Monday, 23 December 2013

Liberal Democrats and Independent Win By-Election Contests

In a close fought contest, for the Lincolnshire County Council seat of the Scotter Rural Division, Liberal Democrat, Lesley Rollings has succeeded in her third attempt to win the seat. The Conservatives' candidate, Richard Butroid, came in second, followed by candidates from UK Independence Party, Nick Smith, and the Lincolnshire Independents party, Chris Darcel.
Above: (Left to Right) Front row: John Gilliam, Matt Boles, Harriett Fowler, Cllr. Trevor Young, Barry Coward (unsuccessful district candidate), Cllr. Lesley Rollings and Cllr. Reg Shore (WLDC Liberal Democrat Leader),
Rear row: Behind Cllr. Rollings is Cllr. David Dobbie and his son, Rhys, Keith Panter, Paul Key, Harry Warriner, Heather Shore, Adi O'Neil, John Rollings, Cllr. Pat O'Connor.
In the Scotter Ward of West Lindsey District Council election Christopher Day, who ran with out descriptor on the ballot paper, secured victory, followed by John Cox, Conservative, Barry Coward, Liberal Democrat and Dr. Howard Thompson for the UK Independence Party.

Speaking at the Count, Conservative Party Agent, Giles McNeill said:
"I think these two results are very interesting in two ways; firstly, that whilst the Lib Dem candidate improved their share of the vote in the county contest, it actually went down in the district contest. The election of the Scotter Parish Council Chairman, Cllr. Chris Day and Cllr. Mrs. Lesley Rollings suggests that local residents want local candidates. This is something I am sure will be taken on by the [Conservative] party locally. 
"Secondly, despite the widespread misconception that the UK Independence Party is continuing to find supporters, this is not supported by the evidence of these two elections. In May, earlier this year, UKIP came second in the county contest. Today they are in third place and have lost seven percentage points since May."
Mark Valadares, on the Liberal Democrat Voice blog, subsequently observed:
"Lincolnshire wasn’t kind to Liberal Democrats in the 2013 County elections, with our vote share dropping by three-quarters and two of our five seats lost, so a December by-election in Scotter Rural wouldn’t have seemed to be promising much other than more pain, especially with UKIP in second place in May, but in a fine rebound, the seat was gained from the Conservatives on a 22% swing. 
"Admittedly, the West Lindsey District ward of Scotter didn’t see matching success, but our vote, small though it was (14.3%) held up pretty well."
Full results for the County Council contest are available here and here for the District Council contest.

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