Tag Archives: aldc

ALDC by-election report: 1 April 2022

The May local elections may just be over the precipice but there are still many hotly contested by-elections to contest until polling night. Three principal authority council By-elections this week and a Town council By-election for a good measure saw the Lib Dems back on the By-election trail.

First up we have Morecambe TC where newly elected Phil Forster gained the seat of Bare South West from the Conservatives. The Lib Dems really do love Town and Parish councils.

Morecambe TC, Bare South West
Liberal Democrat (Phil Forster): 85
Conservative: 67
Labour: 62

Next, we turn our gaze to Melton BC where Jim Adcock has the unduly task of campaigning in a ward that we have never contested before. A commendable second-place finish and a 25% vote share may win the plaudits but not the victory this time around.

Melton BC, Melton Sysonby
Conservative: 396
Liberal Democrat (Jim Adcock): 187
Labour: 165

Posted in Council by-elections | 4 Comments

ALDC’s by-election report 10 March 2022 – two Lib Dem victories

The Lib Dems are celebrating two resounding victories in Hertfordshire this week. 

On Hertfordshire County Council we held the seat of Hitchin South with a majority of over 1700 votes and a 72% share of the vote. Our vote increased by a massive 34%. Well done to Councillor Keith Hoskins and the local Lib Dem team on a brilliant result:

Hertfordshire County Council, Hitchin South ward
Liberal Democrat (Keith Hoskins): 2401
Conservative: 690
Green: 223
Christian People’s Alliance: 35

The Lib Dems held a further seat in Hitchin – this time Hitchin Highbury on North Hertfordshire District Council – with a fantastic 67% of the vote, a majority of just under 800 and an 18.5% increase in their share of the vote. 

Congratulations to Councillor Raj Bhakar and the team for a brilliant result. 

Well done to everyone in Hitchin on a fantastic night. 

North Hertfordshire District Council, Hitchin Highbury
Liberal Democrats (Raj Bhakar): 1238
Conservatives: 450
Green: 134
Christian People’s Alliance: 27

BBC: Hitchin: Lib Dems hold seats in council by-elections

There were two further by-elections on Thursday night. Neither were contested by the Lib Dems. 

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Lib Dems mark International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day and the event has been marked by senior party figures.

Christine Jardine reminds us of the especially poignant reason we celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March:

Welsh Lib Dem Leader Jane Dodds called for changes to make it more appealing for women to stand for election at all levels, but particularly local Government:

We urgently need our councils and politics to be more representative of communities they serve. If local governments are so unrepresentative of the population they serve, they cannot possibly hope to deliver for that community effectively.

So this May I want to see more women from different backgrounds, different classes and different ethnicities standing for election. All political parties have a duty to encourage this. And if you are someone in a position of power of influence then make sure you ask them to stand.

“It may seem obvious, but my own political career wouldn’t have started had someone not asked me to stand for council elections. At the time, I had the same view of local Government that many women do, a club for white men over a certain age. I hadn’t thought of entering politics before because I hadn’t believed my voice would be listened to.

“However, we also need structural issues to be resolved. Introducing more flexible schedules for council meetings should be the top priority. Council meetings are often too long and involve unworkable and unsociable hours for those with family, caring and work commitments.

“Society works better when those making decisions are representative of the communities they serve and this International Women’s Day we must remind ourselves of what needs to be done to reach that.”

Lib Dem Women are using the day to highlight women candidates for May’s elections on their Twitter feed,kicking off with one of our most senior and experienced council leaders

ALDC is doing similar:

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ALDC by-election report 17 February 2021 – Win in Oundle

A very mixed picture this week for the Lib Dems in the realm of local council by-elections. Ballots were cast across all corners of the kingdom most of which saw a Lib Dem candidate getting their teeth stuck into the contest. Concisely then, nine vacancies to fight, we stood in seven, succeeding in one. The results weren’t as good as we predicted but we can take solace in good campaigns being fought and celebrate the hard work put in by our local teams, knocking on doors, delivering leaflets, posting out focus leaflets and focusing on that squeeze vote.

The headline result of the week is undoubtedly Oundle where we secured our first councillor on the North Northamptonshire UA, what a fantastic night’s work. Only the best campaign from Charlie Best could have got the Lib Dems over the line. A 13% swing and a gain from the Conservatives rounded off a perfect night for the Oundle Lib Dem team.

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ALDC’s by-election report – 10 February 2022

It has been a stonking week for the Lib Dems in this week’s by-elections – winning all 3 principal by-elections contested on Thursday night and coming within a whisker of taking a Town Council seat too.

In Eastleigh the local Lib Dem team held onto Eastleigh Central ward increasing their vote share by 7%.Congratulations to Cllr Bhavin Dedhia and the team on a great hold.

Eastleigh BC, Eastleigh Central ward
Liberal Democrat (Bhavin Dedhia): 781
Labour: 433
Conservative: 362
Green: 140
Reform: 64

In Somerset West and Taunton the Lib Dems gained the Independent seat of Alcombe with over 50% of the vote and a very impressive 16.7% increase in our share of the vote. Well done to newly elected Councillor Nicole Hawkins and everyone who helped on the campaign there.

Somerset West and Taunton DC, Alcombe ward
Liberal Democrat (Nicole Hawkins): 259
Conservative: 223
Labour: 21
Independent: 13

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ALDC by-election report: Manchester gain and two holds

Another Thursday goes by, another action-packed week of by-elections comes with it. As always we have the tail of the tape with all the ups, downs, close calls and no-contests. In a snapshot; two Liberal Democrat holds over at Dacorum, a huge Lib Dem gain in Manchester and three other holds for Labour and Conservatives across the country complete this week’s super 6 of by-elections.

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ALDC by-election report: 20 January 2022

The first intriguing by-election Thursday of 2022 was operating under the backdrop of “Partygate”. Would the shenanigans at Number 10 cut through on the local level? Can the Lib Dems strike while the irons are hot and bring home the bacon, though it’s Veganuary don’t you know? Would this week’s polls throw up any surprises? Here we have it, the round-up of all Thursday night’s by-elections.

Most notably then, Lib Dems and town council by-elections are a better match than one made in heaven. Three town council by-elections in Hatfield, Carterton and Dawlish ushered in gains, gains, gains for the native golds. Elsewhere, Labour held on in East Lothian and Charnwood BC whilst the Conservatives secured victories at Selby DC and East Lindsey DC by-elections.

There is nowhere else to start than all things town councils. A fantastic night for the Liberal Democrats ushered in a trio of successes. Tim Rowse at Hatfield TC, Natalie King at Carterton TC and Rachel Hardy at Dawlish TC all ran phenomenal campaigns and we congratulate you on your successes. What a great night to be a Liberal Democrat!

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FOUR Lib Dem Council GAINS – What a night!

I’m doing the by-election results for ALDC tonight, with the help of some strong painkillers. I had a bit of a fall yesterday and hurt my hip. Nothing serious, but it is sore.

Tonight’s results got the endorphins flowing though. Not one, not two, not three but FOUR gains.

One gain came in one of the Toriest parts of Oxfordshire, where we haven’t had a councillor for 15 years.

And then came gain number 3:

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ALDC honours Erlend Watson

Today it has been announced that the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners (ALDC) has conferred Life Membership upon activist, election and by-election talisman Erlend Watson.

This follows the announcement from Erlend that his health prognosis is poor following a sustained period in The Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge.

ALDC President, Baroness Scott of Needham Market said:

Behind every successful  Lib Dem campaign there is a vast amount of behind of the scenes work.  Erlend has given so much to campaigns all over the country for very many years doing the essential jobs which make a campaign.

He doesn’t just work tirelessly himself but is   full of encouraging words for others and is a font of knowledge especially for younger people just starting their journey with the Party.  His commitment to Liberalism is profound, and a beacon to us all.

It is perhaps appropriate to note that Erlend was born in 1963 – at precisely the date at which ALDC was coming into existence and a consensus was emerging that the party needed an independent body for local government and local campaigning.  ALDC and Erlend have a shared existence and his work over decades has been in the support and advocacy of local government.

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ALDC by-election report: 16 December 2021

So here we have it our round of Super Thursday! Marginals galore, incumbents getting stuffed even before the turkeys have been carved and a whole host of gains, holds, flips and squeezes.

With the potent backdrop of North Shropshire in the atmosphere, you wouldn’t be forgiven for taking your gaze from this week’s by-elections but fear not we have all the details of all sixteen polls from Thursday night’s action.

Most notably then, the Lib Dems ushered in the close of the year with fantastic gains in Roffey South, West Lindsey and last but not least a Lib Dem gain from the Conservatives in Northumberland left the council with no overall control. Elsewhere then the Conservatives held on in Lomond North, Lichfield & Tilehurst South & Holybrook

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ALDC by-election report 9 December 2021

The onset of the parliamentary recess is upon us. A hiatus in the by-election schedule is just around the corner. 2021 is drawing to a conclusion. Therefore, it wouldn’t be naïve to think that the Lib Dems had wound up the victories for 2021. Nevertheless, this week’s local by-elections proved that not only do Liberal Democrats canvass all year but we also win all year round.

Central to our continued success is the fantastic work all our councillors, candidates and ardent supporters carry out without exception week in week out.

Rotherham provided a tectonic shift in the political landscape with a huge gain for the Liberal Democrats. We were propelled into second place in Torridge. Whilst Labour achieved gains from the Conservatives at Aughton & Swallownest and Old Bracknell.

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ALDC by-election report 2 November 2021

With the May 2022 local elections on the horizon, it is paramount the Lib Dems build up momentum going into the spring by ending the year strong and we did just that!

First and foremost, we want to thank all our valued candidates, local parties and an army of steadfast volunteers that gave Lib Dem supporters ample opportunity to support Liberal Democrat Councillors all over the country.

There were two gains in Lancaster, one loss and one gain in Hailsham, a heartfelt loss in North Norfolk and in Breckland.

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ALDC by-election report: 11 November 2021

Thursday’s by-elections threw up some very interesting results. There was an excellent performance from the Lib Dems in Cardiff, while lots had to be drawn to decide a winner in North Kesteven in Lincolnshire!

Most of all this week we want to credit all Lib Dem candidates and local parties who stood for election and gave voters in their area the opportunity to support a Liberal Democrat on the ballot paper.

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ALDC by-election report: 4 September 2021

It has been a simply outstanding week for the Lib Dems – with a number of sensational performances and results in by-elections across the country at every level.

There was a double-helping of principle-authority gains from the Conservatives in West Sussex and Gloucester where both campaigns were helped by a Fighting Fund Grant from ALDC.

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ALDC by-election report: 21 October 2021

It was a quiet week for by-elections – with only three principle authority local by-elections taking place on Thursday. However, it was still a great week for the Lib Dems – holding two principal authority seats in Birmingham and Horsham.

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ALDC by-election report: 14 September 2021

After a busy couple of weeks there were fewer by-elections on Thursday night. Polls were held in Surrey Heath, Harrow, Wigan, Billericay and Falkirk.

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ALDC By-election Report: 23 September 2021

There were seven local by-elections on Thursday night. It was a mixed bag of results for the Lib Dems with some great holds but a very narrow loss too.

There were two great defences in Kendal as newly elected Lib Dem Councillors Jonathan Cornthwaite (Kendal North ward, South Lakeland DC) and Phil Walker (Strickland Ward, Kendal TC) both won with just short of 50% of the vote. Congratulations to Jonathan, Phil and the Lib Dem team in Kendal. The full results are below and you can find full breakdowns here.

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ALDC By-election report: 16 September 2021

It was a very busy night for the Lib Dems with by-elections up and down the country and some amazing results. We saw a 34% swing towards the Lib Dems in a Sheffield ward, sadly short of a win. Lib Dem candidate Tanya Tucker won a fantastic gain from Labour on Bishop Auckland Town Council. Jack Ashington Carter won polling 74% of the vote for a Malvern Town Council ward. Alton Wooteys held his ward on Alton Town Council with in increased share of the vote.

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Look at all those Lib Dem GAINS and HOLDS

It was a cracker of a night on Thursday:

A great story from Rutland where Paul Browne was elected half a century after first standing as a Liberal candidate in 1970

And the rest of the results

Such a near miss but great chance for next time.

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ALDC by-election report: 29th July 2021

With Lib Dems competing in four of the five principal authority by-elections on Thursday, this really was one to watch. Two fantastic principal authority gains in Harrogate and Norfolk, and some great town council performances with a win in Knaresborough and near miss in Woodley meant a good night for Lib Dems.

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By-election report from ADLC: 22nd July 2021

A very mixed picture this week in the world of local council by-elections. From the highs of the phenomenal hold in Camden, to the lows of not even standing in a Liberal Democrat held seat. Of the eight principal authority contests across England and Wales this week, we only stood in four. It’s essential that we, as a political party that takes local government and community seriously, give voters a Liberal Democrat to vote for at every available opportunity. Nevertheless, we also saw some good performances in some town and parish councils this week, managing to gain two seats, and seeing a narrow miss in another.

The headline story is of course winning the Fortune Green by-election in Camden.

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ALDC Conference – a must for anyone who wants to be a Lib Dem Councillor

If you are hoping to be a Lib Dem Councillor next May, you really need to be a member of ALDC, the Association of Lib Dem Councillors and Campaigners. They have all the tools you need to win and you will be able to access all of them and attend their brilliant online training if you join.

They are having an online conference for members which includes their AGM on Saturday 4th September. There are sessions on things like how to win, how to make a difference in your community and local government in Europe.

ALDC Chief Executive Tim Pickstone said in an email to members:

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By-election report from ALDC: 15th July….and 13th?

When we were looking at this week of by-elections coming up, we thought it’d be a bit of a lull. In fact, it’s been one of the most exciting by-election weeks we’ve had in a while! A Tuesday by-election, flying the flag for the first time in 15 years in Sandwell, and an outstanding Parish Council win by just one vote. It’s been a great week for us by-election nerds!

We had quite the pleasant surprise here at ALDC towers when someone reported a by-election happening on Tuesday night, even more so when it ended up being another Lib Dem win. Whilst there’s long standing statutory requirements for local elections to be held on the first Thursday of May, and the same for general elections since the Fixed-Terms Parliament Act, no such regulations exist for by-elections, and is merely convention. Why this one bucked convention no one quite knows…

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By-election report from ALDC – Thursday 8 July 2021

This week’s by-elections present a very mixed picture, along with some crucial lessons in defending our held seats. With eight vacancies to fight, we stood in six, succeeding in one. We lost our one defence in East Devon, in what was a disappointing result. Nevertheless, good campaigns were fought elsewhere, and we can celebrate a good town council gain.

There two Green gains on Thursday, we stood in one and not the other. The lesson is it’s always better to stand for the sake of giving voters a real choice, rather than getting any misplaced ideas about deals and pacts.

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One way to increase your chances of winning in 2022’s local elections

If you are standing in next year’s local elections, which include every Council seat in Scotland and Wales and London’s boroughs, you will want to give yourself the best chance of winning.

Elections are not won in the 4 weeks of the short campaign. They take long and careful planning and hard work.

One of the best ways to plan the best campaign for your ward is to listen to everything ALDC (the Association of Liberal Democrat Campaigners) tells you. They know everything there is to know about how to run a brilliant local election campaign and win.

If you want to be a councillor next May, I would strongly recommend you attend their Kickstart weekend from 2-4 July. It’s the first big in person event since Covid hit us and they will be sticking to whatever restrictions are in place at the time.

It’s really helpful to get inspiration and ideas from others so actually being there to swap tips with other campaign teams is going to be such an important part of our 2022 preparations.

It’s at he Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre near Stone in Staffordshire.

Here’s ALDC’s chief executive Tim Pickstone talking about the event:

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With 100 days until polling day, ALDC are here to support your campaign

Embed from Getty Images

Many councillors and campaigners will be familiar with ALDC’s Local Election Appeal, which supports Liberal Democrat candidates in seats we’re aiming to gain from the other parties.

It’s vital that our party makes gains in the major series of local and national elections scheduled for Thursday 6 May. Here at ALDC, we’re aiming to raise £40,000 for the 2021 Local Election Appeal – 100% of this fund will be spent on additional direct mail to key groups of voters in our battleground wards, especially postal voters.

We need to raise this money so that we can help 200 Lib Dem candidates over the line in our target wards/divisions. Can you make a donation today to help us reach our target?

At the last local elections in 2019, 75% of the candidates who received funding from ALDC were from groups underrepresented in local government – women, BAME, LGBT+, young people (under 26) and people with disabilities. ALDC are committed to making our councillors more representative of the communities we represent and we will be supporting a similar proportion in 2021.

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The ultimate campaigning smorgasbord: 1000 people at ALDC’s Kickstart

This weekend, ALDC’s Kickstart event is taking place online. Hundreds of LIb Dems have been taking part in panel discussions and training sessions. There are separate streams for councillors and campaigners, future campaign leaders and leaflet designers.  I have never actually been to a UK wide Kickstart event so it’s fantastic to be able to take part virtually in this one.

I have been there as a volunteer helping to deliver a training session (on good photos, used well) and to mentor a small group.

There has been training for agents, organisers and campaigners on everything from the finer points of electoral law to writing good copy for your leaflets and building your teams.  There were two slots of 8 simultaneous training sessions, an opening plenary session with Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper and a choice of two keynote speeches at lunchtime. And there is much the same tomorrow. And that’s not counting the 45 separate mentor groups and the panels for Councillors.

I understand that both of today’s keynote speeches have been recorded. My highlight of the day was Alliance Party Leader and Northern Irish Justice Minister Naomi Long. Her knights on politics and campaigning were fascinating – so grounded in making things better for people. She described how John Alderdice sorting out a problem for her when she was a student left a lasting impression and led to her joining Alliance and then standing for elected office. Her focus on being honest with voters and not trying to equivocate on issues that matter was for me really important. It is well worth listening to if you get the chance.

The other keynote panel event was with  former Lib Dem MEPs.

The amount of organisation that has gone into this event is huge. With over 1000 people expected to attend, spreadsheet Queen Abi Bell had organised every tiny detail and made sure that everyone had the right information to get to where in the ALDC Zoomiverse they needed to be.

This was ALDC’s back office where a tech team made sure that we didn’t break Zoom:

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Kickstart – and more

ALDC’s training weekend, Kickstart, is going online and completely free this year (28 & 29 November 2020). Sitting along side it are the Councillors Weekend and specialist training for Agents, Organisers and Affinity Publisher.

There are hundreds of campaigners across the country already signed up, and you can join them completely by signing up completely free before November 13th.

The event includes 30 hours of top quality training, amazing keynote speakers including our own President Mark Pack and the Leader of the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, Naomi Long.

Kickstart also includes bespoke mentoring for you and your team. This year the team at ALDC are providing that same high level of support online.

If you’re not already familiar with Kickstart, it’s the party’s biggest training weekend, a top networking event and a great chance to hone your skills ahead of next year’s elections.

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Prue Bray becomes chair of ALDC

Wokingham Councillor Prue Bray in the new Chair of ALDC, the Association of Liberal Democrats Councillors and Campaigners. She takes over from Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson.

Prue said:

This is a particularly important time for ALDC and for Liberal Democrat local campaigners and councillors. We have made good progress in local elections in recent years and that needs to continue. ALDC is working hard to get more Liberal Democrat councillors elected and to help support our councillors make a positive difference in their local communities and on the Councils that we run.

We have a great team leading ALDC. I want to thank Mayor Dave Hodgson for leading the organisation so effectively through the challenges of the last four years.

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Ed Davey uses first speech to highlight Lib Dem successes in local government

I did something today that I don’t think I’ve ever done before in the best part of a quarter of a century of membership – attended an ALDC AGM. The Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners provides the heartbeat to which council candidates and their teams work. If you follow their advice, you are way more likely to win. The ALDC mindset is to be plugged into your local community and working hard for local people all year round.

They usually have their AGM at conference and it almost always clashes with something else I have to do, but I went this morning to see Baroness Ros Scott chairing and a lively discussion about how the Tory plans to rip the heart out of local government are a very bad idea.

The AGM was part of a three hour conference held on Zoom. It was very well attended and had some very fascinating sessions. I went to a panel discussion on the Green Recovery with Friends of the Earth and another about our distinctive voice in next year’s elections. I’ll write them up later.

But, first, this was new leader Ed Davey’s first speech since his election ten days ago. He talked about his visit to a Stockport Fish and Chip shop yesterday and his conversations with the owner and staff there.  The manager of 13 years standing, who had been written off at school, was about to take over the business as the owners were retiring. Another member of staff was a WASPI woman – hit by the injustice of women born in the 1950s having to wait an extra six years for their state pension.

Although he had had some hard words for the party in his acceptance speech about people thinking we weren’t on their side, he emphasised that this was not the case with our local campaigners who make it their mission to listen to what people are feeling.

He praised Lib Dem councils for their action on environmental matters. He mentioned York City Council’s “Don’t be a tosser” anti litter campaign., Chelmsford’s tree planting and Sutton’s low-energy secondary school.

His listening exercise (which is a much better term than the Orwellian sounding National Listening Project) extends to party members too – he said that he wanted feedback on what he was saying and doing and to hear from us about what we wanted the party to be saying. He emphasised how we needed to work as a team and listen to all voices.

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