Tag Archives: local government by-elections

ALDC’s by-election report – 22 February 2024

It’s been the busiest week so far this year for local council by-elections – with 8 principal council elections taking places. The first bit of great news is there was a Liberal Democrat candidate in every single contest and thanks to our excellent candidates and local teams on the ground we can celebrate some excellent results. 

There was one Lib Dem gain on Thursday which came on Wiltshire Council in Calne, Chilvester and Abberd ward. Congratulations to Councillor Rob MacNaughton and the local Lib Dem for increasing the Lib Dem vote share by 18% and gaining the ward from the Conservatives. An amazing result and already our fourth by-election gain this year.  

Wiltshire UA, Calne, Chilvester and Abberd
Liberal Democrats (Robert Macnaughton): 424 (45.3%, +18.1)
Conservative: 283 (30.2%, -16.8%)
Labour: 172 (18.4%, +3.7%)
Green Party: 58 (6.2%, -5%)

There were two by elections on Buckinghamshire Council this week – and both saw the Lib Dems secure very positive results with significantly improvements in our share of the vote. 

A huge well done to Carol Linton who finished a close second to the Conservatives in Common and Burnham Beeches ward. Carol increased the Lib Dem vote share by over 11% and picked 41.5% of the total vote. A brilliant base to being upon. 

Similarly Mark Titterington increased the Lib Dem vote by over 13% in Hazelmere ward to finish in a very strong 3rd place – and cutting the gap to the winning Conservative candidate from 1000 at the last election to just over 200 this time!

Well done to both candidates and the local team in Buckinghamshire. 

Buckinghamshire UA, Common and Burnham Beeches
Conservative: 860 (51.8%, -4.2%)
Liberal Democrats (Carol Linton): 689 (41.5%, +11.2%)
Labour: 111 (6.7%, -7%)

Buckinghamshire UA, Hazelmere
Conservative: 687 (36.5%, -4.2%)
Independent: 654 (34.8%, -5.8%)
Liberal Democrats (Mark Titterington): 426 (22.7%, +13.4%)
Labour: 113 (6%, -3.5%)

There were also 2 by-elections on Derbyshire Dales DC

First of all in Bakewell ward, Claire Cadogan increased the Lib Dem vote share by 5% and jumped ahead of the Green Party to claim 3rd place. A great step forwards so well done and thank you to Claire. Labour gained the ward from the Conservatives overall squeezing in by 15 votes. 

Robin Shirtcliffe flew the flag for the Lib Dems in Norbury ward. The Lib Dems did not contest the ward at the previous election. So a huge thank you to Rob for making sure voters had a Lib Dem choice this time. The Conservatives held the ward overall. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

A great gain and 2 strong holds in this week’s by-elections

There were a couple of great results in this week’s local government by-elections.

In the Four Marks and Medstead ward of East Hampshire District Council, Roland Richardson held on to the seat with 62.2% of the vote! Thanks to ALDC for compiling the results.

Also in Hertfordshire, Caroline Smith-Wright held the Tring West and Rural ward on Dacorum District Council with an even greater vote share.

DACORUM DC; Tring West & Rural Ward

🔵 Con, , 21.1%, -3.0%
🔴 Lab, , 7.6%, -0.3%
🔶SMITH-WRIGHT, Caroline, LibDem, , 62.7%, +12.8%
🟢 Green, , 8.6%, -9.6%

EAST HAMPSHIRE DC; Four Marks & Medstead

🔶 RICHARDSON, Roland, LibDem, 1212, 62.2%, +11.7%
🔵 Con, 736, 37.8%, -11.7%

Avenue ward in Hull has been the site of many a good scrap between us and Labour over the years. The ward was represented by ALDC’s Abi Bell until she stood down a couple of years ago and in this year’s local elections returned 2 Labour and 1 Lib Dem Councillor.

That changed on Thursday when Rhiannon Beeson took a seat from Labour:


🔶 BEESON, Rhiannon, LibDem, 45.7%, +4,3%
🔵 Con, 1.7, -1.3%
🟢 Green, 7.6%, +7.6%
🔘 Ind, 5.3%, +5.3%
🔴 Lab, 39.7%,-8.7%

And thanks to Susan Jay for standing for us and making sure people had the chance to vote Lib Dem in the Rhos ward of Neath Port Talbot

Lab, 137, 14.5%, -30.9%
🔶 JAY, Susan Helen, LibDem, 60, +6.3%, +6.3%
🟢 Green, 15, 1.6%, +1.6%
🟩 Plaid, 242, 25.5%, -29.1%
🔘 Ind, 494, 52.1%, +52.1%

Elsewhere, the two parliamentary by-elections have taken up most of the headlines. The Wellingborough and Kingswood seats were not great prospects for us, but we did have excellent candidates in Andrew Brown and Ana Savage Gunn. We lost our deposits, but that happens in seats where we are not in competition. These were not the same kind of places as the four by-election seats we have gained in this Parliament.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 41 Comments

Lib Dems score historic by-election win in Edinburgh

Lib Dem Fiona Bennett became our 13th Councillor in Edinburgh at just before midnight on Thursday, securing our highest ever vote in a local government by-election in Scotland. We are now the second largest group on the Council behind the SNP’s 17, Labour’s 11,  Greens’ 10 and Conservatives 9.

Here’s Alex Cole-Hamilton gloating  talking about it on yesterday’s Good Morning Scotland ahead of our Conference in Dundee.

Fiona becomes the 3rd councillor in the 3 member Corstorphine/Murrayfield ward which is in Christine Jardine’s Westminster constituency and Alex Cole-Hamilton’s Holyrood seat. She gained the seat in the by-election caused by the resignation of SNP former Lord Provost Frank Ross.

The unexpected passing of the Lib Dem budget two weeks ago means that she will have £11 million for pothole fixing. Which is a good thing. I almost got a concussion as the bus drove over the potholes on Corstorphine Road yesterday on my way to work.

As Christine Jardine told Scottish Conference in her best M and S ad voice yesterday, this is not just representation, this is Lib Dem representation.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 15 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. 

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

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:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

By-Election results – TWO Lib Dem GAINS, a Lib Dem HOLD and a massive leap forward

I am covering the by-election results for ALDC tonight. So far we have done pretty well. We have won 3 of the 4 wards where we are standing.

A very strong gain from the Conservatives in Gloucester:

And another in West Sussex

And a solid hold in Huntingdon

Posted in News | Also tagged | 12 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Double by-election GAIN in the Highlands

Today is one of those days when it is amazing to be a Lib Dem.

We have two new Liberal Democrat Councillors in the Highlands, gaining seats from Independents in Wick and East Caithness and Inverness West.

The Wick result was particularly pleasant because our 2017 result saw us in 9th and last place with 172 votes. New candidate Jill Tilt topped the poll on first preferences by 35 votes today. I’m fairly certain we got at least that many people out to vote in our polling day Maraphone today.

On paper, Inverness was a better prospect as we already have a well loved local councillor in the ward, Alex Graham. I went canvassing there at the beginning of July when I was up on holiday and it felt promising. It was great to see the fantastic Colin Aitken become our youngest councillor in Scotland.

Thanks to the Liberal Democrats in coalition with Labour, we have STV for Council elections in Scotland, which means AV for by-elections. The SNP were ahead by 40 on first preferences, but Colin won it on transfers.

Posted in Op-eds | 7 Comments

Highland Lib Dem by-election candidates set out their stalls

It’s great to have local government by-elections back, especially when we have as good a night as we did last Thursday.

We have a really good chance of gaining two new councillors in the Highlands on August 12th.

Colin Aitken is hoping to gain the Inverness West seat from Independent and Jill Tilt is hoping to gain Wick and East Caithness, also from Independent.

Liberal Democrat councillors are currently in administration with the Labour and Independent groups in this vast council which stretches from the north coast to Skye , Lochaber and more than 50 miles south of Inverness.

It takes a good 2.5-3 hours to drive between the two wards, although the journey is much easier than it was when I used to do it frequently in the 80s.

Colin and Jill have been setting out what they want to achieve as Councillors for their areas.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

Tuesday by-election GAIN for Lib Dems

Good news from Wells:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

And first the Council by-elections

The first of six council by-elections declaring tonight was a good start – a hold, albeit by a mere 6 votes in Somerset West and Taunton’s Old Cleeve and District

Great news from Somerset – Lib Dems HOLD Somerset West and Taunton Old Cleeve and District: Lib Dem Steve Griffith 500 44.9%
Conservative 494 44.3%
Independent 120 10.8%

And so close in Devon

Thanks to Helen Arundell for standing in these two postponed elections in Norwich:


There should be another result from Tandridge but I can’t find it anywhere right now. We’ll update this post tomorrow with that, the Kent result and East Garioch (pronounced Geary) …

Posted in News | 2 Comments

I love it when a plan comes together

By-elections are funny old things.

In a by-election, the focus on the candidate is huge. Every utterance is monitored and liable to blow up a minefield.

I remember David Rendel, returning to the 1993 Newbury by-election HQ after a long evening’s canvassing. Just outside the entrance he was approached by, ostensibly, a member of the public who wanted to express their support for him. It turned out that they had a microphone stuck up the back of their jacket and were trying to catch David off-guard. Their plan failed. Apart from anything else, David on-the-record was just like David off-the-record!

Posted in Op-eds | 3 Comments

Cllr Liz Barrett: How I won Perth City South

You can imagine how much I enjoyed writing Cllr Liz Barrett in the ehadline. I am still ridiculously excited about Cllr Barrett’s victory in the Parth City South by-election on

Liz is the second person in her household to be elected a Councillor. Her husband Peter has represented Perth City Centre ward since 2003. We will let him away with getting Liz’s ward wrong in his tweet.

Liz has written an email to party members about how she won:

Subject: Here’s how I WON in Perth South

Three years ago I missed out on becoming Perth City South Councillor in a by-election, but last Thursday I WON!  We came from third place, beat the Tories, and took a seat off the SNP.

 It’s no secret the last few years have been tough for our party. Couple that with a global pandemic and associated restrictions, it’s easy to get caught up in a campaigning black hole.

 But, I can tell you, working hard locally really does put you in pole position to reap the rewards. 

 We have been campaigning non-stop through surveys, petitions, street letters and regular Focus leaflets ever since I lost that day three years ago. Since lockdown, we’ve been sending e-news to over 350 residents, and growing.

 In July, we stole a march on both the Conservatives and SNP by getting two leaflets out in quick succession after deliveries were authorised by the Party.  

 We also knew we had to get our message across the doorsteps in person, so, when rules have allowed, a team of us have been out pounding the pavements, talking to residents and hearing their concerns. 

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Breaking….Liz Barrett wins for the Liberal Democrats in Perth

I am actually bursting with excitement right now.

Great news from Perth where Liz Barrett has won a Council by-election, taking a seat from the SNP:

I have known Liz for a long time and she is one of the most competent and caring people I have ever met. She spent the pandemic making PPE for carers and organising a community foodbank. She was just 29 votes from victory in a by-election in the ward almost exactly three years ago and she hasn’t stopped working since.

She joins Scottish Party President Willie Wilson as Councilor for the ward.

Here’s the result of the first preferences count. She’s only 75 votes behind the SNP but wins on transfers under the AV system.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 25 Comments

Council by-elections – 21 November

Three results in so far from last night’s by-elections.

It was disappointing to lose a seat in Chichester. It was a seat that we had held only briefly in a new ward, when we won narrowly in May. Our councillor promptly left us, joined the Greens and resigned from the Council, so the chances are that we were being punished.

Our candidate Alexander Jeffrey and his team had an almost impossible task.

In Aberdeen, the Labour vote dropped like a stone while we advanced slightly and the SNP held on to their seat.

And another rise in vote share in Cardiff.

Posted in News | 3 Comments

Two spectacular by-election gains and a frustrating but brilliant near miss

It was another brilliant night on the by-election front for the Lib Dems.

Two years ago we narrowly missed out on gaining the North East Fife parliamentary seat by just two votes. And that was the same margin by which we lost out on gaining Dunfermline Central on Fife Council. Aude Boubaker-Calder had run a passionate and spirited campaign and more than tripled the first preference votes and ran the SNP extremely close. She is in a very good position for the next Council elections in 2022.

In Tunbridge Wells, Justine Rutland gained a seat from the Conservatives with a spectacular swing:

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Sensational LIb Dem GAIN and boost for Jane Dodds

I have incredibly fond memories of Llandrindod Wells this Summer. I spent a very restorative weekend there and in many beautiful villages delivering leaflets and canvassing. I was so proud when Jane Dodds won.

So I am particularly thrilled to see that we have crushed the Tories in a by-election in Llandrindod Wells, taking a Powys County Council seat from them by some margin.

We didn’t stand a candidate last time.

It’s a really good sign for the General Election. Congratulations, Cllr Jake Berriman and the wonderful Llandrindod team.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 46 Comments

A Lib Dem GAIN, a strong hold and a couple of mini surges in last night’s by-elections

Some good results in last night’s by-elections.

First of all, a gain for the party in Somerset for new Councillor

Clarence ward in St Albans is a stronghold for us anyway, but we managed to increase our vote even further with this strong hold. Congratulations to the St Albans team and new Councillor Josie Madoc.

To put it mildly, Clacton is not an area of strength for us, yet Callum Robertson few the flag and saw a 2% vote rise.

It’s really important to have a presence in by-elections like that to build our support and getting people used to voting Lib Dem.

In Cardiff, our vote grew by over 6%. Well done to Sion Donne and team.

Posted in News | 19 Comments

Lib Dems surge ahead in by-elections

There were some good results in last night’s by-elections  with double figure increases for the Liberal Democrats.

And in Rochford

And in Crawley, a 6.3% rise in vote share from a standing start.

That was up from just 164 votes in a much bigger turnout in 2017.

Posted in News | 27 Comments

A Lib Dem GAIN and three huge surges forward in last night’s by-elections

There were some great local election results last night:

First of all, Derek Parry won in Vivary in Somerset.

He won with 648 votes to 307 for the Conservatives.

And we had some super surges forward too:


And a respectable result from a standing start:

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Two big leaps forward for the Liberal Democrats in tonight’s by-elections

Lib Dem candidate Tracey Henry came within 32 votes of winning a safe Labour seat in Hull tonight.

That works out as:

Lab: 45.6% (-20.1)
Lib Dem: 43.9% (+30.7)
Con: 10.5% (-4.0)

So that’s up almost 31% since May.

That’s one hell of a leap forward, more than tripling the vote.

The other result involving Lib Dems tonight saw James Morshead surge in the Wainbody ward in Coventry.

The Lib Dems weren’t involved in tonight’s only other contest, in Rory Stewart’s parliamentary constituency.

Posted in News | 9 Comments

The Lib Dem surge continues in Shropshire

Just one by-election last night, and it provided a very encouraging result for the Liberal Democrats. In Meole in Shropshire, Adam Feifer slashed the Conservative majority and overtook Labour to finish a strong second.

Posted in News | 7 Comments

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.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 38 Comments

A double Lib Dem GAIN in Gloucester

Good news to wake up to this morning. The Liberal Democrats have gained not one but TWO Council seats in Gloucester – one each from Labour and the Conservatives. The one from Labour was proper knife edge stuff. Not between us and Labour, who absolutely tanked because, you know, what is the point of them these days? We won by three votes from the Conservatives.

There was a nail biting recount in Podsmead where Sebastian Field triumphed and Ashley Bowkett won in Barnwood.

Here are the changes from last time:

Posted in News | 12 Comments

Amazing Lib Dem GAIN in Bridlington

News to make you smile a lot! Incredible Lib Dem gain in Bridlington North tonight.

Lib Dem Mike Heslop-Mullens 1308

Cons 815

Yorkshire Party 349

Ind 259

UKIP 196

Lab 135


Change from 2 May

Lib Dem +43%

Cons -44%

Lab -25%

This is an incredible result in an area that voted very strongly to leave the EU.

Hearty congratulations to Mike and the East Riding team.

There was a bit of a Lib Dem surge in the only other council by-election, too.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 13 Comments

The Merton Machine smashes it – another Lib Dem GAIN

What a fantastic result to wake up to! Honestly, I tried to stay awake, but I just couldn’t.

We got 8% last time!

Let’s hear it for the amazing Merton Machine and Cllr Jennifer Gould. Super Six now becomes Magnificent Seven!

And we had another amazing step forward in Furzedown ward in Wandsworth – up 18% for goodness sake.

Nice work from Jon Irwin and his team.

And another super increase in vote share from Julie Burridge in the Isle of Wight.

Thanks to Frank Little in Wales for flying the Lib Dem flag and giving people the chance to vote for us.

Posted in News | 24 Comments

Lib Dems GAIN two Council seats in Broxtowe

It was a night of solid progress for the Lib Dems on the by-election front.

In Anna Soubry’s Broxtowe constituency, we regained two Council seats we’d lost in 2015.

And a good solid result from a standing start in North Devon, too.

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Well that’s one hell of a by-election gain…


Well, it’s technically a postponed election.

Congratulations to Cllr Chris Bartrum and team.

Dan Schmeising is always around with an inspiring graphic.

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Great hold in Durham with increased vote share

I’m on by-election duty for ALDC tonight. And the first result of the night’s six by-elections was a cracker.

Nicely done, Bev. Congratulations to you and your team.

And in Southend on Sea, there was an advance of nearly 10% for Carol White:

And great to be standing a candidate in Thurroci:

Posted in News | 8 Comments

ALDC’s by-election report – 31 January 2019

We’re back for 2019 after a quiet January of by-elections. One by-election took place yesterday in Warlingham for Surrey County Council. In freezing weather, there was an unsurprising low turnout of 25% but a decent battle nonetheless.

Surrey CC, Warlingham – 31st January 2019
Con 1199
LD Charles Lister 990
UKIP 176
Lab 126
Turnout 25%
Con Hold
Percentage change from 2017

Liberal Democrat candidate Charles Lister put on a strong campaign and managed to increase his vote by 10.8%. This increase saw Charles come within 210 votes of the Conservative candidate who lost 8.1% of their vote share. The result is a second place that gives optimism ahead of the local elections and should encourage hard work across the country between now and May. A solid result for Charles and the party, congratulations and keep up the good work!

Next week there are six by-elections taking place and some good contests expected. 

Posted in News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Recent Comments

  • Russell
    Just listened to Friday's the newsagents pc on Rochdale election. All parties got a mention except Liberal Democrats...
  • Nonconformistradical
    "Henfield is outside the Horsham constituency." Indeed - it's in Arundel & South Downs - a no-hoper. We're usually 2nd but a very long way behind the tory....
  • Katharine Pindar
    @ Simon R. I don't know what party you can support, Simon, but I do observe that the Conservatives have made a poor shot of growing the economy, for all their y...
  • Nonconformistradical
    @Graham Jeffs The local authority / constituency boundary problem will be around until there is wholesale reform of our fossilised political system. In some ...
  • Mary Fulton
    I'm not sure it is wise to compare funding levels to the year just before the liberal Democrat's backed the Conservatives to impose austerity budgets. We should...