The Green Party and the UK Independence Party scored the impressive wins in the byelections held on 23 July. In Goldsmid ward, Brighton and Hove council, Alex Phillips won a former Conservative seat for the Green Party; the win may result in the Conservative administration of the council being voted out of office.
In Ramsey in Huntingdonshire, Peter Reeve of the UK Independence Party secured a double triumph – winning byelections in both Ramsey ward on Huntingdonshire district council and Ramsey division on Cambridgeshire county council. The district seat was formerly held by the Liberal Democrats while the county seat was Conservative in 2005.
Another council administration in trouble after a byelection loss is the Labour/Independent leadership of Redcar and Cleveland council. The second byelection of the year in Dormanstown ward resulted, like the first, in the Liberal Democrats gaining the seat from Labour, this time with Eric Howden. However, Labour are doing much better in Derbyshire Dales district council where Colin Swindell won a seat in Winster and South Darley ward from the Conservatives.
The other seats which polled on 23 July were all held by the incumbent parties. The Conservatives held Swanspool ward, Wellingborough borough council (Robert Hawkes), Ruskington ward, North Kesteven district council (Terry Boston), and Immanuel ward, Hyndburn borough council (where Judith Addison followed the late Jean Lockwood in a contest which had previously escaped notice). Labour held Reddish North ward, Stockport borough council with David Wilson elected. The Liberal Democrats held Wembley Central ward, Brent borough council, where Afifa Pervez won the seat.
There was an unusual Wednesday byelection this week, due apparently to the council Chief Executive’s reluctance to alter his holiday plans. The Liberal Democrat candidate Carol Caruana won election in Colville ward, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, taking a previously Labour seat.
Kirklees borough council‘s Liberal Democrat group has decided to withdraw from the cabinet, where they had been running a coalition administration with the Labour group since ousting the Conservatives six months ago. Labour will now run the council as a minority administration. The Government has also changed its mind about cancelling the 2010 elections of one third of councillors on Stoke-on-Trent city council; the elections will now go ahead.
(post updated and corrected, 28 July)