Political

Dramatic Lib Dem gain from Conservatives with 19% swing in Oxfordshire

Three council by-elections this week. Three previously Conservative held seats. Two without a Lib Dem candidate last time. All with a Lib Dem candidate this time. And… one dramatic Lib Dem gain:

Cranmore, Mid Devon

A contest caused by the tragic early death of Cllr Clarissa Slade at just 21.

This was elected three Lib Dems back in 2007, but by 2015 had become all-Conservative and last time the Lib Dems didn’t even contest the ward. Congratulations to Leslie Cruwys (first elected as a councillor in 1972) and the Lib Dem team on getting the party firmly back on the road to recovery in this ward.

Crown, East Staffordshire

Although the lowest vote in the three contests this week for the Lib Dems, the Crown contest is also in some ways the most promising for the party’s recovery showing as it does the party’s ability to fight a seat never previously contested since the ward’s creation in 2003 – and also the ability to win more than a derisory number of votes in such a place:

Congratulations to Michael Pettingale and the team.

Benson and Crowmarsh, South Oxfordshire

Wow:

Congratulations to Sue Cooper, a former councillor in the area for 20 years and previous by-election fighter, and the Lib Dem team on such a dramatic gain. It doubles the size of the Liberal Democrat group on the council. It also continues the pattern of the Liberal Democrats doing well against the Conservatives in Remain, shire district areas across England – one reason why next year’s local elections look so interesting.

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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