Lib Dems GAIN Ipplepen, Teignbridge from Conservatives

Alistair Dewhirst gains Ipplepen from the Conservatives

Congratulations to new Liberal Democrat councillor Alistair Dewhirst at Ipplepen, Teignbridge District Council.

The Liberal Democrats gained the seat with a massive 34% swing from the Tories following the death of the previous councillor.

Turnout was up too, and high for a council by-election: 58.7% compared with 52% in the main elections in 2007.

Central Devon Liberal Democrats are also reporting an increase in party membership.

The result:

Lib Dem Alistair Dewhirst 756 (62.3; +34.5)
Conservative 458 (37.7; -34.5)
Total votes cast 1217 (3 spoilt papers)
Majority 298
Percentage change is since May 2007.

Seats now held at Teignbridge:
Liberal Democrats 21
Conservative 18
Independent 7

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This entry was posted in Council by-elections.


  • From the Independent, today.

    Tories and Liberal Democrats swapped seats with each other in the latest council by-elections but the vote share surge was to Labour on the eve of its conference and the declaration of a new leader.

    Analysis of four comparable results suggests it has a projected 5% nationwide lead over Conservatives.

    Lib Dem Alistair Dewhirst won a landslide victory against Tories at Ipplepen, Teignbridge District, Devon, on a 34.5% swing.

    The by-election was caused by the death of the authority’s longest-serving councillor, 87-year-old Vic Elliott, after a tractor accident on his farm.

    Tory John McGrory gained at Gosforth Valley, North East Derbyshire District, in a tight three-cornered fight which saw Labour pip Lib Dems for second place.

    Big swings to Labour in two of its Gateshead strongholds could spell bad news for Liberal Democrats who are defending control of Newcastle – just across the Tyne – in next May’s elections.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 24th Sep '10 - 4:47pm

    No doubt those other results will be reported in a separate LDV article…

  • Sorry Anthony what other results had a 34+% swing?

  • Come on AAS say well done to Teignbridge Liberal Democrats and Liberal Youth.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 24th Sep '10 - 6:36pm


    “Sorry Anthony what other results had a 34+% swing?”

    None. The swings were away from the Lib Dems in the other results mentioned in the Independent article, which is no doubt why they weren’t reported here,

  • What is reported here is an exceptional result, a 34.5% swing – that’s the story. Swings and roundabouts – is 34.5% not impressive? As you say there were no other swings of that size.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 25th Sep '10 - 9:14am


    Perhaps you haven’t been reading LDV very long.

    On Fridays there is usually a report of local by-elections. In the past some attempt has been made in these reports to give a balanced picture. But these days it seems the tendency is increasingly just to report good results, and ignore bad ones.

    You justify the singling out of the Ipplepen result because it was “exceptional.” But the Gosforth Valley (North Eastern Derbyshire DC) result was hardly run-of-the-mill. The seat had been held by the Lib Dems, but the party’s percentage of the vote dropped by 21.3 points, leaving it in third place.

    And then there were the two contests in Gateshead MBC, Labour-held seats with swings of 8% and 10% from the Lib Dems to Labour (though in both cases Labour benefited from a decrease in the Tory vote as well). Local by-elections are very variable and it’s difficult to draw general conclusions from them, but in urban areas the behaviour is started to look pretty consistent.

    Try to keep up party morale is one thing, but when the presentation of news gets this selective it becomes misleading.

  • Anthony, admittedly I don’t read stuff on the internet that often. LDV is a Liberal supporting site inevitably it will cerebrate Liberal successes. I think it is you who is trying to paint the false picture. Here are the facts; since the Coalition was formed, Liberal Democrats have defended 19 council seats, of which we have held 13, and lost 6. However Liberal Democrats have gained 11 council seats off other parties, so from 19 we’ve gone to 24. A far more positive picture than the one you seek to paint.

    Which brings me to the question, whilst I am an infrequent visitor you are regular here, why do you comment and read so regularly a site dedicated to a party you so clearly loath?

  • Anthony Aloysius St 25th Sep '10 - 11:25am


    “I think it is you who is trying to paint the false picture.”

    As you admit, you don’t read much on the Internet. Since you evidently haven’t followed the previous discussions, don’t you think it would be a good idea to avoid making accusations like that?

    I am not “trying to paint” any picture, let alone a false one. On the contrary, I have consistently argued that local by-election results are not a reliable basis for assessing the party’s national popularity. And what is quite wrong is the selective presentation of only the best results, and the suppression of the worst ones. I’d have hoped that _wouldn’t_ be a controversial point of view, but still.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 25th Sep '10 - 11:30am

    Oh, and my continuing interest in the party is explained by the fact that I was an active member of it for more than 20 years. Do you find that strange as well?

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