Political

Huge swing to Lib Dems but Conservatives just hang on to Winchester Council

A half-dozen council by-elections this week, fresh off a continuing gentle but clear rise in the Liberal Democrat poll ratings. Good news also that all six were contested, just what the party needs to do more often in order to help build up a bigger core of liberals who consistently view themselves as Liberal Democrats.

Ottery St Mary Rural, East Devon

Nick Benson was the Liberal Democrat candidate, the first time the party has contested the ward (hooray!) after four previous no-shows stretching back to the ward’s creation for the 2003 elections. Despite that weak track record for the party, he managed to beat both Labour and the Greens this time around:

Nonsuch, Epsom and Ewell

Julian Freeman was the Liberal Democrat candidate:

Limbury, Luton

Steve Moore fought the seat for the Liberal Democrats, making him the party’s first candidate in this ward since 2007. He scored a result that shows plenty of promise:

Wenhaston and Westleton, Suffolk Coastal

Andrew Turner was the Liberal Democrat candidate, and slashed the Conservative majority:

Upper Meon Valley, Winchester

Lewis North was the Liberal Democrat candidate for this Conservative-held seat in a by-election made even the more important by the council balance being 22 Conservatives, 21 Liberal Democrats, 1 independent and this one vacancy. He secured a huge swing, but the Conservatives just hung on to the seat and the council:

Bewdley and Rock, Wyre Forest

Clare Cassidy was the Liberal Democrat candidate.

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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