ALDC’s by-election report – 20 March 2014

ALDC Master Logo (for screen)Four principal by-elections took place yesterday. In Wroxham ward of Broadland Council, the local Liberal Democrats continued their by-election winning streak having first taken a council seat in the ward five years ago. Ben McGilvray came from fourth place in 2009 to become one of the country’s youngest councillors but after moving out of the area a by-election was called. Alex Cassam increased the Liberal Democrat vote to take 48.3% and retain the seat for the party. The Conservatives came second on 34.2%, UKIP (who did not stand last time) took third with 11.2% and Labour finished fourth with 6.3%. The winning team put their victory down to running a high momentum campaign where they put out at least two leaflets for every one of their competitors’. Voters reacted badly to a negative Conservative campaign. Cllr Cassam and her team used positive stories from the European campaigns such as the benefits of European arrest warrants to keep the UKIP vote down. They helped to supress UKIP support by reminding voters that the party has no record of action in the area. The Wroxham team were especially thankful to the help they received from Liberal Democrats in surrounding areas, especially from North Norfolk and Norwich South Liberal Democrats.

In Rushcliffe, the Conservatives held onto their seat in Gamston ward despite losing 10% of their vote share. Just 48 votes separated the Labour candidate in second place and Davinder Virdi (the Liberal Democrat candidate) who came fourth; UKIP won just three more votes than Mr Virdi to take third place.

Bideford East ward of Torridge Council saw an Independent retain the seat with nearly double the votes the second placed Conservative candidate received. In total the three Independent candidates received nearly 56% of the votes which squeezed the Liberal Democrat and Tory support. Labour finished in third place and the Liberal Democrats came in fifth.

The Conservatives gained a seat in Cellard Head ward of Staffordshire Moorlands from the Staffordshire Independents.

For all the detailed results see the ALDC elections 

* ALDC is the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners

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5 Comments

  • Nich Starling 22nd Mar '14 - 12:45am

    Well done to Alex and the team in Broadland. The Tories have a nasty habit of throwing lots of mud, running leaflets with misleading votes from different councils that have no bearing on decisions made by Broadland Council, throwing wild accusations at the Lib Dems and all mixed with a range of so called successes which turn out to be the Tories claiming credit for things either done by the coalition government or by things done by the independent police and crime commissioner.

    When I won a by-election 4 years ago this week, the Tories were at it then, throwing out a last minute leaflet packed with things that didnt add up or sought to mislead, and they did the same in 2011 too. With nothing positive to say, the Tories are getting more desperate and yet again, we win based on our record.

    We’ve gone from 8 to 14 councillor on Broadland Council in a little over 5 years. At some point the party nationally might realise what a good team with got and start to back us in this part of Norfolk that adjoins Norman Lamb’s North Norfolk seat.

  • Admittedly comparisons for the Bideford East result are difficult because of the presence of independents and changes in the parties standing, but when all’s said and done the Lib Dems polled 37.2% (based on top candidate) or 33.1% (based on average) in the last pre-coalition contest there, and had one councillor elected.

    To drop to fifth place with only 5.2% of the vote. is a pretty abysmal result. This is in a constituency that was held by the Lib Dems until 2005 and was still marginal (majority under 3000) at the last election.

  • Staffordshire Moorlands TOTAL VOTE 13, we just ignore that. Did all the nominees vote for the candidate. What a parlous state the party is in.

  • Chris When Torridge West Devon (previously Torrington) have done well, Bideford has often been at the heart of the strongholds for the party. It is very disappointing to see East-the-Water slumping like this. Yes, Torridge Council, and its politics are, not to put too fine a point on it, maverick, but this result foretells disaster in that area next year. The 2010 PPC of course left the party fairly soon after the election, which can’t have strengthened the constituency. It is noteworthy that a few weeks back Bob Wootton, the candidate here, and a senior figure in the local party, stood as an Independent in another seat. All very confusing.

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 22nd Mar '14 - 5:55pm

    Well done Wroxham, Broadland Lib Dems – home area for me. We work hard to represent our electors, unlike some people who have no policies! But it takes a great local effort even if you have an existing vibrant team of activists.

    Very sad that many areas cannot manage a nomination or respectable campaign, try as they will. We can only guess why this is wide-spread in UK but must be to do with central organisation – and must make the other parties laugh at our central team – how are we supposed to become a government with such little understanding of our grass roots’ needs.

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