Whilst last night’s results were a mixed bag, with only three Liberal Democrat candidates running across the seven by-elections, we are delighted to announce that one of our candidates, 22-year-old Thomas Sheriff, won his by-election for the Eden District Council. Sheriff won 54.6% of the vote in the Alston Moor ward, compared to just 45.4% for the Conservatives, with two Independents choosing not to stand on this occasion. Sheriff is an active member of the community, responsible for running a local music festival, and he ran his campaign on an opposition to the proposed closure of essential cottage hospitals in the area.
Tim Farron responded to Sherriff’s success by saying that “He’ll be a fantastic addition to the Lib Dem team on the council. We’re making gains in elections across Britain as people are looking to us to provide a progressive alternative to the Tories and stand up for our communities.”
In East Riding of Yorkshire our candidate Helen Wright gained 4.1% of the vote, with the Liberal Democrats not having previously contested the seat. Whilst we have a long way to go to win this seat, with the victorious Conservatives gaining 917 votes to our 98, it is great to see more seats being contested by Liberal Democrats to maintain loyalty in local elections.
The third by-election we contested was by Andrew England in East Brighton, who finished 5th with 4.5% of the vote. After the count, England said “I’d like to thank everyone who helped with funding, campaigning, leafleting and volunteering their time to support me in this by-election. This is all new to me and whilst I am disappointed in the result, it is encouraging that we are now gaining momentum and moving in the right direction. It has been a steep learning curve but I have enjoyed the experience and look forward to future opportunities to make our liberal voice heard in the city.” England focused his campaign on improving community facilities, promoting tolerance with a pro-immigration platform, and encouraging young people to get involved in politics (who will hopefully be encouraged by Sheriff’s success in Eden!).
There were a further four by-elections last night in which the Liberal Democrats were not on the ballot, in Nottinghamshire, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Rushcliffe and Ashford. Nottinghamshire and Rushcliffe were both held by the Conservative with 44.0% and 54.3% of the vote respectively, whilst UKIP and Labour traded seats, with Labour gaining a seat in Newcastle-Under-Lyme from UKIP and UKIP winning the Ashford by-election from Labour.
Next week we have a lighter Thursday with three by-elections taking place, in Renfrewshire and Worcestershire (both defences by the Conservatives), and North Ayrshire (which the SNP are hoping to hold).
A big thank you as always to those who come every week to 23 New Mount Street in Manchester to make calls at ALDC’s By-election HQ, funded through fighting fund donations. If you can help us fight in even more wards, please donate here.