Sadly, for the 1st time since I started writing this blog, there are no Lib Dem tier 1 or 2 council by-election wins to report a[A]fter what was a very mixed night of results [STOP PRESS: Long after I started writing this update we did have a Lib Dem Gain! Congratulations to Trish Robertson and the team in Culloden and Ardersier]. Labour losses, a gain for the SNP, Labour holds both with increased and reduced shares and a surprising gain for UKIP.

The outstanding result of the night/day was announced this afternoon. The Labour held Culloden and Ardersier (Highland UA) went right to the wire. After Labour only scored 5.8% of the 1st preference vote it went down to the final 8th stage, and a recount of the final stage before a result was declared. Trish Robertson and team stormed it on the final stage to take the seat ahead of the SNP by 25 votes. The last twice they have come 4th so a great improvement.

In Rumworth (Bolton MB) new member Becky Forrest doubled the Lib Dem vote share despite only joining the party 3 months ago and having been thrown in at the deep end with a short campaign. Also in Risca East (Caerphilly UA) another new member Matthew Kinder made a good start in a ward where we haven’t stood in decades.

Elsewhere there were positives to be taken in increased vote share in all the seats where we stood previously. Josh Dixon and the team in St Ann’s (Harringey LB) moved from 4th to 3rd adding 50% to the Lib Dem vote share.

In Exmouth Brixington (East Devon DC) Alex Sadiq and team added 5 points to our vote share (according to Britain Elects, although ALDC are reporting a bigger increase of more than 8 points).

In Garscadden-Scotstounhill (Galsgow UA), James Speirs added a modest 0.8 points to the vote share, which was vital to keep us ahead of UKIP.

Richard Lilleker in Basing (Basingstoke & Deane BC) also managed to top off the day with an extra 8 point increase in vote share to move clear into 2nd place.

Conservative 1051 [67.5%; +3.7%]
LD Richard Mark Lilleker 323 [20.7%; +8.3%]
Labour 184 [11.8%; -0.1%]
[UKIP [0.0%; -11.9%]]
Majority 728
Conservative hold

There were 2 seats where we didn’t field a candidate the first was in Gilfach – where Labour lost a large chunk of their vote share but still easily held off the challenge to hold the seat.

But it was in Headland & Harbour for Hartlepool Council where the shock of the night came with UKIP gaining from Labour with a massive jump from not standing last time to win very nearly 50% of the vote! However, this doesn’t quite tell the full story. UKIP have done well here before, and in 2015 came a relatively close second in the seat. So while this is a big gain for UKIP it isn’t as big a gain as it first looked. Also the question is more about why they didn’t stand in May this year when they were obviously in such a strong position.

This put the Liberal Democrat gains up to 19.

By-election net changes graph - 06/10/2016 - The Liberal Democrats Number 1 in local council by-elections since 6th May 2016. Net Up 19 Gained 19, lost 0.

In the much maligned Parish & Town council by-elections there was better news, with a Lib Dem gain. James Cross has won over 3/4 of the vote to take the East Ward seat on Brickhill Parish Council from an Independant. Congratulations James and the team.

LD James Cross 423 [78.9%]
Labour 113 [21.1%]
Majority 310
Turnout 25%
LD gain from Independent

Alex Sadiq also stood for the Exmouth Town Council in the Brixington ward but sadly fell less than 100 votes short.

Brixington (Exmouth TC)
Cons (Darryl Nicholas) 551 (54.8% +9.2)
Lib Dem (Alex Sadiq) 454 (45.2% +21.4)
Labour and Independent did not stand.

Full details of last nights By-Election results can be found on the ALDC’s By-Election Results page and details of that is coming next on ourForthcoming Elections page. Hat Tip to Britain Elects for their results too.

Well done to all who stood last night regardless of the result. It is really important that we stand candidates in all by-elections in order to build the habit of voting Liberal Democrat. If there is no candidate of ours on the ballot paper we are depriving someone of their ability to vote for us. If you are interested in standing as a candidate please get in touch with your Local Party or ALDC.