Tag Archives: local government by-elections

A duo of Lib Dem GAINS and a good hold

There was quite a crop of by-elections last night. Three were of particular interest to the Liberal Democrats.

You thought you’d seen big swings to us before but Abigail Medina produced a stunner in Whittlewood in South Northamptonshire:

My eyes are watering from that one.

Sorry, new Cllr Hawkins, because on any other day, your 39.2% from a standing start gain from UKIP would be at the top of this post:

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A Lib Dem GAIN and some good vote increases in last night’s by-elections

Good news from Oxfordshire where Liberal Democrat Sue Cooper took a seat from the Conservatives in pretty spectacular style.

And we upped our vote from a standing start to 32.5% in Devon:

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Let’s celebrate another amazing Highland Lib Dem GAIN

Great news this morning which I’ve been unable to share with you until now because I’ve been at work.

There have been a few Lib Dem gains in the Highlands in recent years – Carolyn Caddick in Inverness South, Jean Davis in Aird and Loch Ness and Trish Robertson in Culloden and Ardersier. Today they were joined by Denis Rixson in Caol and Mallaig. This is a bit of Charles Kennedy’s old seat turned gold again and taken from the SNP.

I’ve been hearing from Lib Dems on the ground that it felt good, but I’m not sure anyone actually expected us …

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Lib Dems GAIN a Council seat in Aylesbury

Good news from Aylesbury where new Cllr Waheed Raja gained the Central and Walton ward from the Conservatives.

We actually lost this ward by a single vote back in 2011. It’s great to see Waheed and the team win it back with a really good swing.

During my long time in the East Midlands, I knew that Worksop was not exactly a Lib Dem hotspot, so it was good to see a respectable result from a standing start for Leon Duveen in the Worksop South East ward:

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A pre-Conference Lib Dem GAIN with an almighty swing

Nice work, Lara Pringle and team!

And this is what is known as one hell of a swing.

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Lib Dem hold Council seat in East Devon

Electoral law takes no account of the Beast from the East. Once an election is set, it goes ahead regardless. Returning Officers have no discretion to alter the timetable.

So, yesterday in East Devon, the Lib Dems quietly held a Council seat despite a strong challenge from an Independent.

Well done to Tim Dumper and the team. I hope they have thawed out.

Other by-elections took place in Clackmannanshire, Basingstoke and Solihull and we had candidates in all of them. This post will be updated with the results when they are known.

Update: A respectable 10% from a standing start.

And an increase in vote share in Basingstoke.

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Mixed by-election results – two good GAINs but two losses

We’ll start with the bad news and disappointment of two losses to the Tories in Dorset.

Hugely popular District and County Councillor Ros Kayes stood down for work reasons. A former Mayor of Bridport, even her opponents admired her. Even with strong local candidates and campaign, we couldn’t hold off the Conservatives.

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ICYMI: A hat-trick of Lib Dem GAINS in last night’s by-elections

Last night was a good night for Lib Dems across the country:

Brilliant from Martin Wrigley and team.

Congratulations, Margaret Evans and team.

Well done to Saul Penfold and team.

And we had some pretty impressive increases in vote share in 3 more contests.

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Can you help elect April in May?

Two years ago, former Manchester Withington Lib Dem MP was elected as a Councillor in Manchester. Since then he has valiantly provided the only opposition to the under-achieving Labour Council. Seriously, this lot are as good an argument for PR as you are ever going to find.  They have a huge sense of entitlement to power and they really don’t like opposition which John has been providing in generous and disproportionate amounts. 

John is great but it would be amazing if he could have some support in the Council chamber.

Standing in the Withington ward this May are April Preston and Alex Warren. April is amazing and no stranger to challenging things that just aren’t right. She crowdfunded the money to pay for one of the best fringe meetings I’d ever been to at a Federal Conference on feminism in York two years ago.

The Withington team has set up a crowdfunder for their campaign and it’s raised £500 in just a few days. They say:

Withington Ward Liberal Democrats will strive to put community back into the Council and with your help we will be able to challenge officials that neglect our beloved city.

Our candidates in this year’s elections are: April Preston, and Alex Warren.

April Preston was the first spokesperson for Stockport Young Carers and has been passionate activist from the age of 10 and continues to campaign on a wide on a wide range of issues from mental health to children leaving care. April is also a is a trustee of Autistic Association of Greater Manchester, she has campaigned to repeal Section 28, and against the Iraq war. April has also argued against the council’s treatment of our homeless and chaired events fighting for a more diverse and tolerant society.

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ALDC’s by-election report 2 February 2017

February’s bumper set of by-elections started with a bang for us last night with a quite frankly ridiculous swing in Sunderland, as well as a tie for second place in Cornwall. It gives me great pleasure to inform you all that as of last night we are up 32.7% on previous corresponding elections.

A huge thank you to last night’s brilliant team of volunteers who make calls for these campaigns. ALDC’s grants are available to help in vital by-elections and are funded through vital fighting fund donations. If you can help us fight in even more wards, please donate here.

underland MB, Pallion – Lib Dem gain from Labour

LD Martin Haswell 1251
Lab 807
Con 126
UKIP 97
Green 39

Can the rest of us have what you lot are having in Sunderland please? Almost exactly a year after the stunning success in Sandhill, Martin Haswell proved himself the be the best local candidate with the best local campaign focusing on:

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Lib Dems GAIN another Council seat in Sunderland

Only two by-elections tonight and we are off to a good start.

And we did kind of hammer them.

LD Martin Haswell 1251
Lab 807
Con 126
UKIP 97
Green 39

When we stood in the ward in 2016, we got 91 votes.

This is becoming a habit!. Last year, we gained another seat in Sunderland with a 33% swing.

Well done.

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ALDC’s by-election report – 25 January 2018

A solitary by-election this week to round out January, as head across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, a former Liberal/Lib Dem stronghold which provided us with a very pleasing result considering we hadn’t had a candidate in the ward since 2009. Overall in January, we stood candidates in 8 out of 10 by-elections, giving us a total vote of 13.2% (up 5.9% on previous corresponding elections), although this rises to 21.6% (up 9.9% on previous corresponding elections) if you look at the by-elections we fought. Proof, in case any of you needed it, that you should always stand a candidate!

A huge thank you to last night’s brilliant team of volunteers who make calls for these campaigns. ALDC’s grants are available to help in vital by-elections and are funded through vital fighting fund donations. If you can help us fight in even more wards, please donate here.

Isle of Wight UA, Central Wight – Conservative hold
Con 547
LD Nick Stuart 286
Grn 143
Lab 101
UKIP 24
And so we head to the south coast and to the Isle of Wight, where we thank Nick Stuart for a very healthy second place, after not standing a candidate in the last two local elections on the island.
For many years, the Island was a Liberal stronghold, electing a Liberal MP to Westminster from February 1974 to 1987 in Stephen Ross, and was Lib Dem again in 1997 with Dr Peter Brand. Throughout that time, the island also regularly elected Lib Dems councils, but our success story ended in 2001 with the loss of both the MP and the council.
Ever since we’ve gradually fallen away, to the point where in the face of an organised Independent group we went down to 1 elected councillor in 2013. A slight improved in the face of the national swing to the Tories last May did, however, at long last, mark an end to the slide, and the team on the island were given an opportunity to test the (Fresh)water as Bob Seely resigned his Central Wight seat after replacing Andrew Turner as the MP in the 2017 general election.
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ALDC’s by-election report – 11 January 2018

Since the start of the year there have been 5 by-elections, with 5 more to come in the rest of January. It’s been a quieter start to the year after some stunning gains at the end of 2017, so hopefully we’ll begin to build up some momentum in the run-up to May in short time.

Hertsmere BC, Borehamwood Cowley – 4th January 2018 – Labour gain from Conservative
Lab 709
Con 381
UKIP 57
LD Paul Robinson 20
Green 18

Starting off with last week, a big thank you to Paul Robinson to flying the flag in Hertsmere. Although looking like a thumping gain for Labour, in reality Borehamwood Cowley is a seat that Labour has won or topped the poll for at least the last 20 years.

Kent CC, Birchington & Rural – 11th January 2018 – Conservative hold

Con 2534
Lab 856
LD Angie Curwen 561 <
UKIP 357
Grn 169

Thanet DC, Thanet Villages – 11th January 2018 – Conservative hold
Con 620
LD Angie Curwen 313
Lab 206 <
Grn 66
Ind 52
UKIP 0 ]

Next to Kent and a double thank you to Angie Curwen for being our candidate at District and County level, with a particularly pleasing second place from a standing start the District by-election. Notable here is no candidate for UKIP in Thanet Villages. Whilst UKIP have repeatedly failed to stand candidates since the General Election, this is particularly notable as UKIP still have minority control of Thanet DC, so for them to not stand a candidate in a council they control shows what kind of state they find themselves in.

Lancashire CC, Wyre Rural Central – 11th January 2018 – Conservative hold<

Con 1745
Lab 925
Grn 237

Wyre BC, Preesall – 11th January 2018 – Conservative hold

Con 930
Lab 753

We finish this week by heading up to Lancashire for another two tier by-election double, where the Conservatives comfortably defended both of their seats in Wyre, in spite of a modest Labour increase.

Next week we have 4 by-elections, with a defence in Rochford and 4 Lib Dem candidates to report on! See you next week.

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George Taylor, 18, explains why he wants to be Lib Dem Councillor for East Brighton

There’s a by-election coming up in East Brighton and the Lib Dems will be represented by a dynamic and energetic 18 year old candidate, George Taylor.

He explained to The Argus why he’s standing and what he hopes to achieve.

“I think in Brighton we’ve got quite a few problems.

“Homelessness is the main one. Just on St James’s Street where The Argus is you can see so many homeless people, we need to find a solution.

“There’s also housing. In Brighton it’s just too expensive. The chances are I’d still be with my parents if I became an MP.

“And recycling. We don’t

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ALDC’s by-election report – 7 December 2017

A quieter night this week, with only 2 by-elections held across the country, but still room for a successful night with another gain from the Tories, making it 8 gains in 6 weeks since the start of November.

 
North Devon DC, Newport – Lib Dem gain from Conservative
 
LD Caroline Leaver 390
Con 373
Grn 159
Lab 83
Once again we find ourselves congratulating the team in North Devon as they pick up another seat off the Conservatives with Caroline Leaver the new councillor. Our successes in North Devon have wiped out the Conservatives-led majority on the council and continue the pleasing trend of results in our former strongholds.
Enfield LB, Enfield Highway – Labour hold
 
Lab 1619
Con 620
Grn 79
UKIP 0 ]
BNP 0 ]
No Lib Dem candidate as Labour comfortably hold this seat in North London. As well as UKIP’s ongoing slide into irrelevance (for the last month they have stood candidates in less than 1 in 4 of the contests, a far worse statistic than the appalling vote shares they’re getting) it is interesting to note that the Greens have fallen in the both the contests here too, something which has been happening pretty consistently since the general election.
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Did the Lib Dems GAIN that seat in Devon from the Tories?

The party had high hopes of gaining a seat in Devon from the Tories tonight.

So did we pull it off?

Nice one, Caroline Leaver and team.

Sadly we didn’t have a candidate in the only other principal by-election of the night, in Enfield which Labour won convincingly.

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FOUR amazing GAINS with massive swings in Lib Dem by-election clean sweep

There were four by-elections tonight. All won by the Liberal Democrats in areas of the country where we haven’t been too strong in recent years.

Great to see a Lib Dem GAIN in Gainsborough tonight. The town council seat was won by Neil Cook.

Congratulations.

Interesting that the postal vote was such a large proportion of the …

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Another Thursday, more Lib Dem GAINS

Excellent news from Leicestershire tonight where Angela Williams became Church Ward and Earl Shilton’s first ever Lib Dem Councillor with a whopping 68% of the vote. That’s another cracking campaign run by Michael Mullaney and the Bosworth local party who are constantly a beacon of Lib Dem hope in the East Midlands.

And there’s more good news from that Yorkshire:

And a trio of Town Council wins is completed with the election of newbie Andy Soughton, who joined hte party last year, to Yeovil Town Council.

Thanks to Sheila Kingston-Jones who flew the Lib Dem flag in Bryncoch South in Neath/Port Talbot. Nearly 100 people need to be found because they voted Lib Dem in a place which is not a hotbed of Lib Demmery. If even a tenth of them joined the party, just think what they could do.. And it’s up 3.3% from last time.

A good result in Eyres Monsell, too – 8% higher than in 2010 but 23& higher than the last time it was fought. Well done, Tony Faithfull-Wright.


.
Bit of a Labour surge in the wonderfully named Cotswold ward of Grumbolds Ash, but the Tories were pretty unassailable there.

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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 …

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ALDC’s by-election report – 9 November 2017

Fareham BC, Stubbington – Lib Dem gain from UKIP
LD Jim Forest 1185
Con 769
UKIP 117
Lab 76
A massive congratulations to Jim Forest and the team in Fareham for a smashing gain, capitalising on UKIP’s continuedly rapid electoral decline. Having a popular local candidate always helps of course and this will be Jim’s third term in Stubbington. His campaign was largely based off his excellent record as a local champion and protecting the standards of the local area from Tory cuts.
Camden LB, Gospel Oak – Labour hold
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Lib Dems GAIN another Council seat

Congratulations to Jim Forest and his team in Fareham for a fantastic result!

Elsewhere there were some strong showings.

A good foundation to build from in High Peak:

Leapfrogging the Tories in style in Camden:

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ALDC’s by-election report – 2 November 2017

Well that was pretty good wasn’t it? Last night there were 6 seats up for grabs in England, with a fantastic hat-trick of gains from the Conservatives giving us all something to cheer about as we head into the depths of winter. Across the night we took a mighty 39.0% (up 17.2%) of the vote, showing that like in much of last year if we stand candidates and fight hard we can win anywhere, in spite of our current Westminster polling! We stood candidates in 5 out of the 6 by-elections, which is 1 more than we did in the …

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Cllr John Pugh writes: Cautionary tales from Southport

We’re happier people in Southport after our council by election which we won decisively in what used to be a rock solid Tory Ward and left Labour in a poor third place.

People might be surprised to know that whereas I owe my success to my small and dedicated team, I drew what inspiration I had from my limited reading not of J.S.Mill or Jo Grimond but from the Hindu classic ,the Bhagavad Gita.

Let me explain. We’ve had a rough time lately in Southport – pushed from first to third place on a rising tide of Corbynism in the General Election. a councillor suspended, two defecting to Labour and a fractious and demoralised mood growing. We had a substantial rally of the Corbyn cult on Southport beach with St Jeremy himself in attendance, a media losing interest in us, the party nationally tanking in the polls, a new Tory MP and many of us were just plain knackered after the gruelling, high-intensity campaigning of July’s General.

In such circumstances we were scarcely in a position to welcome a by-election in a ward polarised between a wealthy shoreside area and a deprived town centre. There was serious a possibility of us only being able to add to a narrative of decline. On the other hand we could conceivably change that narrative.

I had when stepping down this year intended to return to local politics but would have welcomed more propitious circumstances in which to do it. I was only too aware of the adage that ‘all political careers end in failure’ and a former MP not winning or worse in a council seat in his own constituency would be a pretty good way of proving it- especially as I knew both Labour and Conservatives needed to pull out all the stops in the contest.

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Lib Dems gain in Three Rivers and forge ahead in Sheffield

Some very promising Council by-election results overnight.

First of all, there was a gain from the Conservatives in the Lib Dem stronghold of Three Rivers. Good to see the majority of one being boosted.

Congratulations to Keith Martin and the fabulous team in the area.

In Sheffield there was a solid 21% increase in the vote, even though Labour held the seat.

Another interesting result was this from Ashfield:

We did put up a candidate here, which is a really good thing. It is so important that we continue to fly our flag there and try to recoup the ground lost in that area. The winning Ashfield Independents, though, were formed by the previous Council-dominating Liberal Democrat group. Their literature looks strikingly familiar.

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Lib Dems GAIN two Council seats from Labour

About 20.5 years ago, I was part of the campaign which beat Labour to win the Holmebrook ward in Chesterfield in a council by-election. A certain Keith Falconer won. Later on, his wife Glenys Falconer also represented the ward. In fact, since I wrote this, I have learned that it is the third time Keith has won this seat in a by-election. The first was in 1986, before my time in the East Midlands. He then represented the ward for 22 of the 25 years until 2011. He fell victim to an utterly unprincipled and nasty Labour campaign in 1995.

Anyway, that campaign was a really good springboard for the General Election. If I remember rightly, there was a newspaper which screamed “Poll sensation for Tony Rogers” on its front page.

20 years on, the Liberal Democrats have taken a fair few knocks in the Derbyshire town. They may be down but they sure as hell aren’t out – and they are still capable of an audacious result.

And the winner? A certain Cllr Keith Falconer.

ALDC celebrate in suitable style.

Now I know my dear friend Paul Holmes will come on here and say “We never talked about any of that Brexit rubbish.” And I might just let him gloat for a bit. But, seriously, I am thrilled to bits for all my old friends in Chesterfield who were part of this. I wonder if they are off drinking in the Tullamore like they used to after a good by-election win.

However, I do think that the Brexit stuff is responsible for Vince’s rather good poll figure. The man’s almost in positive figures, for goodness sake.

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Two holds, a gain and a near miss: a roundup of last night’s by-elections

Three by-elections took place for Aylesbury Vale District Council last night. We successfully defended two seats and missed out on another by only fifteen votes:

And there was good news from Epping where Cherry McCredie gained a Town Council seat from the Conservatives by some margin:

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Lib Dem GAIN from UKIP in Aylesbury, hold in Bath and leapfrog Labour into second in safest Tory ward in Calderdale

Yes, you read that headline right. This is not a drill. We actually took a seat off UKIP in Aylesbur. Congratulations to Cllr Susan Morgan and her team for a cracking result.

It was one of these eye-watering vote share increases.

Fantastic.

In Walcot ward of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Richard Samuel handsomely increased the Lib Dem vote share to hold the seat.

Also up for a very large gin and tonic the next time we meet up is erstwhile Conference trouble maker Alisdair Calder McGregor who leapt into second place in the safest Tory ward in Calderdale. He was the only candidate whose party’s vote share actually went up.

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ALDC’s by-election review 23 March 2017

Last night there were three principal council by-elections. One of them produced an interesting ‘null and void’ declaration while in West Somerset there was an outstanding Liberal Democrat gain from the Conservatives in an election for the district council.

First to Blackburn UA. Higher Croft ward saw a by-election in December 2016, had one yesterday and is now set for a third in usual circumstances. Last night the Labour candidate won but the result was immediately declared null and void because he was employed by an external organisation on which Blackburn UA had places on the governing board of trustees.

The situation which occurred here is a classic nomination mistake and emphases the importance of checking work restrictions. Whether a teacher in an academy or someone working in a local museum can stand comes down to whether a local authority has any involvement in running the organisation and/or a role in making appointments. If you are in doubt talk to ALDC and ask the prospective candidate to check with their employers HR department.

Over to West Somerset District Council where, until last night, there were no Liberal Democrat councillors. We hadn’t stood in the lovely Exmoor town of Dunster last time but a great campaign was fought by the local team and newbie Peter Pilkington was elected.

West Somerset DC, Dunster and Timberscombe
Liberal Democrats 174
Con 115
Green 38
Lab 23

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Yet another Liberal Democrat GAIN from the Conservatives

Congratulations to Peter Pilkington, elected to West Somerset District Council with an amazing gain from the Conservatives last night. In a ward that we didn’t stand in last time.

There was another good increase in vote share from a standing start in Herefordshire:

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Good vote share gains for the Liberal Democrats in last night’s by-elections

No seats changed hands in last night’s by-elections but there were some solid rises in vote share for the Liberal Democrat candidates.

The Conservatives may have held on to Walton-le-Dale East ward in South Ribbble but it was Liberal Democrat candidate Alison Hesketh-Holt who was the real winner, gaining 14.6% of the vote. We didn’t stand last time the seat was fought.

An even bigger vote, 15.1% was similarly won by Andrew Thorpe in the Saham Toney ward of Breckland Council.

And Chris Boyle got us an 11.5% rise in the South Heaton ward in Newcastle – another strong performance in that area.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 22nd Jun - 3:54pm
    Niger Bliss "if you don't fight you don't know". Paper candidates don't fight - and they certainly don't know.
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 22nd Jun - 3:52pm
    I am glad to hear that Kate Pickett is going to speak to the SLF Conference. She is also speaking in Keswick, Cumbria, at 7.30...
  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 22nd Jun - 3:51pm
    Asking for help costs nothing too. In places where we are weak this should be a knee-jerk reaction on the day the by-election is called....
  • User AvatarNigel Bliss 22nd Jun - 3:15pm
    Perhaps the Whittlewood result shows why you should always contest every seat, perhaps we are stronger in an area than we think we are, if...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 22nd Jun - 2:49pm
    Paperless candidates are the equivalent of me being a non playing sub in a Premier League match. The naivety of thinking you are doing the...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 22nd Jun - 2:37pm
    Peter, the UK economy does not have a sufficiently high level of domestic manufacturing and export trade in goods to be able to benefit significantly...