ALDC by-election report: 28th September

There were 5 principal council by-elections this Thursday. We stood candidates in all 5 and had some excellent results. Holding two wards in South Norfolk and coming very close in North Yorkshire and the Scottish Highlands.

Starting on South Norfolk District Council where two vacancies were being contested in South Wymondham ward and Mulbarton & Holy Cross ward. Both were Liberal Democrat defences and we held both in the face of strong challenges from parties and independent candidates who had not stood previously.

Congratulations to Cllr Carmina McConnell (South Wymondham) and Cllr Robert McClenning (Mulbarton & Holy Cross) and the team in South Norfolk on your hard-fought wins.

South Norfolk DC, South Wymondham
Liberal Democrats (Carmina McConnell): 286 (35%, -12.4%)
Conservative: 268 (32.8, +4.9%)
Labour: 173 (21.2%, -3.5%)
Green Party: 89 (10.9%, new)

South Norfolk DC, Mulbarton & Holy Cross
Liberal Democrats (Robert McClenning): 667 (37.1%, -11.4%)
Conservatives: 434 (24.2%, -10.8%)
No Description: 404 (22.5%, new)
Labour: 164 (9.1%, -7.4%)
Green Party: 128 (7.1%, new)

On Highlands Council in Scotland we sadly just missed out on retaining Tain & Easter Ross ward. Thank you to Charles Stephen for standing and for increasing the Lib Dem share of the vote (while the SNP share of the vote plummeted). Despite the Lib Dems moving forwards in the seat a new independent candidate won in the 6th round of the STV count.

Highlands Council, Tain & Easter Ross (first preferences)
Independent: 1022 (41.5%, new)
Liberal Democrats (Charles Stephen): 603 (24.5%, +3%)
SNP: 464 (18.8%, -11.8%)
Conservative: 207 (8.4%, -2.2%)
Labour: 88 (3.6%, new)
Green Party: 56 (2.3%, new)
Scottish Libertarian Party: 23 (0.9%, new)

On North Yorkshire Council, Lib Dem Duncan Ross ran the Conservatives very close in Hutton Rudby & Osmotherley ward. A safe Conservative seat in May’s local elections Duncan and the local Lib Dem team increased the Lib Dem share of the vote by 14% and finished just 200 votes behind in a very strong second place. Well done to Duncan and North Yorkshire Lib Dems!

North Yorkshire Council, Hutton Rudby & Osmotherley
Conservative: 954 (48.4%, +8.9%)
Liberal Democrats (Duncan Ross): 747 (37.9%, +14.2%)
Green Party: 243 (12.3%, new)
Yorkshire Party: 27 (1.4%, new)

The fifth and final by-election contested on Thursday was on Wolverhampton City Council in Bushbury South & Low Hill ward. Thank you to Ian Jenkins for flying the Lib Dem flag and polling 12% of the vote. Labour held the ward overall.

Wolverhampton City Council, Bushbury Hill & Low Hill
Labour: 686 (59.2%, -5.4%)
Conservative: 256 (22.1%, -0.5%)
Liberal Democrats (Ian Jenkins): 139 (12%, -0.8%)
Green Party: 78 (6.7%, new)

A full summary of all results can be found on the ALDC by-elections page here.

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

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  • Ian Patterson 30th Sep '23 - 9:05am

    The South Norfolk results are concerning. Whilst holding both, we did lose ground to the Greens. The South Wymondham seat we were only 18 votes ahead of the Tories.

  • Peter Watson 30th Sep '23 - 9:41am

    @Ian Patterson “we did lose ground to the Greens”
    I notice that Greens are tagged as “new” in the various results above. Too much should not be read into a few council by-elections, but might this reflect an increasing interest in the Greens – not just in local government – as an alternative to the seemingly monochrome nature of the main political parties.

  • David Stephen Blake 30th Sep '23 - 9:56am

    The Greens have a simple message. We don’t.

  • We mostly appeal to the same sort of Voters as The Greens (GPEW) do so each Party can often prevent the other winning without being elected themselves. Many Local Parties respond to that by making deals, dividing up Wards into Libdem or Green targets.
    I think its time that we took a view on this at a National level – what’s good for Us at the local level may not be good for the whole Party in the long run.

  • Kevin Hawkins 30th Sep '23 - 1:04pm

    There may or may not be an “increasing interest in the Greens”. Their share of the vote in local by-elections has increased but this is largely because they are contesting more seats – around 60% of by-elections compared with around 40% this time last year.

    For those interested in a longer term view rather than one week’s results here is the data for the last fifty local by-elections to the end of September:

    Labour 30.9%, Conservatives 28.2%, Liberal Democrats 20.9%, Green 10.2%, Others 9.8%

    Gains and losses are:
    Lib Dems: Net gain of eight: 8 gains, 6 held, 0 lost
    Independents: Net gain of three: 3 gains, 0 held, 0 lost
    Greens: Net gain of one: 2 gains, 2 held, 1 lost
    Residents: No change: 0 gains, 1 held, 0 lost
    Vectis: Net loss of one: 0 gains, 0 held, 1 lost
    Labour: Net loss of three: 4 gains, 15 held, 7 lost
    Conservatives: Net loss of eight: 4 gains, 5 held, 12 lost

    Labour won 19 seats, Liberal Democrats 14, Conservatives 9, Greens 4, Independents 3, Others 1.

    This data is for the most recent 50 by-elections in England & Wales (29th June to 28th September). Parish/Town councils are not included.

  • Mick Scholes 30th Sep '23 - 1:19pm

    Interesting article on BBC News website today that the Green Party are increasingly in debt and are facing a legal bill that may have a severe effect on their finances and their ability to pay for campaigning and GE deposits.

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