Saturday, 22 January 2011

Lib-Dem win Marl Byelection but its not impressive.

he results for the byelection for the Marl ward of Conwy council resulted in s a Liberal Democrat gain from the Tories.

LD 389 (40.4; -10.1)
Con 270 (28.1; +5.7)
Lab 216 (22.5; +14.2)
Ind 87 (9.0; -9.7)
Majority 119
Turnout 31.3%
LD gain from Con

The % change which I got from the Lib-Dem Association of Liberal Dempcrat Councillors ALDC looks like a major victory for the Lib-Dems but Marl is a two seat ward and they held the other seat last time with a huge majority

2008 result
Michael Alfred Priestley Welsh LD 848 37%
Linda Ann Hurr Welsh  Con 375 16% Elected
Samantha Louise Cotton  Con  349 15% Not elected
Delyth Shotter Ind l 315 14% Not elected
Barry Wynne Owen Ind 293 13%
Roy Gambrill Lab 139 6%

Mike Priestley is the Lib-Dem Assembly candidate and although he can claim victory in his ward it is not as impressive as it looks. Particularly when you look at the 14.7% swing to Labour.

Comenting on the ALDC website the Lib-Dems who haven't had  had too much to celebrate with regards By-election recently posted.
We had kept our ear to the ground and could see that a by-election was likely as far back as October last. We introduced a new focus editor and started focusing as a team. When the resignation came we called the election immediately catching the Tories on the hop. The postal vote was issued on January 2nd we made sure that despite the weather they all received personal bi-lingual letters from Mike and the candidate. We followed this with further focuses and street letters, and a final targeted letter from Lord Roger Roberts. The Tories put out a confused variety of literature and Labour were entirely negative. With a turnout of 31%, a postal vote turnout of 75% justified our postal vote work. Emphasising the hard working team is a key message in all your literature where we have a track record. 
Based on this and will the Focus team leaflets be counted as electoral expenses and although I acept the weather may have influenced people applying for postal votes . I am worried that political parties have too much involvement in people obtaining them. 75% is a very high number and whilst I am sure that all was above board at the Marl by-election I am concerned that if Political parties or organised groups take to much of arole when it comes to postal votes it threats the secret ballot and the democratic system.

If we are too have increased postal votes then we must ensure that they are as  secret and as democratic as voting in a poling booth recent disclosures in other council election have concerned me of this.

I am sure that in Conwy the whole process was based on the commitment of honest Lib-Dem workers but what if it dishonest people wished to misue the Postal vote the current system makes it open to abuse.

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