Lib Dems win another seat off the Conservatives in southern England: from 0% last time to 56% this time

Just the three council by-elections this week as the usual dip in their volume ahead of the May round of elections takes place. Two Conservative-held seats, one Labour-held seat and all three with Liberal Democrat candidates.

Kate O'Kelly Lib Dem banner
Rogate ward on Chichester Council was fought by Kate O’Kelly, already a county councillor and making her the first Lib Dem candidate in the ward since 2007 after four contests without one since. And it was certainly worth her standing as she continued the run of Lib Dem gains from the Conservatives across southern England:

The by-election was caused by the resignation of Gillian Keegan, who was elected a Conservative MP in 2017.

For the contest in Middleton Cheney ward, South Northamptonshire, Mark Allen made it the first Lib Dem candidate in the thirteen contests since the ward’s birth in 1976:

I joined the Liberal Democrats in June 2016, and I’m a newcomer to local politics. My decision to join the Lib Dems and to stand for election to Northamptonshire County Council both stem from the European Union membership referendum. The referendum result made me realise that our current economic model is not working for many people.

For him too it was very well worth standing and oh so close to being even better:

In St Olaves ward, St Edmundsbury Council, Helen Korfanty, former Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, was the first Lib Dem candidate in the five contests since the ward came into being in 2003.

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.

3 responses to “Lib Dems win another seat off the Conservatives in southern England: from 0% last time to 56% this time”

  1. Mark

    This was a classic Lib Dem gain in a rural southern seat…

    Kate is an outstanding candidate who won the County seat from third last May. She gained the County seat, which was not initially a target, because she sent out leaflets, canvassed every house in the division and ran a full GOTV on election day.

    Since being elected she has worked so hard on behalf of her residents.

    When the District by election was called she already had excellent name recognition and a small but effective campaign team. They worked very hard and out canvassing everyone knew Kate…. It was a pleasure and privilege to canvass for her.

    Over the years I have met many committed candidates but Kate stands head and shoulders above most. Not only does she commit but she is well organised and builds really good teams.

    Well done and thank you Kate and team Kate for showing the way and how it should be done.

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