There were nine principal council elections held on the 22nd July. The Liberal Democrats held three seats and took one off the Tories. Labour held one seat and took one off the Tories. The Tories held the three remaining seats.. In the five Parish council elections reported to ALDC there were two Lib Dem holds, a Labour hold, Independent gain from the Tories and a seat won by an independent but it is not clear whether it is a hold or a gain.
St Mary’s with Summercombe Ward in Torbay UA was our best result of the night where we took a seat off the complacent Tories. The loss of 14 seats and control of Torbay council in 2007 was a serious blow to the party and led some to wonder how long Adrian Sanders could last as the MP. Well, Adrian won in May and the Tory Mayor and council are increasingly unpopular. UKIP stood a local lifeboat woman as their candidate but they only did one poor leaflet. The Tories relied on their supporters identified in the General Election and one glossy leaflet – it was not enough.
In Thatcham South and Crookham the town council and West Berkshire Unitary Authority boundaries are co-terminus. Fifteen months ago Marvellous Ford won a Town council by-election for us in the same ward for us by 373 votes. We targeted the postal vote to the extent that 60% of votes cast were postal. The turnout of postal voters was 65% against around 20% for those who voted on the day. The Tories did more than usual with 3 full colour leaflets and a full canvass but could not dent our vote.
All three Lib Councillors for the Nethermayne Ward in Basildon were Williams’s until Ben had to resign for work reasons. We focussed on associating our new candidate with the Williams name and record. We targeted the postal Vote to great effect. The Tories suffered from a dynamic campaign from the UKIP PPC standing in the by-election. Labour tried to play the national Cuts card but we kept it local.
Kidlington North Ward of Cherwell DC lies in the Oxford West and Abingdon parliamentary seat and so had a high level of historic data to work from. Steady work over several years has built up our postal vote support but they weren’t complacent here either. All postal voters were phoned in the 3 days before the issue of postal ballots. Labour put a lot of effort in for their 17%, particularly on polling day but local squeeze messages were still working.