Friday 3 April 2009

Amazing by-election win for Liberal Democrats

Well, here we go...

The Liberal Democrats have pulled off a stunning by-election win in the Belsize Ward.

The Tories were just 35 votes short of winning and have been so thoroughly trashed in all of the other Camden elections that this was the election for them.

In fact they lost dramatically and the Liberal Democrats won convincingly.

Tom Simon (Lib Dem) 1136
Conservative 952
Labour 270
Green 109

Majority 184

So where now for the Tories, seems like they are totally in the doldrums and in trouble...

Well done Tom - best of luck as councillor for the Belsize Ward - you'll be great.


P said...

> The Tories were just 35 votes short of winning and have been so thoroughly trashed in all of the other Camden elections that this was the election for them.

Do you mean that the Tories were "35 votes short of winning" in the 2006 local elections? It seems to me that actually they were 35 votes away from having a single councillor out of three, a bit different to 'winning'.

I make the results to be like this as a percentage of the total vote.


Lib dems: 41%
Tories: 37.3%


Lib dems: 46%
Tories: 38.6%

So both parties actually increased their share of the total vote slightly (at the expense of Labour). Unless I've done my sums wrong somewhere, hardly that dramatic?

Ed Fordham said...

I think when a party has lost a ward unexpectedly and are just 35 votes short of the seat then to have a chance to snatch is back in one opportunity you can;t lose. Well, the Tories had their chance and lost...

In the campaign for this area it is pretty dramtic. hampstead and kilburn has had 4 by-elections out of the 10 wards that make up the constituency and the lib dems have won every single one.

That's pretty dramtic and a sign of what is happening on the ground as the tories fall back round here.


Anonymous said...

Mazeltof, Tom!

David Abrahams said...

This is a great result for the Lib Dems, whatever Philip Wigg says. The context in which this election was fought was very different to 2006. In 2006 the Tories were taken by surprise. They regarded Belsize as a safe seat and concentrated their engergies elsewhere (Hampstead and Gospel Oak). In 2009 they threw themselves heart and soul into winning back Belsize, in a make or break effort to regain political momentum from the Lib Dems. The Tories are currently riding high in the national opinion polls and Belsize is a generally affluent area with many "natural" Tory voters.

After all that effort, to see the Tory share of the vote rise by a derisory 1.3%, while the Lib Dems added a further 5% to their total must be hugely demoralising. Especially after the Tories' shock defeat in Hampstead last year (again at the hands of the Lib Dems).

If the Tories can't win in Belsize and Hampstead, how can they present themselves as credible challengers in the Hampstead & Kilburn constituency?

So great news for the Lib Dems, a terrible result for the Tories and a real shot in the arm for Ed's campaign to become MP for Hampstead and Kilburn.

Anonymous said...

I'm still fascinated to learn where the chap thinks he's going to put that primary school that he kept going on about. And where he's going to find the money, for that matter. Any ideas?

P said...

I didn't say it wasn't a good result. I agree it's a 'shot in the arm' to Ed's prospects of becoming an MP too. I am not a Tory, and in fact have been known to vote Lib Dem!

I just took issue with the '35 votes short of winning' bit which was a bit misleading and pointed out that both parties had actually increased their share of the vote.

I do think it is a bit strange to characterise winning a seat you already held as 'amazing' and 'stunning' although it's a good result obviously.

Maybe this is the wrong place to try and be objective, but it seems to me that Labour lost dramatically, not the Tories.

Anonymous said...

Trying to be as objective as possible, Belsize and Hampstead (where the Lib Dems won last September) are places where the Tories need to be winning if they think they are going to do any better than third at the general election, especially since they have virtually zero presence in the substantial Brent part of the constituency. The Lib Dems have won every by-election in the three distinct parts of the constituency since February 2008 and now.