ALDC’s by-election report, 26-28 July 2016

ALDC Master Logo (for screen)What a fantastic set of results again. With by-elections on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week we have seen a great deal of success amongst Lib Dem teams.

On Tuesday night in East Hampshire, the Lib Dems increased their vote share by a massive 43.6% in The Hangers & Forest ward having not stood there in 2015. Sadly this still meant coming second, with the Conservatives holding the seat by just 9 votes.

News on Wednesday was extremely positive with a gain in Totnes. Labour had failed to stand a candidate in a seat they had previously held, although the Independent candidate was a Labour member. The Lib Dem candidate John Birch won with 812 votes, increasing our vote share by 14.6%. It is a ward where we lost narrowly, by 12 votes, to the Greens in the last by-election in October 2015.

John fought the campaign on tackling the acute shortage of affordable housing and rented social housing in South Hams stating that priority should be given to reducing the housing waiting list and continual development of affordable housing in Totnes.

Our normal by-election night of Thursday did not disappoint with two holds and one gain. In Sutton, the team’s 30 years winning streak in Carshalton Central continued. The team won with 43.4% of the vote, with the Conservatives coming second with 36.9%. Noticeably UKIP’s vote decreased by 10.5% since 2014 when the seat was last fought.

The other hold came in St Julian’s ward, Newport. Carmel Townsend stood in the election after the sad passing of her husband Ed, fighting to retain our only remaining seat in Newport. Ed had won the seat by just one vote in 2012, and Carmel, herself a former councillor, this time managed to increase the majority by 516 votes over Labour’s whose vote dramatically decreased by 21.3%.

The gain of the night came in Cornwall, Newlyn & Goonhavern division (just south of Newquay). Maggie Vale won the seat with 247 votes, and 24.4% of the vote, where we had not stood in 2014. The Conservatives came second with 234 votes.

While we did not win in Haringey, Harringay ward, Karen Alexander who came second, received 33.6% of the votes and increased the vote share by +3.7%, with Labour top. On Wychavon DC, Adrian Key came fourth in Droitwich West as we saw another Conservative hold. This was an area again we had failed to stand in 2014 and showed real promise for the future.

Next week seven by-elections are taking place, including in Ashford BC, Brighton & Hove UA, East Yorkshire UA, Eden DC, Newcastle- Under- Lyme BC, Nottinghamshire CC and Rushcliffe BC.

For a detailed list of this week’s results please click here. If you would like more information on all the forthcoming by-elections and details on who to contact to help, click here.

A big thank you as always to those who come every week to 23 New Mount Street in Manchester to make calls at ALDC’s By-election HQ, funded through fighting fund donations. If you can help us fight in even more wards, please donate here.

* ALDC is the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners

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5 Comments

  • paul barker 29th Jul '16 - 1:51pm

    The big question is why our definite improvement in actual votes isnt showing up in our VI Polling ? The most likely explanation is that, so far, we are mostly gaining ground among what we might call the outer core vote, the sort of voters who are interested in politics & vote in Local Byelections. Its reasonable to expect that we will see a further rise in our vote share in next Mays Locals & perhaps enough gains to make the MSM notice.

  • Andrew McCaig 29th Jul '16 - 2:58pm

    Paul, well firstly our polling average is actually up a percent or two since April.. and secondly people are asked how they would vote in a general election, not a local by-election..

    The good thing seems to be that the proportion of the electorate that hates us for the coalition seems to be declining!

  • Allan Brame 29th Jul '16 - 6:57pm

    In the wake of all this success, it is disappointing that we are not fielding a candidate in several of next week’s by elections

  • Hangers and Forest Ward the turnout in 2015 was 76%, in 2016 it was 27%. 2015 result:
    ONSLOW, Judy, Con: 983
    OWSNETT, Neil, Lab: 184
    RUDD, Carole, Ind: 257
    Turn-out: 76%

    The by-election Con 236, Lib Dem 227, Ind 41, Lab 17
    Without detracting from the excellent result, the real mystery is why the Conservatives got so few votes.

  • Andrew McCaig 29th Jul '16 - 10:35pm

    That is quite a high turnout for a local by-election while 2015 was General Election day.. Not all that mysterious…

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