++++Breaking News: Liberal Democrats gain Abingdon & Broadland seats from the Tories

Good news from Oxfordshire tonight. Jeanette Halliday gains the Abingdon Fitzharris ward for the Liberal Democrats with a 3.3% swing from the Conservatives.

Could this be another example of the Midas touch of Liberal Youth, who spent Sunday campaigning in the ward?

Of course the strong Oxwab team and PPC Layla Moran have put many hours of work in to achieve a magnificent result, the 8th gain from the Tories in the past year. Congratulations all round.

Update: News of a second victory reaches my ears. Steve Riley won the Aylsham ward of Broadland District Council from the Conservatives with a majority of 197.

Second update: Apologies for getting the name of Broadland Council wrong.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Local government and News.


  • Kevin McNamara 4th Jul '13 - 11:22pm

    it was definitely the leaflets that i delivered.

  • Excellent news! Really encouraging to see examples where we have won by-elections whilst in power.

    Not sure how much influence Paddy has had, but Lib-Dem Youth seem to be the SBS of LD Campaigners. 🙂

    More of this please.

  • Lib Dems also gained from Tory in Aylsham (Broadland DC Norfolk), in a ward with split Tory and LD representation.
    But I am afraid the big story at the moment is the inability of the party to muster candidates in so many areas – I have looked at candidates over a 5 week period from June through most of July, and we have fielded only 8 candidates in 18 byelections.

    PS I would be relatively certain that we should give credit to LDV’s Liberal Neil in Abingdon, who I am sure will have played a significant role!

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 4th Jul '13 - 11:52pm

    I know that Neil played a massive role in the campaign.

    I updated the post when I found out about Aylsham.

    We spend every day worrying about the challenges. Let’s take a moment to enjoy the successes.

    The way to more successes is to get back out on the doorsteps talking to people. We know where we do, good things happen.

    You are of course right about the need to field a candidate. Important folk have option to vote Lib Dem.

  • Well done! Hopefully bodes well for Layla Moran to regain the constituency in 2015, ousting the awful Nicola Blackwood.

  • Nich Starling 5th Jul '13 - 12:09am

    Please note, it is BROADLAND (no S) . I’m Lib Dem Group leader on Broadland District Council.

    A special thank you to our excellent and growing activist team. This campaign has seen new people coming forward and builds on our gains in the County Ekections in May.

  • Liberal Neil 5th Jul '13 - 12:25am

    A very big THANK YOU to the excellent Liberal Youth team who made a huge contribution to our victory in Abingdon.

    Our local team worked their sock off too, particularly our excellent candidate Jeanette Halliday.

    Great to hear the good news from Broadland too 🙂

  • Brian Woolnough 5th Jul '13 - 10:16am

    Congratulaions Jeanette. A brilliant poster campaign, a great candidate.

  • I agree with Tim, the party is now virtually non existant in may areas of the Midlands and the North. No County Council seats were contested in the Stafford constituency where all the Borough Councillors have either been defeated or simply left the party. We must stop deluding ourselves, we are in big big trouble.

  • David Evans 5th Jul '13 - 12:15pm

    I agree with Caron when she says “We spend every day worrying about the challenges. Let’s take a moment to enjoy the successes. “

    However, we have to realise that the reason we worry about the challenges (i.e. all those places where we are still losing seats, not putting up candidates or where the party has disintegrated), is because the party hierarchy (of which LDV is a small part) never spends any time addressing them. Instead we get an endless tide of “There is no alternative,” “Anyone who wants to change wants to go back to the comfort of opposition” etc, coupled with a continuing tide of minor feelgood stories.

    I even notice now that the infamous LDV Members Poll, hasn’t been held since March. Has the unremitting tide of realism, hard questions and appaling ratings for Nick Clegg finally become too much for those close to the party hierarchy to stomach?

  • Alex Harvey 5th Jul '13 - 1:09pm

    I agree with Mr Evans.

  • Peter Watson 5th Jul '13 - 1:56pm

    Can’t help but think that one less cheerful interpretation of yesterday’s results (LD gain in tory heartlands of Norfolk and Oxfordshire, but lack of candidates or votes in Staffordshire, Tyneside and Swansea) is that we might be considered a last resort alternative to conservatives but not much else. However, I do find it reassuring that we are still considered any sort of alternative to the conservatives.

  • paul barker 5th Jul '13 - 8:13pm

    I see the “Doom-Mongers” are out again. Could I just point to our main rivals, both exposing deep splits & weak leaderships. The Labour split has already done them great damage even if some compromise can be found. If the leadership of Unite dont back down Labour stand to lose a major chunk of funding in the run-up to 2015. Bankruptcy comes a step closer.

  • “I see the “Doom-Mongers” are out again.”

    Judging by your comment, you don’t object to doom-mongering, just so long as it’s directed at the Labour Party!

  • paul barker 5th Jul '13 - 10:11pm

    @ Chris. Labour are in the news today, we arent. Labour have massive debts & liabilities, we dont so money problems are a bigger danger to them. Labour have entryists, we dont.

  • @ Paul Barker

    You might also add “Labour are 35-40% in the polls and we aren’t and Labour will win over 250 seats in 2015 and we won’t”
    To be honest Paul your “down” on Labour is so deep seated and one-eyed that it makes it pretty much impossible for you to write anything balanced about them. The Unite issue won’t get a mention by 2015, if the Coalition Public School boys think smuggly slagging off people in trade unions is going to win them the next election then I think they may be in for a bit of a surprise. There has always been friction in the Labour/Union relationship and it has not prevented them winning elections in the past and I doubt it will in the future.

  • Nich Starling 6th Jul '13 - 9:23am

    Still no odyssey going to change this story to show the CORRECT name of Broadland, not Broadlands, council.

  • It’s up to Caron to make the change, Nich. You will note that my post pointing it out in the first place had the correct version.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 6th Jul '13 - 10:23am

    Sorry, Nich. Only just seen this. Will change now. Serves me right for copying something off Twitter:-)

  • When we start winning seats from Labour in the North/Scotland as well as from the Tories in the south/south-east, I’ll begin to get slightly more optimistic!!

  • Yay, liberalism can survive as a southern English regional opposition force to southern English conservative party.
    Lucky that the remaining 2/3 of the country doesn’t matter!!

  • David Evans 6th Jul '13 - 12:58pm

    Thanks Mark,

    I’m looking forward to receiving mine now. Mind you, if we hadn’t messed up on the short money as part of the coalition agreement, we would have had the staff to do the work Stephen is having to cover.

  • Paul Barker.
    Like some others you are running away from reality as it directly affects the Liberal Democrats. Believe me we are in the sh.. The leadership do not seem to care, and with each month that passes people leave the party, do not renew their subscriptions. I actually think the membership will be under 10, 000 by the time of the next leadership election.

  • paul barker 6th Jul '13 - 4:55pm

    Considering that LDV is a site dealing mostly with British politics there seems a strange reluctance to discuss the biggest story in domstic politics this week, the crisis in The Labour Party. Actually its not strange because most LDV posters/readers want to see a Lab/Libdem Coalition in 2015, they dont want to be seen taking sides in an internal Labour dispute. All fair enough but it has big implications for us & our actions.
    The reason I seem to have an obsession with Labour is because I beleive in writing about what I know, being an ex-communist entryist in Labour gives me an unusual background to comment from.
    I am well aware of the problems Libdems face but there are lots of other people who know more about them than me. There is a decline in membership of all 3 main Party groupings going back 60 years, The Tories have been hit much worse than us. Theres an established trend for Parties in Government to suffer extra losses, Labour lost 60% of their membership over thir period in power, most of that in the first term. However Labour have money problems that we dont have, they have massive debts & liabilities & they are dependent on Union money at a time when several of the biggest Unions have Communist leaderships with a very different agenda.

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