Exclusive: Former Lib Dem MP John Pugh to stand in Southport Council by-election

A snap by-election on Sefton MBC in Merseyside could see John Pugh, Lib Dem MP for Southport until he stood down in 2017, make a return as a councillor.  He previously served as one for 14 years until his election as MP in 2001.

If successful, John would be following in a expanding line of former Lib Dem MPs who have gained council seats in recent times, people such as Adrian Sanders, Tessa Munt, Mark Hunter and John Leech.

The by-election takes place on Thursday 2nd November in Dukes Ward (which covers Southport Town Centre and West Birkdale) following the resignation of a sitting Conservative councillor due to ill-health.  Dukes Ward is generally regarded as the most Conservative of Southport’s seven wards.

The resignation was only submitted last Thursday 21st September with the Tories “calling” the election the following day and they have been distributing a leaflet since last weekend.  However Southport Lib Dems have also been quick off the mark with a Focus leaflet going out from Sunday.

Labour are also expected to contest the by-election hard so as to justify their claim that “only Labour can beat the Tories in Southport” – a claim they keep making following their surprise second place in Southport in June 2017, but which fails to recognise that Labour have never once beaten the Conservatives in Southport either in council or parliamentary elections.

Any offers of outside help in all the normal ways would be much appreciated, including from this weekend.  The by-election campaign is being operated from the Southport Lib Dem HQ at 35 Shakespeare Street, Southport PR8 5AB.  Telephone 01704 533555 or 01704 565546.  Alternatively email [email protected]


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  • David Evans 28th Sep '17 - 7:11pm

    Good News. I will be there.

  • I will do my best to attend. If you see and over weight very sweaty individual stuffing Focus through doors it is likely to be me.

    Can I also draw people attention to


    A touching obituary

    Mark Senior 1947-2017

    Before we start this week, this column would like to pay tribute to one of those who hacked away relentlessly at the local electoral coalface. Mark Senior was a Liberal Democrat activist in Worthing who has been arguing the toss on electoral bulletin boards and discussion forums for as long as there were electoral bulletin boards and discussion forums to argue on.

  • Sad about Mark.
    One or two green shoots yesterday but also some shocking results. Lancaster Halton with Aughton a pleasant suprise, only 8% behinds the winners in a four way contest, albeit fourth. Maybe wrong, but I do not think we have had a candiate there for some time. I had expected Greens to win easily, perhaps they are going backwards in Lancaster, hope so.

  • Gwyn Williams 29th Sep '17 - 11:22am

    And not forgetting former Brecon and Radnor MP Roger Williams who was elected in May for Felinfach on Powys County Council

  • Excellent news! Good luck John!

  • Richard Underhill 1st Oct '17 - 8:02am

    John Pugh is being missed.
    “Down-to-earth toad seeks MP”
    “Wildlife campaigners are looking to replace Pugh in the House of Commons as part of the Species Champions project, which encourages MP to help threatened wildlife. The charity Amphibian and Reptile Conversation is seeking a new MP for the natterjack toad. Three other champions lost their seats in the election leaving campaigners to find new supporters for the hedgehog, shrill carder bee and the skylark, which still needs a champion. The smooth snake and the tansy beetle have been adopted.
    Waitrose Weekend magazine 28 Sep 2017 page 3.

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