ALDC’s by-election report – 22 February 2024

It’s been the busiest week so far this year for local council by-elections – with 8 principal council elections taking places. The first bit of great news is there was a Liberal Democrat candidate in every single contest and thanks to our excellent candidates and local teams on the ground we can celebrate some excellent results. 

There was one Lib Dem gain on Thursday which came on Wiltshire Council in Calne, Chilvester and Abberd ward. Congratulations to Councillor Rob MacNaughton and the local Lib Dem for increasing the Lib Dem vote share by 18% and gaining the ward from the Conservatives. An amazing result and already our fourth by-election gain this year.  

Wiltshire UA, Calne, Chilvester and Abberd
Liberal Democrats (Robert Macnaughton): 424 (45.3%, +18.1)
Conservative: 283 (30.2%, -16.8%)
Labour: 172 (18.4%, +3.7%)
Green Party: 58 (6.2%, -5%)

There were two by elections on Buckinghamshire Council this week – and both saw the Lib Dems secure very positive results with significantly improvements in our share of the vote. 

A huge well done to Carol Linton who finished a close second to the Conservatives in Common and Burnham Beeches ward. Carol increased the Lib Dem vote share by over 11% and picked 41.5% of the total vote. A brilliant base to being upon. 

Similarly Mark Titterington increased the Lib Dem vote by over 13% in Hazelmere ward to finish in a very strong 3rd place – and cutting the gap to the winning Conservative candidate from 1000 at the last election to just over 200 this time!

Well done to both candidates and the local team in Buckinghamshire. 

Buckinghamshire UA, Common and Burnham Beeches
Conservative: 860 (51.8%, -4.2%)
Liberal Democrats (Carol Linton): 689 (41.5%, +11.2%)
Labour: 111 (6.7%, -7%)

Buckinghamshire UA, Hazelmere
Conservative: 687 (36.5%, -4.2%)
Independent: 654 (34.8%, -5.8%)
Liberal Democrats (Mark Titterington): 426 (22.7%, +13.4%)
Labour: 113 (6%, -3.5%)

There were also 2 by-elections on Derbyshire Dales DC

First of all in Bakewell ward, Claire Cadogan increased the Lib Dem vote share by 5% and jumped ahead of the Green Party to claim 3rd place. A great step forwards so well done and thank you to Claire. Labour gained the ward from the Conservatives overall squeezing in by 15 votes. 

Robin Shirtcliffe flew the flag for the Lib Dems in Norbury ward. The Lib Dems did not contest the ward at the previous election. So a huge thank you to Rob for making sure voters had a Lib Dem choice this time. The Conservatives held the ward overall. 

Derbyshire Dales DC, Bakewell
Labour: 467 (38%, +14%)
Conservative: 452 (36%, -10%)
Liberal Democrats (Claire Cadogan): 161 (13%, +5%)
Green Party: 73 (6%, -8%)
Reform UK: 50 (4%, new)
Independent: 36 (3%, new)

Derbyshire Dales DC, Norbury
Conservative: 317 (63.1%, -4.2%)
Labour: 75 (14.9%, -1.9%)
Green Party: 65 (12.9%, +4%)
Liberal Democrats (Robin Shirtcliffe): 45 (9%, new)

Next we go to Scotland where Jedburgh and District ward was being fought on Scottish Borders council. The Lib Dems did not contest this seat in the last election (last standing here in 2012) so huge credit to Ray Georgeson for making sure there was a Lib Dem candidate this time and picking up a healthy 166 votes – jumping ahead of the Green Party. The Conservatives gained the seat from the SNP, winning on first preferences. 

Scottish Borders Council, Jedburgh and District
Conservative: 1377 (58.5%, +8.2)
SNP: 410 (17.4%, -5.7)
Labour: 241 (10.2%, new)
Liberal Democrats (Ray Georgeson): 166 (7.1%, new)
Green Party: 135 (5.7%, -1.4)
Eco-Fed: 25 (1.1%, new)

The most crowded contest of the week came on Folkestone and Hythe DC where 9 candidates fought Romney Marsh ward. Thank you to Lib Dem candidate Matt Horrox for ensuring there was a Lib Dem choice on the ballot paper. The Conservatives narrowly held the ward. 

Folkstone and Hythe DC, Romney Marsh
Conservative: 375 (24.2%, -4.6%)
Green Party: 332 (21.4%, +5.5%)
Labour: 295 (19%, 4.7%)
Reform: 237 (15.3%, new)
Independent: 155 (10%, new)
Independent: 62 (4%, new)
Independent: 51 (3.3%, new)
No Description: 31 (2%, -0.75%)
Liberal Democrats (Matt Horrox): 11 (0.7%, -6.4%)

Finally in Milton Keynes, thank you to Lib Dem candidate Garreth Green for standing in Loughton and Shenley ward and keeping us in third place here. Labour held the ward. 

Milton Keynes UA, Loughton and Shenley
Labour Party: 1136 (46.2%, -2.3%)
Conservatives: 971 (39.5%, +1.1%)
Liberal Democrats (Garrath Green): 179 (7.3%, -0.4%)
Green Party: 113 (4.6%, -0.6%)
Independent: 61 (2.3%, 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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