Lib Dems GAIN two Council seats from Labour

About 20.5 years ago, I was part of the campaign which beat Labour to win the Holmebrook ward in Chesterfield in a council by-election. A certain Keith Falconer won. Later on, his wife Glenys Falconer also represented the ward. In fact, since I wrote this, I have learned that it is the third time Keith has won this seat in a by-election. The first was in 1986, before my time in the East Midlands. He then represented the ward for 22 of the 25 years until 2011. He fell victim to an utterly unprincipled and nasty Labour campaign in 1995.

Anyway, that campaign was a really good springboard for the General Election. If I remember rightly, there was a newspaper which screamed “Poll sensation for Tony Rogers” on its front page.

20 years on, the Liberal Democrats have taken a fair few knocks in the Derbyshire town. They may be down but they sure as hell aren’t out – and they are still capable of an audacious result.

And the winner? A certain Cllr Keith Falconer.

ALDC celebrate in suitable style.

Now I know my dear friend Paul Holmes will come on here and say “We never talked about any of that Brexit rubbish.” And I might just let him gloat for a bit. But, seriously, I am thrilled to bits for all my old friends in Chesterfield who were part of this. I wonder if they are off drinking in the Tullamore like they used to after a good by-election win.

However, I do think that the Brexit stuff is responsible for Vince’s rather good poll figure. The man’s almost in positive figures, for goodness sake.

And that result is not alone. In Oadby and Wigston, we won another seat from Labour. Nice work, Cllr Lily Kaufman and team.

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

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  • Ian Patterson 22nd Sep '17 - 12:08am

    A ray of sunshine in Leicester and Chesterfield after weeks of poor results.

  • Our third Council gain from Labour in the last 10 months in Chesterfield. Although I say it myself we ran a cracking old style by election campaign. I have been up since 5am so I’m too tired to write more (old age catching up on me) but I will this weekend. Caron is right though, our ‘perceived’ Brexit stance is nothing but an electoral burden here!

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 22nd Sep '17 - 12:33am

    Paul, bet Labour were not pleased. Just like they weren’t in the olden days. Well done, you genius!

  • Brilliant results. Thanks to all involved. I am sure it will boost morale across the country. And to beat the socialists too!

  • Kevin Hawkins 22nd Sep '17 - 11:16am

    Congratulations to all those involved. However it would help if actual number of votes were quoted rather than percentages. I usually rely on ALDC for detailed results but their results listing is a couple of weeks out of date.

  • Kevin Hawkins 22nd Sep '17 - 11:26am

    Further to my previous post the result in Oadby Uplands was LD 435, Lab 384, Con 295. Turnout was 32.5%. This is from the council website. Can’t find detailed results yet for yesterday’s other two by-elections.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Sep '17 - 1:47pm

    Congratulations to colleagues , a nice bit from Caron too.

    The Brexit policies are like the Pushmepullyou in Doctor Dolittle, same policy faces two ways , works well in one ,not the other, young middle class uk wide fine, older less middle class England especially, lousy.

    A policy can be but one of many if some of the many are emphasised.

    We as a party are not promoting enough of anything else.

  • Andrew McCaig 22nd Sep '17 - 2:05pm

    Kevin Hawkins
    VoteUk forum is an excellent place to find out about local by-elections. If the information exists it will normally get posted there pretty quickly..

    On the subject of local voting and Brexit, I have analysed crosstabs from recent knock and drop surveys in Huddersfield. While our rather derisory GE voting intention does show a strong correlation with Remain voters, local voting intention does not. In other words Leave voters seem just as likely to vote for us at local level as do Remain voters. At present Tory voters are rather more likely to change their vote to us at local level than Labour voters… These surveys are in a 3 way marginal council ward with one councillor from each Party!

  • paul barker 22nd Sep '17 - 3:03pm

    In fact that 2nd gain isnt really a gain at all, its a hold. In a multi-member ward where we are the leading Party we should expect to hold seats in a byelection.
    Overall the steady improvement in our Local vote since July continues. We are now roughly back to where we were a year or 4 years ago, in Local Votes. If that improvement continued at the same rate all the way to next May then we could expect to do very well but its very early days yet.

  • paul holmes 22nd Sep '17 - 3:21pm

    Ref Caron’s view that Brexit is boosting Vince’s poll ratings. No, Vince is boosting Vince’s poll ratings.

    Agree with Andrew McCraig. Last May/June I was helping with a Hinckley and Bosworth by election (that we gained from the Conservatives). Early canvassing took place in May at the same time as the Referendum campaign and we found people intending to vote Leave who were happy to vote for us in the By election and Remain voters who were not happy to support us in the by election. Later canvassing and polling day was after the Referendum and we found exactly the same sort of cross overs.

    The disastrous effect/failure of our single issue focus on Brexit from June 8th 2016 to June 2017 should by now have scotched this myth that Remainers will flock to us wholesale simply because they are/were Remainers. Not only did it fail to attract such switchers it actively pushed many of our normal supporters away from us in this years General Election.

  • Paul Barker – It’s a gain. The seat was held by Labour. The Labour Cllr resigned. We won. A gain.

  • markfairclough 25th Sep '17 - 7:42pm

    There is also a by-election for the Kingstone ward on Barnsley metropolitan council,
    date 28th September, LD candidate John Ellis Mourant

  • John Ellis-Mourant 25th Sep '17 - 8:42pm

    Thanks Mark, yes working hard with the team to bring a positive result in an area that needs real change. On the count down to Thursday, facing the challenge:)

  • Announced on that Mark Senior has died. Very sad news. Hope he was well enough to still to be told of these two GAINS.

  • Good luck John.

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