There were two principal council by-elections on Thursday 11th October. Unfortunately, there was only a single contest with a Liberal Democrat candidate. Sorry, East Lindsey Lib Dems, this could have been your time to shine – instead you’ll have to make do with this derisory mention in the introduction! East Lindsey’s Sutton-on-Sea North was held by Sutton-on-Sea First and not much else appears to have happened.
The second contest took place in the Whitefoot ward of Lewisham LBC. A Lib Dem defence, our incumbent resigned to take up a job opportunity in India. Whitefoot is a ward with a mix of suburban private housing, areas of flats behind entry-phones and some social housing. Parts of the ward have always had a high turnover of residents, but this appears to be increasing throughout the ward, with the consequent loss of some traditional areas of Lib Dem support. The literature campaign was varied, including an A4 launch Focus, an A3 near the end of the campaign, and a Tamil-language leaflet used in the parts of the ward with a significant Tamil community. The team also had some canvassers fluent in Tamil to work on the doorsteps and reach out to households for whom English isn’t a first-language. In addition to ward-wide literature, there were two target mailings to postal voters, and lots of outside help from other boroughs, particularly Southwark and Greenwich. Sadly, this hard-fought campaign still resulted in a loss to Labour, our commiserations to the Lewisham team. We hope that the new canvass data collected and ward contacts made are enough for Whitefoot to be regained next time.
Finally, we are only six weeks away from ALDC’s premier training event – the Kickstart residential training weekend. Please visit our website for details of Early Bird and G8 discount offers, and to learn more about the event itself. Tickets are already going, so time is of the essence to get your local teams off to a winning start!