Six council by-elections but only four Liberal Democrat candidates this week. All four did, however, score an increase in the party’s vote – something particularly notable as three of them were standing in wards that have long been weak areas for the party.
Seven of the previous nine times this ward has been contested there was a Liberal Democrat candidate. Alas, there wasn’t one this time.
Esh and Witton Gilbert, Durham
A Liberal Democrat defence, triggered by the resignation of Michael McGaun. Beverley Coult was the Lib Dem bidding to succeed him, and she succeeded:
Dalgarno, Kensington and Chelsea
This is one of those councils which demographically looks to have some very promising areas for the Liberal Democrats but where, hindered by council elections only every four years and the two-party polarisation between Conservatives and Labour, the local party has never really got rolling as a major election-winning machine. The council currently has one Liberal Democrat.
Alexandra Tatton-Brown stood for the Liberal Democrats and scoared a promising vote increase, putting the party ahead of the other challengers to the be the third party.
Holditch and Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme council
No Liberal Democrat candidate this time unfortunately even though there was one last time. I understand the local party tried to run a candidate, and nearly succeeded, but the plans did not work out at the last moment.
Carol White stood for the Liberal Democrats.
Aveley and Uplands, Thurrock
This by-election was caused by the resignation of Tim Aker, formerly a Ukip councillor and MEP. He later quit the party, becoming a Thurrock Independent councillor before stepping down from the council. He continues as an MEP, now in the Brexit Party which has just lost its leader.
After four contests with a Lib Dem, thanks to Tomas Pilvelis this time the party was on the ballot paper.
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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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