ALDC monitors and records the results of council by-elections on behalf of the Liberal Democrats.  All our by-election results are also posted on our website.
Yesterday saw ten principal council by-elections across the country with Lib Dem candidates contesting all but one of them.
The highlight of the night was a Town Council win for Steve Hartley in the Woodthorpe ward of Staveley Town Council in Derbyshire.  Steve gained the seat from Labour taking two-thirds of the votes.  This is the latest in a series of fantastic wins for the party in the East Midlands! Three key elements of their recent success are: solid hard work, harnessing the enthusiasm of new members and building a culture of going to help each other across the region.
In Lib Dem run Eastleigh Nicholas Couldrey held a seat in Fair Oak & Horton Heath, increasing the Lib Dem majority from earlier this year.  As usual the Eastleigh team worked their socks off to make sure they won, and some of them are heading to help in Richmond Park this weekend too!

In Gloucester we saw a good 10% swing our way in Longlevens ward.  Linda Castle leapfrogged Labour and UKIP to finish a very strong second, increasing our vote share by 23.7% after a hard fought campaign.

It wasn’t all good news though.  Sadly we lost a seat we were defending in Inverurie & District, Aberdeenshire, to the Tories.  This was partly as a result of how by-elections work in multi-member Scottish seats which are usually fought by STV.  Alison Auld actually increased our share of the vote by 5.1%  In nearby Banff & District the SNP also lost the the Tories, and Alistair Mason increased out vote share by 8.7%.

 The other good news of the night is that our Local Parties fielded candidates in Rainham, Medway, and in Gibbonsdown, Vale of Glamorgan, where we didn’t stand last time.  Thanks to Paul Chaplin and Jennifer Gironi for putting yourselves forwards and giving Lib Dem voters someone to vote for.

nigrl hunter says

What are we doing wrong to gain votes but lose seats? Is it possible to develop campaign techniques to increase the vote and reduce the oppositions. Do we push the Union of england scotland etc enough? re the old Conservative voters (ie Landowners) coming out of the woodwork.

Ian Yuill says

My colleagues in Aberdeenshire didn't do anything wrong. As the original post said, we increased our vote share in both wards.

A by-election in a multi-member STV ward is effectively an AV election. That mean although you might well win enough votes to win one of the seats in an all out election that is still not good enough to win the by-election. That is what happened in Inverurie. Our candidate actually increased our share of the vote and, if it had been an all out election for four councillors, she would have won a seat with more than a full quota.

In Banff, we had our best result ever and if Thursday's result were repeated next May we would stand a very good chance of winning a seat after transfers.

The Conservatives are doing well across Scotland just now and this was reflected in the result.

The real story of these two by-elections is how poorly the SNP did.

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