+++Three stonking by-election gains from the Tories plus whopping vote share increases – “something is happening out there”

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP’s tweet nicely summarises the good news tonight:

Well done and congratulations to all the teams involved!

In detail, there was a stonking gain from the Tories in Teignbridge:

A wonderful gain from the Tories in North Norfolk:

And ANOTHER gain from the Tories in Teignbridge with a whopping 52.4% increase in our vote share:

Here are other results:

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

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  • Alex has it right. Wow. Just wow.
    Where we actually get out and do the hard work, we can achieve things.

  • Let us keep our feet on the ground.
    Gains were expected Teighbridge x 2 and North Norfolk. We should remember that the North Norfolk ward was I believe Lib Dem for several recent years, whilst the Chudleigh result may not be as good as it seems, compared to the by election we won there in December 2016 we ap[pear to be 9-10% DOWN.
    In my view the results at York and Morecombe, especially the latter. were the most encouraging. The test is breaking out of the 2/3% results in solid Labour areas where we effectively challenged 10/11 years ago.
    Lets be frank we need something huge to happen out there, we have very little available to us on the House of Commons front, where our performance last time was the worst in history. Hopefully we may be moving out of the scenario of 360 lost deposits, and getting that number down to 100 at the most, but there is an awful long way to go.

  • Sue Sutherland 16th Feb '18 - 12:42pm

    Let’s celebrate these great results and then share how they were achieved so we can do the same in other places! I think that’s keeping our feet on the ground but doubt whether Theakes would agree.

  • Chris Bertram 16th Feb '18 - 12:47pm

    Where Chudleigh is concerned, firstly, we still won. Secondly, our candidate was a former Tory councillor (who had been an Independent candidate in between). If you wanted to motivate the local Tories to fight harder than normal, I can’t think of a better way.

  • Paul, we could go on all day but there has never been such an election like it, 650 candidates, half lost their deposit and the vote share per candidate was the worst I can recall. I was one of 70 persons who voted Liberal in Bradford East in 1970 but even with only 300 odd candidates our national share of the vote was just a bit more than we achieved with 650 in 2017, that is the scale of the vote debacle. In 1955 we got 2 million votes with only 130 odd candidates., If the threshold for lost deposits was still at 12.5% how many other lost deposits would there have been.
    We move forward into 2018 but there is an awful long road ahead. Morecambe North is I hope the shape of things that will eventually come. Rhetoric is one thing but balance is another.
    I trust you will publish this one.

  • nvelope2003 16th Feb '18 - 6:14pm

    Theakes: In the 1955 General election the Liberals polled 722,402 (2.7@) with 110 candidates – in 1951 730,546 (2.5%) 109 candidates, in 1959 1,640,760 (5.9%) 216 candidates, in 1964 3,099,283 (11.2%) 365 candidates. By 1970 it was 7.5% (2,117,035 votes) with 332 candidates. Things were not that good in the past. It was not until the first General Election in 1974 that things started to pick up.

    There were some good local byelection results in January to May last year but in the May local elections the party lost seats compared with the last time they were fought.

  • In1950 the party polled 2,621,487 (9.1% on an 84% turnout) with 475 candidates, most of whom lost their deposits, and got 9 MPs but some of those were not opposed by Conservatives.
    In 1945 the party polled 2,177,938 votes (9% on a 72.8% turnout) with 306 candidates and got 12 seats but several of those did not have Labour candidates N Dorset, North Cornwall and some seats in the North.

    Of couse in those elections many voters had voted for Liberal Governments, some of them had voted for Gladstone, Asquith and Lloyd George and there were many staunch Liberals among the population who were unable to vote for the party because they did not have a local candidate or felt they had to vote for another party as their own party would be most unlikely to win.

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