political

Yet another pair of Lib Dem byelection gains from the Conservatives

A bigger patch of by-elections this week after the thinner gruel of the last few weeks with five contests, as many as the three previous weeks put together.

First in, another Lib Dem gain on a huge swing. Almost predictable at the moment:

Congratulations to Andrew Doherty and the Lib Dem team:

Andy lives off Coronation Street and has worked in IT for 20 years. A Fairford Town Councillor since September, he is also the chair of governors at Kempsford Primary School.

Andy commented: “I’m keen to represent Fairford and enthusiastic about the opportunity to stand for Cotswold District Council. I’m enjoying my role as a Town Councillor, trying to help solve some of the challenges the town faces now and in the future. Fairford is a great place to live, work and visit and I want it to be even better. We know that the town is changing rapidly and we need to respond proactively and robustly to these challenges.”

“I believe that the Conservatives who run Cotswold District Council have failed the town by not implementing an up-to-date local plan. This has meant that development in Fairford and across the District has been haphazard and local communities have had very little say in how their towns grow. We need to be honest, planning in the Cotswolds is a shambles and I want to help improve the situation.”

This is the second gain with a huge swing for the Liberal Democrats on the council in recent months, following the win in Stow in September.

Second in, a Labour hold in a ward without a Lib Dem candidate for the third time in the last six contests alas:

(Here’s why the absence of Lib Dem candidates matters.)

Following quickly by another Lib Dem gain, once more from the Conservatives with a big increase in the Lib Dem vote:

This by-election was in Norman Lamb’s constituency in a ward that had been solidly Liberal Democrat until problems with nomination paperwork gave a seat to the Conservatives in 2011 and then the Liberal Democrats lost all the seats in 2015. Congratulations to Marion Millership, Norman Lamb and the team.

The by-election was enlivened by a rather eccentric Ukip campaign:

A UKIP candidate hoping to win his party’s first seat on North Norfolk District Council has refused to reveal why he is standing for election – or confirm if he will be able to attend any meetings … He has declined to be interviewed before bagging the £5000-a-year role, citing “other commitments”.

A rare Ukip gain was the penultimate result:

Although the ward is not in sole Ukip MP Douglas Carswell’s constituency, it is part of the same council. It has a remarkably fractious Ukip group, with only 11 of the 22 Ukip councillors elected in 2015 still in the party. The defeated Conservative candidate in this by-election was also a former Ukip candidate in the ward. Good to see a Lib Dem standing where they wasn’t one before.

And finally, another contest without a Lib Dem although there had been one the three previous times the ward was fought:

This was an odd by-election as it was caused by a councillor being disqualified by non-attendance at council meetings, but he stood for re-election, citing severe agoraphobia as having stopped him from attending meetings.

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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