Local elections 2023: first results and analysis

Ed Davey celebrates 2023 local election results
The clock was not sweaty.

Four years ago, the last time this May’s seats were up for election, the election results really were quite something for the Lib Dems, with an amazing 704 net gains. So what has this May brought the Liberal Democrats?

But first, some thanks, especially for all the effort that went into the big increase in Lib Dem candidate numbers:

On to some results and, in a case where correlation very much isn’t causation, great to see so many gains in places I’ve visited in the last few weeks:

Some important progress in Labour-facing areas, which is important in its own right and also for helping to put the Lib Dems in a good place to continue making local government progress if there’s a Labour instead of a Conservative government in the not-so-distant future:

And good news from the big showdown with Labour in Hull:

It’s looking good news up against the Conservatives too:

As for the council where a Conservative councillor was voting Lib Dem? Three Lib Dems gains there and a stronger position leading the council.

Here’s Ed Davey’s take on the early results:

As for what’s happening with votes:

With all this good news coming it, a word of extra sympathy is important for those who didn’t make it this time, either councillors who weren’t re-elected or target seat candidates who didn’t get across the winning line this week. Missing out is always tough, but even more so when so many colleagues around the party are celebrating. Thank you for your efforts, and commiserations.

And finally…

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5 responses to “Local elections 2023: first results and analysis”

  1. In my phone calls to switch voters in Chichester I repeatedly came accross Brexit voters angry with Torries for failing to make Brexit a success. The numbers were too small to be anything but anecdotal evidence.
    Those who still believe in hard Brexit are not voting for Lib Dems, and likely not voting at all, and are the angriest of them all.
    Those who are unhappy about the cultural and economic impact of hard Brexit want a milder form of it and are sticking with Torries. A few may be voting LD only in locals as a warning, but plan to vote Con nationally.
    Those who regret voting for Brexit and feel Tories can no longer be trusted are switching to (i) Liberal Democrats or (ii) Greens, but not necessarily longer term.
    The most enthusiastic LD supporters were the remainers. They will vote for LD nationally too and may stay with the LD if the party engages with Brexit issues or switch to Greens.

  2. In Tendring DC we failed in one key target by 19 votes, but we took two of the three seats in the ward I’ve given a lot of my life to: Terry Barrett topped the poll and Matthew Bensilum took the second after a Tory-requested recount increased his majority. So – two up to four, not spectacular, but a very important move forward.

    Because we should always look at results coolly with an eye to the future as well as joyfully celebrating the present, we should note that in several northern and (I think) west midland authorities where Labour were surging, especially where they were set to take control, we lost our one bridgehead councillor. Those local parties need a lot of help and encouragement to move forward again and should not be forgotten despite the need to we’re line up the general election targets.

  3. Wonderful news all over England, and glad that we have won some contests with Labour as well as so many great victories in Tory areas; thank you for all the information. Just feel we have to be wary of the Greens, and make sure our own climate-friendly policies are kept up to date and to the fore, to help to keep them less relevant.

  4. I fully agree with the comment that we need to be very wary of the Greens. They are eating our lunch and may well rob us of general election gains by taking enough votes to let the opposition hold on.
    It’s about time we forensically analysed their policies to clearly differentiate us.
    I have heard it said by one senior green that ” we have no greater loyalty than that we owe to the earth”. This contrasts to our view that people come first. Years ago the Guardian asked one senior green about a current African famine: he responded by saying the world’s over populated anyway. I was appalled that his solution to over population was to starve people to death. No-one in our party would ever, ever say anything remotely like that.

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