This week’s council by-election results: 1 March 2012

Almost a clean sweep for the Liberal Democrats this week, winning five out of the six local council by-elections. There were three gains and two holds by the party, and in Castle ward, Cumbria, there was actually a swing towards the Lib Dems, although the party lost the seat to Labour.

Notably, Shamblehurst – in Chris Huhne MP’s Eastleigh constituency – was held by a wide margin, as Chris Huhne’s website reports:

The Liberal Democrats have secured an overwhelming vote of confidence from Eastleigh Borough residents in a Hedge End by-election that took place yesterday.

Liberal Democrat candidate Richard Effeny secured the seat in the Shamblehurst ward with a total of 263 votes, over 60% of the vote, beating the Conservative candidate who received 96 votes. The Independent and UKIP candidates received just 52 and 22 votes respectively. Labour did not put up a candidate.

The result is an historic low for the Conservatives, and is the party’s worst performance in Hedge End for nearly 20 years.

Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council Keith House said, “This is a very big vote of confidence from Eastleigh Borough residents in the Liberal Democrats. And it is the worst Conservative performance in Hedge End for nearly 20 years when John Major was Prime Minister.”

Chairman of the Eastleigh Liberal Democrats Mike Thornton, said “This shows the continuing faith that Eastleigh Borough residents have in our Liberal Democrat run council.”

In Bodmin, 19 year old Jake Lyne has become the youngest Lib Dem councillor in Cornwall – see Alex Folkes’ blog for more.

This week’s by-election results in full:

Cumbria CC, Castle
Lab 407 (43.1; +19.0)
LD Olwyn Luckley 369 (39.0; +4.7)
Con 93 (9.8; -9.7)
Green 54 (5.7; -5.9)
UKIP 22 (2.3; +2.3)
[BNP (0.0; -10.4)]
Majority 38
Turnout 20%
Lab gain from LD.
Percentage change is since June 2009.

Shropshire UA, Abbey
LD Hannah Fraser 550 (45.3; +15.6)
Con 542 (44.6; -4.8)
Green 122 (10.0; +10.0)
[Lab (0.0; -20.9)]
Majority 8
Turnout 41.2%
LD gain from Con.
Percentage change is since June 2009.

Shrewsbury TC, Abbey
LD Hannah Fraser 546 (45.0)
Con 544 (44.8)
Green 124 (10.2)
Majority 2
Turnout not known.
LD GAIN from Con.

Hedge End TC, Shamblehurst
LD Richard Sean Effeny 263 (60.7)
Con 96 (22.2)
Ind 52 (12.0)
UKIP 22 (5.1)
Majority 167
Turnout 24.81%
LD hold.

Bodmin TC, St Mary’s
LD Jake Lyne 442 (44.6)
Ind 213 (21.5)
MK 194 (19.6)
Con 141 (14.2)
Majority 229
Turnout 18.36%
LD GAIN from Ind.

Corsham TC, Corsham
LD Anne Lock 569 (56.4)
Con 309 (30.6)
Independent 131 (13.0)
Majority 260
Turnout not known

Full by-election info and commentary at the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors.

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This entry was posted in Council by-elections.


  • Andrew Suffield 2nd Mar '12 - 7:35pm

    That Cumbria result is interesting – LD share went up, but Labour obliterated the Tories and BNP to leap into a landslide win. Wonder what happened there.

  • @ Andrew Suffield
    Partly explained by low turnout and no BNP candidate stood (or receieved zero votes)?

  • In Eastleigh, I’d hardly describe 263 as “overwhelming”.

  • Daniel Henry 2nd Mar '12 - 8:39pm

    Was there an independent back in 2009? It’s the only way I can make sense of the change in votes.

  • Tony Greaves 2nd Mar '12 - 11:26pm

    The result in Carlisle was not a swing to the LDs – the LD vote went up but the Labour vote went up by more so it was a 7.1 swing to Labour from LD.

    What happened was simple. The BNP withdrew and most of the BNP vote went back to Labour. Entirely predictable.

    Tony Greaves

  • paul barker 2nd Mar '12 - 11:39pm

    Noticeable that Labour could only be bothered to stand in one of those contests.
    For those who missed it heres my estimate of the average vote shares for the 3 main Parties from December through February.
    Con 36%
    Lab 22%
    LD 28%

  • Andrew Suffield 2nd Mar '12 - 11:59pm

    In Eastleigh, I’d hardly describe 263 as “overwhelming”.

    It’s not in Eastleigh, it’s in Hedge End, a sleepy suburban town (where I grew up, as it happens) which happens to fall under the parliamentary constituency for Eastleigh. The ward being elected is about 20 or 30 streets. That’s a pretty overwhelming chunk of the population.

  • Alex Macfie 3rd Mar '12 - 5:48pm

    BNP voters apparently switched to Labour in Castle ward, Cumbria.

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