Brilliant result in Richmond – and high hopes for Kingston

Liberal Democrats have gained control in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, leaping from 15 seats to 39. This is in spite of the deal with the Greens which allowed them to take 4 seats.

Historically we controlled Richmond from 1986 to 2002, then from 2006 to 2010.

Meanwhile, in nearby Sutton, which we have controlled for the last 28 years, we retained control, though with fewer seats than before, dropping from 45 to 33 out of 54.

Liberal Democrats: 33 (-12)
Conservatives: 18 (+9)
Independents: 3 (+3)

Attention now turns to Kingston upon Thames which lies between Richmond and Sutton. Their count starts at 10am today, and we have hopes of taking back control there as well.

Richmond, Kingston and Sutton make up the trio of neighbouring SW London Boroughs all of which we have controlled in the past.

The three boroughs also cover five Parliamentary constituencies of which we currrently hold three – Twickenham (Vince Cable), Kingston & Surbiton (Ed Davey), and Carshalton & Wallington (Tom Brake). A good result in Kingston today will raise our hopes of winning back Richmond Park (which straddles Richmond and Kingston boroughs) for Sarah Olney after her very narrow defeat by Zac Goldsmith last year.

In other news, in Cheltenham where 21 of the 40 seats were up for election, we have gained three seats, increasing our majority to a massive 24. And we have held control of Eastleigh, where we now have a majority of 28, though sadly we lost three seats.



* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • In Sutton, we’ve actually been the largest party since 1986 – so it’s closer to 32 years that we’ve been leading it! When you look at the results there though, the last set of elections was a high point so not really surprising (though remember that virtually anywhere else in the country we’d be over the moon with that kind of victory!)

  • When you’ve got so many Council seats already, the only way is down really. Still a shame for the 12 Lib Dems who’ve lost their seats in Sutton. Hopefully we can win them back next time.

    Fantastic result in Richmond. Beyond expectations (mine at least). A few of the wards we’ve picked up seats in are a bit of a surprise.

  • As a Twickenham Ward Chair, we consider that our success was in part due to the deal with the Greens, rather than ‘despite’ it? Maybe just unfortunate phrasing on your part.

  • On the Richmond side of the river, aside from the Ham result being a little bit of a shame to look at, as I think it very likely we would have won all three seats regardless, I’d agree that its quite clear the deal with the Greens played a big part in our success this time around.

  • John Marriott 4th May '18 - 10:33am

    As there are still some results to come in (notably in Kingston) it’s perhaps a bit too early to draw conclusions. The Sutton result could be down to a phenomenon a German friend of mine once called “zu viel Mehrheitspeck”. You really CAN have too big a majority, as Lincs CC Tories will soon be finding out.

    On the media it’s basically two party politics, as it is in the area where I live. The City of Lincoln remains a two party state, and will continue to be so until the local Lib Dems wake up to the fact that fielding a full slate of candidates following the ‘Pack’ formula of giving people a chance to vote Lib Dem has again consigned most plucky candidates to the bottom or near the bottom of the results list (with one notable exception). Still, I guess they had some “fun” on the way. But will they ever learn or do they just enjoy the regular ritual humiliation?

    As to these elections being a bellwether on Brexit, who can tell? As an ex Lib Dem member, who still, deep down, has a soft spot for all those earnest campaigners, I AM glad that the downward trend seems to have been reversed and congratulate all those successful candidates. The problem is that being a councillor in local government today is increasingly a tough call these days. With little power, public cynicism, and disinterested – or should that be disengaged – electors they will spend most of their time trying to tidy up the mess left by central government or acting as its human shield.

  • John Nicholson 4th May '18 - 4:19pm

    Small historical correction: We controlled Richmond from 1983 ; not 1986, as stated in this article. We won control out of the normal 4-yeat cycle for London boroughs because the 1982 result was dead-heat with the Tories, and led to 18 months of a hung council ruled by the Mayor’s casting vote.

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