++Lib Dems gain from Tories in Southwold and Reydon

Congratulations to David Beavan and team on a stunning win in Southwold and Reydon.

This was a by-election for Waveney council caused by the sad death of Conservative councillor Sue Allen.

May 2015 result (two seats in ward): C 1170/990 Lab 472/310 Grn 347/302 UKIP 341.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Council by-elections.


  • An excellent result for the local team. To win from not having stood in 2015 is a great result, but when you get over a thousand votes from a standing start that is phenomenal.

  • Looks like deciding to do nothing in the other Waveney by-election of the night, in a Labour-Tory marginal where the Lib Dem vote was cut by two-thirds to 3.0% and the Tories gained the seat from Labour, was a wise decision!

  • I think theakes might appreciate this

    Since the 2018 Local Elections, there have been 46 council by-elections (for 51 seats). Here are the results:

    CON: 18 (-7) , 36.0% (-3.5)
    LAB: 14 (+2) , 26.9% (+4.5)
    LDM: 10 (+8) , 22.0% (+8.8)

    Source https://twitter.com/ElectionMapsUK

  • This seat hadn’t been contested in the previous seven elections!

  • CHRISTOPHER THOMAS 13th Jul '18 - 1:45pm

    As the agent, we had a message that the electorate could associate with and we kept repeating it. Also the candidate had credibility locally and was superb. Thanks for all the nice comments. First win on the council locally since 2008.

  • David Blake 13th Jul '18 - 3:55pm
  • Kevin Hawkins 13th Jul '18 - 5:04pm

    Frankie – My calculations differ from the figures you reported. I reckon that since the local elections in May there have been 38 council by-elections. The percentage figures I have are Tories 40.6%, Lib Dems 23.5%, Labour 22.1%. This is the first time we have been ahead of Labour since early 2017 which was in the aftermath of the Richmond parliamentary by-election. For clarity my results cover by-elections in England and Wales and I don’t include parish or town councils or elections deferred from the regular May elections which may explain why my figures differ from others.

  • Quite chuffed, obviously some of my submissions are read and noted. Caveat on the figures, check the total vote situation, not so bright!

  • Peter Watson 13th Jul '18 - 5:53pm

    @Frankie & @Kevin Hawkins
    It should not be forgotten that we are only 10 weeks on from elections for more than 4000 councillors. The Lib Dem projected national share of the vote was 16% (down 2% from the 2017 local elections) and the share of the councillors was around 12%.
    How representative are the locations of the 46 or 38 byelections since then? How many byelections are influenced by a targeted campaign with resources from outside the immediate area? How meaningful is any interpretation of the statistics?
    I’m not trying to wee on anybody’s chips, but an unreliable assumption and celebration of progress based on misreading the runes might be more damaging than a more pessimistic/realistic approach.

  • Kevin Hawkins 13th Jul '18 - 8:27pm

    Peter Watson. I entirely agree with you that local by-elections are not directly meaningful because of the reasons you state (in particular the ability of the party to target with resources from outside the area) but you would be wrong to assume that there is no correlation between how a party is performing in local by-elections and how it is performing nationally. At least that is the case if you use comparative results – looking at by-elections now and on a previous occasion – that does give realistic information since factors such as targeting are more or less constant. You also need to consider a sufficient number of elections – one week or even one month’s data proves nothing. Yes, I was probably being a little optimistic basing assumptions on just 38 results – I usually work on a minimum of 50 elections as being more representative – so let’s see where we are in a couple of month’s time. I’m not suggesting we are doing brilliantly – we are not, and comparisons with past data confirm that! (We reached a high point of 37.5% in 2004). All I’m saying is that there are cautious grounds for optimism if the current trend continues. At least we are doing substantially better than late 2014/early 2015 when our percentage share in local by-elections was consistently in single figures.

  • nvelope2003 13th Jul '18 - 8:47pm

    In three council seats the Lib Dems lost ground varying from 3%, 5.5% and 6.3 % although they were places where support had not been high beforehand. Otherwise the results were encouraging.

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