ALDC by-election report: 16 December 2021

So here we have it our round of Super Thursday! Marginals galore, incumbents getting stuffed even before the turkeys have been carved and a whole host of gains, holds, flips and squeezes.

With the potent backdrop of North Shropshire in the atmosphere, you wouldn’t be forgiven for taking your gaze from this week’s by-elections but fear not we have all the details of all sixteen polls from Thursday night’s action.

Most notably then, the Lib Dems ushered in the close of the year with fantastic gains in Roffey South, West Lindsey and last but not least a Lib Dem gain from the Conservatives in Northumberland left the council with no overall control. Elsewhere then the Conservatives held on in Lomond North, Lichfield & Tilehurst South & Holybrook


There is nowhere else to start apart from Hexham East where a tremendous gain for the Suzanne Fairless-Aitken and her fantastic team inaugurated a new dynamic for Northumberland Council with no party now holding an overall majority. A fantastic effort by the whole team, the Lib Dems are the true kings of the north tonight.

Northumberland: Hexham East – Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative


Horsham’s District councils Ward, Rothley South, encapsulated the theme of the night for the Lib Dems – gains from the Tories. Sam Raby and his commendable team ran a fantastic team, congratulations on the momentous victory.

Horsham: Rothley South – Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative

West Lindsey

Another impressive gain for the Lib Dems came over at West Lindsey’s ward of Nettleham. With a staggering 51% of the vote share, Jaime Emma Oliver brought home the seat. A fantastic effort all around.

West Lindsey: Nettleham – Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative

Other by-elections

The most bizarre antics of the evening were assigned to the Walsall Council’s by-election of Pleck. The victorious Labour candidate was deemed Ineligible due to being a local authority employee. The seat will now lay vacant until May under the six-month rule. What a waste of public money.

Labour had a little better success at turning votes into victory over at the unitary authorities of Medway and Middlesbrough in the wards of; Rochester East and North Ormesby respectively which saw their candidate first hold the seat and then in North Ormesby gain from the Independent. A big thank you to Sarah Louise Manuel and the whole team for fighting the good fight for the Lib Dems in Rochester East and the same admiration goes to Ian Jones at North Ormesby,

Medway: Rochester East – Labour hold

Middlesbrough: North Ormesby – Labour gain from Independent

Finally, then, there were consecutive holds for the Conservatives at Tilehurst South & Holybrook, Armitage with Handsacre, and Lomond North. Flying the gold flag high Tilehurst South & Holybrook for the Lib Dems we saw Steve Bown and his team, thank you for standing. Unfortunately, there were no Lib Dem candidate on either of the other ballot papers. In addition, there was no Lib Dem candidate on the paper at Caerau ward on Bridgend council which ultimately saw the Independent candidate gain from Labour and last but not least at Ashford ward on Highfield council where the Green Party knocked the Incumbent Conservatives of their perch.

* Paul Heilbron is a Campaigns and Communications Intern at ALDC

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Kevin Hawkins 20th Dec '21 - 11:04am

    The data for the last fifty local by-elections is as follows. (The equivalent data for the fifty by-elections up to the end of November is given in brackets).

    Labour 32.1% (28.5%)
    Conservatives 29.4% (31.9%)
    Liberal Democrats 16.2% (19.5%)
    Greens 10.9% (8.9%)
    Others 11.5% (11.2%)

    Labour are at the top for the first time since July 2019.

    Gains and losses are:
    Labour: Net gain of two: 6 gains, 14 held, 4 lost
    Conservatives: Net loss of eight: 6 gains, 7 held, 14 lost
    Lib Dems: Net gain of five: 7 gains, 1 held, 2 lost
    Greens: Net gain of four: 4 gains, 0 held, 0 lost
    Independents: Net loss of three: 1 gains, 1 held, 4 lost
    Residents: No change: 0 gains, 1 held, 0 lost
    Liberals: No change: 0 gains, 1 held, 0 lost
    Tunbridge Wells Alliance: Net gain of one: 1 gain, 0 held, 0 lost
    Health Concern: Net loss of one: 0 gains, 0 held, 1 lost

    Labour won 20 seats, Conservatives 13, Liberal Democrats 8, Green 4, Independents 2, Others 3.

    This data is for the most recent 50 by-elections in England & Wales (11th November to 16th December). Parish/Town councils are not included.

  • John Marriott 20th Dec '21 - 11:34am

    The West Lindsey By election was caused by the resignation of the previous Tory councillor, who is now in prison, having stolen cash from the constituency party. Nettleham has been one of the few areas in the county that has regularly had Lib Dem representation. My late County Council colleague, Ray Sellars, held it for many years, after taking over from Sheila Turner, whose husband, Peter, was for many years their election guru. They regularly win seats at both County and District level in good years and bad. It would seem that the Liberal tradition is still alive and well in one part of Lincolnshire.

    My congratulations to the new Lib Dem District Councillor and to Lesley Rollings, Trevor Young and all the other Lib Dems it was my privilege to work with over the years, who are still flying the flag, a fitting tribute to my former County Council colleague and Leader of West Lindsey, Reg Shore, who sadly passed away this year.

  • Many thanks Paul for a comprehensive report in a helpful format.

  • Sorry – still REID.

  • And in Polling News we have the first Poll since North Shropshire – We are on 13%, our highest for 4 months. This looks hopeful but its only one Poll.
    We are averaging around 10%.

    The Labour lead is steady around 6%.

  • @ Paul Barker, “The Labour lead is steady around 6%”.

    Not sure which poll you looked at, Paul, but the Redfield & Wingfield poll published today gives a Labour lead of 8%. Figures are : Labour 39% (+2), Conservative 31% (-1), Liberal Democrat 13% (+2), Green 6% (-1) and Reform UK 5% (-2)

    The poll is UK wide and thus misleading, underestimating the SNP on 5% (+1) and Plaid Cymru 1% (+1).

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • John Waller
    I only did 3 not 5. Thank you from crazy USA. What sense....
  • Alex Macfie
    This "non-aggression" pact between us and Labour is presumably supposed to apply only to each other's Tory-facing battlegrounds (I don't think we're holding bac...
  • Robert SAYER
    Totally right. Having experienced the same stresses as described it can be lonely and you can believe that the most unwinnable seat can be won. But to those fig...
  • Joseph Bourke
    Liberal values are not easily distinguished on a political scale of right versus left. It is rather the scale of authoritanism versus Liberaiism. The Presidn...
  • William Wallace
    All of us who campaign in the north of England will agree with this article. But we will also have to recognise that a parliamentary party overwhelmingly dra...