Council by-election results: 7 July 2011

Derbyshire CC, Sawley
Lab 1351 (41.7; +30.9)
Con 1197 (36.9; +12.8)
LD Fiona Aanonson 692 (21.4; +10.7)
[Ind (0.0; -54.4)]
Majority 154
Turnout 30.56%
Lab gain from Ind
Percentage change is since June 2009.

Wakefield MBC, Horbury and South Ossett
Lab 1776 (51.5; +2.4)
Con 1061 (30.8; -10.6)
UKIP 232 (6.7; +6.7)
LD Mark Goodair 200 (5.8; -3.8)
Horbury Independent 93 (2.7; +2.7)
Ind 88 (2.6; +2.6)
Majority 715
Turnout 28.6%
Lab gain from Con
Percentage change is since May 2010.

Purbeck DC, Lytchett Matravers
Con 669 (52.8; +5.4)
LD John Brian Taylor 599 (47.2; -5.4)
Majority 70
Turnout 41.8%
Con gain from LD
Percentage change is since May 2010.

Southwark LBC, Peckham
Lab 1754 (70.1; +7.7)
LD Jennifer Blake 554 (22.1; +4.4)
Con 86 (3.4; -5.1)
Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 63 (2.5; -2.7)
Green 46 (1.8; -4.3)
Majority 1200
Turnout 25.54%
Lab hold
Percentage change is since May 2010.

Staffordshire CC, Churnet Valley
Con 1063 (52.0; -1.9)
Lab 491 (24.0; +4.4)
UKIP 316 (15.5; +15.5)
LD Nicholas John Brewin 173 (8.5; -18.0)
Majority 572
Turnout 18.9%
Con hold
Percentage change is since June 2009.

Full by-election info and commentary at the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors.

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This entry was posted in Council by-elections.


  • Bill Chapman 8th Jul '11 - 3:35pm

    These really are disastrous results. Have you noticed, for example, that the Lib Dem candidates were beaten by the UKIP candidates in Wakefield and Staffordshire, badly beaten in the latter case.

    A change in leadership is well overdue.

  • Ed Chapman

    A change in the leadership won’t solve the problem. That’s because the coalition is the problem, not the leadership.

    If the party is to survive in any form at all, then we have to leave the so-called coalition at the earliest appropriate opportunity.

    We should not be losing seats where we have MPs (eg, Lytchett Matravers). When that starts happening, we know we’re in the deepest of deep trouble.

  • “Where we work we are competitive, where we don’t we don’t deserve to do well.”

    As a matter of curiosity, do you actually have any evidence that the party didn’t work in the places where it was hammered yesterday?

    If not, doesn’t that make it a rather meaningless platitude that could be wheeled out regardless of how bad the results were?

  • Grammar Police 8th Jul '11 - 4:05pm

    @ Bill Chapman, they’re a mixed bag. The result in Staffordshire CC is pretty bad, but that is all.

  • While I don’t want to see people getting depressed about our results the truth is that we are not doing well in by-elections. The sample is very small, but it could be interpreted as suggesting that we are now doing slightly less badly than a few weeks ago, but that is really as optimistic as it gets.

  • “I’m not sure you can use Wakefield or Staffordshire as proof of how badly the party is doing given that even when we were doing well in the polls we didn’t do particularly well in either of those two places.”

    Well, in Churnet Valley two years ago you were in second place with 26.5%. Yesterday you came fourth with 8.5%. Surely that’s a terrible result by any standards.

    And obviously that had very little to do with “being in government,” seeing that the Tory percentage dropped by less than 2 points.

  • paul barker 8th Jul '11 - 6:17pm

    5 results isnt much to go on. Did some basic number-crunching & we are down 2-3% overall. As a description of these figures “disastrous” is hysterical.

  • Jonathan Sneade 8th Jul '11 - 7:26pm

    Hi all,

    I was the Lib Dem agent for the by-election in Sawley, and I will say we had to work very VERY hard to achieve the doubling of the vote that we did. We were given support by all neighbouring parties, and worked extremely hard in an area that used to be disposed to us.

    That said, we were ecstatic with the results, and this was the first time we had ever managed to do such a full campaign (1 survey, 3 Focus, Postal Vote letters, and 1 full leaflet on the day. We also hadn’t really gotten our act together with canvassing until the last minute (we never had canvassed before) so our canvass was low. (We don’t even have EARS). So although I don’t think we are doing very well at the moment, where we fight and fight hard we can do better than expected (we were expecting 14/15%, and got 21.5%). Had we got a better canvass we would have been able to knock up when labour and the tories were at about 8 in the evening, and that would have allowed us to have kept up rather than flagging towards the end. I think the harder we work, the better we can do!

  • Ruth Bright 8th Jul '11 - 7:32pm

    Anders – I didn’t go to the Peckham by-election but I know that patch very well indeed. My impression is that the result was obtained by relentlessly selling the remarkable and compelling personal biography of an extraordinary candidate and mentioning the party as little as possible.

  • Bill Chapman 8th Jul '11 - 10:58pm

    Have you seen that “The Liberal Democrat candidate for Hyndburn at last year’s General Election has joined the Labour Party.” ?

    COUNCILLOR Karl Wallace has quit the Lib Dems with a blast at the party’s coalition with the Conservatives.

    Support for Lib Dems in freefall (Bath Chronicle)

    Hunt yourself among the blogs and on Google news to see many, many stories like this. Someone told me this evening about a Lib Dem councillor joing the Greens. I haven’t chased that one up.

    I don’t see any reason for comfort at all. Coming fourth behind UKIP is nothing compared with the loss of public trust in the nation as a whole.

  • Very interesting to hear from the Agent at Sawley. From what I have read, and I don’t know the Derbyshire scene at all, this ward had been dominated by a very very popular Independent, so this election was all about trying to pick up the pieces of his support. Jonathan acknowledges that “the area used to be disposed to us”, but doesn’t tell us how the former support was lost? There are many areas like this – I have found that individual candidates are very often the answer to the issue. They have had personal support, but this has not translated to more generalised support for the Lib Dems. Is this the case with Sawley, Jonathan?

  • Paul Holmes 9th Jul '11 - 11:18am

    I helped every week in this by election, including going down to talk to Erewash Lib Dems about campaigning before the election started. ErewashLib Dems have always been thin on the ground but had a couple of district Cllrs in the Sawley half of this County Council division for 10-15 years. They were steamrollered like many other Lib Dems in the North on May 6th when so many good Lib Dem Cllrs were destroyed by national events.

    We have all seen the often abysmal by election results around the country since May’s elections and they could easily have been squeezed completely out of existence in this by election which Lab and Cons poured resources into because the Cons lead on Derbyshire County Council is so small. Instead the small number of ‘older’activists plus half a dozen fairly new and very inexperienced members fought the biggest campaign they have put up so far and held their position well. They have learned a lot about campaigning, developed an excellent team and will go on now to build for the future -they deserve praise for redoubling their efforts instead of giving up in the face of the Coalition backlash.

    These are tough times for Liberal Democrat candidates but those who have been involved for a long time remember equally tough times in the 80’s and 90’s and much worse in the decades before that. The national leadership (and ALDC) however need to be putting more direct effort and thought into supporting and rebuilding grassroots campaigning instead of leaving it to ‘chance’ as they largely seem to be doing at the moment.

  • Don Lawrence 10th Jul '11 - 12:55pm

    @Paul Barker

    They were very poor. Down 2-3% in local government by elections. As a number cruncher you should realise by now we need to be at least 5% up in by elections to even stand still in real terms. Stop pretending there is a silver lining and get real. Then we can move on.

  • Don Lawrence 10th Jul '11 - 1:01pm

    @Paul Holmes

    “These are tough times for Liberal Democrat candidates but those who have been involved for a long time remember equally tough times in the 80′s and 90′s and much worse in the decades before that.”

    I would need you to remind me of the times things got so much worse, so quicky and what got us out of it. Was it a new leader perchance?

  • Anders, I would have to go to the Members’ Only section to talk about this – I haven’t seen a recent discussion topic on there relevant. It isn’t just ALDC, of course, but suffice it to say that not all in this garden is rosy.

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