There have been two election days since the last update, Tuesday 25th for the delayed elections in Camden’s Haverstock ward, and Thursday 27th for Ryde South on the Isle of Wight and a variety of deferred- and by-elections for Town Councils across the country.
In the first serious electoral test since the formation of the coalition, the Liberal Democrat team in Camden successfully defended three seats in the deferred elections in the Haverstock ward. A quick note on classifications; we are reporting this result as two hold and one gain despite there being three Lib Dem councillors on both the 5th and 7th of May. In 2006, the voters of Camden returned two Labour and one Liberal Democrat in Haverstock. One of the Labour councillors was replaced by a Lib Dem in a by-election in July 2007, whilst the second change was the result of defection. When treating elections, the ALDC policy is to use the will of the voters as expressed at the ballot box as the basis for its results classifications, therefore the seat that saw a defection has still technically been gained from Labour – the party that received the winning number of votes the last time that seat was contested. With a small increase in the Lib Dem tallies, albeit on a turnout only half that of the other borough elections on May 6th, our Haverstock holds kept the group total at thirteen councillors and capped Camden’s net losses at seven.
Bad news from the Isle of Wight, whose Ryde South ward was gained by the Conservatives with a 10% increase on 2009. The sitting councillor had been elected Liberal Democrat before becoming independent and so, in line with the principle outlined above, the Ryde South ward by-election goes into our losses column. A near 20% upswing saw Labour into second place and our candidate Tony Zeid came in third.
In the non-principle council elections, the Conservatives notched up five Town Council gains, one of which – on Rugeley Town Council in Cannock Chase – was taken from the Liberal Democrats by the wafer-thin margin of four votes. Out in the High Peak, it appears that the Green Party have finally found their own winning formula – taking a previously Lib Dem seat on New Mills Town Council by running completely unopposed. The good news from the Towns is threefold; firstly, Tom Stubbs and the Truro Liberal Democrat team are celebrating his election to Truro City Council, taking the Trehaverne ward seat from an Independent. Secondly, in the deferred elections for Stratford-on-Avon T.C., the Lib Dem majority was extended by three to fifteen out of a possible twenty councillors. Finally, a resounding success on Kendal Town Council – a full, clean sweep of all 28 seats. Congratulations and best wishes to all of our campaigners and councillors in Truro, Stratford, and Kendal.
All in all, a mixed bag of results as we move into June but our sure-footed defence in Camden, the most significant of this week’s elections in terms of voter numbers and councillors returned, bodes well for our campaigns teams as we move into the summer.
ALDC By-Elections Team