There were two principal council elections held on the 20th November. The Lib Dems gained one seat from the Tories and Labour held one seat. There was one Parish Council result reported to ALDC which the Lib Dems held.
There is a tradition of service in the Walmsleys. Service to the community but also service to the Liberal Democrats. Frances Amrani is the daughter of Chris Walmlsey of the South Derbyshire by-election fame. Frances has been standing in council elections since her student days in Manchester in the 1980’s, perhaps 8 or 9 times without success. But persistence has finally paid off. She was the victor in the Teversham Ward By-election for South Cambridgeshire Council.
Superficially her result may not look as good as it actually is. Both the other candidates have been county councillors for the Electoral Division which includes Teversham. The Independent was a Labour County Councillor and got Labour help in the by-election. He also was the chairman of the “South Cambs Against (stock) Transfer” and ran his campaign almost solely on that issue. He was not some typical centre-right Independent who split the Tory vote, but attacked us from the left and, in some sense, split the anti-Tory vote.
25% of all the votes cast in this by-election were postal votes and this part of the campaign was key to our success. We wrote to all non-Tory electors early in the campaign to encourage them to apply for a postal vote. This worked well. We then wrote to them twice before the postal vote ballot issue on top of the normal election literature and did a targeted good morning on the day the postal ballot arrived on doormats. On polling day we then reminded postal voters with a separate knock up leaflet that it was not too late to use their vote.
As a member of ALDC Frances has had her own mycouncillor website www.francesamrani.mycouncillor.org.uk for some time before the by-election was called. As with most things we do it’s hard to measure or isolate their electoral effect but it certainly did not do any harm! Remember ALDC is there to help get campaigners elected so you do not need to be a councillor to use the mycouncillor website hosting service.