ALDC by-election review – 15 November

Four by elections took place on an eventful day for politics as a whole in the UK, with Lib Dem candidates standing in all four seats. 

Oxfordshire CC, Grove & Wantage
LD Jane Hanna 1925 [47.9%; +4.6%]
Con 1447 [36.0%; +0.7%]
Lab 459 [11.4%; -2.0%]
Green 185 [4.6%; -3.3%]
Turnout 27.85%
LD Hold
Percentage change from 2017

The outstanding result from the night came in the Grove & Wantage by-election for Oxfordshire County Council. Jane Hanna and the Oxfordshire Lib Dems put on a great campaign and increased their vote by 4.6% increasing their majority to strengthen their hold on the seat. A fantastic result for Jane and the party, congratulations and keep up the good work!

Kent CC, Canterbury North
Cons 1355 [42.3%; -12.3%]
LD Alex Lister 756 [23.6%; +7.1%]
Lab 660 [20.6%; +4.1%]
Green 157 [4.9%; -1.9%]
Ind 155 [4.8%; +4.8%]
UKIP 120 [3.7%; -1.9%]
Turnout 26.04%
Con Hold
Percentage change from 2017

A hard-worked campaign from Alex Lister and Kent Lib Dems saw a great swing of 7.1% cementing the Lib Dems place as the second party in the ward. The result saw the Conservatives lose 12.3% of their vote share highlighting the excellent performance from Lister despite defeat. Congratulations and let’s hope this result provides a platform for an increased focus on liberalism in the area. 

Stroud DC, Dursley
Lab 889 [50.5%; +13.5%]
Con 704 [40.0%; +15.2%]
Green 90 [5.1%; -9.1%]
LD Richard Blackwell-Whitehead 79 [4.5%; -19.6%]
Turnout 32.3%
Lab Hold
Percentage change from 2016

Bassetlaw DC, East Retford West
Lab 441 [49.9%; +12.7%]
Con 296 [33.5%; +4.8%]
LD Helen Tamblyn-Saville 146 [16.5%; +3.7%]
[UKIP 576 [21.2%; -21.2%]
Turnout 23.82%
Lab Hold
Percentage change from 2015

Richard Blackwell-Whitehead and Helen Tamblyn-Saville both put on great fights in Dursley and East Retford West and thanks goes to them for their hard work campaigning and representing the party across the country. 

Big thanks to all our candidates for standing, representing us all and making sure the Liberal Democrats are on the ballot.

Next week there are four more by-elections in Lancaster Gate for Westminster LB, Bush Hill Park for Enfield LB, Datchet for Windsor & Maidenhead UA and Upton for Wirral MB all with Lib Dem candidates. 

If you have a spare hour you can find contact details of who to ring to help out on the forthcoming by-elections section of our website.

Or why not donate to the ALDC Fighting Fund so we can give more grants to local teams to help us win more by-elections.

Good luck to all our standing candidates and see you next week!

* ALDC is the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • Graham Evans 16th Nov '18 - 9:21pm

    @ David Raw. Yes, indeed. Surely someone from LDV should find out what went wrong in Stroud.

  • marcstevens 16th Nov '18 - 9:52pm

    Good results in all 3 seats except for Stroud DC where there was a collapse in vote share from 24.1%. It would be good to get an objective assessment of what went wrong there so lessons can be learned for future council elections.

  • Chris Bertram 16th Nov '18 - 10:19pm

    I have seen an explanation of possible reasons for the Dursley result. I have copied them to the private forum, so if you want to read them, you’ll have to log in there.

    Nonetheless, two good results (one *very* good if you count the hold as that) and one ok result.

  • Looking at Dursley from afar (which is always a little dangerous), there are several things that strike me about it from some research on the internet:

    1. AIUI our candidate in 2016 was a former councillor for the ward and a town (parish) councillor for Dursley, Brian Marsh (who sadly passed away in November 2016). So is likely to have had a personal vote.

    2. This is particularly the case because the comparison is with an “all up” election which elected 3 councillors and we stood one candidate rather than 3. Of course we don’t know how people voted but it is likely that there were quite a few people that voted for 2 of the Labour or Conservatives candidates and used their 3rd vote for the Lib Dem as a well-known former councillor. If you count all the votes (and everyone had 3 votes for 3 candidates) then we got 11.5% of the total – obviously this is too low for comparison purposes but using the top (or average) vote is (most probably) too high.

    In addition Andrew Teales’ previews notes: “the Conservative candidate Loraine Patrick has been a Stroud councillor for this ward twice before (2002-03 and 2007-11), was runner-up here in 2016 and since 2017 has been the town’s county councillor.” So is likely to have been quite a strong and well-known candidate with some personal vote
    My estimation is that between 10%-15% would have been “par for the course”. We got 17.6% in 2015 when Brian Marsh was our candidate and there was no Green candidate. And looking from afar – the Greens are bigger force in Stroud than they are in many councils with 9 councillors on Stroud Council to our two.

    So Dursley was clearly a less good result than we would have liked but is probably only effectively a 5%-10% reduction in our vote (and I would put it at the lower end of that range) as supposed to a 20% one.

  • paul barker 17th Nov '18 - 1:39pm

    Its hard enough trying to see where Opinion Polls actually are but the problem with Local byelections is much worse, there are so many variables & the sample is so small.
    I have been trying to average out our results & I think that we are doing better than we did in May but not as well as we did in May 2017.

  • I have no idea what happened in Stroud but sometimes the question may be “How come we did so well last time round?” A current disaster can look different if the previous result was the rogue.

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.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

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

  • Joe Bourke
    International law and the rules based international order are not synonymous terms and are subject to widely differing interpretations. The rules based interna...
  • Tim Hill
    Peter - The Liberal Democrat national position is irrelevant to the by-election. Like any really good Liberal Democrat candidate, Sarah Green has her ears to th...
  • Peter
    HS2 is a major disaster for Amersham, Little Missenden, Great Missenden, not to mention most of Buckinghamshire. Please remind me, what is the Lib Dem positi...
  • Peter
    It was the the refusal of the other parties (and many from his own party) to deliver the result of the referendum that swept Johnson into power with a massive m...
  • Andy Daer
    This article is a reminder that something enormously valuable created by previous generations has been lost. David McDowall lays out a pretty damning case agai...