ALDC by-election report: 14 September 2021

After a busy couple of weeks there were fewer by-elections on Thursday night. Polls were held in Surrey Heath, Harrow, Wigan, Billericay and Falkirk.

On Surrey Heath Borough Council, Lib Dem candidate Jacques Olmo came agonisingly close to beating the Conservatives in Frimley Green ward. Well done to Jacques and the team for winning 47% of the vote. But sadly, they were just 19 votes shy of the Conservatives.

Surrey Heath BC, Frimley Green Ward

  • Conservative: 896 [48.5%, +19.6%]
  • Lib Dem (Jacques Olmo): 877 [47.4%, -1.6%]
  • Labour: 76 [4.1%, +4.1]

In the Borough Council of Harrow, the Lib Dems achieved a great result and jumped from third place to second place in Pinner South ward, increasing our vote share by 2%. Congratulations to Lib Dem candidate Sanjay Karia and the team in Harrow for moving the Lib Dems forward in this seat.

Harrow LBC, Pinner South Ward

  • Conservative: 1392 [60.5%, +1.6%]
  • Lib Dem (Sanjay Karia): 390 [16.9%, +2.2%]
  • Labour: 331 [14.4%, -12.2%]
  • Green: 188 [8.2%, +8.2%]

In Wigan Labour held the seat of Leigh West with a reduced share of the vote, while candidate Sharron Lee Honey increased the Lib Dem vote share by 2%. Thank you to Sharron and the team in Wigan for fighting a good campaign and increasing the Lib Dem vote.

Wigan MBC, Leigh West Ward

  • Labour: 1004 [56.2%, -0.4%]
  • Conservative: 423 [23.7%, -1.9%]
  • Independent: 257 [14.4%, +14.4%]
  • Lib Dem (Sharron Lee Honey): 103 [5.8%, +2%]

The final by-election with a Lib Dem candidate of the night was on Billericay Town Council where Charlie Everest achieved a very strong result – finishing 2nd with over 20% of the vote and increasing the Lib Dem vote share by over 11% compared to the Borough result for the same ward in May. Well done to Charlie and the team. The result itself was a Conservative gain from an Independent councillor.

Billericay Town Council, Billericay East Ward

  • Conservative: 949 [60.3%]
  • Lib Dem (Charlie Everest): 341 [21.7%]
  • Independent: 282 [18%]

Falkirk Council, Falkirk South Ward

There was one other by-election this week. In Falkirk the SNP gained the ward of Falkirk South from the Conservatives. In a very close result there was only 0.3% (or 25 votes) between the two parties.

  • SNP: 1691 [39.2%, +3.5%]
  • Conservative: 1676 [38.9%, +6.8%]
  • Labour: 679 [15.7%, -11.4%]
  • Green: 267 [6.2%, +1.1%]

A full breakdown of these results can be found on ALDCs website here.

* Charles Quinn is Campaigns Organiser for ALDC and a local councillor in Hull.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Brad Barrows 17th Oct '21 - 12:50pm

    Just to correct, the SNP gain was from Labour and not the Conservatives. (It is wrongly reported on the ALDC website). The by-Election seems to confirm the trend of continuing Labour Party decline and a growth in support for both of the extremes on the constitutional future of Scotland. The Liberal Democrats have not contested this area at council elections for over 20 years – I haven’t checked any further back so not sure how long exactly.

  • Kevin Hawkins 17th Oct '21 - 1:10pm

    Interesting to note that this by-election report fails to mention that the Surrey Heath result was a gain by the Conservatives from us. I believe, there were extenuating circumstances – UKIP stood last time and split the right-wing vote allowing us to win on that occasion. However, a loss is still a loss and I would hope that ALDC would not try and gloss over that fact.

    As for the Falkirk result bear in mind that Scotland uses STV. Talking about gains and losses in by-elections can be somewhat misleading under PR. A party with a small share of the vote can easily win a seat in a multi-member ward with PR and then lose it in a by-election when only one seat is being contested, even if their vote increases massively.

  • Ian Patterson 17th Oct '21 - 2:08pm

    Our Surrey colleagues evidently didn’t identify former UkIp voters. It is boringly predictable where the x ukip vote will go.

  • john oundle 17th Oct '21 - 7:16pm

    ‘In the Borough Council of Harrow, the Lib Dems achieved a great result and jumped from third place to second place in Pinner’

    1,000 votes behind the winning candidate in a council by-election & increasing our vote by 2% is a ‘great’ result !

  • Laurence Cox 17th Oct '21 - 9:25pm

    @john oundle

    When you consider that this ward has been safe Tory for all its history apart from 4 years in the 1990s when we held it (at a time when we had almost half the councillors on Harrow Council) and that our principal objectives in this by-election were to give our activists some practice in canvassing in a real election and our new Agent some experience in the role before the pressure of the all-up elections next May; I would say that we succeeded in reaching our objectives, so it was a very good result for us. You shouldn’t be judging our achievement by the crude measure of votes, when you don’t know what our objectives were.

  • Jim Forrest 18th Oct '21 - 6:19pm

    I agree with Kevin Hawkins. We should have the guts and integrity to acknowledge losses, as well as the hard work that the candidate and his team will undoubtedly have put in.

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