There was one principal council by-election held on the 7th January. The Lib Dem held the seat. There were no Parish and Town council election results reported to ALDC.In the Woodfield Ward on Harrogate council in the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency we ran a professional campaign that you would expect in a held parliamentary seat to regain a seat lost by defection to the Tories. The defection in October 2008 had also handed overall control of the council to the Tories so it was nice to see it reversed. Technically the result is a Lib Dem hold but it deprives the Tories of their overall majority on the council leaving the balance Tories 27, Lib Dems 21 and Ripon Independents 6. It also builds on our success last June when we won back the Bilton Nidd Gorge ward of North Yorkshire County Council which the defector had also held.
Whilst the Tory vote increased it was pleasing to see both the BNP and Labour falling back. The BNP ran an active campaign that included the Yorkshire’s BNP MEP both on the streets and at the count – perhaps it was counter productive? Labour did little in a ward in which they were a getting over 30% in 2005 and fell behind the BNP to fourth place. The Tories ran a strong campaign with four “In Touch” leaflets and target mail and were evidently disappointed at the count not to do better in ward they’d rarely worked in previously.
Key to victory was a strong postal vote campaign as around 40% of the votes cast were from postal voters in the extremely challenging snow and ice.
A nice birthday present for Nick Clegg!