political

Lib Dems take seat from Labour with enormous 38% swing

It’s been a mixed start to 2017 for council by-elections from a Liberal Democrat perspective: spectacular wins and a series of no-shows without any candidates. This week brought three by-elections with Conservatives, Labour and Ukip each defending one seat.

First up, the Conservatives holding their seat in another contest without a Liberal Democrat candidate:

But then much better news from Rotherham in a ward the Liberal Democrats had never won since its creation in 2004:

This gives the Liberal Democrats our first councillor in Rotherham in over a decade. Many congratulations to Adam Carter and his team:

Adam lives in Brinsworth on Wensleydale Drive, and in his job as a doctor has worked at the Stag Medical Centre, Rotherham and Rotherham Hospital. In his spare time, he volunteers as a rugby referee, including at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Ground on Bawtry Road and at Clifton Lane in Rotherham.

His priorities include improving Brinsworth Library, ensuring residents’ voices are heard on HS2 and lobby for a new school on Catcliffe’s Waverley estate.

Adam said: “This by-election is an opportunity for residents to vote for real change. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour have taken this town for granted and people tell me that they are looking for someone new.

“I do hope residents will vote for something different this time. I’m not a career politician but I care passionately about Brinsworth, the place I’ve made my home. I’m looking forward to meeting more local people out on the campaign trail and campaigning on issues that matter to them.”

The by-election was called after Labour councillor Andrew Roddison resigned after his conviction for sexual assault. [The Star]

Nick Clegg was one of those who was out campaigning for Adam Carter:

As were newer members:

(John Prescott was born in the ward.)

In the third and final result, Ukip’s slide continued and there was a Lib Dem candidate where there wasn’t last time:

The local party quite rightly concentrated its efforts on the spectacular win rather than on this ward. The pair of results illustrates therefore how much the Lib Dem recovery is dependent on hard work on the ground rather than voters simply switching to the party regardless.

These by-election results round-ups cover principal authority by-elections. See my post The danger in celebrating parish and town council wins for your own party for the reasons to avoid straying too often into covering town, parish or community council by-elections.

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