Some notable successes

Three Green party gains from Conservative just days apart represent a notable success.  

To put that into context, between 1983 and 2020 the Green Party and its antecedent, the Ecology Party, made a net gain of just nine seats against the Conservatives.

Two of these gains were in a double vacancy in Broadland District Council’s Brundall ward. One of the winners in this contest, Jan Davis, had been placed fourth in the May 2019 election with a gap of 300 votes between her and the Conservatives.  

Both the Greens and Liberal Democrats squeezed the main two-party vote here.

Two days later, the Greens took another Conservative seat, this time East Hampshire District Council’s Horndean Downs ward.  

This was a much closer affair with Blossom Gottlieb winning by just 29 votes.  

The vacancy arose following the resignation of Tony Denton after he was elected to Havant Borough Council last May. This background and the absence of a Liberal Democrat candidate may have swung the result in the Greens’ favour.

The Conservatives suffered two further losses.  

Lesley Bruton, the town clerk for Tenbury, standing as an Independent, took the ward of that name in Malvern Hills District Council. 

It was always going to be a difficult defence for the Conservatives in Eden District Council’s Penrith West ward. 

In May 2019, the two-member ward returned a Liberal Democrat and a Conservative, and it was unusual that each party only fielded one candidate. This is the ward’s third by-election since 2000 and each time the seat has changed hands.

East Cambridgeshire’s Soham North saw the Conservatives gain from the Liberal Democrats. Just 30 votes separated the parties in May 2019 but a swing towards the Conservatives here does not diminish the party’s slide across the county witnessed in last May’s shire contests.

Labour is currently unable to capitalise on Conservative discomfort; indeed it faces problems of its own.  

The death of Cllr June Goodchild caused the by-election in Middlesbrough Council’s Ladgate ward. Elected for Labour in 2019, she quit the party the following year, joining the Independent group.  

Labour failed to re-capture the seat, however, with Independent Tony Grainge winning by 47 votes.

Elsewhere, Labour’s urban base is less than solid in some parts. The Liberal Democrats had near successes in Sheffield’s Firth Park and Sunderland’s Hetton, while Labour’s vote in Nottingham’s Sherwood ward slipped under pressure from the city’s Independents.

Finally, on a sad note, the Residents Association of Cuddington retained their seat on Epsom and Ewell following the death of councillor and former mayor, Rob Foote, killed while a volunteer marshal at a race meeting at the Brands Hatch circuit last July. 

local by-elections
Broadland, Brundall
2 GREEN GAIN FROM CON
6.9% over Con
Turnout 32.2%
Broadland, Old Catton
& Sprowston West
CON HELD
27% over Lab
Turnout 21.9%
Charnwood, Shepshed West
CON HELD
16.6% over Lab
Turnout 19.4%
Ealing, Hobbayne
LAB HELD
24.3% over Con
Turnout 29.9%
East Cambridgeshire, Soham North
CON GAIN FROM LIB DEM
12.1% over Lib Dem
Turnout 19.2%
East Devon, Exe Valley
LIB DEM HELD
5% over Con
Turnout 26.2%
East Hampshire, Horndean Downs
GREEN GAIN FROM CON
4.5% over Con
Turnout 26.8%
East Staffordshire,
Tutbury and Outwoods
CON HELD
6.9% over Ind
Turnout 22.3%
Eden, Penrith West
LIB DEM GAIN FROM CON
21.6% over Con
Turnout 17.2%
Epsom and Ewell, Cuddington
RES HELD
36.2% over Lab
Turnout 23.3%
Flintshire, Penyffordd
LAB GAIN FROM IND
12.9% over Ind
Turnout 21.2%
Hammersmith and Fulham,
Wormholt and White City
LAB HELD
49.4% over Con
Turnout 22.6%
Malvern Hills, Tenbury
IND GAIN FROM CON
24.7% over Con
Turnout 28.3%
Middlesbrough, Ladgate
MIG GAIN FROM LAB
4.5% over Con
Turnout 25.8%
Nottingham, Sherwood
LAB HELD
22.2% over Nott Ind
Turnout 22.3%
Nottingham, St Ann’s
LAB HELD
52.7% over Nott In
Turnout 14.2%
Rushcliffe, Musters
LIB DEM HELD
16.6% over Lab
Turnout 35.6%
Sheffield, Firth Park
LAB HELD
1.5% over LIB DEM
Turnout 19.1%
Somerset West and Taunton,
Wilton and Sherford
LIB DEM HELD
20.3% over Con
Turnout 39.9%
Somerset, Comeytrowe
and Trull
LIB DEM HELD
29.8% over Con
Turnout 33.7%
South Lakeland, Kendal North
LIB DEM HELD
7.2% over Green
Turnout 39.5%
Sunderland, Hetton
LAB HELD
1.3% over Lib Dem
Turnout 22.5%
Swale, Priory
LIB DEM HELD
7.4% over Con
Turnout 25.8%
Waverley, Cranleigh East
LIB DEM HELD
13.7% over Con
Turnout 31%
West Suffolk, The Rows
CON GAIN FROM IND
46% over Lab
Turnout 19.8%

For more details of these and other recent by-election results, visit www.local.gov.uk/first

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