There were nine principal council elections held on the 23rd October. The Lib Dems lost one seat to Labour and one to the Tories. The Tories held six seats and Labour one. There were no Parish Council election results reported to ALDC.
In Merthyr Tydfil where we won our first six seats in living memory in May we lost a councillor in Town Ward to Labour following an unexpected resignation. Labour maintained their vote from May but ours failed to turn out. We ran a sustained campaign but Labour “upped the anti” with ministers, MP’s and AM’s all visiting the ward. The unwelcome intervention of three independents sucked 31% of the votes away from the main candidates. It probably did not help that polling day coincided with the birth of their first child to two of our councillors and key campaigners in the ward Amy Kitcher and Kevin O’Connor. Happy birthday baby Gwenllian Mabel Kristina!
In the Billington and Old Langho ward in Ribble Valley we had more time to prepare but despite delivering more literature and target mail than the Tories we failed to get our shuttleworth out to vote on a wild and wet Lancashire evening. Turnout normally tops 40%. It dropped to 24% with the differential turnout favouring the Tories. It was an accident waiting to happen in a split two-member ward where we only had a majority of 13 over the third place candidate.
In the next two years we face some tough joint elections; it’s not too late to register for the Party’s main training event for the local elections. The “Kickstart” weekend takes place over the weekend of 28-30 November 2008, at the Junction 7 Holiday Inn near Birmingham. The weekend kickstart is ideal for groups to develop their campaign plans – either for June 2009, or even better over the longer term for May 2010. You will work with one of the Party’s top campaigners as a “mentor” over the weekend. Kickstart is also packed full of training courses that are aimed at either new members of your team, or refreshing and adding to the skills of more experienced campaigners.
“Kickstart is an excellent opportunity for local groups,” said Party Director of Campaigns Hilary Stephenson – “you can follow the success of groups who attend through the results the following year”.
Register online TODAY – call us for more information on 01422 843 785.