There were seven contests on September 13th, with eight seats up for grabs due to a double-vacancy. Three of the eight were Parish councils, of which more later.
Starting out in the principal authorities, our best result came from Shropshire where Robert Douglas Welch and the local Lib Dem team came within 250 votes of the defending Tories in Church Stretton and Craven Arms. We also managed a second-place in Burnley, where Stephanie Forrest led the local Focus team to taking a quarter of the vote in Trinity ward, marginally down on May’s best-ever result for the Lib Dems. In the end, a fairly comfortable Labour hold, but taking one in four votes in a historically safe Labour ward in Burnley is not a bad result. We had a strong showing in East Dumbartonshire's Campsie and Kintilloch North ward, with a large vote haul and a good third place. It was a tough night out in Breckland’s Thetford Abbey and the Loughborough Southfields ward of Charnwood – in both cases the seat changed hands, but in neither case were we in the running. Nevertheless, 153 people still got the chance to vote Liberal Democrat (fingers crossed we know who they are!), which is why we should always stand a candidate.
The better results of the night were all out in the towns, where we contested and won all three seats being fought. Avid readers may remember Polegate, in Wealden, from a few weeks ago, when Don Broadbent held the district seat against an Independent and a Tory. Well, not satisfied with one victory at the polls, the Polegate team have come back for more with a defence and a gain in a town council double-election in Polegate North. Well done Don, Hugh Parker, and all in Polegate for keeping the yellow flag flying in Wealden! Finally, Trish Shrapnel made it a clean town council sweep and a nice gain from the Tories with an eighteen-vote thriller in Huntingdon East.
That’s all the news for the week in local elections, there will be another six contests for seven seats (another double-vancancy) up next week. The very best of luck to our councillors and campaigners out in the field.