The five byelections in main local authorities which were held on Thursday 18 September were dominated by minor parties. At the end of their conference week the Liberal Democrats picked up Woodbridge division on Suffolk county council from the Conservatives, and narrowly failed to take the Woodbridge Riverside ward on Suffolk Coastal district council to go with it; instead it stayed Conservative. However the Liberal Democrats lost St Dogmael’s ward of Pembrokeshire county council to an Independent candidate who won a landslide victory.
In Farnley and Wortley ward of Leeds city council, the Green Party narrowly defended its ward from a surge by the Liberal Democrats, with Labour holding on to its share of the vote to produce a close three way finish. Rounding off the night, the Scottish National Party kept the Bailieston seat on Glasgow city council vacated by its newest MP, John F. Mason, holding off a resilient Labour vote.
There is one councillor defection to report this week: Steven Bridgett, elected earlier this year in Rothbury division as a Liberal Democrat member of Northumberland county council, has resigned from the Liberal Democrat group on the county council over how to deal with flooding in his division. He remains a Liberal Democrat councillor on Alnwick district council.
It should also be noted that Morris Lightfoot, councillor on Harrogate borough council for Bilton ward and on North Yorkshire county council for Nidd Gorge division, has been suspended from the Liberal Democrats after being charged with sex offences. An election petition arising out of the 2008 local elections in Accrington Central ward of Hyndburn borough council has been dismissed.