Friday, 7 January 2011

Easy hold for the Tories in Windsor

In the sole principal authority by-election last night the Conservatives successfully defended the Park ward on the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Council. The vacancy arose because the incumbent Tory Councillor Richard Gard had moved from the area. The Liberal Democrats had held both seats in this ward prior to 2007 but they lost them to the Conservatives in what could be described as a wave election. The Lib Dems selected one of their Councillors defeated three and a half years ago to face a young Tory candidate. Natasha Lavender's age may have been a hindrance against her experienced opponent but the 21-year-old comfortably won the seat with just under two thirds of the vote. The margin of victory was aided by a collapse in the Liberal Democrats' support as their vote share dropped by 18%. As usual, Labour were the main beneficiaries as they enjoyed a 11% increase to finish just 7 votes short of second place.

The Lib Dems would have been hoping to start 2011 well after a difficult end to last year but it would seem the party's electoral prospects have actually got worse. Despite losing a lot of support in urban areas in the north they had been performing quite well in southern Conservative marginals. This result indicates they may well struggle in the rural district elections taking place in May, especially if there is a Labour candidate on the ballot. The Liberal Democrats will be desperate for a moral boosting victory in the Oldham East & Saddleworth by-election next week.

Park (Windsor & Maidenhead)



Vote %


Natasha Lavender (E)




Richard Fagence




Laura Binnie




Derek Prime




In other news, we were sent a result from a Town Council by-election taking place in David Cameron's own constituency; Witney. It's a shame I wasn't aware of the election* as the circumstances surrounding the by-election are quite interesting. In fact, the result caused such a stir 'Witney Town Council' ended up trending on Twitter! The vacancy was caused because the incumbent Conservative Councillor was disqualified for poor attendance, however the Tories did not defend their seat. Instead they boycotted the poll arguing it was a waste of money so close to the full Council elections in May. As a result Labour gained the seat from the Conservatives in an emphatic victory, with the Liberal Democrats and Greens also standing. I guess the sentence 'Labour gain seat from Tories in David Cameron's constituency' was always going to get traction with red politicians and activists, whatever the details!

*Feel free to put details of any Town Council by-elections on the by-election page. Alternatively send us a message @BritainVotes or email me.


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