Lib Dems GAIN a Council seat in Aylesbury

Good news from Aylesbury where new Cllr Waheed Raja gained the Central and Walton ward from the Conservatives.

We actually lost this ward by a single vote back in 2011. It’s great to see Waheed and the team win it back with a really good swing.

During my long time in the East Midlands, I knew that Worksop was not exactly a Lib Dem hotspot, so it was good to see a respectable result from a standing start for Leon Duveen in the Worksop South East ward:

There were another couple of really good increases in vote share:

The real drama of the night came in a seat without a Lib Dem candidates, in Thurrock, where it was a dead heat between Labour and the Tories. UKIP had held the seat but they weren’t standing. It was the Conservatives who won the drawing of lots.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • David Blake 23rd Mar '18 - 8:29am

    District and Town Council by-elections in the Ridgeway ward of Chiltern. Previously held by a long-serving independent who had a massive majority. No record of previous activity by Liberal Democrats, although occasional paper candidates. Both seats narrowly gained by Tories. Liberal Democrat candidate Frances Kneller moved up to second place in Town Council, with 33% (+25.4%). 29% (+12.6%) in District, second place. No Labour candidates last time – they contested them this time. But Tories still have massive majority on both councils with less than half the votes.

  • David Blake 23rd Mar '18 - 8:31am

    Sorry, that should read third place in District.

  • Yes, looking at these results at midnight I felt more cheerful than for many years. It is the decent votes in 3rd place that are most significant, decent recoveries in Leek and Bunbury. However our increase seems to owe quite a lot to the demise of UKIP, they may be protest votes but they are votes and that is what matters.

  • Bruce Milton 23rd Mar '18 - 9:47am


    Positive is positive.
    Every result moving forward.

    Of course question how do we make this change into a Movement?

  • We stood in 5 of the 7 Elections yesterday, which is OK but we are still doing noticeably less well than we were up to a Month ago. That may just be a blip.
    We still have one more result to come Today.

  • If it stays like this – and that’s a big if – it looks like a Labour Government (led by Keir Starmer?) either with a majority or depending on Lib Dem support. No bets being taken though – but interesting to speculate which way the fifteen Lib Dem MPs led by Alastair Carmichael will jump?

  • David, I’m not sure what crystal ball you were looking into, but experience over decades shows us that success in a few council by-elections have no impact on our standing nationally whatsoever. The Aylesbury result like all the others over the last year will be noticed by some people in the area, but will not get a mention in any of the national media. It is good for morale, but will have no impact on the chances for our candidates in the next general election.

    The Local elections in May are the only ones to get a mention nationally, and we will need to get net gains of around 200 to be more than a footnote in the media coverage. Four years ago, under Nick, we lost 300 out of 700 seats we were defending, so there is scope if we are really on a path to recovery. If that happens, it could just give us a nudge up in the opinion polls.

    But May 4th is vital and everyone should be getting out to help in their nearest council.

  • Chris Bertram 23rd Mar '18 - 1:47pm

    While it’s undoubtedly true that May 4th is crucial, byelections in the run-up create the mood music for the troops. Since the GE last year, we’ve seen a decent run of gains, especially more recently, and an uplift in our vote share in most places. We’ve gained from Tories, Labour, UKIP and Independents, and usually pushed the Greens back behind us even when we haven’t won – this is important for “bragging rights” if nothing else. I think we can approach the day with a little spring in our step. Personally, when out leafletting I’ve had a very friendly response from people in their front gardens, and this is in an area where Labour contempt for our decision to go into coalition has been very strong. Then again, they haven’t covered themselves in glory running Birmingham. We have to use any angle we can to get leverage, and our opponents’ mistakes will be just as important as anything we do right.

  • paul barker 23rd Mar '18 - 2:44pm

    I certainly dont want to depress the Troops, especially as I am currently not active myself (for purely personal reasons) but I have been bringing good news for most of the last 8 Months so I have to be honest about the bad News. The last 5 Weeks have seen a steep decline in our performance in Local Byelections. That could be a statistical blip or something more, only time will tell.
    We have to be positive but as of the last Month, May does not look good.

  • OnceALibDem 23rd Mar '18 - 3:13pm

    And theakes became Paul Barker, and Paul Barker, theakes…… 🙂

    FWIW (ie very little) I suspect there will be some impressive headline results in heavily remain voting London where the party has residual strength (both the SW and pockets of central London (Islington and Lambeth will be interesting to watch). Elsewhere will be more mixed and as usual the party’s spin will guide the analysis.

  • Being involved in the Bunbury campaign we achieved the biggest swing of the night, fantastic newbie candidate Mark Ireland Jones in a strong Tory area.
    Tories has to work far harder than they had planned to due to our campaign focusing on Cheshire East’s poor record.
    Many thanks to all who helped from way beyond Bunbury.

  • This is a really good result, on the back of other good results in Aylesbury. Steve and the team there (note: not Steve and his team 😊) have had much success over these last couple of years or so. I would also like to personally congratulate cllr Raja on such a good win – as we say in the Punjab Mubarak sahib jee.

  • Tony Greaves 25th Mar '18 - 3:55pm

    Please, please please…post the actual results!

    They are elections with real votes in real places, not just percentages.

  • Simon Banks 9th May '18 - 4:05pm

    Oh well, the prophets of doom and of ambiguity were confounded. We won 75 seats in May, which is a genuinely good result not needing spinning. There were disappointing areas (Labour-leaning London boroughs where we once had strength, but failed to make a breakthrough despite growing membership and activity; and, ahem, Essex. But here’s my spin: we won Richmond and Kingston on Thames while hoovering up seats in Hull and starting the fightback in Liverpool and Sheffield. So not just Remain areas or the south.

    As for the Aylesbury result, it shows the danger of facile analysis. Someone could look at those figures and say, “Ah, yes, this Waheed Raja guy must have taken all those UKIP votes.” Not so, I suspect.

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