There were two principal local council by-elections held on Thursday 30th June. The Tories held both seats.
There were no parish or town council by-election results reported to ALDC.Our candidate Lisa Smart campaigning on the Park charging issue in WandsworthWandsworth is not the strongest borough in London for active liberalism, so it was not surprising that the by-election in the Thamesfield ward was fallow ground for us – residents saw their first active Lib Dem campaign for 30 years. We went in with our eyes open and with achievable objectives. We held our vote despite a massive squeeze in this Labour /Tory marginal and built our organisation.
It always helps to have a good issue and the Tory administration introducing charging for use of a kids playground in the borough was a godsend.
Just to put the icing on the cake an ex Tory councillor defected to us in the middle of the campaign citing her concern about the charging decision.
One of the advantages of virgin territory is that techniques that have become a feature of Lib Dems campaigns across the UK, such as “blue letters” are a novelty to local focus and their impact is more marked. In Thamesmead we did a second blue from the ex Tory councillor about the parks charging issue. The Tories hated it and even announced a review of the charging policy in an eve of poll leaflet in a last minute attempt to defuse the issue.
One of our achievable objectives was to harvest data and recruit new members and deliverers. We started with nothing, no historic data at all. We now have contact information from above 20% of the electorate, which should provide the basis for future recruitment and team building. We even recruited some during the campaign. Organisationally we have developed the delivery walks and maps. We knocked and dropped surveys across the whole ward  – with follow up letters, and delivered an item of literature every week for seven weeks. This gives us a strong sense of the key local issues to continue our campaigning.
The important thing, having received help from all over London, is not to let the hard work go to waste. Wandsworth Lib Dems now need to develop and build campaigning in the ward towards the 2014 London Borough all out elections. 
Where we don’t win, this is the sort of campaign we should aim for.

Other principal results:

Broxbourne BC, Cheshunt Central

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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