Tag Archives: aldc

ALDC By-Election Report

It was a busy week for by-elections with 9 principal Council seats up for grabs – and some great Lib Dem results.

We start with a brilliant double victory in Warrington. Two Lib Dem held seats were being contested in Grapenhall ward and both were brilliantly retained by new Lib Dem councillors Helen Speed and Mark Browne who together polled over 56.4% of the vote (almost a 10% increase in Lib Dem vote share. Well done to Helen, Mark and the local team in Warrington!

Warrington MBC, Grapenhall ward
Liberal Democrat (Helen Speed and Mark Browne): 1073 & 1047
Conservative: 524 & 462
Labour: 193
Independent: 60

We had another great Lib Dem hold on Harborough DC as Lib Dem Geraldine Whitmore won Market Harborough Logan ward – increasing the Lib Dem vote share by over 10%! Well done and congratulations to Cllr Whitmore and the local Lib Dem in Harborough.

Harborough DC, Market Harborough Logan ward
Liberal Democrat (Geraldine Whitmore): 582
Conservative: 382
Labour: 250
Independent: 60

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ALDC by-election report 18th August

There were only two principal authority by-elections this week.

However one saw a fantastic Lib Dem hold on Cambridge City Council. Congratulations to Cllr David Levien and the team for making sure Trumpington ward remained Lib Dem with an increased vote-share and a fraction under 50% of the vote. A fantastic result!

Cambridge City Council, Trumpington ward
Liberal Democrat (David Levien): 1,017
Labour: 472
Green: 298
Conservative: 256

There was no candidate in Thursday’s other by-election – in which an Independent took the seat of Preesall on Wyre Borough Council from the Conservatives.

Wyre BC, Preesall ward
Independent: 595
Conservative: 495
Labour: 315
Independent: 102

A full summary of all results can be found on the ALDC by-elections page here.

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ALDC by-election report 21st July

This week saw some fantastic results for Lib Dem teams in local by-elections – and in particular a couple of amazingly close second-place finishes in wards that we had not even contested in the previous election!

The first results comes from South Staffordshire District Council where Lib Dem candidate Sam Harper-Wallis was just 10 votes off a sensational victory in Penkridge North East & Acton Trussel ward. This is even more impressive as the seat had been uncontested at the previous election. This goes to show the importance of always standing a candidate. We now have a great base to start from next time.

Well done to everyone involved – and congratulations to Sam who was successfully elected to Penkridge Parish Council on the same evening. You can find the full result of that election here. Well done too to Keith Pincher for standing in a Swindon Parish Council by-election – also in the South Staffordshire area – and coming just 30 votes short from taking the seat. Full result here.

South Staffordshire DC, Penkridge North East & Acton Trussel
Conservative: 388
Liberal Democrat (Sam Harper-Wallis): 378
Labour: 45

The next fantastic result comes from Harbour ward on Lancaster City Council. The Lib Dems had not stood a candidate in the previous election in the ward. But in this by-election Jake Perkin and the local Lib Dem team achieved a fantastic 41.4% share of the vote and coming within 76 votes of taking the seat. Well done to Jake and the team on a superb result that puts us in a great position to take the ward next time.

Lancaster City Council, Harbour
Labour: 555
Liberal Democrat (Jake Perkin): 479
Conservative: 124

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Reviewing how we campaign

Liberal Democrat campaigns are well known for their strong community focus, their mountains of leaflets and their incessant door knocking. This strategy has shown some success from Chesham and Amersham to Tiverton and Honiton, to our great local election results.

However, to say that this is the only way to win elections would be short sighted. We’ve seen right wing forces like Trump and the Brexit campaign effectively harness digital technologies and micro targeting to win against the odds. But is this something that we should be doing?

Some academics have looked to answer these questions, showing how digital techniques have grown in importance. However, these studies have often overlooked local elections and their key role in our politics. I want to change this.

I’m studying Public and Political Communications at the University of Sheffield and am researching how Liberal Democrats campaign, and most importantly, what campaigning methods work. This interest has come from several years of working as a Lib Dem local organiser and for ALDC.

This study will look at the 2022 local elections and seek to determine, based on statistical analysis, which campaigning methods contributed most to our impressive victories. Is canvassing more important than direct mail? Is Facebook more important than Instagram?

But, to do this I need your help.

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ALDC by-election report, 24th June

Thursday was a brilliant day to be a Liberal Democrat! Building on our strong start to the year, we won every principal authority seat we were contesting, in addition to the ground shaking win in Tiverton and Honiton! The result in Tiverton and Honiton, over-turning a 24,000 vote majority, handed the Tories their worst by-election defeat in history. What a result! Congratulations must go out to all our teams across the country who worked so hard for these results.

We start off on Shropshire Council, where newly elected Lib Dem councillor Mark Williams gained the Highley seat from the Independent – from a standing start! The Lib Dems didn’t stand last time, so this really is a fantastic result. Congratulations to Mark and the Shropshire team.

Shropshire Council, Highley ward
Liberal Democrat (Mark Williams): 630

Conservative: 279
Labour: 239
Green Party:

Next to Waverley Borough Council – Hindhead, where Lib Dem Julian Spence also had a fantastic night – winning 54.6% of the vote and taking the seat from the Conservatives. Congratulations to Julian and the team for a brilliant GAIN.

Waverley Borough Council, Hindhead
Liberal Democrat (Julian Spence): 537

Conservative: 446

We also had another phenomenal night in Kingston, where there was a deferred election on new boundaries. Once again, the team smashed it, taking all three seats that were up for election. Congratulations to Cllrs Mark Durrant, Dongsung (Robert) Kim, and Lesley Heap!

Kingston upon Thames London Borough Council, New Malden Village
Liberal Democrats: 1217, 1184, 1182

Green Party: 827
Kingston Independent Residents Group (KIRG): 724, 703
Conservative: 427, 372, 327
Labour: 436, 429, 37

We also had some fantastic results on both Godalming and Haslemere Town Councils, with Tom Kiehl holding our seat in Godalming, and Conrad Waters gaining a seat from the Conservatives in Haslemere. Congratulations to both teams!

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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

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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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