November 18th saw a pair of Independence Days, the good people of Latvia and Morocco both celebrating the throwing off of their respective historical yokes, and six principal council by-elections taking place across the UK.  The late-autumn gloom continues with very little to report on, only two of six seats changed hands and both of those went in Labour’s favour.  

A double election in the Croxteth ward of Liverpool City Council was never an appetising prospect given Labour’s post-CSR bounce around Northern England.  In the event, Labour held one and gained one leaving the council composition at fifty Labour, thirty five Lib Dem, three Liberals, and a pair of Greens.  While the headline result looks bad, the local Lib Dem Focus team acquitted themselves well with a share of the vote well above the current trend-line for Metropolitan seats in the North.  The second seat to change hands on the 18th was also a Labour gain, this time from the Tories, in the Wednesbury ward of Sandwell MBC.  Labour put an extra 23% on their vote-share since the ward was last contested in May 2010; Lib Dems fell back by just over 8% to fourth place, sadly outpaced by the National Front and holding the Green Party off by just three votes.  The remaining holds were for the Conservatives in the Baxenden ward of Hyndburn, where the absence of a Green Party candidate wasn’t sufficient to push Labour over the winning line; Plaid held in Eglwysbach on Conway County Borough Council with a disappointing slide to 72% of the vote; and an Independent in Anglesey showing us all how it should be done, keeping hold of Rhosneigr ward with just shy of 85%!  On a serious note, our ‘standing candidates’ average is taking a bit of a beating, with the Bird of Liberty appearing on only three of a possible six ballots this week.  The ALDC refrain remains the same ‘always stand a candidate’, and that means you!

With four principal council by-elections, including a defence in Blaby – site of a handsome defence of the Saxondale ward not so long ago – due up on the 25th, we look forward to a nice winter warmer of results next time around.  Meanwhile, please continue to stock up on this year’s Christmas card and calendar templates from the ALDC website (here), and it’s all hands on deck in Oldham East and Saddleworth for anyone who fancies a fun day out!  The best of luck to all our candidates and campaigners across the country.

Craig Whittall

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *