There was one principal local council by-election held on Thursday 4th August. The Lib Dem gained one seat off the Tories. In the two parish or town council by-election results reported to ALDC the Lib Dems made two gains from Independents. In 2009 we lost the South Petherton Division, of Somerset County Council in the Yeovil Constituency by just 94 votes. In Thursday’s election we had a strong candidate in Paul Maxwell who is the district councillor for Eggwood in the division. The Tories tried the same tactic and stood one of the two councillors for South Pemberton on the District council. We had the advantage of some great issues. The Tory county council were trying to close a Library in South Pemberton. The Tories tried to convince voters that they were campaigning to save it!! Voters saw through this and three days before polling day the independent campaign group put out a newsletter endorsing our candidate. Third party endorsements are very powerful !!!
The Crewkerne recycling centre that is used by most residents, charges for people to use it !! If this were not bad enough a week before polling day they upped the charge from £1.20 to £2. Two great issues that we used to the full.
We never stopped reminding people that there were only 94 votes in it and we successfully squeezed the 222 green votes polled in 2009 down to 104.
We achieved a remarkably high level of voter contact and with a good evening eve of poll and good morning leaflets we ran an intensive polling day that produced a remarkably high turnout to add to the 60% from the postal vote.
The Tories tried to disown responsibility for the decisions they were making on the County, but it did not work. Let’s hope this is the first of many to come.