There were eight principal council elections held on the 2nd October. The Lib Dems made two gains, one from the Tories and one from Labour. The Tories held five seats and Independents made one gain from the Tories.  There was one Parish council election result reported to ALDC, a Tory hold. Our very impressive gain from Labour in the Kirkleatham Ward on Redcar and Cleveland Council demonstrated the importance of standing candidates for all available vacancies in multi member wards. Redcar and Cleveland have all out elections, the last being in May 2007. In the Kirkleatham ward, in that year, both the Lib Dems and Labour stood three candidates each for the three vacancies. The Tories only stood one candidate and came third. We achieved 31% the vote on a single leaflet campaign. However it is at least reasonable to suppose that some of the 438 people who voted for the Tory did not waste their remaining two votes and voted for Lib Dems, with at least enough of them doing so to account for the margin of 70 votes that separated the 3 Lib Dems and the Tory.  If they had stood 3 candidates the chances are we would not have got 2nd place in 2007, the springboard to our success in this by-election.

Redcar and Cleveland  – Lab/Ind administration
Tory Labour Lib Dem Green Ind
11 27 14   7

Shropshire have wisely seen that by- elections will play a vital part in the build up to the County and Unitary elections next June. It can break new ground, build capacity, provide a training ground for new techniques, motivate the membership and provide local voters clear evidence of our ability to win  – vital in all elections. At the end of August we failed to make a gain by just 10 votes in the Shropshire District of Shrewsbury and Atcham so we were doubly determined that we would do better in the Castle Ward in Oswestry last week. A countywide campaign provided the capacity for the intensity required to win, despite the appalling weather on polling day.

Oh, and we had candidates in all principal by elections for the third week running!

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