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By-election watch: 10/11 April… Luton bringing me sunshine

April 13, 2013 12:14 PM
By Mark Valladares in Liberal Democrat Voice
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

We start with Darlington, where Howard Jones was flying our flag in Lascelles ward, one which we didn't fight in 2011. Plaudits should go the team there, who have demonstrated that there is a vote for us out there, if we make a case. The Conservatives were pushed into third place, perhaps reflecting national opinion polls that are showing them at their lowest level in this Parliament. The result was;

  • Helen Crumbie (Labour) - 426 votes (63%, -17%)
  • Howard Jones (Liberal Democrat) - 129 votes (19%, +19%)
  • Lewis Cairns (Conservative) - 117 votes (17%, -3%)

Luton saw that rare event, a Wednesday by-election, and, even rarer in the East of England, a Liberal Democrat defence in one of Labour's two Parliamentary seats. The by-election, caused by the death of stalwart Liberal Democrat Roy Davies in Wigmore ward. The Conservative vote from 2011 collapsed, as their share of the vote halved, UKIP being the apparent beneficiaries. The Liberal Democrat vote held up well, proof that it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom in contests against Labour.

The result;

  • Alan Skepelhorn (Liberal Democrat) - 982 votes (47%)
  • James Taylor (Labour) - 517 votes (24%)
  • John Young (Conservative) - 281 votes (13%)
  • Lance Richardson (UKIP) - 230 votes (11%)
  • John Magill (Independent) - 62 votes (3%)
  • Marc Scheimann (Green) - 27 votes (1%)

In tribute, our successful candidate said;

I've always had an idea of what's going on and as far as I'm concerned it's business as usual. Roy served the people of Wigmore for 30 years and I intend to follow with the same dedication. It's how we work.

Finally, in Pembrokeshire, there wasn't a Liberal Democrat candidate in Burton ward, which saw its first contested election since 2004. Despite the intervention of Labour and Conservative candidates, one of the Independents was successful in what is one of the Independent-led rural Welsh authorities.

Again, if there are any results that we missed, do add them as a comment…

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