First of all, I would like to congratulate all those councillors who were elected on 6 May, especially the Liberal Democrat ones. We were holding elections in the most difficult of situations, during a major public health crisis.
We have heard a lot about the Labour ‘red wall’ in the Midlands and North of England, but very little about what has been happening to the Conservative ‘blue wall’ in the South, which we have breached in several places.
“The age of no-go areas for the Liberal Democrats is over.”
In addition to some stunning Liberal Democrat wins in the North, in places such as Chesterfield, Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Sunderland, we saw gains across the South and East of England – and in three-way battles, in places such as Stockport, we held our own.
Congratulations to my Liberal Democrat colleagues in seizing St Albans and taking control of Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire from the Conservatives.
We gained seats in Wiltshire, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire, Wokingham, Devon and West Sussex – and, in Shropshire, we saw one of our youngest councillors ever elected.
We held councils such as Cheltenham, Eastleigh, Mole Valley, Three Rivers and Watford, seeing the ‘blue wall’ l crumbling in this election as the Liberal Democrats moved forward in former Tory heartlands.
From Cheltenham to Cambridgeshire, Wiltshire to Woking, there are fewer and fewer safe places for the Tories in their ‘blue wall’. The age of no-go areas for the Liberal Democrats in traditionally Tory southern cities, towns and villages is over, as it is in ‘Labour heartlands’. Both parties should be looking over their shoulders.