A very strong hold in Oxfordshire

Oxford Liberal Democrats pulled off a brilliant hold last night, getting over 60% of the vote.

Congratulations to Cllr Stefanie Garden

There was a bit of a Conservative surge in Bury but we managed to hold our own in terms of vote share as others lost out:

And great to see a first time stand by Caryl Tandy in Saron ward, Carmarthenshire:

And in Lancashire there was no Lib Dem, sadly.

There are still results to come from Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes.

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

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12 Comments

  • Terrible results in Bury and Carmarthen. Confirms we are heading for loads and loads of lost deposits and humiliating vote levels in those seats. Nothing is changing.
    Headington is a ward we have held for ages even during the darkest days of the coalition.
    Some more counts this morning, hopefully Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire may show better signs.

  • Peter Watson 20th Jul '18 - 12:54pm

    Last two from BritainElects:

    Bletchley East (Milton Keynes) result:
    LAB: 50.9% (+3.1)
    CON: 38.5% (-0.7)
    GRN: 4.9% (-3.1)
    UKIP: 3.8% (+3.8)
    LDEM: 1.9% (-3.1)
    Labour HOLD.

    St George (Northamptonshire) result:
    LAB: 44.6% (+4.3)
    LDEM: 30.0% (+0.1)
    CON: 15.1% (-7.2)
    UKIP: 5.9% (-1.6)
    GRN: 4.4% (+4.4)
    Labour HOLD.

  • Peter Watson 20th Jul '18 - 2:57pm

    @David Raw “What’s the difference between Bletchley and Northamptonshire ?”
    I’ve no local knowledge, but here (http://britainelects.com/2018/07/18/previews-19-jul-2018/), Andrew Teale (every week!) writes an excellent preview of the local byelections, and compares the two as chalk and cheese!
    Elsewhere (https://www.markpack.org.uk/155366/st-george-byelection-northamptonshire/) Mark Pack writes of St. George, Northamptonshire “a ward which the party won in 2013 but then lost in 2017.” and of Bletchley East, Milton Keynes, “a ward where the party has always finished last, even when there have been both Ukip and Green candidates”.

  • @David Raw

    I appreciate that your line is always woe is the Lib Dems. And as I commented recently it is unlikely that we will see any very significant improvement in our poll rating until “Events, dear boy, events” – particularly if we win a parliamentary by-election but maybe Brexit developments. And I also think we need to signal a very clear break with the coalition years.

    But.. LDV does give the results fairly straight. Election maps twitter account indicates we are up about 2% in local by-elections since May 2018 compared to since the 2017 General Election , we are nudging 10% in the opinion polls rather than hovering around 7%, we had a good result in Lewisham East and a solid performance in the local elections – there are in short signs of the green shoots of recovery. Of course it is always easy to see recovery where there is little – but equally easy to overlook it. And reading the runes on a day by day basis or even week by week or month by month is very difficult indeed.

    Urban Labour areas are always going to be tough for us – with Labour in opposition. It is easier to campaign against them when they are messing up in Government! But even against Labour in Liverpool, Manchester and elsewhere there are signs of recovery and we have had some spectacular successes in local by-elections in urban areas.

    It shouldn’t be underestimated how difficult it is to get excited about a ward when you are on a few percent of the vote but local parties should try and throw themselves into them with gusto – campaigning hard against an incompetent Labour council, building membership and helpers etc. But frankly if we win wards like Bury on a regular basis, we will be – and I apologise to you, David Raw for this – in Government with about a 300 seat majority. So it is not exactly surprising that we are doing badly there at the moment at least!

  • @David Raw

    I think what got my goat was describing our vote was 40% down when our vote share was level. OK – you may hope for a bit of a differential turnout in a by-election but it is tough to do and even tougher to do when you are only on some 3% of the vote. Labour’s vote was presumably significantly more than 40% down – and they should be piling up the votes in such a seat at the moment.

    This also lead on to the accusation from you that LDV was putting an unmerited gloss on the results which I think is undeserved. They report the results normally from Britain elects – independent of LDV – and anyway the results are the results. Sure you would expect LDV to highlight the successes and not the failures – just as Conservativehome and labourlist do.

    Apologies if in defending the good people of LDV – I was a little provocative.

    I think any Liberal = and particularly anyone who has been at all active – will share exasperation that our current level of support is not higher. More frustration in my case that the good people of Britain do not seem to share my view that a Liberal future is the way forward.

    There has never in my experience been a great “Deus ex machina” to come to the aid of local parties from regional parties or the national party. Yes – local parties need to go at campaigning with “hammer and tongs”. And it is shame if they don’t go at with gusto – although understandable – and many have if recent results are a guide. But a mythical beast cannot fly out of the sky and give it to them.

    You need massive optimism and a large dose of pessimism – march towards the sound of gunfire but prepare to be slain – or at least not win many battles – especially the early ones in a fightback. Yes support, help and advice from bodies such as ALDC – but the revival of the Lib Dems will 99.9% come from grassroots activists – not from above.

  • @David Raw

    Thanks for your kind words.

    If the Bury result was by your reckoning bad for us then it was horrendous for Labour. We will probably have to agree to disagree on absolute votes versus vote share – to be fair vote share is the most widely used comparison by independent observers which I would suggest rather negates the line of a gloss put on by LDV.

    But to be fair if we are doing very well nationally – which clearly we aren’t – then people will come to vote for us more easily or if they are highly motivated for whatever reason on a nice summer evening and our share and absolute numbers will go up.

    On the coalition we and others have gone back and forth on this. To take a different tack , it was interesting to see Blair’s defence, last night on Newsnight, of his Government which equally disappointed many socialists who had worked their socks off for a Labour government. Equally Blair would say that it introduced the minimum wage, better funding (eventually!) for public services etc. It will be interesting to see what a Corbyn Government does if he gets into power and whether it will succeed or disappoint.

    But Politics tacks back and forth and is far from a linear trajectory – both inside and outside political parties – viz the Corbynistas and Brexiteers in Labour and Conservatives who thought they day would never come and it (nearly) has! Hopefully by campaigning for our politics it nudges the country in the direction we wish to see.

    I would say done right – even a nominal by-election campaign can achieve some – perhaps very modest – goals – members, helpers, campaigning against a opposition held council, highlighimg issues in the press etc. etc.

    On the impression left with voters – 999 out of 1000 would be unable to tell you the detailed result last time – but not having a Lib Dem on the ballot paper when you go and vote really does leave an impression that we really are nowhere in the area.

  • Roger Billins 21st Jul '18 - 10:05am

    It is annoying and stupid to stay our vote held up at Bury, at 3%. This is not a propaganda sheet aimed at children. With no campaigning, 3% is what we are at in many parts of the country.

  • Peter Watson 21st Jul '18 - 10:28am

    @Michael 1 “vote share is the most widely used comparison by independent observers which I would suggest rather negates the line of a gloss put on by LDV.”
    It would probably be better if this site reported both (as is recorded on ALDC’s website), but if only reporting one then at least the vote share can be deduced easily from the voter numbers but it doesn’t work the other way round.
    Seeing the actual numbers might give a better idea of how Lib Dem votes are distributed around the county. Also, perhaps totting up all of the Lib Dem votes in all of the byelections would give a more meaningful measure of Lib Dem support than would averaging the vote shares which weights small seats and small turnouts as equal to large ones.

  • @Peter Watson

    It is of course useful to have the full figures – the problem being is that if you are reporting it very early then it is not necessarily available Britain elects twitter account only reports the percentages – that’s not LDV’s fault.

    I am not sure that what you propose is the best way. The best comparison is the percentage comparison to the national equivalent share when last fought. That is if we were on 20% according to the BBC/Sky vote share when last fought – and we got 30% – if we get 32% then we are up 2% and should be on 22% vote share equivalent nationally for local elections.

    If over a period there were just 2 elections for example and one was in a big urban labour ward and one is a small conservative ward – then your method would clearly be distorting – in general just toting up the results may distort towards bigger urban wards over a period of time. In general turnouts, although normally lower in by-elections, should reflect the general pattern when fought outside a by-election.

    As always there are a 101 factors that affect local by-elections = if one party fights a much more vigorous campaign than they normally do – but of course the other parties may do as well. But a lot of these factors hopefully even themselves over time and hopefully it becomes a reasonable guide to how the parties are doing.

    i am not 100% sure of their methodology but I think the election maps twitter share is probably taken from just totting up the total number of votes. Again over a reasonable period of time – the type of wards should even themselves out.

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