A Lib Dem GAIN, a strong hold and a couple of mini surges in last night’s by-elections

Some good results in last night’s by-elections.

First of all, a gain for the party in Somerset for new Councillor

Clarence ward in St Albans is a stronghold for us anyway, but we managed to increase our vote even further with this strong hold. Congratulations to the St Albans team and new Councillor Josie Madoc.

To put it mildly, Clacton is not an area of strength for us, yet Callum Robertson few the flag and saw a 2% vote rise.

It’s really important to have a presence in by-elections like that to build our support and getting people used to voting Lib Dem.

In Cardiff, our vote grew by over 6%. Well done to Sion Donne and team.

There’s one more to come – and my nails are rather bitten. We stand a good chance of taking the second seat in a double by-election in Bridge of Don in Aberdeen. They are counting this morning. …

Watch this space….

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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19 Comments

  • When a lot of people you know have never voted Lib Dem before start saying that they plan to at the next general election you start to wonder if there is some seismic taking place. I’m not the type to ask people which way they plan to vote but many people have said to me recently (out of the blue) they are going Lib Dem. of course we all mix in different social groups so not scientific a tall but I have a sneaky suspicion something big is happening out there

  • Dennis Wake 4th Oct '19 - 10:33am

    There have been good results in places where the party is traditionally strong and a modest uplift in other places but not the big surge needed to transform its prospects. I have also found quite unexpected support being promised even from former left wingers but also a great deal of hostility, not just from Brexiteers but also Remain voters who believe we should accept the result of the referendum and will vote Leave if there is another poll.
    The Greens did very well in the seat not contested by the Lib Dems and as before local independents seem to attract a great deal of support while support for Labour continues to fall, sometimes substantially. The decline of Socialist and Social Democrat parties is happening everywhere. In Austria the Social Democrats, who used to get 45-50% fell to 21.2% their lowest ever score despite not having been in a coalition with the Conservatives recently. Big gains were made by the Greens and the Austrian Liberals. In Germany the Social Democrats have been replaced by the Greens as the main opposition although the former have not been helped by their coalition with the Christian Democrats. In Spain the Socialists have been unable to gain a majority despite scandals in the Right. Presumably Mr Corbyn is aware of all this and fears an election.

  • Callum Robertson 4th Oct '19 - 10:49am

    It doesn’t help when Lib Dem websites use the phrase “not an area of strength” and “flew the flag”

    As it happens, on a box count, we came second in the ward we were targeting within the division and we are working hard to improve our presence on the district council.

    We also beat both Labour and the Greens (Labour put out a fair bit of literature)

  • I know how tiny a sample this is, but contrast the strong Lib Dem performance in Taunton (more Leave than Remain) and the very strong performance in a former Tory ward in St Albans (heavily Remain). It remains to be seen how real the Lib Dem surge is in pro-Remain Tory areas like City of London & Westminster and Tunbridge Wells. In those seats we might be heading for a 1983 big increase in vote share without winning anything. Such seats should only be worked seriously if our Tauntons and St Albanses are fully resourced. By the way, Clacton suggests that the Tories are not having it all their own way in strongly Leave areas.

  • @ Callum Robertson Your implied criticism of the author’s words is not fair. However, I pay tribute to your work. It’s easy to be a LibDem campaigning in the leafy shires or in suburban London. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to campaign as a LibDem in Clacton.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 4th Oct '19 - 12:43pm

    @callum Robertson: You did a remarkable job in an area that has not been traditionally strong for us. That is the point I was trying to get across.

  • Callum Robertson 4th Oct '19 - 1:01pm

    It is actually quite enjoyable, it just means we have to campaign differently. The fact we moved to second in the Tory’s strongest Ward is quite an achievement.

    Caron, I get that, but it is quite disheartening to read that you “flew the flag” like some kind of hopeless missionary!

    I’d suggest slightly more positive language going forward!

    We have a county Cllr in Clacton and for 4 new members out of the by-election

  • Bernard Aris 4th Oct '19 - 2:10pm

    If we, even under “No Surrender, No Surrender, No Surrender, No Surrender… oh, well let’s surrender to the Rule of Law” Boris, win voters in a UKIP/Brexit Party stronghold like Clacton, we’re in pretty good shape in ALL the UK.

    Congrats to our “Gideons Gang” in Clacton!

  • Paul Barker 4th Oct '19 - 5:05pm

    As far as I can tell we are holding steady in Local Elections on about 25%, 7% up on our May performance.
    National Polling moves faster, we are currently Averaging about 21%, up sharply on a few Weeks ago. That puts us 3% behind Labour but for the last Three Polls the gap falls to 1%, if that is more than a blip then we are getting close to being level with Labour in The Polls.

  • the ahort story is the Tories took 1st place SNP 2nd and dems 3rd in Aberdeen

  • Richard Underhill. 4th Oct '19 - 7:11pm

    Christian 4th Oct ’19 – 9:24am
    The Daily Mail of 3/10/2109 shows a YouGov poll on page 2
    Lib Dem 23% (+2)
    Labour 21% (-1)
    Green 5% (no change)
    Cons 34% (+1)
    Brexit Party 12% (-1)
    This is after the Labour conference from which they would normally hope to benefit.

  • My view is that the enthusiasm or otherwise of activists which influences strongly the results. At a general election people are as influenced by national campaigns, but a very visible campaign by us makes a big difference. This is especially when they feel we are talking sense.
    What is the lesson? We need to work through our communication with our members on getting our key messages for members to use. This especially applies to Our policy on Europe. The dominant theme seems to be, yes there are many things wrong with the EU but we will be worse off if we join.
    That message is a recipe for disaster.
    You do not answer an attack by agreeing with your adversary.

  • Tony Greaves 5th Oct '19 - 7:15pm

    One day this site will actually report the local by-election results – the votes cast. No-one responds to my questions – why don’t they do this?

  • Paul Barker 7th Oct '19 - 3:41pm

    Of the last 11 Polls all but one have Us in the range of 20% to 23%. I am calling the exception a Rogue Poll unless & until theres another showing such a sharp drop in our support.
    Current I believe that We are around 21% or 22%,
    Labour are around 24%,
    The Tories around 31% or 32% &
    The Brexit Party 13% or 14%.
    We still seem to be creeping up.

  • Do not think Opinium is a rogue. It normally has us lower than other polls. Used to be 6 against 8%, 15% against 20% is not much different, it is to do with their taking into account voting last time and whether votes will change or stick. Past experience has suggested their format is what has happened , we do not know this time, but I would not bet against them being on the right course.

  • BMG tonight has us on 20%. Apparently that’s the highest they’ve ever recorded for us.
    CON: 31% (-)
    LAB: 26% (-1)
    LDEM: 20% (+1)
    BREX: 11% (-2)
    GRN: 7% (+1)
    (Change w/ Sep)
    Source: Britain Elects.

  • Paul Barker 7th Oct '19 - 6:57pm

    My suspicion of the Opinium Poll is not just because the 15% figure is wildly out of line with all the other recent Polls; there is also the 5% drop in a Week, that is just inherently unlikely until it shows up in another Poll.
    Most of the recent Polling shows our support rising, even where it falls, it s by 1%.
    For most readers I would reccomend sticking with a Polling Average like Britain Elects. Individual Polls are mostly noise.

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