Lib Dems HOLD Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm, Winchester

Congratulations to Cllr Brian Laming

Photo: New Councillor Brian Laming and team. Also available on Flickr here.

The Liberal Democrats have won today’s by-election at Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm, Winchester City Council.

LD Brian Laming 894 (53.9%)
Conservative 604 (36.4%)
Labour 161 (9.8%)
Turnout 51.1%
LD hold.

Councillor Brian Laming commented:

This is a real honour and a tribute to the local Lib Dem team and their work over the years. I’m also really grateful to the hard work from the whole Winchester team across the last few weeks and months. It’s also a real tribute to David Spender – our former councillor and the man who asked me to stand. People told me again and again on the doorstep that he had been a great councillor for the local area and a very special person.

Leader of Winchester City Council, Kelsie Learney added:

This is the third time in a row that the voters of Winchester have backed the Lib Dems and rejected Labour and the Conservatives. We won control in the council in May. We won the St Paul by-election in October. And the voters have backed the Liberal Democrat team again today.

The people of Winchester have made their views very clear three times over. Three times they’ve backed the Liberal Democrats. And three times they’ve rejected Labour and the Conservatives. They want a Liberal Democrat-led council that continues to deliver a greener, fairer, safer Winchester.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Council by-elections.


  • You seem to have missed out the change in vote share since May 2010, Helen. Luckily I’ve got it for you.

    Liberal Democrats 894 (53.9%, -6.3%)
    Conservatives 604 (36.4%, +1.3%)
    Labour 161 (9.7%, +5.0%)

  • Chris Stanbra 28th Jan '11 - 8:09am


  • Hell, if a 6.3% decrease across the board could be managed at local elections I don’t think the LDs would be too upset despite inevitable losses – still lots of years to recover, and down 6.3 ain’t bad compared to some predictions; down 6.3 on the GE result wouldn’t be far off general LD polling results between elections. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the average be quite a bit higher though, especially in Lab-Lib seats, despite a recent minor recovery in most polls. Still a good result here though.

  • What a pleasing name this ward has!

  • I’m far from complacent about our performance in local by-elections recently which has largely been poor to disastrous, but in this case it should also be borne in mind that the by-election was caused by the untimely death of David Spender, a long-serving and immensely popular councillor (and blogger). Anyone stepping into his shoes would have experienced a decline in their vote. This was an excellent result.

  • I find it strange that people should be concentrating on the negatives when in my view the proper response to this news is WELL DONE THE WINCHESTER TEAM!
    And for everyone’s information, Winchester was royalist in the civil war, and a village to the south west was Roundhead. And there is a ridge in between where a certain Mr Cromwell set up his guns to pound Winchester, hence the “interesting name this ward has”.

  • Dave Warren 28th Jan '11 - 9:54am

    It is a very good result and confirms that Labour are still pretty much irrelevant
    in large parts of the South.

  • One further point – the turnout was 51%, which must be something of a record for a January by-election.

  • @L Hanney

    Thanks for explaining the name – I was just about to send a letter to the RSPCA and report badger battery 🙂

  • Actually Tony, I think that anecdotally (doubt if anyone has ever analysed this), a new candidate following a very popular incumbent who has died often benefits first time round from a “sympathy” vote – after that it is down to the new person to establish their own reputation. A very well-known example was when Matthew Taylor followed from David Penhaligon (and, of course, established a very strong reputation himself).

  • I used to spend a lot of time around Badger Farm. Pointless fact but warm memories.

  • George W. Potter 28th Jan '11 - 10:41am


    The former councillor didn’t die, he merely retired. So I doubt the “sympathy” effect would be present.

  • “Overall, holding 90% of our vote share when we’re tanking in the national polls … is pretty encouraging.”

    Yes, in a sense, it is. But only in the sense that the voters recognise that their local Lib Dems are not responsible for our national disaster!

  • Liberal Neil 28th Jan '11 - 12:34pm

    Well done to Brian and the Winchester team. A fitting tribute to David who was both an excellent local councillor and a great human being.

    The result demonstrates that the local Lib Dem vote is pretty solid where we work hard and run an effective campaign.

  • Hmmm, hmmm and hmmm again…

    I’ve doctored an Indy article here.

    The party won this week’s only council by-election. But the result at Olivers Battery and Badger Farm saw a swing to Tories, with Labour more than doubling its vote share.

    What is interesting is that analysis of eight by-elections this month gives a projected nationwide line-up of: Lab 39.4%, C 38.6%, Lib Dem 12.1%.

    However six of the contests were in areas where Lib Dems are traditionally the main challengers to Tories. In most of these the Conservative vote held up. This contrasted starkly with a huge swing to Labour in the only seat it was defending.

    This confirms suggestions of a split between the two halves of Britain with the better-off possibly being concerned with the deficit and the poorer areas with cuts. The key question, unanswered this month, is what is happening in the Con-Lab marginals. Evidence from December indicates Labour could also be performing well there.

    If the Oldham East and Saddleworth parliamentary by-election is included in the calculations, the projected Labour lead rises to 3.3% over the Tories.

    Maybe not such good news as you want it to be…

  • Ed Maxfield 28th Jan '11 - 2:57pm

    Cuse (and others) you dont need to engage in any statistical contortions to work out that Labour’s support has gone up since the general election and the Lib Dems has gone down – I think most of us would grant you that for free.

    It’s also quite likely that the Lib Dems will do less well across the country in local elections this May and for the next couple of years.

    But as long as the party doesnt react with the same level of hysteria as the national media at every twitch of public opinion it tells us almost nothing about the party’s performance at the 2015 general election.

    What it does tell us is that the old adage still applies: where you work you win. Many congratulations to Martin and the team for keeping up the pace across the Borough since May despite the disappointment of losing the Parliamentary seat. As Neil says, it is a fitting tribute to David’s memory who was (as Neil also says) a great human being as well as a dedicated public servant and genuine liberal.

  • “Yes, in a sense, it is. But only in the sense that the voters recognise that their local Lib Dems are not responsible for our national disaster!”

    I think you set too much store on localism. I’d wager 90% of voters look only at the party label and have no idea who their councillor is.

    Which rather sets your “national disaster” comments in context.

  • “Oliver’s Battery is here to stay … Oliver’s Battery is on it’s way … ” 🙂

  • To Tim13 and Tonyhill, the incumbency effect can’t explain away any swing from the Lib Dems as the change in vote was calculated from May 2010. David Spender did clearly have a large personal vote, and at his last election in May 2008 received 68% of the vote, but in May 2010 the Lib Dems didn’t have an incumbent, Cllr Brian Collin moving over to St John and All Saints ward.

  • David Allen 28th Jan '11 - 4:12pm


    You’re right, it sets my comments in context. Those who agree with you that Focuses are useless, and that good councillors don’t win any extra votes, will presumably also agree with you that we don’t have a national disaster. Those who don’t agree with your assumptions will, I take it, prefer my conclusions!

  • Well done. It just shows that we mustn’t fall for the “end of the Lib Dems” messages pedalled by the unholy alliance of the Tory right / Labour lunatic fringe

  • Assorted LabTrolls: would rather ‘lose’ 6% to go to 54% of the vote than ‘gain’ 5% to go to 9.7%….
    But then, as we know to our cost, Labourites aren’t really very good at sums!

  • The excellent Lib Dem leaflets covering our campaign at Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm may be viewed on the election leaflet web site. type in either Winchester or SO224QL

  • David from Ealing 28th Jan '11 - 9:26pm

    A very good result. For God’s sake, over half the vote on a turnout of more than 50%!! Anyone who doesn’t think that’s good, especially in the current circumstances, is mad.

  • A very good result. For God’s sake, over half the vote on a turnout of more than 50%!! Anyone who doesn’t think that’s good, especially in the current circumstances, is mad.

    You might like to know “David from Ealing “that the 50% turnout was also accompanied by Light snow / sleet for most of the day and evening.

  • Peter Chegwyn 29th Jan '11 - 5:11am

    A great result for the Winchester team – the latest in a line of strong Lib. Dem. performances across Hampshire since May which included a gain from the Tories in Fareham last December with a 34% swing on the day of the Tuition Fees vote.

    What is increasingly clear, at least in the south of England, is that where Liberal Democrats campaign effectively on local issues we can convincingly beat both our Tory and Labour opponents. Which is what we’ve been doing for decades. And long may it continue!

  • Why is it that this blog only publishes Lib Dem victories, but is silent over losses, making no mention of them? Hardly a balanced picture of events.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Steve Trevethan
    Thank you for your thoughtful piece. Attached are some questions Mr. Davey might help our society by asking Mr. Starmer before coming to a possible coalition...
  • Peter Davies
    "In 2019 we aimed at increasing our national appeal and look where that got us!" We targeted reasonably well going into 2019. The problem was not that we aimed...
  • Marco
    In 2005 as I recall we didn't really talk about Iraq until the last week or two of the campaign so hopefully something similar might happen with Brexit this tim...
  • Mary ReidMary Reid
    @Graham Jeffs - yes, I am fortunate to be living in a target seat, although I was campaigning for about 20 years before we won it. It's a long game. My point...
  • Alex Macfie
    The mistake made by Clegg & co wasn't going into coalition, it was the way they did it, going in too quickly and conducting it as a "love-in" rather than a ...