The Liberal Democrats have gained five council seats and retained all three of their previously-held seats in the raft of council by-elections they were contesting yesterday.
In Wallsend, North Tyneside, Michael Huscroft gained from Labour with 58.2%, or 1158 votes.
David Siddans won in Rossett, Harrogate Borough Council, with 48.9% of the vote (897), in a 25.6% swing from the Tories.
From the Harrogate Advertiser:
Councillor John Fox, Constituency Chairman, Harrogate and Knaresborough Liberal Democrats said: “This is the first Liberal Democrat gain from the Conservatives in the north of England this year. We are absolutely delighted to have overturned a huge Conservative majority.
On Ryedale District Council Di Keal took a seat from the Tories with 59.8% of the vote (381).
On Eden District Council, Liberal Democrat John Tompkins took a seat from the Conservatives in Penrith Pategill with 54.2% of the vote (226).
In White Lee, Hebden Royd Town Council, Lib Dem Julia Gibson beat Labour and gained a seat formerly held by an Independent. (65.7%, 261 votes.)
In Central Watford, Lizz Ayre held the seat for the Lib Dems with 716 votes, as Labour came second with 550. The turnout was 24.39%.
From the Watford Observer:
Following the result Lizz Ayre said: “I am very, very happy with that despite the very dirty campaign run by some people. I am also pleased it was a clear result.”
When asked what her priorities are for central Watford, she added: “To continue to make it a great place. I heard on the doorstep people say a lot of bad things, but it is a great place to live.”
In the Battins by-election, Havant, Liberal Democrat Flora Ponsonby was elected with 452 votes, beating Labour (188), Conservatives (153), with UKIP trailing last on 94 votes. The turnout was 18.09%.
In South East ward, Yate Town Council, Lib Dem Margaret Marshall got over 60% of the vote, with 386 votes as Labour came second on 94.