Lib Dems surge ahead in by-elections

There were some good results in last night’s by-elections  with double figure increases for the Liberal Democrats.

And in Rochford

And in Crawley, a 6.3% rise in vote share from a standing start.

That was up from just 164 votes in a much bigger turnout in 2017.

A good night for Henry Williams, Steve Moore, Lisa Newport, Harry Old and David Anderson.


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This entry was posted in News.


  • Andrew McCaig 27th Sep '19 - 11:46am

    Bit of spin there in Rochford where in fact we went back slightly since this May. (when there was no Residents candidate)

  • Graham Jeffs 27th Sep '19 - 12:55pm

    Decency in politics? Clearly those who continue to vote Conservative have no interest in such things. It’s not a matter of policies – it’s a matter of values.

  • Labour appear to have steadied their ship somewhat, coming after their conference.
    The Ipswich and Luton results were good for us with the significant advances since May. The Sussex ones on the other hand, well.
    It does indicate that in a nationwide election based on these figures we might get loads of second places but a very limited number of MPs. The old story. We have inherited a difficult situation, ie 360 constituences where we lost deposits in 2017, and miles behind. 22% does not achieve much unless there is very vigorous targetting which could get us between 20 and 50 seats. Remember February 1974 and 1983 and 1987 against 1997, 2001 & 2005.
    As fast as we have come up since April we could slip back with equal speed. This weeks results are a warning sign.

  • David Evans 27th Sep '19 - 1:13pm

    Lib Dems surge into second or third place might be a bit more accurate.

  • Peter Chapman 27th Sep '19 - 1:31pm

    Just to give some context to our result in Luton
    This was a ward where in may we stood and did nothing. This time we bombarded the area with good quality literature (15 different pieces of targeted literature). The Labour Party did one leaflet

    However they had over 50 workers on the day and their “taxi driving tendency” mobilised the large and rapidly growing Kashmiri population in the ward to solidly vote Labour as usual. (I would say 60%-70% of their vote came from this community

    Our tactics work well with the “traditional” population but these wards can only be won with years and years of working with other traditions whose culture is primarily verbal not the written word.

  • Bill le Breton 27th Sep '19 - 2:09pm

    Early days David.

    Theakes – no Brexit Party effect in any of these results. It’ll be the Brexit Party that”ll turn seconds into Lib Dem wins.

  • Yes it was one of Labour’s better weeks. They only dropped an average of 6.5% as opposed to last week’s drop of 11.5%. The Luton result is the most fascinating. In a tight race Con/Lab lost 14.4% to Lib Dems and Greens. But Labour stemmed the flow better than Conservatives and gained the seat with 22 more votes than the Tories. Oh the joys of First Past the Post!. Wise words from Peter Chapman.

  • There unfortunately doesn’t seem to be anywhere suitable to post this.

    I have never (yet) voted for the Lib Dems. But I am sure speak for many people who hold similar views to my own.

    Please consider giving Mr Corybn TEMPORARY control of the house just long enough to prevent a no deal brexit.

    In return I promise you my vote in the inpending election.

    I understand that Labour are not your friends (or mine) but desperate time means desperate measures.

    If you want to even get an opportunity to inact you policy of cancelling article 50 then you must act NOW. Before it is too late.

    Your’s sincerely

    The 48% that voted no

  • Tony Greaves 27th Sep '19 - 5:11pm

    Four results with %s and changes and no votes (but very odd % figures for the Rochford result). One result with the figures and rounded & figures but no % changes! Why can’t you get them right and give all the info?

  • Tony Greaves 27th Sep '19 - 6:05pm

    Compared with last May, which is the normal way to do these things, the changes in percentage votes in the Rochford by-election are: Con +0.3, Liberal Democrat -0.5, Green (intervention) +12.9, Labour (withdrawal) -12.7. Not quite a “LD surge!”

  • @Elusive – the reason why we don’t want to support Corbyn as head of a temporary government is because we don’t think it would work. It’s not about whether we like him, it’s about simple arithmetic. He’d never get the majority of MPs.
    Whoever becomes leader of the temporary govt would need the backing of at least some of the 20 or so whipless Tories, and they are never going to back Corbyn for PM. He is far too divisive. Even some of the whipless Labour MPs probably wouldn’t back him (Woodcock? Field? O’Mara?).
    So this is not actually about the LibDems ‘blocking’ JC. You can do the maths yourself: even if our 18 MPs did back him, and even if every single Labour MP voted for him – and even that is far from certain (Stephen Kinnock? Caroline Flint? Kate Hoey?), and even if he got the SNP, PC and Green MPs, he still wouldn’t get the majority.
    That’s why Jo Swinson has said we need another option (Clarke? Harman?): someone who can actually get the support of a majority of MPs. We’re not playing games, we’re just recognising the reality of the arithmetic. We need a plan that actually works.

  • Ok , so your leader has decided not to entertain the prospect of a Labour interim Government, That’s fine…

    But please talk to other leaders and party’s and find some way to get Boris out and fast. I don’t care if it is Ken Clarke or even Jo herself. Anything that stops a no deal brexit.

    As a regular guy and a regular voter I beg you all to write to the party and ask them to support somebody. The clock is ticking and Boris can not be trusted in office for even one more day.

    This is no time to play fiddle , Rome is burning.

    I apoligise for stepping in to your forum. If no one replies I will leave you in peace. But if even just one of you takes note then my infringement was worthwhile.

    Your Country needs you to take action , not mere words. I hope and pray that you do.

    Thank you for reading.

    “If I were to do nothing, I’d be guilty of complicity.”
    ― DaShanne Stokes

  • Paul Barker 27th Sep '19 - 7:37pm

    As far as I can calculate, we are holding steady on about 25% in Locals, about 7% up on May.
    Looking at the last 10 Opinion Polls, we are around 20% with Labour on 24% & The Tories down on 31/32%.
    We have to keep reminding ourselves that 2 Years ago we were averaging 6%, we have come a long way & we should not put limits on how much further we can go.

  • Thank you for your reply Tony.

    I do not disagree with you on the numbers , I am merely stressing the urgency and the hope that the Lib Dems are working hard to find an alternative , any alternative.

    I am merely imploring you all to not sit and do nothing. Boris is a dangerous man (I am sure you would agree with that) and needs to be stopped . He will not request any extension to delay brexit , regardless of the Benn act.

    I really do not wish to invade a forum that is designed for Lib Dems to discuss between themselves. So I will be as unintrusive as possible here. the SNP are willing to work something out , the rebel tories would like someone to step up to the plate. I simply beg you all to find an answer of some kind.

    In this case I believe the fire is better than the frying pan 🙂

  • Tony Greaves 27th Sep '19 - 8:09pm

    I think you can be assured that we are working very hard to try to get through the next five weeks in a practical and sensible way and avoid (in order of importance) (1) a crash-out and (2) leaving the EU in the short run and (3) getting a public vote by referendum and/or General Election to stop Brexit full stop. Don’t expect everything that is being talked about and discussed with other parties, groups and individuals to appear here!

  • What has been impressive about the success of the Anti-Government alliance so far has been (i) the discipline and (ii) the avoidance of needless press statements. When they set their mind to it MPs can work extremely hard without public posturing and this was obviously the case over the summer. These are all attributes the PM and his henchpersons are not famous for.

  • Tony Greaves,

    I obviously don’t expect eveything to appear here! But here in the capable hands of the influential Mr Pack the grass roots can have impact.

    Please in return do not presume that I am singling out the Lib dems alone as the sole obstacle preventing any temporary government taking place. I am equally active on the sites of the other political parties and beating the same drum.

    There is no need to be defensive, I wish you all no harm.

    This is NOT a time for party political loyalty. You are not under attack. This is a demand for cross party unity to remove a dangerous lunatic from power. It won’t stop at brexit.

    Each and every one of us are needed to stand shoulder to shoulder and each one of you can make a difference. All I ask you (each of you individually) is that you go to bed knowing that ‘you’ have done everything you can as a liberal, as a citizen and as a country to get this done.

    Each voice counts and every available voice is needed.

    On that note, I wish you all well and hope that patriotism not party loyalty guides you in the coming days.

    I bid you all good night

  • Ross McLean 27th Sep '19 - 9:55pm

    Elusive – There’s no need to be apologetic for commenting here. We’re a very open party and we welcome such interventions, so I hope you will continue to feel able to challenge us. You do it in a very polite way.
    That said, I don’t think anyone here is being defensive. We’re just perhaps a little surprised that you seem to think the LibDems have not been pulling much of a shift in the old anti-Brexit efforts. This is the party that was first to call for another referendum – back in 2016 when it was a deeply unpopular thing to do. We voted against invoking article 50, have consistently stood out as the voice of the 48%, have voted against Brexit in parliament on every occasion, and have been at the centre of all cross-party discussions to try to get a Peoples Vote.
    As I type this I’m sure our MPs and peers are working extremely hard behind the scenes to build a majority coalition of anti-Brexit – or at least anti No Deal Brexit – MPs. I know that because it’s what they’ve been doing for three years.
    Three final points: when the General election comes we will be the only party calling for revoke; if a referendum comes we won’t need to hold a special conference to decide whether we’re for Remain or not; And if Brexit happens, we’ll be the first to argue that we should rejoin.
    I love your passion about stopping Brexit. Instead of agitating from the sidelines, how about you step up and join us? Be part of the most anti-Brexit party there is. 🙂

  • I take the point that if someone other than Corbyn can command more support than Corbyn, we should find that other someone. I take the point that Tories and ex-Tories may prefer someone else. However, Swinson has used the same words about Corbyn as she has about Johnson, “not fit to govern”. So, Lib Dems are not just umpires adjudicating a contest between ex-Tories and Corbynites. They appear to have taken sides.

    Well, there is a lot wrong with Corbyn. However, this past week has put Corbyn’s flaws into a new perspective, has it not? Corbyn is not a Bullingdon bully-boy who stirs up violent emotions for political gain and pursues a disastrous Brexit, is he? Sometimes it is necessary to choose the lesser of two evils. Not to choose, and by default to let Johnson evade the law, would be the greatest evil.

  • Common sense will prevail, Ken Clarke is the obvious choice. He is more sympathetic to Labour, or so he seems by his statements, than we are. Yesterdays YOUGOV give Labour and Lib Dems 22% each. We are intense rivals. Needs a neutral figure.

  • Nonconformistradical 28th Sep '19 - 8:53am

    “Needs a neutral figure.”

    With lots of experience and without long-term personal ambitions

  • Richard Underhill 28th Sep '19 - 9:37am

    TonyH 27th Sep ’19 – 7:05pm
    Harriet Harman was willing to be nominated for PM, but she wants to be Speaker.
    She is not too young. Even John Bercow is calling her the ‘Mother of the House’
    There has been one female Speaker, Betty Boothroyd, now a Peer.

  • Denis Loretto 28th Sep '19 - 10:45am

    I have no doubt that Jo is correct in saying that Corbyn cannot command support from the Tory or ex Tory rebels. She should emphasise that this is the basis of her opposition to him rather than any personal animosity. In my view there should be agreement on the choice for interim PM before the VONC. Not only would this ensure passage of the vote but importantly if the choice were incorporated in the VONC itself it would remove any doubt as to whether the monarch would invite that person to seek a majority to form a government.

  • Tony Greaves 28th Sep '19 - 3:52pm

    The problem with Mr Corbyn is that he is a shifty, duplicitous operator who is not very competent, appears to be in hock to some very dubious characters, and frankly cannot be trusted. His proposal seems to be to put him in as PM for up to six months during which there can be a GE which Labour wins (doubtful at best) and a referendum is organised. Or just but him in as interim for up to six months while a referendum I organised.

    Meanwhile who forms the Cabinet, who forms the rest of the Government (is it around 80 ministers and whips to be appointed?), what is the programme during that time…

    The only answer is an interim PM with no baggage and no ambition beyond a GE, the withdrawal of Article 50 or an extension, then a GE. Mr Corbyn has no part to play in this.

  • Thank you for your comments with regard to my posts. I do appreciate that fact that debate is taking place.

    Unfotunately the phrase “any port in a storm” comes to my mind.

    This really is about putting party personal preference to one side and voting for the country.

    I do not question that Mr Corybn is ” shifty, duplicitous operator who is not very competent, appears to be in hock to some very dubious characters, and frankly cannot be trusted.”

    But it you really wan’t to do something about Boris , you may not have any choice but to accept whatever works (which may or may not be Mr Corybn).

    As I said above, now is not a time for party policital postering. It is about putting your country first.

    There is really is no dividing line between between refusing to support the candidate with the most chance of winning and complicity in allowing Boris to continue in office.

    Talk between yourselves , talk with the SNP , talk with Labour and take action.

    If it were to be labour then hold your nose and vote for it. We have moved beyond personal likes and dislikes.

    If you choose to do nothing because the leader of the oposition doesn’t smell right to you then the consequence will be a vote for Boris.

    Corybn has said he has two objectives. Getting the extension and calling an election.

    You may argue he doesn’t have the numbers , you may argue whatever you like. But whilst you are arguing amongst yourselves a lunatic Prime Minister is plotting to break the law and pull us undemocratically out of the EU entirely.

    I would rather vote for Donald duck then have this dangerous man in power for another day.

    Your country needs you NOW , so do something and please do it fast.

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