Four council by-elections this week, showing a welcome spread of improvements for the Liberal Democrats in places where the party isn’t (yet) in a position to challenge for the win.
In the Liberal Democrat heydey in Newcastle, this was a ward where the party got councillors elected. But those days went a long time ago and in the last three contests the party finished fourth or fifth in the ward.
Andrew Thrope was the first Liberal Democrat candidate in the history of the ward. Pedants may wish to point out that the ward was only created for the 2015 local elections making this by-election only the second contest for the ward.
Same story again, though this time it is Alison Hesketh-Holt who has the claim to being the first-ever-but-not-quite-as-dramatic-as-that-sounds Lib Dem candidate in the ward. It’s a good hold for the Conservatives, and a poor result for Labour in not taking the seat, given the council’s marginality and the controversy over the Conservative administration’s bungling of background checks on taxi drivers.
Finally, one less good Liberal Democrat result but with a candidate making it a week with a full slate of party candidates – an important achievement:
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.