+++Breaking…..Another Liberal Democrat GAIN from Labour

You might think it’s the wrong day for this sort of post, but there has been a rare Tuesday by-election in the Plasnewydd ward on Cardiff Council.

And look what happened.

Absolutely fantastic stuff. Well done to new Cllr Robin Rea (who was out leafletting this morning not long after I had come back from the Glee Club).


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

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  • Peter Galton 21st Sep '16 - 9:45am

    I read the pre election report and I thought that this looks like a winner here. Well done to all in Cardiff.

  • Interesting collapse in the Green vote.

  • Laurence Cox 21st Sep '16 - 10:33am

    It could be that we are seeing a return to an old feature in by-elections. Note that both the Green and PC votes fell significantly, while Labour, Tory and UKIP were little changed. It may be left-leaning voters identifying the LibDems as the best-placed party to beat Labour in this ward. In other places we may see similar voters selecting a different Party to challenge the Labour hegemony in Wales. Still a great result, but we should be cautious of interpreting it as a sign of a real recovery in our support.

  • Does anyone know when this seat was last fought ? I usually rely on Vote UK Forum but the information they give is confusing.

  • I suspect voters in the Batley & Spen by-election may want the chance to vote against Corbynism. Not too late for Lib Dems (& Con, UKIP, Green_ to stand.

  • Paul Barker – if you want the facts look on the council’s website. They are usually 100% accurate.

  • @ Melissa H. A very disappointing comment.

    As someone who was brought up in Batley & Spen (and as a lifelong Liberal), I would regard it as an act of great disrespect to the memory of Jo Cox to contest this by-election. It would also be a gross misunderstanding of the nature of West Yorkshire communities.

  • Charles Rothwell 21st Sep '16 - 11:29am

    Great stuff. Well done to all involved. The two messages at the heart of Tim’s speech need ramming home at every level: real, long-term help for the NHS (and focusing fully on Labour’s criminal PFI legacy) plus focusing relentlessly on the dire economic impact a hard Brexit (if it ever comes to that) will have on the jobs and prospects of ordinary working people (who in far too many cases fell for the lies of the likes of Farage, the career ambitions of BoJo the Clown (the sum total of his entire Weltanschauung) and the insipid/pathetic stance taken by Corbyn). My view has always been the ONLY conceivable future for the party is as once again becoming “The People’s Party” and consigning the stupid non-strategy of “Neither Left nor Right” to the same dustbin into which its devisers very nearly consigned the entire party and movement.

  • David Raw – why should Labour be entitled to the new MP? In 2015 the voters of Batley & Spen voted in Jo Cox, not ‘A. Labour MP’. We have stood previously when MPs have been assassinated. Democracy should continue, we shouldn’t let these murdering terrorists get their way.

  • @ david Evans, thanks. Its clear the last vote was 2012.
    I am sorry to ask another question but do Labour take Local Byelections seriously ? Are they simply not bothering on the assumption that they dont really matter ?
    Its an important question because if Labour do as poorly & us as well next May then we are going to make dozens of gains from them. Even on the present performance, we could take 2nd place in the “Equivalent Vote” & we seem to keep on doing better.
    I feel afraid to believe what the results seem to be saying.

  • Glenn Andrews 21st Sep '16 - 12:52pm

    Iain – I don’t think it’s a bad precedent to set; making it perfectly clear that you can’t change the party representation of a constituency through violence.

  • Alex Macfie 21st Sep '16 - 1:42pm

    Glenn Andrews: Under our electoral system, we elect MPs as individuals. If we decide (as a matter of law and theory) that they are primarily party representatives, then why have by-elections at all? Surely, if MPs are simply there to represent a party, then we should just have a system where a casual vacancy is automatically filled by a nominee from the previous winner’s original party.
    Also I find it doubtful in the extreme that Jo Cox’ killer cared about “changing the party representation” of the constituency. The murder was an act against the whole of democracy and civil society, and whoever replaces her would likely be someone who is part of the same democracy and civil society that the killer so despises. Business as usual, in the form of a normal contested by-election, would send a signal that we are not going to compromise on democracy.
    It was the same when Ian Gow was assassinated by the IRA. Ann Widdecombe (in)famously declared that the IRA were “dancing to the tune” of the Lib Dem victory at Eastbourne, but the reality is that the IRA did not give a Castlemaine Four-X which of the three pro-Union, anti-IRA main parties won the by-election.

  • Tony Greaves 21st Sep '16 - 2:26pm

    Except perhaps in London, there do not seem to be many of the vast number of new Labour Party members who are keen to tramp the streets in elections. They seem to spend their time sitting at their keyboards and taking part in social media politics. A new version perhaps of many of the new credit card members who joined the SDP in the early 1980s?


  • Paul Holmes 21st Sep '16 - 2:42pm

    @Paul Barker. Yes Labour often take by elections seriously. Sheffield Labour MP Angela Smith wrote on the Labour List website that in the recent Mosborough by election, “We knocked on more doors and delivered more leaflets than in most Council by elections I can remember.”

    But don’t go over the top in your excitement about our recent very good run of by election results. Next Mays elections cover every Shire County and many hundreds of large Council Wards will be up for election. All Parties activists will be more thinly stretched and that is when national perceptions and traditional voting patterns can over ride local factors as we saw to our detriment 2011-2015. It may well be Labour’s turn to lose out in public perception next May but only very hard local campaigns by Lib Dems can turn that general sentiment into LD gains.

  • Peter Watson 21st Sep '16 - 2:53pm

    @Paul Holmes “But don’t go over the top in your excitement about our recent very good run of by election results.”
    Almost by definition, I imagine that a local byelection must be quite a different beast from a regular election. Presumably there is not usually an incumbent councillor defending their position, the circumstances leading to a byelection might reflect badly on the party currently holding that seat, and there would be less opportunity for a councillor to time some good news to influence voters.

  • As a former SDP member who tramps the streets during and between elections, may I gently suggest that if Tony Greaves has nothing nice to say, 35 years on, he says nothing.

    Though effectively asking him to become a Trappist may be a bit unreasonable, I suppose.

  • Leekliberal 21st Sep '16 - 6:43pm

    Well said David! As another former SDP member who knows what doorsteps look like and who often agrees with Tony Greaves on issues, it would be nice if Tony could give us a break.

  • The other thing to say re Tony’s comment (and I speak as someoone almost as old as Tony!) is that social media IS at least two younger generations’ prime method of communication, and if we don’t somehow engage with it as well as the doorstep, and perhaps the phone, we will not be as successful or usually get as high turnouts. I am keenly awaiting our election in 2 weeks time in East Devon, which we are fighting with some vigour both on the streets and on social media!

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Sep '16 - 10:07am

    “Labour staff ‘worried about losing jobs’ demand place on party’s ruling NEC”

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