ALDC by-election report, 11 December 2014 – a trio of Liberal Democrat wins

ALDC Master Logo (for screen)Eleven principal council by-elections were held across Britain yesterday. The two contests in Aylesbury Vale resulted in two Liberal Democrat wins. Peter Agoro was victorious in Southcourt ward, polling 42.3% to secure a comfortable majority of 317 votes as UKIP finished second. Labour, who were defending the seat, saw their vote share drop by 12.2% in finishing third. There was more good news as Anders Christensen held for the Liberal Democrats in Gatehouse, winning with a slender majority of 28 ahead of the UKIP candidate.  These two victories see the party’s representation on Aylesbury Vale DC increase to 17 councillors.

There were also gains for Plaid Cymru in Carmarthenshire and UKIP in Stamford North, both coming from Independents. The Liberal Democrat candidates polled 11% and 11.2% respectively in these contests.

The Conservatives won over 50% of the vote to hold seats on Broxtowe BC and Windsor & Maidenhead UA, with the party also polling over 75% to hold in the New Forest DC seat of Bransgore & Burley.

In addition, Labour held seats on Sunderland MB and Halton BC, despite small vote share drops in both elections, of 3% and 2.4% respectively.

The SNP held their seat in the Argyll & Bute ward of South Kintyre, winning 62.2% of the vote as the Conservatives vote share crumbled by 41.4% from the ward’s last election in 2012. There was also a gain for the SNP on Moray UA, as they won 728 first preference votes to gain a seat from Labour in Elgin City North.

Liberal Democrat candidates were fielded in eight of this week’s elections, with 6 of these candidates polling over 10%, an improvement on two weeks ago when only one out of six gained over 5% of the vote. However only three candidates secured vote share increases from their ward’s last election and in two of these cases, Liberal Democrat candidates were not fielded in the previous contest.

In other elections, there was also a gain for the Liberal Democrats from the Independents on Rawcliffe Parish council in York, with the party now holding 4 of the 9 seats on the council.

Click here to view the complete by-election results for this week

* ALDC is the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners

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  • Paul In Wokingham 13th Dec '14 - 10:54am

    Elgin City isn’t a city. That’s what you learn by watching “Pointless”.

    Congratulations to Aylesbury Lib Dems. Great results.

  • Well done Aylesbury. One of a couple of handful of Lib Dem areas that can win ‘against the head’.

  • Ukip finished second in both Aylesbury wards, not the Tories. The Lib Dems gained Southcourt and held Gatehouse.

    LD 295 35.6%
    UKIP 267 32.2%
    Con 113 13.6%
    Lab 113 13.6%
    Grn 28 3.4%
    Ind 12 1.4%

    LD 429 42.3%
    UKIP 266 26.2%
    Lab 175 17.2%
    Con 112 11.0%
    Grn 33 3.3%

  • Can anyone confirm that in the Southcourt ward in Aylesbury two councillors were last elected in 2011 ?
    As I read it a Liberal Democrat topped the poll with a Labour candidate second, and these two were elected as councillors.
    If so to describe this as a gain from Labour, whilst true in one sense, does not tell the whole story.
    If I am reading it correctly the Labour vote has declined and been taken by UKIP, whilst the Liberal Democrat vote held.

    I have had a look at the Aylesbury Council website but their presentation of the results leaves something to be desired.

  • John Tilley wrote:

    “Can anyone confirm that in the Southcourt ward in Aylesbury two councillors were last elected in 2011 ?”

    I cannot. All I can do is speak from distant memory. Southcourt, which is the largely working-class area around Stoke Mandeville Hospital, has been a Liberal Democrat ward for years. If my memory serves me right (and it may not), it was first won by the SDP in the early 1980s. Yes, I can recall Southcourt being misprinted as “Southport” in Val Taylor’s “The Social Democrat”! The person who would know all the detail off-by-heart is Candy Piercey.

    Winning back Southcourt from Labour is perhaps an indication that we are recovering our former dominant position in Aylesbury town (as distinct from the solidly Tory-voting countryside that surrounds it).

    The UKIP situation in Aylesbury is a little bit confusing. The story goes that they benefited from local opposition to HS2 in 2013, though HS2 has minimal impact on the town itself. Nationally, UKIP is taking more votes proportionately from the Tories, and long may they continue doing that. However, in our key seats, UKIP seems to be taking more votes proportionately from us, especially in the West Country, and that is very worrying. The Ashcroft polling indicates that in our suburban seats our vote is holding up pretty well. That is not surprising, given the large council groups and high level of voter contact in those seats. However, in our rural West Country seats we are doing much less well. These are seats with much smaller council groups and lower levels of voter contact. Much of our vote there seems to have migrated to UKIP. Something needs to be done about it, and there isn’t much time left to do it.

  • Sesenco 13th Dec ’14 – 9:55pm

    Many thanks for an informed and interesting comment. Shame that ALDC did not provide such a good summary in the first place.

    I also share your concern about the West Country. Between 1983 and 2010 we benefited from what might be termed the Ashdiwn Effect in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Unfortunately in 2015 we look like suffering from what might be termed the Browne aftermath.

  • According to Vote UK Forum the result in 2011 in Southcourt for the two seats in the ward was:

    LD 539
    Lab 442
    LD 412
    Lab 399
    Con 307
    Con 234
    UKIP 211
    UKIP 180

    So this clearly was a Lib Dem gain from Labour, but Sesenco is correct in saying that it had previously been a solidly Lib Dem ward for years before 2011.

  • John Tilley: that gentlemen has been very quiet of late, is something happening that we are unaware of?

  • Peter Chivall 15th Dec '14 - 10:30am

    Given the numbers of retirees now dominating many Westcountry small towns, I’m not surprised that UKIP are doing well there. A few years ago I spent a couple of nights in Buckfastleigh where my father came from. The broad Devonshire dialect that I remembered from my childhood holidays there was TOTALLY absent in shops and pubs – whether they’d built tar-paper shack townships on Dartmoor for the natives, I don’t know!

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