Yesterday saw four principal by-elections. In Wroxham ward of Broadland Council, the local Liberal Democrats continued their by-election winning streak having first taken a council seat in the ward five years ago. Ben McGilvray came from fourth place in 2009 to become one of the country’s youngest councillors but after moving out of the area a by-election was called. Alex Cassam increased the Liberal Democrat vote to take 48.3% and retain the seat for the party. The Conservatives came second on 34.2%, UKIP (who did not stand last time) took third with 11.2% and Labour finished fourth with 6.3%. The winning team put their victory down to running a high momentum campaign where they put out at least two leaflets for every one of their competitors’. Voters reacted badly to a negative Conservative campaign. Cllr Cassam and her team used positive stories from the European campaigns such as the benefits of European arrest warrants to keep the UKIP vote down. They helped to supress UKIP support by reminding voters that the party has no record of action in the area. The Wroxham team were especially thankful to the help they received from Liberal Democrats in surrounding areas, especially from North Norfolk and Norwich South Liberal Democrats.
In Rushcliffe, the Conservatives held onto their seat in Gamston ward despite losing 10% of their vote share. Just 48 votes separated the Labour candidate in second place and Davinder Virdi (the Liberal Democrat candidate) who came fourth; UKIP won just three more votes than Mr Virdi to take third place.
Bideford East ward of Torridge Council saw an Independent retain the seat with nearly double the votes the second placed Conservative candidate received. In total the three Independent candidates received nearly 56% of the votes which squeezed the Liberal Democrat and Tory support. Labour finished in third place and the Liberal Democrats came in fifth.
The Conservatives gained a seat in Cellard Head, Staffordshire Moorlands from the Staffordshire Independents.
For all the detailed results see the ALDC elections page: http://www.aldc.org/category/by-election-results/