LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 5

We’re now at Number 5 in our look back at our most read posts of 2017.

#5 Massive Lib Dem swing to GAIN Sunderland council seat from Labour in by-elections clean sweep

In this post from January, Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton says he’s doing a one-man conga in celebration at some stunning local council by-election results. In Sunderland of all places we went from zero to 41.5% of the vote to win a seat.

So, two very different results. An amazing gain that few would have expected from Labour in the north. UKIP’s vote fell by a third, too. In contrast, we are also doing very well and re-gaining support in our areas of strength. Not bad for a bitterly cold Winter’s day’s work.

UPDATE: It’s been such a good night that the leader has had something to say about it:

We finished 2016 winning by-elections and tonight we have shown that the Lib Dem Fightback is going from strength to strength. Since May 2015 we have now gained over 20 council seats and won a parliamentary by-election in Richmond Park.

Thanks to the hard work of local campaigners and great candidates we have gained two new council seats and control of a council.

Tonight we gained seats from both the Conservatives and from Labour. People up and down the country want to see an open, tolerant and united UK. It is the Liberal Democrats who are standing up and representing them, we are the real opposition to this Conservative Brexit government.

It’s a scenario that has played out many times this year.

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3 Comments

  • I don’t suppose there’d be much conga dancing in June when we went from 41.5% in January down to 2.2 %, 2.4% and 3.9% in the three Sunderland Parliamentary seats.

    I don’t know whether party HQ does post poll research – but this is a fertile case study in a follow up to the June flop. Why did it happen ?

  • Tony Dawson 31st Dec '17 - 3:13pm

    Writing as former chair of the Sunderland Liberals (1981-83) I should warn current readers that there were very special circumstances in this byelection win. -Having said that, the most important special circumstance was clearly a candidate and team prepared to go out there and win. We are, however, a long way from the situation in 1979-1982 when we went from 0 to 10 councillors (including two T&WCC seats) in the Borough. The particular result of which, as agent, I was most proud, was the election of Harry Sanderson in Southwick ward with 1,559 votes (52.9 per cent) on a 35 per cent turnout, knocking out the Labour Mayor *highly political, ex-officio on all committees) – the turnout in the adjoining ward was 19 per cent)

  • “a candidate and team prepared to go out there and win.”

    Says it all.

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