuts to council spending, increasing tuition fees (I could go on).

    I think it is you who doesn’t understand what your voter demographic has been since the merger in the 80s – remember there was a significant Social Democratic part to the LD and they sat to the left of where Labour is now.

    Keep hoping

  • Fair comment in my view baszc, except that you a wrong in thinking that it was the SDP which provided a leftwards impetus to the Liberal Party. Those of us who were activists in the Liberal Party in the 60s and 70s by and large saw the merger with the SDP as an enormous step towards what we’ve got now – a centre/right coalition with those of us on the left completely marginalised by the leadership.

  • Depressed Ex 19th Feb '11 - 2:37pm

    Your leadership seems to be very happy on all policies being followed and are not shy in backing them.

    Of course, the suspicion is that the leadership is actually happier with these policies than with the ones that were in the Lib Dem manifesto last year. For example, we know that Clegg was an advocate of free schools two or three years ago but failed to persuade the party.

    I find it very difficult to think of any other explanation for the fact that the leadership voluntarily agreed to drop the elements of Lib Dem health policy that had made it into the coalition agreement, and instead chose to support Lansleys “reforms.”

  • Just on a point of accuracy – the Coton Hill bit might be “a smart suburb of Shrewsbury” but the Quarry bit is the town centre itself. The map of the ward bears a striking resemblance to a set of bagpipes!

  • david thorpe 19th Feb '11 - 11:11pm

    its a cdecent set of rsults…we have to be mature as a party abd acknowledge that being in government means making tough decsiions…both the other parties realsied that long ago.
    also building a base over twenty years is fine but we havent moved much beyond a base and we need to do soemthing different to do that

  • Depressed Ex 20th Feb '11 - 1:30am

    The Telegraph is running the payments to the retiring Chief Executive of South Somerset District Council as an example of local government profligacy, and a local government minister, Bob Neill, has also attacked them.

    Presumably there’s some kind of rationale behind the payments, but I can’t work it out, even with the help of Google. Can anyone help?

  • Emsworthian 20th Feb '11 - 7:06pm

    Well that does it for me. As we gaze over the wreckage in the May locals we can console ourselves
    with David Thorpe’s words that it’s a price worth paying for being in government.

  • Christine Headley 20th Feb '11 - 8:07pm

    @ Tony Dawson
    Where we work, we don’t necessarily win…. The Thank you leaflet for the Gloucestershire by-election is at least the 19th in the division (which gets four editions) and 46th in Rodborough ward. I have been working the ward that makes up half the division since 2005 and the rest of the division since 2007, and was 135 (4%) behind the winning Tory in 2009.

    @Depressed Ex
    I wasn’t best pleased by that result either! I am district councillor for the ward as well and I’m up in May with a majority of 5. However, the Labour by-election candidate was exceptionally strong – he has been n the area for 40 years, as parish councillor, elder of the URC Tabernacle in the ward, chair of local primary school governors, teacher at the town’s comprehensive and now chair of governors at the comprehensive as well, and he was county councillor for a neighbouring division between 2005 and 2009, losing it to the Greens.

    It could be that Labour voters stayed at home because of the expenses scandal in 2009 but were motivated to make it to the polling station this time. I didn’t get much of a feellng that people were changing sides in droves, though there was also an element of this.

    I fought the election on local issues, which is what won me the ward four years ago (from fifth at the previous local election) after 18 months work. All Labour ever mentioned in the by-election were national issues, as all over local and national media….. We had a well organised campaign, with leaflets, target letters and a polling day operation run by someone with experience in strong areas of the south west who reckoned we had got our vote out. Labour had the MP for Stroud until May, and have more activists in the constituency than we do, even if we both have the same number of councillors in the district (7 each out of 51, 6 Greens, one Independent who has died and whose ward is unpredictable for May, and the rest Tories).

    I can be found via my mycouncillor site for further discussion of the minutiae of the by-election.

  • David Thorpe – “Do something different to get beyond our base”. Yes – I have argued for many years we have to be less local and more national / international to do that. What we could not afford to do is enter a situation where we looked and sounded Thatcherite. It is hardly surprising that we have reaped the opinion poll ratings we have, because nationally we no longer sound as we did. What we have to do is ensure that next time we have an opportunity forpower, we have thought through the practicalities of bringing in our radical programme, and not contented ourselves that “we have to take hard decisions in government” (ie the sort of decisions nuLab and Thatcher – Major have for years). We do not have a different thinking third party for nothing you know! If that means not taking power until we are ready, so be it.

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