Category Archives: Parliamentary by-elections

Paddy rallies the troops at Lewisham

It was great to spend a day campaigning for Lucy Salek in Lewisham East yesterday. It was my second time helping the campaign, greatly assisted by an off-peak Travelcard, which allowed fulsome use of the train, tube and bus. Tragically, there was a fatal incident on the line yesterday around Hither Green and Lee stations, meaning that I ended up, to my surprise, in New Eltham, at one point.

Anyway, our enormous HQ was brimming with volunteers all day. A hive of industry. There were people there from as far afield as Falmouth. It was particularly good to join in the traditional Blue envelope addressing work!

Tagged and | Leave a comment

Lewisham East – more news from the frontline

Every by-election has a tipping point. You either have the momentum, or you do not. I know I was closely involved in the Bermondsey by-election, where we proved that one of Labour’s fiefdoms could be demolished by Liberal activism. I must tell you that this weekend the Leegate Centre had the buzz of a Party whose Liberal philosophy, which fights against Labour state control or Tory neoliberalism, is unstoppable.

Liberal Democrat activists were dedicated and inspired.

I spent Saturday afternoon on the doorstep in a former Conservative ward. I can tell you that most began as undecided but were happy to listen …

Tagged | 4 Comments

++Copeland by-election – Lib Dems more than double vote share and move up to third place, beating UKIP

Congratulations to Rebecca Hanson and the team for an excellent showing at the Copeland by-election, caused by the resignation of Labour’s Jamie Reed. Our vote share more than doubled from 3.5% at the 2015 general election to 7.25%. We moved up from fourth place to third – beating UKIP.

Dramatically, the Tories won the by-election in this normally rock-solid Labour seat. Psephologist John Curtice told the BBC that this was the biggest gain, in share of the vote, by a governing party in a byelection since the Hull North byelection in 1966.

Here is the result in full, plus some bar charts from the Press Association’s Ian Jones:

Also posted in News | Tagged and | 10 Comments

++Stoke on Trent by-election – Lib Dem vote share more than doubles

Congratulations to Zulfiqar Ali and the team at Stoke-on-Trent for more than doubling our share of the vote at the by-election caused by Tristram Hunt’s resignation.

Labour held the seat.

After the result was announced, Liberal Democrat president Sal Brinton said from Stoke:

The Potteries decided there was no need to have UKIP’s official leader in parliament when UKIP’s unofficial leader is already in Number 10, pursuing a hard Brexit. We would have done even better but for many voters, drawn to the Lib Dems, who felt they just couldn’t risk being represented by a UKIP MP, so reluctantly backed Labour. Paul Nuttall called this seat Brexit Central but it turned out to be the end of the line for UKIP.

There is also little comfort for Labour, whose vote share has more than halved here in less than two decades. This is on top of an incredibly tough night for them in Copeland. It shows that if we are to turn out this divided and uncaring Conservative Brexit government, the Liberal Democrats will be the ones making the progressive case to keep Britain open, tolerant and united. We started from a low base here but our vote is picking up and this is yet another sign that the Lib Dem fight-back is on.

Here is the result in full plus some sexy bar charts tweeted by the Press Association’s Ian Jones:

Also posted in News | Tagged and | 21 Comments

Last weekend – big push for Sarah Olney in Richmond Park

kingston-office-montage

Yesterday I spent all day at Richmond Park. In the morning I was delivering Gazette newspapers in New Malden. Then in the afternoon I joined our very hard-working clerical team in the Kingston office. I bumped into LDV colleague, Mary Reid, who has a crucial top secret role at the Kingston office, which she fulfils every evening. I could tell you what this role involves, but I’d have to eat you afterwards.

It was great to see the streets teeming with orange diamond posters and busy LibDem volunteers.

Tagged and | 5 Comments

‘Within 48 hours of Goldsmith’s standing down on Tuesday, the Lib Dems had leafleted the entire constituency’ – Guardian

richmond parkThe Guardian have a great article which liberally quotes Sarah Olney, the Lib Dems’ “prospective candidate” for Richmond Park and has this passage:

Within 48 hours of Goldsmith’s standing down on Tuesday, the Lib Dems had leafleted the entire constituency and were trying to find a bigger office from which to mastermind their campaign.

Nassar Kessell, a party activist who was out on the streets on Friday, admitted that Goldsmith, who fought an unsuccessful campaign to become mayor of London earlier this year, was popular locally. But he was still beatable.

“There’s no doubt that people like him. He’s been the MP for a very long time. But there is certainly a part of the constituency that is upset about the issues he’s championed – Brexit, for example. We can absolutely provide the alternative.”

Tagged and | 14 Comments

The David Rendel Award – helping young people to get involved in by-election campaigns

David RendelDavid Rendel was MP for Newbury from 1993 to 2005, winning the seat in a famous by-election with the largest majority ever attained by a Liberal Democrat. A campaigner of renowned energy, he was greatly admired both locally and nationally. At the time of his death in 2016, he still inspired huge loyalty within and beyond the Newbury and West Berkshire (NWB) Local Party and area. One of David’s key strengths was his ability to inspire other people, particularly young people, to become actively involved in politics.

Tagged and | Leave a comment

Sal Brinton congratulates Labour’s Tracy Brabin on being elected in Jo Cox’s old seat

There was another parliamentary by-election last night. Batley and Spen in Yorkshire was contested to elect an MP to replace Jo Cox, who was murdered going about her MP’s duties in June this year.

The Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Conservatives did not fight the by-election, as a mark of respect to the late Jo Cox. Labour’s Tracy Brabin won with 17,506 votes – a majority of 16,537.

Tagged | 9 Comments

Witney: great result – thanks team!

Well, that was a great result at Witney. Congratulations to Liz Leffman who was an astonishingly brilliant candidate.

This was the biggest swing from the Conservatives to the Lib Dems since the Winchester by-election in 1997.

We moved from 4th to 2nd. In 2015 the Guardian described the 25,155 Tory majority at Witney as “ultra safe”. Liz and team reduced that majority to just 5,702 with a very high turnout for a by-election – 47%.

Tagged and | 11 Comments

Witney scale swing to Lib Dems would wipe out Conservative majority

The huge swing to the Liberal Democrats of 19.3% per cent would wipe out Theresa May’s majority and hand 26 seats from the Conservatives to Tim Farron’s party. The swing rivals many that were seen in famous by-election wins under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy.

Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

Tagged , and | 23 Comments

+++Witney result: Biggest Con to Lib Dem swing since the 1997 Winchester by-election.

Con 17,313
Lib Dem Liz 11,611 😃
Labour 5,765
UKIP 1354
Green 1363

CON: 45.1% (-15.1)
LDEM: 30.2% (+23.5)
LAB: 15.0% (-2.2)
GRN: 3.5% (-1.5)
UKIP: 3.5% (-5.6)

Turnout 47%

19.3% swing from the Tories to the Lib Dems.

The Greens and UKIP lost their deposits.

The Tory majority was slashed from 25,155 of “ultra safe” for the Tories to 5,702!

Lib Dems rise from 4th to 2nd.

Via Neil Fawcett’s Live Facebook broadcast, Liz Leffman said:

This is a really great result. Thank you to everyone who helped in any way. This is a beginning for us – we can still go on and do even better.

You can read the 2015 result here.

Tagged and | 36 Comments

Liz Leffman gets 11,611 votes in Witney

Liz got just over 30% of the vote.

Con 17,313
Lib Dem Liz 11,611 😃
Labour 5,765
UKIP 1354
Green 1363

Tagged and | 1 Comment

Witney turnout estimated at 47%

So much for the “low turnout” that was forecast earlier!

Tagged and | Leave a comment

Live updates from the Witney count

The Witney Gazette is carrying live updates from the Witney by-election count here. Turnout is said to be low and a Tory majority is expected. Estimates of the Lib Dem vote are currently around the 25% mark, which would be a fantastic achievement given we started as 50/1 outsiders, fourth with 6.8% of the vote.

This great success has been the result of wonderful teamwork led by a superb candidate, Liz Leffman. Just today we had 400 activists in the constituency, 300 people making calls from home, 10,000 doors knocked on and 13,500 phone calls made.

Tagged and | 9 Comments

Extra push for Liz Leffman in Witney

witney-mosaic
Hundreds of supporters have been flocking to the Witney Lib Dem HQ this weekend. I was there earlier today and delivered a whole village. It was fantastic to see our hub throbbing with activity. One of the main things hapening this weekend is the delivery of a constituency-wide newspaper, the West Oxfordshire Chronicle.

Liz Leffman has been thanking supporters for the fantastic work done so far and asks for an extra push in the final days before polling on Thursday this week.

Tagged and | 23 Comments

Liz Leffman narrows the odds of a Lib Dem victory at Witney

Liz LeffmanIt’s all go at Witney. Here are some of the highlights of the last few days:

  • Hundreds of helpers descended on our Witney HQ over the weekend,
Tagged and | 8 Comments

Tim Farron opens Witney by-election HQ

This video (below) shows a spirited Tim Farron opening our large HQ in Witney. Please do help with Liz Leffman’s campaign! You can help by following this link.

Tagged and | 2 Comments

Liz Leffman’s Witney campaign hits the ground running

Sal Brinton Liz Leffman Paul Walter Charlie dog at Witney by-election 24th Sep 2016

(R-L) Party President Sal Brinton, Witney candidate Liz Leffman and Paul Walter with veteran Focus delivery dog Charlie at the Witney by-election campaign HQ today

The Lib Dem Witney by-election HQ was abuzz with activity when I visited to help today. I was astonished by the busy team all set to work so early in the campaign. It was great weather for delivering leaflets. I enjoyed doing my very large bundle in Carterton, with the sound of the aircraft at Brize Norton in the background.

Tagged , and | 9 Comments

Has Oldham had more parliamentary by-elections than any other place in the UK?

On Tuesday I asked: “Which piece of ground in the UK has had the most parliamentary by-elections?”. I genuinely didn’t know the answer to that question when I wrote that post. We had to employ Mounted Police to deal with the deluge of replies to the question. Thanks to Tim Hill for showing interest. Prompted by Tim’s enquiry, I did a bit of research and came up with the following tentative answer.

The Oldham wards of Crompton, Lees and Shaw have had more parliamentary by-elections, spread relatively frequently over two centuries, than any other part of the UK.

Those wards were part of Littleborough and Saddleworth constituency for the by-election there in 1995. They were part of Oldham East and Saddleworth for the by-election there in 2010. And they were part of the old Oldham Borough parliamentary constituency for by-elections there in:

  • 1835
  • 1852
  • 1857
  • 1862
  • 1877
  • 1899
  • 1911
  • 1925

I haven’t exhaustively researched this, so let me know in the comments thread below if you think differently. But I think it’s a fair bet, from my reading of the lists, that those three Oldham wards, or perhaps Oldham itself, have had the most by-elections when looked at over the last two centuries. The nearest contender I could find was the “Combined Scottish Universities” seat which had by-elections in 1936,1938 and 1945. If someone can point me in the direction of a list of pre-1900 by-elections that would be very helpful in nailing this question. I couldn’t find such a list.

I think that where the Oldham by-election frequency record is so impressive is that it covers a good range of pre-1900 and post-1900 by-elections. It’s just a shame that the current Oldham West and Royton by-election doesn’t cover those three wards mentioned above but it does cover wards in the old Oldham Borough such as Chadderton. So, you could actually say that Chadderton and other western wards have had the most by-elections but that would mainly be relying on pre-1900 by-elections. Lees, Crompton and Shaw are the wards in Oldham with the most impressive frequency of pre-1900 and post-1900 by-elections.

But you don’t get away with reading this that lightly! Please help Jane Brophy and the team at Oldham West and Royton in the next few days.

Here’s all the info you need on how to get there:

Tagged , and | 8 Comments

Which piece of ground in the UK has had the most parliamentary by-elections?

Tim Farron and Paul Walter in OldhamThat is a convoluted way of crow-barring in an immodest mention of this fact: I have now helped the Liberal Democrats at three by-elections in Oldham:

Tagged , and | 3 Comments

A real opportunity at Oldham West and Royton

image
I spent the weekend helping Jane Brophy’s campaign at Oldham West and Royton. Here are some of my observations in random order:

  • Jane Brophy is an excellent candidate with a proven campaigning track record.
  • There is a fantastic, young and enthusiastic team running the campaign – working extremely hard.
  • We are fighting in what is a “development constituency” for us – which means there are great gains to be had in terms of new members and supporters to be recruited.
Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Rochester & Strood by-election: Ukip win, Lib Dems lose 11th deposit

Mark Reckless won his bid to be re-elected an MP under the UKIP banner last night, following his eve-of-conference defection from the Conservatives. That this wasn’t at all a surprise — the swing from the Tories to UKIP was 28% — says something about the febrile dynamics of politics at the moment. Support for Labour in a seat they held until 2010 also slumped. Geoff Juby for the Lib Dems trailed in fifth place behind the Greens, having shed some nine-tenths of the party’s May 2010 vote. This was Lib Dems’ 11th lost deposit of the parliament.

Here are the votes:

Also posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , and | 144 Comments

Newark by-election: what I told BBC’s Daily Politics

imageI got a call from the BBC’s Daily Politics this morning asking if I’d be willing to pitch up this lunchtime to discuss the Lib Dem performance, as the party wasn’t willing to put up anyone official. (Labour didn’t either.) I duly did so and you can see what I said below. If you want to skip Grant Shapps and Roger Helmer, I pop up briefly at the 12 minute mark. As ever, you only really get to string together a couple of sentences: I blogged my fuller views on Newark …

Also posted in YouTube | Tagged , and | 106 Comments

Newark by-election: Tories win well, Ukip falls short, Labour dips, Lib Dems collapse

Phot @bbcalexforsyth newark by-electionA lot of politics is about momentum. At the moment it’s the Tories who have it. Not quite the Big Mo, but a Moderate Mo that’s growing.

Here are the results of last night’s Newark by-election:

    Robert Jenrick (Con) 17,431 (45.03%, -8.82%)
    Roger Helmer (UKIP) 10,028 (25.91%, +22.09%)
    Michael Payne (Lab) 6,842 (17.68%, -4.65%)
    Paul Baggaley (Ind) 1,891 (4.89%)
    David Kirwan (Green) 1,057 (2.73%)
    David Watts (LD) 1,004 (2.59%, -17.41%)
Also posted in News | Tagged , and | 217 Comments

Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election: Labour win easily, Ukip beat Tories to 2nd, Lib Dems lose deposit

Labour comfortably won yesterday’s Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election, caused by the sad death of Paul Goggins just five weeks ago. Here are the results:

    Labour: Mike Kane – 13,261 (55%, +11%)
    UKIP: John Bickley – 4,301 (18%, +15%)
    Conservative: Daniel Critchlow – 3,479 (15%, -11%)
    Liberal Democrat: Mary di Mauro – 1,176 (5%, -17%)
    Green: Nigel Woodcock – 748 (3%, +3%)
    BNP: Eddy O’Sullivan – 708 (3%, -1%)
    Monster Raving Loony: Captain Chaplington-Smythe – 288 (1%)
    Turnout: 23,961, 28%

It’s clear there were two winners from the election – though the very low-turn-out (barely one-quarter of the registered electorate bothered to vote in what was a foregone conclusion by-election) …

Also posted in News | Tagged and | 128 Comments

South Shields by-election: Labour hold solid, Ukip surge, Tories fall and Lib Dems… plummet to 7th. Ouch.

polling dayThe South Shields by-election — triggered by David Miliband’s exit from British political life — has resulted in a solid hold for Labour, which polled just over half the vote, only fractionally down on its 2010 position.

But it’s Ukip which has most to celebrate: in a seat they haven’t contested since 2001, they stormed to a strong second, winning almost one-quarter of the vote.

The Tories lost almost half their vote, slipping to third. Meanwhile the Lib Dems’ valiant Hugh Annand lost his deposit, trailing in seventh place behind the BNP.

Full result below:

Also posted in News | Tagged , and | 42 Comments

Eastleigh by-election: my first thoughts

Let’s consider the backdrop: we’re polling at half the level we were in 2010; the previous MP, Chris Huhne, was forced to resign after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice and faces a prison sentence; we’ve just endured a week of torrid publicity. And yet we’ve held on.

It’s true that, in some ways, Eastleigh was a good seat for us to have to contest. The party is immensely strong in the area, holding every council seat, and runs a popular council.

However, what has been immensely encouraging has also been the clear evidence Lib Dem activists remain …

Also posted in News | Tagged , and | 80 Comments

Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (28 Feb Polling Day Edition!)

Welcome to the final round-up of the Eastleigh by-election campaign…

goodmorning_ld

It was the week when Mike Thornton’s campaign received a boost from former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown on Tuesday:

Then yesterday as Nick Clegg made his final visit of the campaign:

Tagged , and | 8 Comments

Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (26 Feb)

I reported earlier this morning the latest poll from Eastleigh — showing a narrow Lib Dem lead over the Tories — but one finding in it is particularly relevant to this round-up. The question was asked: “We’re interested in the extent to which people locally have heard from the political parties over the last few weeks. Please can you tell me whether Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have done each of the following…” And here’s what they found:

eastleigh contacts

In short, the Lib Dems have out-campaigned both Labour and the Conservatives, with 92% of the voters in Eastleigh having been contacted in some way in the last three weeks. (Though that still leaves a hard-core of 8% for us to find…)

Here’s a few Lib Dem activists explaining in 90 seconds why they’ve been joining with thousands of other party supporters in campaigning for a Mike Thornton victory on Thursday:

Tagged and | 8 Comments

Final Eastleigh poll puts Lib Dems narrowly ahead of Tories – but all within margin of error!

What will (I assume) be the final poll of the Eastleigh by-election was published this morning. Conducted by Populus and commissioned by Lord Ashcroft, it shows the Lib Dems sustaining a narrow lead — significant in itself, but the more so as Eastleigh voters were interviewed over the weekend during which the controversy over allegations against Lord Rennard were prominent. Figures shown are compared with the most recent Populus poll, published at the end of last week:

    Mike Thornton (Lib Dem)

Tagged , , and | 12 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarChristian de Vartavan 22nd Sep - 10:16pm
    A consultation of the people was made in 2016. Who can swear that it is still valid in 2018?
  • User AvatarChristian de Vartavan 22nd Sep - 9:31pm
    ' May must now recall Parliament to explain how she got the country into this terrible mess, what her plan is to get us out...
  • User AvatarJack Graham 22nd Sep - 8:21pm
    @Roland Why have I to convince myself of anything, we voted to leave in 2016, and in less than 200 days we will be leaving....
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 22nd Sep - 8:12pm
    Congestion and air pollution is a massive problem across London. When the congestion charge was first introduced it was £5. Traffic reduced by 15% and...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 22nd Sep - 7:31pm
    I suggest you look at radical proposals that will annoy the Daily Mail, to tackle pollution and congestion. I have just returned from four days...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 22nd Sep - 7:24pm
    @ Michael BG. Since you think Tim should have written a piece pointing out that our policies on jobs, welfare, wages, housing and generally reversing...