Morning round up – We did it! Welcome to Jane Dodds MP

If you’ve actually been asleep and not, like me, sat up all through the night to wait for the results, here’s a summary of the overnight electoral gymnastics.

Let’s start with a good local by-election:

And another one.

And now on to Brecon.

I’m writing this at 3:30 am when I have had more gin than is wise and I have just about stopped crying with happinesss. Jane Dodds MP.  That sounds good.

We did it!  will never forget that shot of Shaun Roberts and Dave McCobb on Sky News. They were smiling, and looking very smug indeed.

And Jane walking in and looking so happy.

Here’s the result in full:

Davies C  Conservative 12,401

Davies T   Labour 1,680

Dodds J 1 Liberal Democrat 13,826

Parkinson D Brexit 3381

Phillips L UKIP 242

Pink, Lily the 334

We have done it!!!


Jane’s speech, paraphrased:

People in Brecon and Radnorshire have sent a powerful message.

34 years ago a Liberal victory sparked a liberal revival.

People demand better.

The message from me and our new leader – is that you can have better, and better with the Liberal Democrats. This victory must be a turning point for not just for b and r but for our whole country too.

There is no time for tribalism when our country is faced with the threat of a no deal brexit.

My first act as MP will be to find Boris wherever he is hiding and tel him to rule out no deal Brexit now.

This is a time when people who share liberal values must work together which is why I want to thank the Green Party and Plaid Cymru to back me this time.

It is an immense privilege to follow in the footsteps of Roger Willians and Richard Livesey.

I am so glad I went down and spent those 4 days in Llandrindod Wells. LDV team members spent about 18 days there in all.

If you want to get to know Jane and what makes her tick better, here is my interview with her from  two weeks ago on Saturday.

And now the by-election circus moves to Sheffield Hallam. How amazing would it be to get Laura Gordon elected too?


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

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Congratulations to Jane and to everyone involved. I ended up staying up late last night against my better judgement, and noted that everyone was managing expectations, and at one point we had a Tory insisting that anything short of a massive win for us was bad news for us. Based on social media, many non-LD people were rooting for us, and I’m glad that Jane was able to thank the Greens and Plaid for not standing candidates and supporting her. I did see some try to claim that Jane was selected as a ‘remain alliance’ candidate, and somewhat over-stating the extent of their sacrifice, but if that sort of thinking helps similar happen in seats where the Greens and Plaid have more to lose, brilliant.

    I see Jo is doing the rounds of the media this morning and I tuned into GMB just to see them going all Paxman about why doesn’t she want to be in a coalition with Jeremy Corbyn, with the studio pundits (one very Labour and one very Tory) getting a lot more time to opine about how terrible we are. I know this is partially out of our control, but it’s not just FPTP that works to maintain the two party system, but the media’s plentiful supply of ‘balanced’ commentators who are firmly team Labour or Team Tory and will say all sorts about us without themselves being challenged, is also a huge factor. But when you have the consistently right-wing (and pro-Brexit) commentator very quick to mention tuition fees and our record in coalition, then we know they are rattled.

  • William Fowler 2nd Aug '19 - 8:01am

    Well done, if you want to go on the attack you should suggest that Labour stand down in the next GE so that remain alliance has a clear run at the remain vote… outrageous, but it would put their uselessness on brexit in context.

  • John Marriott 2nd Aug '19 - 8:18am

    I wonder why Ms Dodds was the only candidate on the stage not wearing a rosette? The reaction in the media was ‘a narrow win’, thanks certainly to the massive effort which Lib Dems are still capable of mounting outside General Elections. It amazes me that so many people were still prepared to vote for a Tory candidate, whose ‘misdemeanour’ and subsequent recall had caused this By Election in the first place!

  • Jack Nicholls 2nd Aug '19 - 8:23am

    Absolutely delighted, well done Jane and team, and brilliant to have a social worker in the Commons. I was chatting to a Green friend yesterday – our respective parties are one another’s close second choices, and on most issues we are very similar. Not everyone will agree with this, and that’s fine, but we need to start making friendly noises about standing down for the Greens in seats other than Brighton Pavillion. There are suburban seats where that most interesting of political creatures lives, the Green-Tory swing voter. Potentially likewise with Plaid in their held seats apart from Ceredigion. Furthermore, if we backed off in Llanelli (much respect as I have for the Labour incumbent) and they did in Montgomeryshire, it could make a real difference. I understand those who want to hug the brand close now we are rising again, but FPTP has stymied many an insurgency, and we need to think creatively about dealing with it. Brilliant news!

  • Tony Hutson 2nd Aug '19 - 8:44am

    Great result. Well done everybody.

  • Richard Underhill 2nd Aug '19 - 8:56am

    This morning the Conservative Party chairman
    said that the Lib Dems had done a “dirty deal” with other pro-Remain parties.
    This is a stupid comment Mr. Cleverly.
    Irrespective of the Brexit issue the Conservatives should consider their decision/s to offer the electorate a candidate with a problematic personal history.

  • Kevin Hawkins 2nd Aug '19 - 9:09am

    To turn from the obvious delight of the Parliamentary by-election the two local elections are also interesting. I never take one or two local by-elections in isolation as there is too much fluctuation from week to week. Instead I look at the cumulative results of the last fifty by-elections – a large enough number to eliminate the statistical ‘noise’ giving a clearer picture. On this measure we are, following yesterday’s results, ahead of both Conservatives and Labour for the first time since May 2004. (Just to be clear this is based on local by-elections in England & Wales only and excludes town and parish councils)

  • Richard Underhill 2nd Aug ’19 – 8:56am………………….This morning the Conservative Party chairman said that the Lib Dems had done a “dirty deal” with other pro-Remain parties.
    This is a stupid comment Mr. Cleverly. ………………..

    That is anything but a stupid comment.; it would be the current government’s worst nightmare.
    Jane Dodds said: “: “We were delighted that the Green Party and Plaid Cymru decided to stand down here. They knew we could beat the Conservatives by doing that, but secondly, it was symbolic of adult grown up politics.” Asked if the LibDems would step aside in other seats in return, she said: “we’re open to that.”

    The most catastrophic single UK political/financial/social event in my lifetime would be a ‘no-deal’ Brexit; stopping that is the most important matter to hand.

    To borrow words from Churchill, ““If hell rejected Brexit I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”

  • jayne mansfield 2nd Aug '19 - 10:26am

    @ John Marriott,
    On the bright side, there is one less Conservative MP, but as you say it is depressing that so many people were prepared to vote for the Conservative candidate. given his history.

    Even more depressing, an analysis showing the 54.6% of the vote went to the unambiguously pro Brexit parties in a seat where the Brexit vote was 51.9% in the 2016 EU referendum.

    Nevertheless congratulations to Jane Dodds and those who, in my opinion, wisely voted for her.

  • Congratulations to all involved, a fantastic result.

    To those complaining about how they don’t understand why people vote conservative I say this.

    Your time would be better spent trying to understand, and then working out how to persuade the more liberal ones to vote for us. That’s the only way we reduce the number of conservative MPs.

  • Yeovil Yokel 2nd Aug '19 - 11:19am

    jayne mansfield – Conservative Party policy is now “unambiguously pro Brexit”, but not all of their supporters are. My mother has voted Tory in every election since 1950, regardless of whoever was in charge and what their policies were, and like her friends would never countenance voting for anybody else – and she’s a Remainer. So, although UK politics has become much more divided along Leave/Remain lines, it’s still difficult to align clearly everyone’s personal policy preferences and their voting habits. There’s nowt so queer as folk!

  • Personally I dislike wearing rosettes at counts – I always feel like the proverbial monkey which I probably am!

    it has to be said that Chris Davies’ misdemeanor was fairly minor and something of a technicality and he did have a reasonable personal following. Most will have signed wanting a non-conservative and indeed remainer MP so it’s not surprising that brexiteer Tories voted for him and non-tory remainers didn’t!

  • Sue Sutherland 2nd Aug '19 - 11:57am

    What a fantastic set of results! Jane Dodds victory alone would be enough for rejoicing but our two council holds as well in different areas shows that our party has solid support. How wonderful to have deflated the Boris bounce already and Farage must be fuming.

  • Ian Patterson 2nd Aug '19 - 12:34pm

    Before we all get carried away by euphoria, two words: Richmond Park.

  • @ian Patterson

    I suspect @david raw will be along soon to remind us all that in the time of Gladstone we held every seat in Wales and how things have gone downhill since then with us getting only 43%/ 😉 !!! (Sorry – i actually find David’s comments very useful and thought provoking!)

    But… As with Joseph now is the time to bring in the harvest in money, members, supporters, a diluge of focus leaflets etc. To prepare if not for the famine tough elections to come!

    The difference with richmond park is we are at least 10% more in the polls. And it is difficult to think of a brexit scenario that is not relatively favourable to us.

    Good speech by jane at the count well prepared no doubt by her team and well delivered!

  • Richard Elliott 2nd Aug '19 - 1:33pm

    Great result – lets continue the momentum and hoping for more MPs to join us over the next few months. I agree that the Brexit vote in Brecon was high, but not 54% as Labour cant be classed in either camp – therefore we have to do more work with positivity selling why we are in Europe.

    I have just joined from Labour and other friends of mine are thinking the same. Upward and onward

  • See the BBC is sticking to it’s impartial reporting policy.

    Since when does an 8000 vote deficit make us the favourite to win.
    Since when is the alliance the focus of victory, Plaid polled 3.1% last time and the Greens didn’t stand. (do really appreciate the stance though).
    The Tories ‘would’ have won, not ‘could’ have won, if not for the Brexit party.
    Don’t worry, there are some positive signs for the Conservatives. ‘Arghhhh’
    Much, much more will be in the letter of complaint.
    I would encourage all to bombard the BBC until they change. Their reputation is burnt toast in my book.

  • @ Michael 1 Hi Michael. It gives me the greatest pleasure to prove you wrong. The best we ever did was 1906 when the Party was lead by the Scot Henry Campbell-Bannerman. We won 28 seats, zero Tories, one Labour and one ILP.

    As someone who once spoke to a very old lady who heard Gladstone speak in Huddersfield Town Hall, I can tell you that the GOM wasn’t always flavour of the month with the young Lloyd George because of the Church/Chapel issue.

    Enjoy the day.

  • Richard Underhill 2nd Aug '19 - 3:50pm

    A Tory was defeated, but they may try again with a different candidate soon.
    Boris Johnson has a large vocabulary, but does he realise he may have zelotypia?
    We are putting a hardback copy of his first novel on E-Bay and will report offers.

  • I found James Cleverly’s comments very interesting. (In point of fact he didn’t actually say ‘dirty deal;’ the interviewer did and he agreed). I think after last night some Tories may well be thinking in terms of an electoral pact with the Brexit party. If so we must make sure this interview comes back to haunt him.
    Richard Elliot – you are very welcome. Please work on your friends – the more the merrier!

  • It’s good to remind us of what happened at Richmond Park so we don’t get complacent, but I wonder if one of the reasons we appear to have gained from Labour voters is because they too know what happened there.

    I’ve seen some Tories try to deflect from their poor night by mocking the Labour result, but I actually think it just goes to show that at least some Labour voters think about their votes, rather than voting blindly for the person in the red rosette. He was a decent enough candidate, and while some of that might have been an anti-Corbyn, or anti-wiffle statement, I think it is mainly a tactical anti-Tory vote. The only embarrassing thing about the latter scenario is that the Labour leadership and some activists failed to recognise this, and instead pushed the narrative that they should vote for their own guy, combined with the usual swipes at ourselves.

    The Greens and Plaid got to spend the day crowing about helping us get a desirable vote, while Labour and hoping no-one notices.

  • Alex Macfie 2nd Aug '19 - 6:40pm

    It wasn’t complacency that caused us to lose Richmond Park in 2017. There were activists from far and wide queuing outside our Mortlake HQ to deliver and canvass. And remember we lost by only 45 votes. Various factors did for us (I live in the constituency), including a Labour surge on the back of the national Jezmania message, and some by-election Lib Dem voters going back to the Tories because they couldn’t risk letting Corbyn into No 10 — and it didn’t matter how much we emphasised that we had ruled out supporting a Corbyn-led government as well as a May-led government. It’s not just the Tories that we get accused of being too ready to hop into bed with.

  • Sorry, didn’t mean to imply I thought we’d got complacent in Richmond, just that it’s important to remind ourselves not to get complacent here and what happened there is a good reminder. Although it’s possible some voters did, including some Labour voters who lent us their vote at the by-election, who assumed our candidate was so obviously superior to Goldsmith that we didn’t need them, so went back to Labour to avoid them losing their deposit.

    These kinds of collaborative efforts rely on convincing supporters of other parties that their vote will do more good if lent to us than whatever other choice they might make. That’s easier to do in a by-election than a general election with all of the other noise going on.

  • nvelope2003 2nd Aug '19 - 8:46pm

    Congratulations to all who helped to win Brecon and Radnor for the Liberal Democrat candidate. When the Conservatives talk about dirty deals they do not mention that very expensive deal with the DUP which has kept them in power at the cost of £1,000,000,000 for the taxpayers. I wonder why.

  • Richard Underhill 2nd Aug '19 - 9:03pm

    nvelope2003 2nd Aug ’19 – 8:46pm
    The Tories deal with the DUP is up for renegotiation at the moment
    A family trip to the Maldives for Ian Paisley Junior notwithstanding.
    Any one for recall ?

  • Alex Macfie 3rd Aug '19 - 9:16am

    Michael Meadowcroft: Agreed on [1] and [3] but not so sure about [2]. Chris Davies was a popular local MP, and many Tory voters were saying on the doorstep they were voting for “Chris Davies” rather than “Conservative”. Thus it seems likely that a different Tory candidate would have fared worse than Davies; they wouldn’t have had the baggage, but wouldn’t have had the profile either.

  • Michael Meadowcroft: Hopefully the Liberal Democrat victory will lead to an increase in support in the opinion polls as happened after the local and European elections but the percentage of the vote is slightly lower than in previous victories despite a collapse in the Labour vote and no Plaid or Green candidates while total support for the right actually increased. Welsh Liberal support traditionally came from chapel going folk while the Anglicans tended to vote Conservative. Has the decline in Nonconformity resulted in people who come from backgrounds where they would probably vote Conservative now switching to the Conservatives in Wales ?
    Maybe some of the support for the Brexit Party and UKIP came from traditional Labour and Liberal voters who support Brexit and did not wish to vote Conservative. Where will those voters and those who want us to remain in the EU go if we do leave ?

  • The clear lesson is that we need to find a way to deprive the conservatives of their liberal minded remainer support. That is how we deprive them of a majority.

    Labour are now a Marxist brexit party with no relevance.

  • @david raw


    Excellent reply!!!

    I forgot the 1906 election!!!

    The rot set in, in 1910!

    I wonder how people will view this period,?

  • @ Michael 1 “The rot set in, in 1910!”

    Highly debatable and many historians and psephologists would disagree with you. More likely it was 4 August, 1914 at 11.00 pm followed by ten years of bad judgement, fundamentally illiberal policies, suicidal personal ambition and personal behaviour, changed social attitudes, selling honours like confetti ……. all of course laced with ruinous coalition where the herbivores were eaten by the carnivors.

  • Sp… carnivores

  • Richard Underhill 4th Aug '19 - 10:42am

    “Had the Brexit Party not have put up a candidate – and thus presumably taken votes from the Conservatives, we may not have won.”
    Robert Peston (ITV) interviewed Nigel Farage MEP. Farage said he was busy and “the Liberal Democrats are doing this”.
    We should accept that the Brexit Party is highly centralised.
    Farage appears to be referring to his preparations for a general election.
    We should also note that LIb Dem HQ had said that “we will throw the kitchen sink at this” and bookies rated a Lib Dem win at about 7 to 1 ON.
    UKIP and the Monster Raving Looney Party lost their deposits and Labour nearly joined them. We remember SDP2 losing their deposit in a by-election in Merseyside and losing the support of a major donor.
    UKIP have said on tv that Farage promised them places on the Brexit Euro Election list, but did not honour the promise.

  • marcstevens 4th Aug '19 - 2:42pm

    You can characterise the Labour Leadership and Corbyn as anti EU but not the rest of their party. Many of their MPs are in favour of a 2nd referendum and remaining in the EU as are over 60% of their voters. It depends on who is your MP and area but the local Labour party is very much a remain party where I live.

  • Before the 2017 election there were opinion polls which purported to show that the Conservatives were ahead of Labour in Wales but the actual result put Labour in the lead with the biggest share of the vote there for many years although that party had a similar experience in Scotland before it lost all but one seat in 2015 and only slightly recovered in 2017. Its poll rating is now quite low and it failed to win a Scottish seat in the European election and only just managed one in Wales.

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