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Friday, February 24, 2017

Another good night for the Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats were always going to get squeezed out of contention in Stoke-on-Trent Central and Copeland because of where they were starting from and the high profile publicity for the main challengers in each contest, UKIP and the Tories respectively.

Nevertheless, they increased both their share of the vote, the number of votes cast for them on reduced turnouts and their final position in both contests. In Copeland we finished third by nearly doubling our vote share from 2015, whilst in Stoke, the Lib Dems secured a 5.7% uplift in their vote.

The other story of the night though was in the local council by-elections where the Liberal Democrats continued their remarkable run of successes, gaining two seats from the Tories.

In the Charterlands ward of South Hams the result was LIB DEM: 46.1% (+46.1) CON: 39.3% (-25.0) LAB: 10.7% (+10.7) GRN: 3.9% (-15.6), whilst in Barton in Kettering it was LIB DEM: 57.0% (+57.0) CON: 29.8% (-19.3) UKIP: 9.4% (-14.1) GRN: 3.7% (-3.5). Both gains.

The Liberal Democrats have now made 30 net gains in local council elections since 6th May 2016.

In contrast, last night's results were a big disappointment for UKIP. They threw everything at the Stoke-on-Trent Central seat including fielding their leader as candidate in an area which voted overwhelmingly for Leave last June. However, they hardly made a dent in changing the outcome. The only way for them now is down.
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