ALDC by-election report 2 November 2021

With the May 2022 local elections on the horizon, it is paramount the Lib Dems build up momentum going into the spring by ending the year strong and we did just that!

First and foremost, we want to thank all our valued candidates, local parties and an army of steadfast volunteers that gave Lib Dem supporters ample opportunity to support Liberal Democrat Councillors all over the country.

There were two gains in Lancaster, one loss and one gain in Hailsham, a heartfelt loss in North Norfolk and in Breckland.


We begin proceedings in Lancaster where the blue wall suffered a severe chink to the armoury. In both Bare and Upper Lune Valley, candidates Gerry Blaikie and Ross Hunter respectively ran stellar campaigns to achieve gains from the Conservatives.

Lancaster, Bare Ward

  • Liberal Democrat (Gerry Blaikie): 428 (33.3%, +21.2)
  • Green: 301 (23.4%,+23.4)
  • MBI: 243 (18.9%, -16.5)
  • Conservative: 205 (16.0%, -14.9)
  • Labour: 107 (8.3%, -9.1)

Lancaster, Upper Lune Valley Ward

  • Liberal Democrat (Ross Hunter): 390 (63.1%, +19.1)
  • Conservative: 183 (29.6%, -16.3)
  • Green:24 (3.9%, +3.9)
  • LAB: 21 (3.4%, -6.7)


The majority of Thursday’s action was over at Hailsham town council with three wards Central, North West and South all up to be contested.

Let’s start in Hailsham Central where the incumbent independents choice to stand down set up a hotly contested seat between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. With a huge 59.5% share of the vote, Joanna Crittenden turned the ward Liberal Democrat, we would like to offer our congratulations on such a resounding victory to you and all your team. In Hailsham North West Anne-Blake Coggins returned a respectable 25.1% of the vote share and in Hailsham South Darren Ridge was pipped to the post by only 24 votes! Commendable returns all around in Hailsham.

Hailsham Central

  • Liberal Democrat (Joanna Crittenden) – 262
  • Conservative – 178
  • Hailsham North West
  • Con – 205 [43.3%]
  • Independent – 125 [26.4%]
  • Liberal Democrat – 119 [25.1%]
  • Independent – 24 [5.1%]

Hailsham South

  • Conservative – 221
  • Liberal Democrat (Darren Ridge) – 197


A special mention to James Minto and the team over at Breckland DC who returned a staggering 40.9% of the vote share from a standing start to miss out on victory by only twenty-two votes. This personifies why we should stand candidates in every possible election, a truly valiant effort from the whole team in Breckland.

  • Conservative: 243 (45%, -26.3%)
  • Liberal Democrat (James Minto): 221 (40.9%, +40.9%)
  • Labour: 66 (12.2%, -16.5%)
  • Workers’ Party: 10 (1.9%, +1.9%)


In the Warwick District Council ward of Whitnash, Whitnash Residents Association held on to win another term in office. Thank you to the Lib Dem candidate Trevor Barr for giving a Lib Dem option to voters there.


In Newport County Council’s ward of Victoria Labour secured another victory. Thank you to Liberal Democrat candidate John Miller for providing a voice and option to all Liberal Democrat voters in the area.

  • Labour: 641 (64.6%, +6.7)
  • Liberal Democrat (John Miller): 258 (26.0%,+5.6)
  • Conservative: 93 (9.4%, -3.8)

North Norfolk

We would like to say thank you to Barbara Mcgoun for giving voters a Lib Dem option in the North Norfolk’s council ward of Stalham. Another spirited outing for the Lib Dems with a very respectable return of second place with 37% of the vote share. The seat ultimately stayed in the Conservatives tenureship.

  • Conservative: 559 (55.2%, +25.9)
  • Liberal Democrat (Barbara Mcgoun): 375 (37.0%, -11.1)
  • Labour: 79 (7.8%, -0.2)

Lessons from the Stalham (North Norfolk) byelection loss

Other results

Finally, there were two further elections on Thursday night – sadly without Lib Dem candidates standing. In Adur District Council, the Conservatives held Hillside ward. Whilst over at Wealdon District Council the Green Party flipped Hartfield ward away from the Conservatives.

* Paul Heilbron is a Campaigns and Communications Intern at ALDC

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This entry was posted in Campaign Corner and Op-eds.


  • Kevin Hawkins 4th Dec '21 - 11:54am

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

    Conservatives 31.9% (32.1%)
    Labour 28.5% (29.7%)
    Liberal Democrats 19.5% (19.2%)
    Greens 8.9% (8.6%)
    Others 11.2% (10.4%)

    Gains and losses are:
    Conservatives: Net gain of three: 7 gains, 10 held, 4 lost
    Labour: Net gain of one: 5 gains, 13 held, 4 lost
    Liberal Democrats: No change: 2 gains, 5 held, 2 lost
    Greens: Net gain of one: 1 gain, 1 held, 0 lost
    Independents: Net loss of four: 2 gains, 2 held, 6 lost
    Liberals: No change: 0 gains, 1 held, 0 lost
    Tunbridge Wells Alliance: Net gain of one: 1 gain, 0 held, 0 lost
    Plaid Cymru: No change: 0 gains, 1 held, 0 lost
    UKIP: Net loss of one: 0 gains, 0 held, 1 lost
    Health Concern: Net loss of one: 0 gains, 0 held, 1 lost

    Labour won 18 seats, Conservatives 16, Liberal Democrats 7, Independents 4, Greens 2, Others 3 (Total equals 51 as there was a double by-election in one ward)

    It should be a matter of concern that the proportion of by-elections contested by the Liberal Democrats is now running at 66%, the lowest level since January 2016. The Conservatives contested all of the most recent fifty seats, and even Labour managed 88%.

    This data is for the most recent 50 by-elections in England & Wales (7th October to 30th November). Parish/Town councils are not included.

  • Fort William and Ardnamurchan By-election (2 December 2021
    SNP – Win
    SNP 39.4% Up 17.2%
    Greens 14.3%
    Total Yes Vote 53.7%
    Lib Dem vote 10.1% Up 6.5% – Well done to Roger Liley for an increased vote share.

  • Paul Barker 4th Dec '21 - 1:26pm

    Why no mention of Marine ward, Worthing, W Sussex ?
    Labour won on a big swing & everyone else was squeezed, we came last.

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