Friday, 26 July 2013


A version of this article appeared on Lib Dem Voice earlier today

Winning a council seat in Merseyside off Labour would be a significant achievement. Winning two on the same day would be virtually unheard of.

The winning candidates Jen and Bruce

Yesterday, in Maghull, Sefton MBC, Merseyside, Lib Dems won two seats off Labour and came within 9 votes of winning a third. The by-elections concerned took place in three adjacent seats on Maghull Town Council.

Now in Southport we seldom identify with 'Sefton'. I will make an exception for Maghull. For reasons too painful to explain we got put in the same borough back in the early 1970's. Labour have been rampant in Maghull. Those days are now passed. Knocking on doors it was clear that there is a real sence of dissoultion with the Labour MP and council leadership. The MP in particular-who has an extended honeymoon with the media-has been rumbled by the electorate. I even had a former Labour voter  compare him to the Roman god Janus!

We were magnificantly helped by Liberal Youth. They certainly freshed up up our campaigning and lifted our morale. I'm delighted that Jen Robertson won. Bruce Hubbard -a Sefton MBC councillor-was also returned and Geoff Howe was so close in Maghull South.  Southport Lib Dems were out in force-many thanks.

some of the Liberal Youth team who helped-the average age of the clip boards was older than the average age of come committee rooms
The campaign had the feel of a 'turning point'. It has been decribed as our 'Stalingrad'. The momemnt when we were determind to halt the advance. Nobody died-although bites, blisters and sunburn have been reported. But we have proved it can be done and done in style against one of the most successful Labour outfits in the North.

Maghull Town Council, 8 miles to the North West of Liverpool City Centre, is the largest civil parish in the country and levies a Band D council tax precept of nearly £90.

Labour Town councillors in three adjacent wards, Maghull North, Maghull East and Maghull South resigned in June. North and East wards, each with electorates of around 5000, together combine to form the Sefton MBC ward of Sudell which Labour won in May 2012 by a 59% to 23% margin over the Lib Dems,

Yesterday Lib Dems notionally gained Sudell Ward with 49% of the vote against 44% for Labour, a swing of 20.3% from Labour to Lib Dems since the last Sefton Borough elections in 2012.

Chair of Liberal Youth testing the swing in maghull yesterday

In terms of the three individual Maghull Town Council wards, as compared to the last town council elections in 2011, swings of 10.5% from Labour to Lib Dems were achieved in North and East Wards, and a swing of 9% in South Ward.

The full results were:

Maghull North Ward

Jen Robertson (Lib Dem) 546 52.0% (+22.3%)

Labour 504 48.0% (+1.5%)

Lib Dem GAIN from Labour

Maghull East Ward

Bruce Hubbard (Lib Dem) 621 46.2% (+14.3%)

Labour 557 41.5% (-6.8%)

UKIP 165 12.3% (-)

Lib Dem GAIN from Labour

Maghull South Ward

Labour 180 42.4% (-12.2%)

Geoff Howe (Lib Dem) 171 40.2% (+6.1%)

UKIP 74 17.4% (-)

Labour HOLD

A fantastic effort by the Lib Dem team in Maghull, supported by colleagues in Southport, the rest of Sefton and Liverpool.

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