Yet another massive Lib Dem GAIN from Labour

Brinsworth in Rotherham is not the most likely Lib Dem territory, but tonight, Dr Adam Carter is the new Lib Dem Councillor for the area. This is the are which includes Orgreave, where the violent confrontation took place during the Miners’ Strike.

And it’s not by a tiny margin either.


They had some quality tellers!

Well done to the team for a fantastic and memorable victory.

Twitter is alight!

Tim Farron said:

This just shows how in real votes cast up and down the country every week, the Liberal Democrat fight-back is gathering pace.

It would be fair to say that Rotherham has not been an area where we have excelled electorally in the past, so to win by such a massive margin here shows that something is changing in British politics.

We are not just winning in places such as Richmond Park. Rotherham voted to Leave, and many Leave voters feel let down by an uncaring and divisive Conservative Party but are also fed up with an extreme and unelectable Labour Party.

With Labour hauling up the white flag, all over the country Liberal Democrats are showing that we are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit government.

Tim has actually been out and about engaging with Leave voters up and down the country – most recently in Doncaster this week.

Adam Carter, meanwhile, will be heading to campaign in Stoke-on-Trent to boost Zulfiqar Ali’s campaign against UKIP leader Paul Nuttall.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Ian Patterson 3rd Feb '17 - 12:18am

    Following the victory in Sandhill, Sunderland where there was a dramatic raise in vote, greater upswing in Rotherham!

  • Paul Pettinger 3rd Feb '17 - 12:55am

    Rotherham and Sunderland voted 68% and 62% Leave respectively

  • Simon – It’s worth saying that the wards won in Sunderland (Sandhill) and Rotherham (Brinsworth & Catcliffe) are estimated to have voted 73% and 67% Leave respectively. These are by no means Remain-friendly areas. Sunderland/Sandhill on its own would have been an interesting blip, but this result on top of it suggests something important is happening (note the faltering of UKIP in both constests, and the other Rotherham contest)

    Speaking of which, a big well done too to Stephen standing in Rotherham (Dinnington), in a crowded field in a seat we didn’t previously contest. πŸ™‚

  • Mark Goodrich 3rd Feb '17 - 2:55am

    Um – not sure if Simon Shaw is being ironic….

    But, there is a serious point. I have become used to contributors on here bemoaning the fact that our (relatively) outspoken Remain position is likely to render us irrelevant in strong Leave voting areas. Sunderland and Rotherham have demolished that argument much more effectively than I could.

    Just possibly, people don’t really mind parties sticking to their principles even if they are not in agreement with them (and obviously those who are in agreement love it). Contrast this with desperate disappointment at those who seem to drop them if they seem unpopular. We in the Lib Dems really should learn to stick at our principles – we do well when we are doing that and badly when we do not.

  • What Mark Goodrich said is bang on the money IMHO.

  • Brinsworth sensational. Everyone get to Stoke Central this weekend please. If we work as hard there we will get a great result. Candidate another local Doctor.
    We have to mention Dinnington. As I understand it we did not campaign there and look what happens. Turnout at Brinsworth 32%, Dinnington 19%, says it all about our effort at Brinsworth. Work pays. But a victory is better than two second places.

  • Tony Dawson 3rd Feb '17 - 8:49am

    Well, talking of Sunderland comparisons, the Liberal vote here is pretty much what I achieved from nothing as agent for Harry Sanderson in Southwick Ward, Sunderland, in about 1980. But the Labour vote here is much worse. I have a suspicion it’s depression was more due to the continued horriffic roll-out of the Rotherham child-grooming scandal than to Labour’s position on Brexit rejection. Rotherham Labour are still thought to be guilty of covering up their failures over the massive child sex abuse scandal, trials of which are still trickling out. This was yesterday’s paper:

    Of course we never had Facebook in 1980.

    We didn’t even have a computer!

    Apparently, another substantial issue was that the previous Labour councillor resigned
    because he was a convicted sex offender.

    The Lib Dem candidate being a young local doctor obviously did no harm to our campaign, either. But the most encouraging thing to me is the size of the majorities. You cannot get such a huge vote if ‘Coalition taint’ is really any serious issue any more in your electorate.

  • All you in London and the South East etc. Get in your cars, burn the rubber, get those trains, travel to Stoke by London Midland is quite cheap. 3 of you can deliver 500 leaflets in 75 minutes. This is the time to strike.
    Even the local BBC has suddently mentioned us instead of writing us off.

  • Nicholas Cunningham 3rd Feb '17 - 9:42am

    What a great result and it goes to show what others have said, politics and principal go hand in hand.

  • Fantastic result – and given the mess that is Rotherham Council, thank goodness people are stopping voting Labour.

    The result in May 2016 was: Lab 1764, Lab 1288, UKIP 1190, Lab 1070, Lib Dem 637, Con 480 turn out 32%

    Yesterday – Lib Dem 2000, Lab 519, UKIP 389, Con 91, Green 30. turnout 32%

    Has our party got good enough support mechanisms for our sole councillor in Rotherham ?

  • The result confirms my suspicion that the Brexit vote was a kick against the establishment of whatever hue, as was this result. So was the SNP result in Scotland in 2015 (and before).

    There’s a vacuum out there waiting to be filled……. one hopes with decency, liberal values and relevant radical policies. It’s time for the party to rediscover its sympathy for the underdog and the less fortunate. It will be a rough ride – especially from the nasty right wing tabloids.

  • PS. Thank goodness we have a young, courageous energetic normal human being leading us.

  • Paul Murray 3rd Feb '17 - 10:08am

    Great result! It’s put a spring in my step for delivering this weekend in the upcoming by-election in the ward I live in.

    Can we get the by-election for Emmbrook Ward in Wokingham up on the “Flock Together” column on the right of the LDV screen? I think there might be an issue in that flock together seems to require you to enter a Thursday as election day and the by-election is on Friday 17th Feb.

  • Paul Murray 3rd Feb '17 - 10:28am

    I should have added that the by-election in Emmbrook is due to the resignation of a Conservative councillor over disagreements (expressed very publicly) with the Conservative council leadership. And our excellent candidate – Imogen Shepherd-DuBey – missed out by only 13 votes in May 2016.

  • Tony Dawson 3rd Feb '17 - 10:38am

    @Simon Shaw :

    “our (relatively) outspoken Remain position is likely to render us irrelevant in strong Leave voting areas” was exactly what I was sending up.”

    A related point is that in council elections the electorate is relatively-sophisticated these days. People are quite prepared to ‘forgive’ a candidate various known positions provided that they are the best for the job in hand.

  • In October 1974 I was the first Liberal Parliamentary candidate since 1918 in Rother Valley. We reckoned we got a vote in Catcliffe that we could count on our fingers. But thanks to Anston and Wickersley we did save the deposit! Again well done to Stephen in Dinnington. He will understand what I was doing all those years ago.

  • Peter Watson 3rd Feb '17 - 12:53pm

    Why, when choosing a local councillor, should it matter whether or not they support Brexit?
    This is a genuine question so no glib answers, please, about the judgement or intelligence of any candidate with a view on Brexit contrary to one’s own!

  • Peter Watson 3rd Feb '17 - 1:03pm

    @Caracatus “given the mess that is Rotherham Council, thank goodness people are stopping voting Labour.”
    @theakes “We have to mention Dinnington. As I understand it we did not campaign there and look what happens. Turnout at Brinsworth 32%, Dinnington 19%, says it all about our effort at Brinsworth.”
    I don’t know Rotherham, but on the same day in nearby Dinnington the Lib Dem candidate was in 8th place (with 75 votes) behind the Greens, and Labour took the seat back from UKIP.
    If the most important thing is getting the vote out in a targeted campaign in one seat (whether at a local or parliamentary level), what do we really learn from these results that can be transferred to a general election (or the local elections in May) when resources will be stretched across the country?

  • What we should learn from 2015 is that all the targeting of resources is wasted if you have the wrong messages, have broken your promises and cling onto an unpopular and toxic leader. The Labour Councillor for Brinsworth who resigned had been convicted of sexual assault, never a help to a party defending a seat.

    What we need is strong messages that mean targeting is less important and resources are greater. The SNP didn’t sweep Scotland due to targeting. We now have one seat on Rotherham Council, that is a long way from running it. We will never run it fighting elections by trench warfare.

  • David Raw (comment at 10:03 am) – Absolutely – there is a political vacuum just waiting to be filled and people are desperate for a credible alternative to the establishment. Hence spectacular swings but also ones that will go elsewhere if voters’ hopes are disappointed.

    To put this in a longer context, I suggest it’s comparable to 1979. Over the previous decade or so it had become increasingly obvious that Labour had run out of ideas and credibility. The wheels were visibly coming off and finally did so in the Winter of Discontent leading to Thatcher’s election. Now that Thatcherite revolution has, in turn, run out of ideas and people know that.

    Politically, I disagreed with Thatcher but she did one thing well; she made the Tories a credible alternative – not just as another set of managers but, far more importantly, by offering a fresh approach.

    So, this is a historic opportunity. But are the Lib Dems as ready to seize the moment in the way Thatcher was?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 3rd Feb '17 - 2:23pm

    David Raw and other positive contributors-

    Yes to these views on our fine leadership and on the understanding with regard to the underdog.

    As someone who agrees with the party policy on Brexit but gets far more worked up over other issues, even though the connection is there, we need to get into a range of subject areas where we are understood to be genuine in our commitment to people, the middle, the bottom , the very personal approach that is not just about organisations, however supported or not, or professions, but , like professionals themselves, our doctors here in this council area , and in Stoke, good candidates, thus serving people , and and ministering directly to their very needs.

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