Labour loses council by-election to Lib Dems after not putting up a candidate

Another day, another unusual non-Thursday by-election and yet more good news for the Liberal Democrats. After one on Tuesday this week already (34% swing not quite enough for Lib Dems to win), we’ve now had a Wednesday one as well. Despite it being for a Labour seat in Totnes, Labour failed to put up an official candidate (but see update below). The Lib Dems took the seat with the Conservative vote falling:

Congratulations to the winning John Birch and his team. Here’s what John’s pitch to the electorate was:

For the last seventeen years John has lived in Totnes. His wife Lynne taught at The Mansion in the town for several years.

John is standing in this election because he believes it is now more important than ever that the voice of the town is heard loud and clear in the council chamber. The district council is dominated by Tory councillors whose interests fail to appreciate the needs and aspirations of the people of Totnes.

John Birch has the experience and confidence to speak up on behalf of the people of Totnes and make the Tory councillors listen. Before moving to Totnes, John was a District Councillor for eight years and during this time his experience extended to being Deputy Leader of the Council and Chair of the Planning and Economic Development Committee. Some of the other candidates in this election have no such experience.

John Birch is the only candidate in this by-election who lives in the Totnes Ward. The Tory candidate lives in Paignton.

Totnes by-election leaflet - Lib Dem - page 1

Totnes by-election leaflet - Lib Dem - page 2

As you can see from John Birch’s leaflet, this is the party of the world where the only Green county councillor recently joined the Liberal Democrats.


More on what Labour got up to in the Totnes by-election here.

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