ALDC by-election report: 12th January 2023

Only two principal by-elections occurred this week, a double whammy in Plymouth City Council. Huge congrats to Mike Gillbard and Colin Mackenzie for standing in Plympton Chaddlewood and Moor View – especially as we didn’t stand a candidate in Plymptom Chaddlewood last time! The Conservatives lost both seats; one to the Greens, another to Labour.

Over in Wells City Council, we had a Parish Council by-election where the Liberal Democrats took a seat from the Wells Independents with over half the vote share! Amazing news for Georgie Robbins and the Wells Liberal Democrats!

Little by little, the blue wall is crumbling. Full results below:

St Cuthbert’s Ward, Wells City Council

Georgie Robbins (Liberal Democrats): 436 (52.8%)
Wells Independents: 214 (25.9%)
Conservative Party Candidate: 176 (21.3%)

Liberal Democrat GAIN from Independent

Plympton Chaddlewood, Plymouth City Council

Green: 653 (44.9%, +1.6%)
Conservative: 425 (29.2%, -18.4%)
Independent: 182 (12.5%, +12.5%)
Labour: 147 (10.1%, +0.9%)
Liberal Democrat (Mike Gillbard): 33 (2.3%, +2.3%)
TUSC: 15 (1.0%, +1.0%)

Green GAIN from Conservative

Moor View, Plymouth City Council

Labour: 1415 (53.2%, +23.9)
Conservative: 877 (33.0%, -30.5)
Independent: 184 (6.9%, +6.9)
Green: 87 (3.3%, -1.1)
Liberal Democrat (Colin Alexander Mackenzie): 77 (2.9%, +0.6)
TUSC: 18 (0.7%, +0.2)

Labour GAIN from Conservative

* Alan Good is a councillor on Manchester City Council and the Campaigns and Communications Intern working with ALDC.

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  • No great surprises. Since David Owen left HoC we have fallen away fast and far.Still one of my heroes despite all the past

  • Nonconformistradical 13th Jan '23 - 11:23pm

    According to there were 10 SDP-LD Alliance councillors i Plymouth in 1987 and after that there don’t seem to have been any LDs elected since 2006.

  • Alex Macfie 14th Jan '23 - 3:53pm

    Lord Owen of Split won Plymouth Devonport for the SDP on personal votes. When he stood down from Parliament in 1992 neither the Lib Dem nor the continuity SDP candidate did well, and the seat reverted to safe Labour.
    He might well have held onto the seat for as long as he stood, whatever party label he ran under. But I don’t think his presence on the Lib Dem benches would have been helpful for us. Not a team player.

  • David Owen with only 6mps behind him was in the news every week giving the SDP oomph. A pity that SirEd is incapable of this.

  • It wasn’t reflected in the polls though was it? The SDP-tick was humiliated at the first 1990 Bootle by-election when it was beaten by the OMRLP, and was formally wound up soon afterwards.

  • That was all post merger. Before that he was a regular on TV Radio Press etc. We need to find direction and energy before Greens and Refuk begin polling higher than us.

  • @Tim Rogers: My impression of the “Two Davids” era was of highly damaging public rows between the two parties, particularly on defence policy. Owen may have appeared on TV a lot, but his interventions seem to have done more harm than good to the SDP-Liberal Alliance (there is absolutely no sense in talking about the two parties as separate entities for polling purposes, because voters couldn’t choose between the two at the ballot box).

    I really don’t think we need worry about other minor parties overtaking us. What people say to pollsters during electoral peacetime is often very different from what they actually do following 4 weeks of election campaigning when they are faced with the reality of who can win where they live.

  • Alex Macfie I agree that the two parties scrapping on defence was bad. It was a shame that CND diverted the Liberals of the agreed course as the 1987 election was dominated by defence. Moral is to have a few tight policies that the Conservative media cannot exploit for divisions.Especially if we are going to concentrate on winning soft Tory votes.

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