+++Three Lib Dem by-election gains from the Tories tonight


We’ve been live posting some of the results tonight but here are the headlines:

The Liberal Democrats have picked up three seats from the Tories in today’s by-election results:

First, in Lymm, Warrington – many congratulations and a huge well done to Anna Fradgley and team!:

Secondly, in Thatcham West, in the seat contested for West Berkshire Council – well done to Jeff Brooks and team. Jeff returns to WBC after a really hard fought campaign!:

And thirdly also in Thatcham West, in the seat contested for Thatcham Town Council – well done to David Lister and team for a fantastic performance against a hard fought campaign by four other parties!:

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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13 Comments

  • Ian Patterson 20th Apr '18 - 12:23am

    Good on all counts, one in north west, one in south. But given proximity to May 3rd, NO room for complacency.

  • David Becket 20th Apr '18 - 8:57am

    Well done Jeff, hopefully we are on our way back
    David Becket
    (Former Lib Dem councillor Berkshire County and West Berkshire, when we ran them)

  • John Marriott 20th Apr '18 - 2:25pm

    Let’s see what happens in May before cracking open the champagne!

  • paul barker 20th Apr '18 - 2:42pm

    I just want to repeat my plea not to have expectations for May 3rd. I am predicting an NEV of 22% & substantial gains but that is based on our performance from last July to February. If I chose the last 2 Months instead that would be 18% & minimal or no gains, essentially a repeat of last Year.
    We just need to hold our nerve & remain calm whatever the results.

  • @paul barker, We need to make significant progress from the dire performance of 2014, when these seats were last fought. That was the depths of the Clegg catastrophe when we got the smallest share of the national vote for local council elections in decades. If we can’t make significant gains this time, putting it simply, we are still going nowhere.

    Without significant progress, what chance do we have of turning Brexit around?
    Without significant progress, who in their right mind would consider leaving Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour or the Theresa May’s Conservatives to fight for Britain’s future?
    Without significant progress, what chance of us ever putting right the things that were allowed to go so disastrously wrong in coalition?
    Without significant progress, all it will show is that despite the superhuman efforts of local candidates in Thatcham, Warrington or elsewhere, the national party is still a dead weight, still in danger of sucking itself ever downwards.

    As I said, we need nearly 200 gains just to win back half the seats we lost in 2014. If we do, we might just get noticed in the national media, and get a chance to do the things we need to. Accepting a result any worse than that would be just rationalising failure, yet again.

    I know good local Lib Dem candidates, left to themselves, fighting for their local communities can still win and win well. The question is will the state of the national party cost them just enough to leave them that 20 or 30 votes short. What each and every one of us does over the next two weeks will determine their fate.

  • Denis Loretto 21st Apr '18 - 6:08pm

    @David Evans

    If and when we do get on the upward trail again we will do it as a united party, conscious of our history which I reckon most of us are proud of, despite the obvious fact that some things could have been done better. I for one look forward to the day when certain posters on LDV feel they can restrain themselves from including an an ad hominem attack on Nick Clegg or indeed any other former party leader when commenting on current issues.

  • The power of a hashtag – in this case #ABTV.
    Looking at the results, both us and the Greens, who have embraced this, and actually fighting for a future that doesn’t involve blue passports in exchange for rat burgers, is giving is a bounce. Let’s build on it and use it.

  • David Evans 23rd Apr '18 - 9:38am

    Dennis Loretto – Our current situation has nothing to do with ad hominem, just our leadership in coalition, which deliberately put ‘showing coalition can work’ ahead of everything else including further growing the Lib Dems. In the end it achieved the direct opposite of both.

    Since then things haven’t improved. Perhaps it makes you proud. I suggest being proud of the almost complete destruction of the Liberal Democrats in parliament and most local councils, and the proud of the impact it has had on people who relied on us to represent them before the catastrophe is not a model of Liberal Democracy many would regard as likely to build and safeguard that fair, free and open society we all aspire to.

  • I agree with David Evans. Labour in my area of London are making great play of how the Lib Dems backed tory cuts in the coalition under Nick Clegg’s leadership. Whether all of this is factually true or not doesn’t matter as people believe what they read and this in area where the Lib Dems have a good chance of snatching a seat judging by the number of orange posters I am seeing. I am not a party member but where can I get mine? The Clegg days have gone for good, he was the worst leader the party ever had so now it’s back to and forwards with social liberalism.

  • Here in Wales the sole Lib Dem AM entered a coalition with Welsh Labour. At first, I understood as acting education secretary she thought she could bring progress to for young people’s education in Wales with the pupil premium. However, this last week the Welsh Labour government capitulated to the UK Tories on the Brexit bill, which in effect results in a Westminster power grab of devolved powers from the EU to the UK weakening Wales devolution settlement.
    There are strong liberal traditions here in Cymru Wales and are now represented in Plaid Cymru, you can see this in Ceredigion where the new MP Ben Lake has embraced many liberal policies whether on the EU, election systems, Devolution.
    What has changed is the realisation that the English elected a UK that wants to drag Wales (and Scotland) in a direction that the majority here do not want to go.
    Most of Wales (and Scotland) would be happy to remain a member of the EU providing Welsh (and Scottish) ministers have the right of representation in the council of ministers.
    Plaid Cymru and the SNP are certainly not isolationists, they are both pro-EU, and hope that England stays as a member of the EU. This is our settlement: free movement of people and goods –
    The UK is an old system and is too centralised: Can it really be reformed into a decentralised federal system with proportional representation or is it redundant?

  • @ Denis Loretto ” I for one look forward to the day when certain posters on LDV feel they can restrain themselves from including an an ad hominem attack on Nick Clegg or indeed any other former party leader when commenting on current issues.”

    I’ve met and talked with Nick Clegg on a number of occasions and found him to be a very pleasant intelligent and charming man. I have absolutely no problem with him as a fellow human being. He’d be very welcome to pop in here for a cup of tea if he was passing. No, my problem is with,

    a) what he did to the people of this country – in particular to the less fortunate – through his support for austerity (see the thread on food banks), and,

    b) what he did to the party I flogged my guts out for for almost sixty years. It gives a whole new meaning to Matthew 18.20 “Where two or three are gathered together in thy name”.

  • jasonday you don’t say where you are, but I’m sure your local LD team have a twitter account or website and would be delighted to send you a poster.
    The best way of course would be for you to join the party. 🙂

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