ALDC’s by-election report: 16 October 2014

ALDC Master Logo (for screen)Last week saw ten principal by-elections contested across the country with the Liberal Democrats recording two victories. In York, former city council leader Andrew Waller was re-elected following a resounding Lib Dem victory in Westfield Ward, defeating the Labour Party candidate by 1,216 votes in second place. Andrew who had lost his seat in the 2011 local elections, polled 60.2% and was able to capitalize on a fall of 28.3% for Labour’s vote share from 2011 to give the party their ninth councilor in York.

The Liberal Democrats were also victorious in Rutland with Sam Asplin narrowly winning in Whissendine by 13 votes (51.8%) ahead of the Conservatives. Sam now joins Gale Waller as the party’s second representative on Rutland Council. Turnout was at 34.7% which is the highest of the known turnouts for this week’s by-elections. Prior to the by-election, the ward had an Independent councillor which led to Sam’s team attempting to market itself as a source of opposition to the Conservative run council. Whissendine is a compact village with an electorate of around 1,100 voters which allowed the local Liberal Democrats to run a strong, largely leaflet based campaign. Sam’s Agent John Hughes said, ‘We saw it as being better to give all voters several leaflets than to see maybe half of them once on the doorstep’. The Lib Dem team also stated that they managed to take advantage of apparent complacency on the part of their Conservative opponents, who had expected an unopposed victory.

In Swale, UKIP won their first councilor on the District Council with the party defeating the Conservatives by 507 votes (58.4%) in Sheppey Central.

Elsewhere the Conservatives held seats on Kingston Upon Thames, Conwy, Fenland, Rutland and Rossendale Councils, with Labour retaining seats in Harper Green in Bolton and West Thurrock and South Stifford in Thurrock.

* ALDC is the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners

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One Comment

  • I would like to thank ALDC for these reports, they have alot of other work on their hands. However I wonder if they are giving us the most useful information or giving it in the most useful form ?
    Things I would like to see are the proportion of seats where we stand, given on a rolling 3 month average to even out the variation & some idea of average changes in Vote share. There is evidence that Vote share changes are the only measure with any predictive value, they form the basis for Ralling & Thrashers predictions for example.
    I made a quick calculation for the period from the 6th to the 16th. Tory & Libdem Vote shares both fall 3%, compared to when they were fought last. Labour share falls 8% & UKIPs rises 7%. Given the rise of UKIP everyone else must expect to fall. My figures fit with Labours slow decline since early 2013, Mid-Term.

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