The 20th October was a packed polling day with 2 Westminster Parliamentary by-elections, 12 principle council by-elections and a number of town and parish council by-elections.

The big news of the night was in Witney, and many, many column inches will be written analysing what this means for the Lib Dems, for the Tories, for Brexit and beyond. The facts are after a lot of hard work the Lib Dems went from a distant 4th place into 2nd, and not only leapfrogging Labour and UKIP but cutting the Conservative majority. We increased our vote share up to 30% an increase of more than 23 points and a swing to us from the Conservatives of about 20%. Whilst we didn’t win this is far and away our best by-election result in years and if this result was replicated in a general election we would gain dozens of seats from the Conservatives. Also with more by-elections on the horizon this kind of swing would take lots of the less secure Conservative seats. A huge well done to Liz Leffman and all the Witney team and to everyone who travelled to help out.

The 2nd Parliamentary by-election in Batley & Spen was a very different affair. Along with the Conservatives and UKIP it was decided very early on that following the tragic events leading to this election we would not stand out of respect for Jo Cox. However the same could not be said for a number of far right groups and publicity seekers who contested this against Labour. Thankfully Labour held the seat easily while all the other candidates lost their deposits.

In the Council by-elections we also had a successful night.
In St Mary’s (East Riding of Yorkshire UA), congratulations to Denis Healy and team who added a massive 28 points to our vote share to gain the seat from the Conservatives.

Congratulations also to Ellie Hudspith and team who held the Clarence (St Albans BC) seat and increased our vote share by 6 points.

In 6 elections we stood in seats where we either didn’t stand last time, or in some cases never stood, or just not for a long time.
In Wye Valley (Weymouth & Portland BC) Robin Vaughan took 15.5% vote share from nothing previously leapfrogging Labour and the Greens in the process.

In Heacham (Kings Lynn & West Norfolk BC) Rob Colwell took 3rd with 7.8% vote share from nothing previously.

In Bumpstead (Braintree DC) Steve Bolter came 4th but with 7.4% vote share from nothing he came within a whisker of taking 3rd from Labour.

In Central (Middlesbrough UA) Elliott Sabin-Motson took 5.1% of the vote in a Very strong Labour area.

In Rothwell (Kettering BC) Malcolm Adcock took 4.6% vote share from not standing last time.

In Strood South (Medway UA) Isabelle Cherry (assisted by Newbie HQ Admin Erika) took 3.3% of the vote where we did not stand last time.

Sadly in Witham North (Braintree DC) we remained a distant 4th with our vote share being squeezed down losing 2/3rds of our vote share.

In the remaining elections we did not stand a candidate.
Central Sandhurst (Bracknall UA)

Abergele Pensrn (Conwy UA)

Blaengwrach (Neath Port Talbot UA)

In the 2 Town Council by-elections I have results for we also had a good night.
In Bodmin we gained the St. Leonard ward on the Town Council from Labour
St. Leonard Ward (Bodmin TC)
LD Leigh Frost 362 [69.1%]
Labour 162 [30.8%]
Majority: 200
Turnout: 15.3%
LD Gain

In Rothwell it was less good as the Conservatives took the Tresham ward from Labour with our candidate a distant 3rd.
Tresham Ward (Rothwell TC)
ADCOCK, Malcolm Paul (Liberal Democrat) 65
JAMES, Irene (Labour Party) 270
MORRISSEY, Thomas (Conservative Party) 317

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.