A ray of hope in West Suffolk

It would be fair to say that Suffolk has not been a bright spot for Liberal Democracy for some years, and West Suffolk has been weak even in that context, with no representation on the District Council or its predecessors since 2015.

However, with a recent membership surge, the resignation of the newly elected MP for Aberconwy from both the District and County Councils offered an opportunity to get local members engaged. Our candidate, Jonny Edge, is a local school governor, and with support from some experienced old hands – many thanks to Tim Huggan and Ian Horner – a campaign was assembled in a District Ward we didn’t fight in 2019.

I was in the ward two weeks ago, and was surprised to see how much effort the local Conservatives were putting in, although the West Suffolk Independents had won a seat in the ward last year.

But, at the end of a brief campaign, interrupted by the Christmas break, how would Jonny do?

The answer, as it turned out, was respectably well;

Coming from nowhere to second in the District Ward, and from fifth to second in the County division is a promising sign, and will hopefully encourage the Local Party with County Council elections due next year.

* Mark Valladares is the Secretary of Mid Suffolk Liberal Democrats.

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This entry was posted in Council by-elections and News.


  • They are solid results. Probably mean more than the isolated big swing events that we tend to crow about.

  • David McHardy 31st Jan '20 - 5:32pm

    Nice work, Mark and all! Congratulations from Cambridge

  • I agree.Good news on an otherwise gloomy day. Congratulations from West Cornwall

  • We get less than a fifth of the vote in a local council by-election in an area where Labour has no track record, and we do appear to have mounted an active campaign.

    As good news goes, this is very thin gruel.

  • Ian – 0-18% in one go is a very decent result. Not brilliant, but solid progress, and that is worth marking. If Mr Edge is minded to do the follow-up and keep working, he is well-placed to make a serious challenge to win next time.
    What I want to know is, did our campaign manage to resist slogans like, ‘Its a two horse race,’ ‘neck and neck’ and ‘first past the post’??

  • David Warren 1st Feb '20 - 10:05am

    Well done Johnny.

    I wonder did you meet any famous jockeys during the campaign?

  • Remember Tim Farrons mnemonic PAWAWI-pick a ward and win it. I don’t know much about the politics of Suffolk but if as said this is a barren area for us targeting certain wards is the way forward.Yes of course we want as many votes as possible but better to have a few less votes but more seats.Seats means power!

  • Paul Barker 1st Feb '20 - 2:47pm

    Currently our National Equivalent Vote Share seems to be around 20%, about twice our average in “The Polls”, thats fairly normal when we are at the bottom of a cycle. We are slightly up on last May but probably not as much as The Tories so our results in 3 Months probably wont look as good. Numbers will be a lot smaller anyway because less Seats are up for Election.

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