There were two principal local council by-elections that took place on Thursday 19th January 2012 resulting in Labour gaining two seats from the Lib Dems.
There was one town council result reported to ALDC which resulted in a gain for the Lib Dems from Labour on Horwich Town Council in Bolton. This meant the Lib Dem group on the council increased to 5 councillors and Labour losing its majority control on the council.
Of the two principal elections, the one in Redcar & Cleveland resulted in Labour running a very negative campaign and highlighting a controversial article that our candidate had on his Facebook site. We ran a very good campaign with all that you would expect, from lots of literature, good postal vote campaign, lots of voter contact and a full polling day operation. We seemed to have suffered with the negative campaign that Labour ran especially the article from our candidate’s Facebook account resulting in the Lib Dems losing our seat by 56 votes.
In the second by-election in St. Albans we were defending a seat we took from Labour by one vote with a paper candidate in 2010. The defeated Labour councillor, who’d represented the ward for 22 years, then re-stood in this by-election. In the 2011 election we lost to Labour coming third behind the Tories. The Lib Dem campaign was a positive one whereas the Labour campaign was negative attacking the Tories and squeezing the Lib Dems as the Tories only need one more seat to have a majority on the council. The Lib Dems improved and came second this time.