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Friday, October 17, 2003

By-election successes

I am not going to make a habit of reporting local Council by-elections here, especially outside Wales. Those of you who are interested in Welsh Council by-elections can, of course, go to the Flashpoints section of this website where I have a table of all Welsh Principal Council by-elections since 1999. This will be updated shortly. The two by-elections in the North of England last night are worth recording. In both cases the Liberal Democrats have sent the BNP packing in areas where that party were starting to build a presence. In Mixenden, Halifax, Jennifer Pearson held the seat narrowly gained by her late husband a few months ago in a ward in which the BNP already have a Councillor. She increased the Liberal Democrat majority with 1210 votes against the BNP's 801 votes. Meanwhile, in the Lanehead ward of Burnley, a by-election caused by the resignation of a BNP Councillor, saw that party lose a seat for the first time. The Liberal Democrats polled 1070 votes, Labour were second with 464 votes and the BNP third with 357. A good night for democracy all round!

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