ALDC’s by-election report – 30 November 2023

There were 3 principal Council by-elections this week with Liberal Democrat candidates – and there was so much to celebrate in all three.

There were an additional 2 by-elections on City of London Council but these were only contested by independent candidates.

The only place to start is North Yorkshire Council with a historic Lib Dem gain from the Green Party in Sowerby and Topcliffe ward. Congratulations to Councillor Dan Sladden on an extraordinary victory that is remarkable for a number of reasons.

Not only did we get a brilliant 42% of the vote, we did so from nowhere having not stood in the ward in the previous local election! It is also only the third principal council seat that we have gained in a by-election from the Green Party since 2002. For so many reasons this is a historic result so once again we want to say thank you and well done to Councillor Sladden and North Yorkshire Liberal Democrats.

North Yorkshire Council, Sowerby and Topcliffe

Liberal Democrats (Dan Sladden): 764 (42%, new)
Conservative: 460 (25%, -23%)
Green Party: 306 (17%, -35%)
Labour: 250 (14%, new)
Yorkshire Party: 35 (2%, new)
Official Monster Raving Loony Party: 20 (1%, new)

Also on Thursday we contested Highgate ward on Camden LBC. A special thank you to Farrell Monk for flying the Lib Dem flag here. The ward was held by the Green Party.

Camden LBC, Highgate

Green Party: 1,513 (59%, +15%)
Labour: 740 (29%, -13%)
Conservative: 240 (9%, -1%)
Liberal Democrats (Farrell Monk): 84 (3%, -2%)

The final principal by-election this week was on Durham County Council in Dawdon ward. Labour retained the ward. But we want to say a big thank you to Lib Dem candidate Roger Vila for standing for the Lib Dems here when we did not stand in the previous election. Standing is always the first step so thank you to Roger for making sure there was a Lib Dem in the contest.

Durham CC, Dawdon

Labour: 514 [55.9%, +5.4%]
Independent: 339 [36.9%, +3.5%]
Conservative: 56 [6.1%, -10%]
Liberal Democrats (Roger Vila): 10 [1.1%, 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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This entry was posted in Local government.


  • nigel hunter 2nd Dec '23 - 9:23pm

    Why have we only had a few wins off the Greens? It implies we are doing something wrong!

  • Kevin Hawkins 3rd Dec '23 - 10:17am

    For those interested in a longer term view rather than one week’s results here is the data for the last fifty local by-elections to the end of November:

    Labour 30.9%, Conservatives 23.7%, Liberal Democrats 21.0%, Green 11.2%, Others 13.3%

    Gains and losses are:
    Lib Dems: Net gain of twelve: 12 gains, 4 held, 0 lost
    Green: Net gain of one: 3 gains, 3 held, 2 lost
    Labour: No change: 2 gains, 16 held, 2 lost
    Others: No change: 1 gains, 2 held, 1 lost
    Residents: Net loss of one: 0 gains, 1 held, 1 lost
    Independents: Net loss of three: 2 gains, 1 held, 5 lost
    Conservatives: Net loss of nine: 1 gain, 4 held, 10 lost

    Labour won 18 seats, Liberal Democrats 16, Greens 6, Conservatives 5, Independents 3, Residents 1, Others 3. (Does not add up to 50 because of double-elections in two wards)

    This data is for the most recent 50 by-elections in England & Wales (14th September to 30th November). Parish/Town councils are not included.

  • The usual good sense from Peter Wrigley. The Conservatives and their media cheer leaders cannot get their heads round the possibility of higher taxes helping to make people happier – and Labour leaders may recognise that but don’t want to say it because it might obscure their proudest claim i.e. that they are not what they were a few years back.

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