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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Liberal Democrats end conference with 17th by-election gain of the year

The Liberal Democrats rounded off their Brighton Conference yesterday with a rousing speech from Tim Farron and a by-election gain from Labour in the Plasnewydd ward of Cardiff. It was the party's seventeenth by-election gain of the year and the 60th council seat we have gained in total in 2016.

Cardiff Council, Plasnewydd ward - By election result

Robin Rea, Welsh Lib Dem 1258
Lab 910
Plaid 177
Con 115
Green 93

Welsh Lib Dem GAIN from Labour
23.09% turnout

As I argued yesterday these advances in local government are a sign that the party is starting to overcome its trust issue but that there is still a long way back. Tim Farron told conference that we are going to rebuild support from the grassroots up. That is what we have started to do.

Farron's speech was also significant for other reasons, not least the pledge to introduce a hypothecated tax to fund the health service and his passionate advocacy of our liberalism and internationalism.

The Liberal Democrats leader pitched his appeal at moderate, centre-left Labour supporters both in his praise of Tony Blair's successes (and condemnations of failures such as the Iraq war) and in his championing of key public services.

Although the Plasnewydd by-election was already underway as he spoke, it is a sign that this message is getting through.
Crikey didn't realise until listening to Tim Farron that Lib Dems had won anything,let alone the 17 by elections you mention.

Trouble is with a predominant Tory press hear very little about Lib Dems,and when mentioned always negative;but well done to the Guardian.

After hearing his speech am minded to rejoin the party I had supported all my life;only leaving after it was taken over by the right wing 'Orange Book'clique,and the too cosy relationship previous leader had with Cameron,who I could see was taking political advantage, which Clegg could not see.
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