Political

Lib Dems gain seat in South Northamptonshire off Conservatives

Five council by-elections this week, of which two are Liberal Democrat defences and all five have a Lib Dem candidate. (Hooray!)

St Mark’s, Rushmoor

Thomas Mitchell stood for the Lib Dems in Rushmoor, where I was last Friday doing an event with the local party. He was defending Alain Dekker’s seat after work changes took him away from the area. And he did so successfully, with a big increase in the majority:

Ryhall and Casterton, Rutland

Beverley Wrigley-Pheasant stood for the Lib Dems – the first Lib Dem candidate in this ward after six no-shows since the ward was first up for election in May 2003.

That 25% of the vote after 16 years of no candidates shows how many Lib Dem votes are often left wasting where we don’t manage to stand a candidate. There are sometimes really good reasons why an over-stretched local volunteer team does not manage to put up a candidate, of course. We should, though, try as hard as we can to reduce the number of such places.

Middleton Cheney, South Northamptonshire

Mark Allen’s candidature for the Lib Dems made it twice in a row that the party has contested this ward – after 12 no-shows stretching back to the ward’s first contest in 1976! And wow, it was worth it:

He joined the party in 2016 and it was his standing last time that broke that run back to 1976. A lovely example of the difference our newer members are making.

As Stephen Williams pointed out, this victory was in hard-Brexiter Andrea Leadsom’s seat.

Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire

After Jonathan Keeley’s resignation, Ruth Houghton stood for the Liberal Democrats, securing a safe hold with a very impressive vote share:

Finedon, Wellingborough

Chris Nelson stood for the Liberal Democrats, making it twice in a row the party has contested this ward after four previous no-shows going back to its creation for the 2003 elections.

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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