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Lib Dems gain two from Tories, lose two to Tories… and gain a council leader

February 23, 2018 2:46 PM
By Mark Pack Author, 101 Ways To Win An Election

Another bumper set of council by-elections this week: eleven in total, of which nine have Liberal Democrat candidates. The two missing out on candidates are at least seats the party has in one case never and in the other case only once fought before - though even in the weakest of areas, every by-election can be a useful step in building up the party if the opportunity can be taken.

There was due to be a twelfth by-election this week too. At least 754 postal votes had even already been cast in the contest. However, the contest in Bryn ward, Wigan was called off after a councillor successfully argued in the courts that he hadn't really resigned.

That's not the only unusual political news to report, as in York the council has just acquired a Liberal Democrat leader:

YORK'S outgoing council leader David Carr has sensationally quit the Conservative group and party, accusing a faction within the authority's group of committing an 'act of betrayal' against him…

His move left City of York Council with no leader, with Lib Dem Cllr Andrew Waller as acting leader…

The meeting was immediately adjourned by acting leader Andrew Waller. When it reconvened, he made a bid to defer the appointment of the new [leader] but that failed in the face of Conservative opposition, and when the Conservative's new group leader Cllr Ian Gillies was proposed as new council leader he was opposed by Labour and Lib Dem councillors - meaning Cllr Waller was left in interim charge…

With the Lib Dems and Conservatives now tied on 12 councillors each, Cllr Waller said his group would have to talk about whether to nominate one of their own members as council leader.

"The change in numbers does change the dynamics, but I am confident there is a willingness to work through it." [York Press]

On to the results, and they kick off with a Lib Dem hold.

.

holdChichester DC, Fishbourne - 22nd February 2018

LD Adrian Moss 459 [54.6%; +3.3%]
Con 294 [35.0%; -2.3%]
Lab 88 [10.5%; +10.5%]
Green 0 [[0.0%; -11.5%]]
Lib Dem hold
Percentage changes from 2015

.

Liberal Democrat GainWest Somerset DC, Minehead South - 22nd February 2018

LD Benet Allen 316 [43.2%; +43.2%]
Con 291 [39.8%; +3.2%]
Lab 125 [17.1%; -1.3%]
Ind 0 [[0.0%; -28.1%]]
Green 0 [[0.0%; -16.9%]]
Lib Dem gain from Independent

.

Dorset CC, Bridport - 22nd February 2018

Con 1660 [39.6%; +2.5%]
LD Dave Rickard 1451 [34.6%; -3.7%]
Lab 691 [16.5%; +4.4%]
Green 388 [9.3%; -3.2%]
Conservative gain from Lib Dem
Percentage changes from 2017

.

Liberal Democrat GainArun DC, Marine - 22nd February 2018

LD Matt Stanley 309 [32.7%; +32.7%]
Lab 252 [26.7%; +7.3%]
Con 242 [25.6%; -0.7%]
Ind 141 [14.9%; -15.6%]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -23.8%]]
Lib Dem gain from Conservative
Percentage changes from 2015

.

West Dorset DC, Bridport North - 22nd February 2018

Con 600 [36.0%; +5.0%]
LD Sarah Williams 500 [30.0%; -9.1%]
Lab 383 [23.0%; +9.8%]
Green 184 [11.0%; -5.7%]
Conservative gain from Lib Dem
Percentage changes from 2015

.

Hertfordshire CC, Goffs Oak & Bury Green - 22nd February 2018

Con 1390 [59.6%; -5.5%]
LD David Payne 482 [20.7%; +14.8%]
Lab 393 [16.8%; -0.8%]
Green 69 [3.0%; +3.0%]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -11.4%]]
Conservative hold
Percentage changes from 2017

.

Lichfield DC, Stowe - 22nd February 2018

Con 513 [44.8%; -9.0%]
Lab 299 [26.1%; -0.9%]
LD Jeyan Anketell 217 [19.0%; +19.0%]
Something New 59 [5.2%; +5.2%]
Grn 56 [4.9%; -14.2%]
Conservative hold
Percentage changes from 2015

.

North Kesteven DC, Eagle, Swinderby & Witham St Hughs - 22nd February 2018

Con 563 [57.8%]
Ind 347 [35.6%]
LD Corinne Byron 64 [6.6%]
Conservative gain from Independent
No percentage changes as last election (2015) was uncontested

.

Torfaen UA, Trevethin - 22nd February 2018

Lab 233 [50.1%; -1.3%]
Ind 148 [31.8%; -16.7%]
Ind 69 [14.8%; +14.8%]
Green 15 [3.2%; +3.2%]
Labour hold
Percentage changes from 2017

.

Boston BC, Old Leake & Wrangle - 22nd February 2018

Con 536 [74.2%; +21.3%]
Lab 123 [17.0%; +17.0%]
UKIP 50 [6.9%; -40.1%]
Ind 13 [1.8%; +1.8%]
Conservative hold
Percentage changes from 2016

.

Scottish Borders UA, Selkirkshire - 22nd February 2018

Independent gain from Conservative
Elected at 7th stage
Awaiting figures