Nationally the Liberal Democrats fielded more candidates than 4 years ago and with candidate and membership numbers running high, expectations were equally lofty.
In many wards in became clear that there must have been a strong desire for a centrist and liberal candidate where there had not been one before and many Lib Dem candidates took significant voter share from a standing start. Others managed spectacular swings, achieving impressive victories like this one:
The national perspective was overwhelmingly positive with the Liberal Democrats (as I’m sure you already know) gaining more seats than all other parties combined, up +75 seats. Though the Conservatives lost -30 seats, they and Labour seemed to feast on the corpse of UKIP, stealing seats in Sandwell and Dudley and no doubt benefitting from UKIP’s effective political redundancy now that the two largest parties in the commons clamber over one another to implement the party’s only policy.
Superficially speaking the regional results seem slightly disappointing with a net gain across the West Midlands of one seat. (You can find full results below) However, as Richard Vos points out ‘we had over 200 candidates contesting local elections in the West Midlands and now have an opportunity to build on this energy, enthusiasm and commitment.’ Almost all of those 200 candidates increased voter share in their wards and ran very effective campaigns, special mention must go to; Sophie Thornton and Jake Calcutt in Bournbrook and Selly Park, our youngest candidates and up against a student population that typically votes ideologically and smitten with the Cult of Corbyn, Lee Dargue in Ladywood, Gareth Hardy, a man who lives and breathes the Jewellery Quarter and Soho and Izzy Knowles, whose love for Moseley extends to her styles choices and I was pleased to see her rocking her ‘I heart Moseley’ T-shirt at the count. Though unsuccessful this time round, they all performed well and I am sure that come 2022, the future will be yellow… (or perhaps even peach as the BBC chose to illustrate Lib Dem colours…)
I would like to extend my wholehearted and earnest congratulations to Jon Hunt, Morriam Jan, Roger Harmer, Baber Baz, Zaker Choudhry, Neil Eustace, Mike Ward, and Paul Tilsley CBE in Birmingham, Paul Fisher in Cannock Chase, Tim Douglas, Carie-Anne Dumbleton, Bill Lewis, Craig Mcqueen, Marion Nash, Noreen New, Jerry Roodhouse, Sue Roodhouse and Neil Sandison in Rugby, Ade Adeyemo, Jo Fairburn, Laura McCarthy and Glenis Slater in Solihull, Ian Frank Whilkes, Marion Reddish, June Whitlate in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Daniel Barker and Ian Shires in Walsall and Alan Totty in Wyre Forest.
The list of the post-election West Midlands standing is below:
- Birmingham 8 LDs (-3)
- Cannock Chase 1 LD
- Coventry - No LDs
- Daventry 1 LD
- Dudley - No LDs
- Rugby 9 LDs - No Gains
- Sandwell - No LDs
- Solihull 4 LDs (-2)
- Tamworth No LDs
- Newcastle Under Lyme 3 LDs +1
- Walsall 2 LDs - No Gains
- Wolverhampton - no LDs
- Worcester - no LDs
- Wyre Forest 3 LDs +1
These councils won’t be contested again until 2022, until then there will be more local elections next year and we hope to build on the impressive progress that is being made and working together as a region will see us accomplish great things as we move forward.