Local Government by-elections – 16 November 2017. A Lib Dem GAIN and a good hold

A good start with a Lib Dem GAIN from the Tories in Hedge End in Eastleigh:

Well done to the Eastleigh Lib Dem Massive and Cllr Pat Jenkins

And a solid hold in Penrith

Congratulations to Cllr Mark Rudhall and his team.

So frustrating that 11% of the electorate didn’t have a Lib Dem to vote for:

Good to see this from a standing start, though

Kind of scary that the UKIP vote is going up

Not so here, though. That is quite a slide.

That’s all the results through as of midnight. See you in the morning.

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

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  • “So frustrating that 11% of the electorate didn’t have a Lib Dem to vote for“

    That’s not how percentages work but anyway. Yes ideally we should have more candidates, but it’s very easy to shout from a distance.

    Congrats to our two new councillors. Here’s to many more!

  • Delighted with the Penrith North result – now held continuously with a succession of excellent Councillors for nigh on thirty years. Happy memories of being the Agent for Joan Robinson when we first gained the seat back in the Thatcher era..

  • Katharine Pindar 17th Nov '17 - 9:02am

    Hearty congratulations to the Penrith North team, I know how hard you have had to work to keep on board the Lib-Dem voters and not yield any of them to Labour. You weren’t at all certain you could do it, so that is a wonderful outcome. So glad to have been over there, and enjoyed getting to know Councillor Deb Holden. Really pleased that she has a Lib Dem councillor companion again in Mark Rudhall, after his predecessor had to retire for health reasons. This is a result all Lib Dems can rejoice in.

  • Wait till you see one of the Darlington results!!!!! Have we got less votes?

  • paul barker 17th Nov '17 - 1:25pm

    If we are going to look at results every week then its important that we are honest with ourselves. Taken on their own this weeks results were dreadful, as bad as last weeks were good. Of course we shouldnt take them by themselves, theres a great deal of essentially random variation.
    Taken over a more reasonable timeline of Months, we have seen a remarkable & rapid recovery in our Local Votes, a rise of 8% in 4 Months. That is solid evidence that we are getting somewhere.

  • Tristan Ward 17th Nov '17 - 1:52pm

    @Paul Barker

    “Taken on their own this weeks results were dreadful”

    I can’t really can’t see how 5 results including a gain, a hold and no loss can be characterised as “dreadful”, however you slice it. Disappointing to the extent that 2 seats did not have candidates of course, but that’s the only bad thing I can see. What am I missing?

  • paul barker 17th Nov '17 - 3:51pm

    @Tristan Ward.
    The 1st point is to ignore The Town Council result, there are dozens of these every week (probably) & very few get reported, even locally; no-one is even trying to collate the results Nationally.
    There were 10 Principal Authority contests yesterday of which we stood in 7. One of those we stood in last time so that represents a loss of votes. In 2 of the 7 we fought our vote actually fell & in several more it only rose slightly. All 7 seats were last fought in 2015, our Low Point.
    However it was just one Week & last Week was exceptionally good, there a lot of variation.
    Long term, we are making progress but its important not to claim that every week is great.

  • Steve Comer 17th Nov '17 - 4:16pm

    Hedge End looks interesting. A gain form the Tories with a massive 84.4% of the vote and no Tory candidate!

  • Penrith is even better when you consider it’s a LD/Con split Ward. 2 to 1. Arguably entirely because we only stood 2 candidates in a 3 member all up election last time. Hopefully, we’ll have 3 candidates next time.

  • The reality is we can do well where we have the remnants of an organisation from the past……the sad thing is there is little evidence that we will have the cross country organisation to get anywhere near where we used to be through building up of grass roots for many years. There are too many black holes especially in the cities which it will take decades if ever to replace .

    That is not to criticise the footsoldiers who slog on but to remind the happy clappy element in the party to understand the reality of our situation

  • James Shearer 18th Nov '17 - 9:35am

    Thanks for the insights of the relative importance of results and thanks to the happy clappy brigade for keeping our spirits up!

  • One district result not in the last was Penn & Coleshill ward in Chiiltern. In 2015 the two seats were uncontested and held by the Tories. In the by-election last Thursday, turnout was 24%, the Liberal Democrats got 19.4% and the Tories romped home with 80.6%. There was one leaflet.

  • Tony Greaves 18th Nov '17 - 10:47pm

    Why does LDV not report the results properly with the votes cast? Just putting %%% is less than half the story. They are available easily enough.

  • Katharine Pindar 20th Nov '17 - 1:02am

    I would have thought the reality of local work bringing results is a little more cheerful than Peter wrote. For one thing, the grass-roots built up over many years may not have entirely vanished in the five bleak years just gone by. For another, he says there are too many black holes ‘especially in the cities’, which surprised me, having been wont to think of rural areas like my own West Cumbria as barren lands until we got Rebecca elected, first as town and then as county councillor this year. The West Country might also try competing for being worst off in terms of lost council seats, if there were any point in such comparisons.

    ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune’, and Shakespeare seemed to give true words there even to conspirators (in Julius Caesar). We have a decrepit Government riven with dissent and an Opposition keeping the lid on equally deep divisions with its ambiguity on Brexit; we should surely now ride the tides and seize the reins, to mix metaphors! Practically, that means showing up the weaknesses and falsities of our opponents by strength of conviction and hard work in our localities. As doubts arise among the voters about the ability to govern of either main party at this time, we do have opportunity. So the successful small team discovered in stemming the Labour national surge in Penrith North, by their hard work week after week, their canvassing and their four leaflets and a letter distributed to all.

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