A very sweet Lib Dem GAIN in Chesterfield

Back in 1994 or thereabouts, we failed to gain a labour seat in a by-election by a handful of votes. 17 stuck in my mind, but Paul Holmes tells me it’s 34. 17 extra voters.

Tonight, we won that Moor ward seat by a few more votes – a gain from Labour.

That is THE legendary Tony Rogers, becoming a Councillor again at the age of 80.

The result in full:

L Dem 532 47% (Tony Rogers)

Lab 445 39% (Ron Mihaly who also lost the Holmebrook by election to the Lib Dems last September)

Con 84 7.4%

UKIP 69 6%

Having lived through a spate of by-election gains in Chesterfield in the 1990s, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to see it happening again.

They are making a habit of it as this is the third time they’ve pulled off a gain in the last 22 months. They won Mastin Moor and Woodthorpe (Town Council) Dec 2016, and Holmebrook Ward on Chesterfield Borough Council (for the second time, the first being in 1997 just before the General Election) seat in September 2017, They also took a County Council seat from Labour last year.

Chesterfield shows us we can bring the fight to Labour in a big way.

Well done to Tony, Paul Holmes and the amazing Chesterfield team.

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

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13 Comments

  • Michael Mullaney 5th Oct '18 - 12:31am

    A great result. A tribute to Tony Rogers a fantastic campaigner. To Paul and Rae Holmes and Andrew Hollyer and the rest of the team. If you drew a list of who deserved to be elected a Lib Dem councillor Tony Rogers would top the list. Delighted he’s won a really nice man and a great liberal

  • Good news indeed, but let us never forget that “the job of government as far as a liberal is concerned is to take power and give it back”. Now who said that ?
    Having more councillors is a means to an end, not an end in itself

  • Roger Roberts 5th Oct '18 - 7:59am

    Tony has battled for Liberal causes all his life. Thrilled by his victory.Have we an award to bestow on such incredible activists ?

  • Fantastic result but its worth saying that the party has not in recent years been totally fair or helpful to the Chesterfield local party. The campaigners nonetheless have loyally fought on for the cause and done what so badly needs doing contesting the Labour narrative. We all are of course now delighted by their conspicuous success.I am thrilled for Tony Rogers and Paul, Rae and the team but if I know anything about my friend and former colleague Paul Holmes, there’ll have been the odd rueful comment on the night.

  • Gordon Lishman 5th Oct '18 - 9:36am

    Well done, Tony.

  • An inspiration to other Labour facing campaigners in tough territory north of the Trent!
    John Pugh’s comment could be echoed in some other places where Lib Dems have a good record of getting councillors elected.

  • Ruth Coleman-Taylor 5th Oct '18 - 11:37am

    Very well done! It’s always a joy to congratulate a winning team.
    However, I am concerned that the celebratory photo features SIX MEN. There is a long-haired person – possibly a woman?? – looking down from above the stairs. Were no Lib Dem women involved in this campaign?

  • paul holmes 5th Oct '18 - 1:41pm

    Thank you for your congratulations Ruth.

    Yes of course there were women involved in our campaign. Our excellent PPC, Emily Coy was out with a knocking up team well into the hours of darkness last night. Cllrs Shirley Niblock and Maureen Davenport were active yesterday. So was former Cllr and Target seat candidate for next year Glenys Falconer, so was Target seat candidate Maggie Kellman who was delivering GM’s at 6am. So was long standing helper Yvette Marsden. The excellent PPC for Sheffield Hallam, Laura Gordon, was phone canvassing for us last week whilst awaiting the birth of her two week overdue baby. I could go on.

    But do you know, whilst I was organising this winning campaign over recent weeks I wasn’t constantly thinking have I got the correct diversity balance in the deliverers and the canvassers and the Good Morning Team and the Tellers and the Knocker Ups. I was just making the most of every single person who volunteered to help. Which many did and I thank them all profusely. I have never been too interested in ensuring we had the right photo for Lib Dem Voice readers preconceptions but always interested in trying to get Lib Dems elected.

  • paul holmes 5th Oct '18 - 1:54pm

    PS. Of the 6 people in the photo 5 of us had been up and campaigning since before 6am (so 17 hours on the go by the time the result was declared and the photo taken) and one since 9.30am (so a mere 13.5 hours on the go). Two of them decided to hang around outside the Town Hall until they were allowed in for the declaration. Everyone else (and we had 30 people involved yesterday alone) had gone home to bed. Some, like our PPC had of course to get up early the next morning to go to work.

    I would just like to give heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the effort and will always back people like that to the hilt.

    PPS Our Senagalese born Council Group Leader and his Cllr wife were visiting family in Senegal, otherwise we could in theory have added more diversity. But actually I’m pretty sure they would have gone home to bed too once the serious work was over since, like me, they have never had time for posing either.

  • Tony Greaves 5th Oct '18 - 11:43pm

    Brilliant. I saw Tony for a chat at Brighton and thought – heck, I’d better keep going a bit longer yet, I’ve not caught him up yet!!

    One or two comments here hint at the deplorable ways that Paul was treated at national level as an MP and the Chesterfield local party has been treated on occasion. What a wonderful thing that Tony and Paul can put all that behind them and come through yet again. I hope certain people at national level take note.

    And what a shame that a couple of comments here are just a bit catty. There are times to just rejoice.

  • Ruth Coleman-Taylor 6th Oct '18 - 5:12pm

    Excellent result! Well done all round!
    I never really doubted that you had a hard-working and diverse team behind this result, Paul. My concern is about the image we give to other people and what message they take from this.

  • marcstevens 7th Oct '18 - 11:40am

    Yes well done to the team on this brilliant result. I don’t see a problem with the image or message??? If it were six women in the photo and no men, I will not use caps and shout, I would be equally delighted for them and wouldn’t bat an eyelid.

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