On July 29th there were three principal council by-elections and six contests out in the towns. There was good news at all levels, on the former we gained a seat in Bath and North East Somerset, and in the latter we romped home with four gains out of the six!
Our gain in the Radstock ward of Bath and North East Somerset District Council has taken us to within four seats of the Conservatives, who currently enjoy minority control with thirty-one seats overall. That said, the Tories were no threat in this particular ward and their attacks on the ‘Bath-centric Liberal Democrats’ while running a candidate from Bath themselves, indicated how seriously they were taking the contest. The only real contenders were an Independent and the Labour Party. Labour polled second with a largely positive campaign centred on their candidate. Our candidate Simon Allen was a new face in local politics and the campaign made a lot of a ‘Fresh Start for Radstock’. The long experience of Bath and N.E.S. helping neighbouring constituencies at election time paid karmic dividends, when they received help from no fewer than twelve constituency parties across the region. Weekly print-runs across a variety of colours and formats, a street letter linked a community action day on a local estate, and a well-timed postal vote campaign sealed the victory. A legacy of fresh canvass data and a new deliverers network were the icing on the cake of our newest Liberal Democrat in local government. Congratulations to Simon and the whole Bath and North East Somerset team.
Elsewhere, we came a close second in the Haywards Heath Franklands ward of Mid Sussex D.C., with a 27% increase in our vote-share, we were just eighty-one votes shy of picking up a second by-election seat on Mid-Sussex since May 6th. In the towns, we took two seats off the Tories, in Crewekerne near Yeovil and Haywards Heath Town Council. A gain from the Independents in Redruth and one off Labour on Keynsham Town Council near Bristol rounded off a good day at the office for our campaign teams across the country.
ALDC By-Elections Team