Whilst Lib Dem Conference-goers were fighting the elements in Brighton, there were no less than eight council by-elections being fought across the country. Besides a Labour gain from the Tories, everything else stayed as it was – making for six successful Conservative defences and a Labour defence on Thursday 27th September. For the first time in a while every election was for a principal authority, there were no parish or town council contests reported to ALDC.
With no great Lib Dem successes on the day, it’s probably best to start with the ‘no candidate’ walk of shame. On the day in question, the dubious honours were split between Dartford’s Castle ward, held by the Tories against Labour and a couple of also-rans, and the Pastures ward of Blaby, which weren’t any greener for a distinct lack of yellow.
Elsewhere, the results were consistent if disappointing. The best of the bunch were two distant seconds, in the Hampstead Town ward of Camden where Jeffrey Fine and the local Lib Dem team fought a hard campaign, and in Middlesborough’s North Ormesby and Brambles Farm where Martin Brown and his Focus team put on fifteen per cent of the vote in a ward where we hadn’t stood a candidate in the previous elections. The outcomes were a Conservative and Labour hold respectively. Our commiserations on the results, but each campaign was a respectable outing in its own way.
Labour’s big result came from Norfolk County Council, where they took the Clenchwarton and Kings Lynn South division from the Tories, adding an impressive thirty-four per cent to their previous vote-share. At district level they were unable to replicate that success, and the Spellowfields ward of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough remains blue. The rest of the results are a pair of unremarkable Conservative defences in Runnymede’s Chertsey Meads and New Haw wards.
That’s all the news for the 27th. The best of luck to everyone out there on the campaign trail.