Yesterday there were seven principle council by-elections and with Liberal Democrat candidates in all seven, including two with no recent past Liberal Democrat candidates, there were plenty of reasons to be hopeful.

The first by-election to report on is Hailey, Minster Lovell and Leafield (West Oxfordshire DC) which is in the Witney constituency that the Liberal Democrats did so much work in for the Westminster By-election last year. This election is a great chance to see how that work has paid of as both the candidate and key campaigners joined the Liberal Democrats during this campaign.
Congratulations to Kieran Mullins who won the seat taking it from the Conservatives with 46.7% of the vote with a vote share increase of 34 points taking us from a distant third to win.

In Red Horse (Stratford-on-Avon DC) Philip Vial took 29.8% of the vote moving up from last place to second as they increased the Liberal Democrat vote share by 20.3 points while the Conservaitves held their seat.

In Exton (Rutland UA) Joanna Burrows increased the Liberal Democrat vote share by 11.6 points up to 30.8% while the Conservaitves held their seat.

In Hertford Castle (East Herts DC) Freja Waterhouse was standing in a seat last with a Liberal Democrat candidate in 2003 and took 15.5% of the vote while the Conservativies held their seat.

Walton Cross (Broxbourn BC) was another seat which hadn’t had a recent Liberal Democrat candidate with the Liberal Democrats never having stood on the current boundaries set in 2012. Brendan Wyer Took 5.6% of the vote while the Conservatives gained the seat from Labour.

In Roxbourne (Harrow LB) Marshel Amutharasan took 9.7% of the vote for the Liberal Democrats, a small vote share increase of 0.7 points while Labour easily held their seat.

In Derwent (Derby City UA) the Conservatives took the seat UKIP won in 2014. Simon Ferrigno was the Liberal Democrat candidate who took 9% of the vote. Changes in vote share in seats like this, as this is a multi councillor Ward elected in thirds, with elections three out of every four years, are hard to calculate. When this seat was last contested in 2014 the Liberal Democrats got 25.3% and it was this loss of 15.4 points in vote share which has been reported. However when the last election was fought in this Ward, in 2016, the Liberal Democrats only got 6.4% so based on that the Liberal Democrats actually increased their vote share by 2.6 points. Even this explanation doesn’t take account of other local issues including defections, and the Liberal Democrats being the only one of the four parties without a Councillor in the Ward so this result is no where near as disappointing as it initially looks.

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 our Forthcoming 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.