Final council by-elections of 2017: Lib Dems make pair of successful defences

Following yesterday’s pair of unusually early by-elections, Thursday brings the final polls of 2017: eight further council by-elections plus a bonus City of London contest. Those eight are made up of five Labour defences, two Liberal Democrat defences and one Conservative defence.

First up, a ward in Salford which the Liberal Democrats won back in 2008, but then lost in 2010 and then stopped contesting in 2014. This time, however, for the first time the most recent four outings there was a Lib Dem again:

Next-up, the wildcard: the City of London contest with three independent candidates and one Labour.

And on to Wigan:

Despite the very low Lib Dem share, it’s worth remembering the benefits of always putting up a candidate. This ward had gone five contests without the Lib Dems standing previously, and the party has never done well in this ward even before that. So simply by standing Joshua Hindle has helped take us forward.

After the series of loses to the Lib Dems in recent weeks, the Conservatives get some good news – at the expense of Labour:

This is the council where Labour has just been ousted following an electoral administration scandal. No Lib Dem candidate, alas, even though the party had been contesting the seat up until 2012.

The second by-election for the same council saw Labour hang on and this time a Lib Dem candidate thanks to Richard Virr:

Then in the south west, the first of the two Lib Dem defences. It’s a hold with an increased majority:

Congratulations to Swithin Long and the team. His early start was worthwhile:

Next, a Labour hold in Barnsley:

Great to see Paul Nugent standing for the Lib Dems, as the party had stood only once in the ten previous contests since the ward was created and even that was back in 2008.

Even greater news that the second Lib Dem defence of the night is successful:
Handside Liberal Democrat council by-election victory

Congratulations to the winner Siobhan Elam and her team, especially as this ward split two Conservative – one Lib Dem last time out in 2016, with that one Lib Dem winning by a mere five votes. That followed four previous rounds of Conservative victories.

As the party blurb about Siobhan Elam says:

Some will already know Siobhan through her work at the Barn Theatre as a performer and in other roles, and the many other community groups she has contributed to.

Siobhan is a retired police sergeant, who worked 30 years, mostly for the Metropolitan Police, but also in Hertfordshire, and has always been involved with working in the community. Now she has time to get more involved again, we are delighted she has joined the Liberal Democrats, who she views “as a party that puts the good of the country and the community first.”

Top marks to the local party for organising a training session to bring in volunteers from elsewhere… and then to have the practical part of it involving door knocking for her campaign.

Finally, the best-named ward in the country (unless you can tell me otherwise…), with a Lib Dem candidate for this first time since 2007. Thank you Stephen Potts and team:

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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