ALDC by-election report, 3rd March 2022

The Lib Dems continued their strong start to 2022 with 3 great by-election wins on Thursday night – and some excellent second place performances too.

We start off on South Somerset DC where newly elected Lib Dem councillor Ray Buckler gained the seat of Neroche from the Conservative with over half the vote – increasing the Lib Dem vote share by over 26%. Congratulations to Ray and the Lib Dem team

South Somerset DC, Neroche ward
Liberal Democrat (Ray Buckler): 390 [52.8%, +26.8]
Conservative: 315 [42.6%, -18.8]
Green: 19 [2.6%, from nowhere]
Labour: 15 [2.0%, from nowhere]

Next to Rochford DC where the Lib Dems recorded their most resounding win of the evening in Downhall and Rawreth ward – achieving 71.5% of the vote. Congratulations to Cllr Jim Cripps and the team for such a solid Lib Dem hold.

Rochford DC, Downhall and Rawreth ward
Liberal Democrat (Jim Cripps) – 791 [71.5%, +9.5%]
Conservative – 265 [23.9%, -5.4]
Labour – 51 [4.6%, -5.1

The next Lib Dem win of the evening came on Essex County Council where Cllr James Newport and the local team held the seat of Rayleigh North with a majority of over 700 votes. Congratulations to Cllr Newport and the team in Essex!

Essex CC, Rayleigh North ward
Liberal Democrat (James Newport): 1658 [57.4%, +12.3]
Conservative: 929 [32.2%, -11.8]
Independent: 164 [5.7%, from nowhere]
Labour: 137 [4.7%, -6.1]

There were some other great performances on Thursday night too. On Sunderland MBC Steven Donkin and the local Lib Dem team achieved a fantastic second place in Redhill ward – a ward in which we did not stand a candidate in the last election. Despite this Steven still came a great second with 27.4% of the vote. Well done to the team in Sunderland on such a great result.

Sunderland MBC, Redhill ward
Labour: 709 [50.2%, +12.6]
Liberal Democrat (Steven Donkin): 386 [27.4%, from nowhere]
Conservative: 196 [13.9%, -0.3]
UKIP: 85 [6.0%, -34.9]
Green: 35 [2.5%, -4.8]

On Sevenoaks DC the local Lib Dems came an excellent second in Brasted, Chevening and Sundridge ward – increasing our vote share as the Conservatives just held the seat. Well done to Claire Coombe and the local team for fighting such a great campaign and getting a great result

Sevenoaks DC, Brasted, Chevening and Sundridge ward
Conservative: 820 [58.7%, +4.5]
Liberal Democrat (Clare Coombe): 524 [37.5%, +1.2]
Labour: 52 [3.7%, -5.7

The final result to report with a Lib Dem candidate was in Southend-on-Sea in which the Conservatives held the ward of Southchurch. Thank you to Tristan Bembridge for standing and giving voters a Lib Dem choice on the ballot paper.

Southend-on-Sea DC, Southchurch ward
Conservative: 1025 [64.3%, +1.1]
Independent: 294 [18.4%, from nowhere
Labour: 144 [9.0%, -7.3]
Green: 87 [5.5%, -2.2]
Liberal Democrat (Tristan Bembridge): 45 [2.8%, +0.1]

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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  • John Bicknell 5th Mar '22 - 7:31am

    No mention of the result from New Forest DC, where the Lib Dems just about held the seat, despite a sizeable collapse in their vote share. Were there any controversial local issues to explain that reduction, or was it simply mainly down to Labour standing this time (they hadn’t previously)?

  • Kevin Hawkins 5th Mar '22 - 9:01am

    As many of you know I produce statistics at the end of each month summarising the last fifty by-elections. There are a relatively small number of by-elections left this month and unless we do badly I predict that we will take second place in these tables ahead of Labour. It is surprising that the main opposition party is doing so badly in local by-elections. Ignoring temporary leaders there have been 13 Leaders of the Opposition since 1974. Only three of these went on to become Prime Minister and all three of them had double digit leads in local by-elections over their opponents while they were opposition leader.

    Keir Starmer has the worst record of any recent opposition leader in local by-elections even worse that Jeremy Corbyn. The Tories under Boris Johnson are way ahead of Labour. This isn’t supposed to happen – government parties are expected to do badly in local elections, while the opposition do well.

  • With regards to the South Somerset DC seat it was always an ultra safe rural Tory seat (halfway between Yeovil and Taunton). Lib Dems never won it before. Tory central government have now abolished it (Robert Jenrick decided last year to abolish SSDC).

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