|Photo by Sunil060902|
The result in full;
Liberal Democrats 1189 (42.96%)
Conservative 1081 (39.05%)
Green Party 237 (8.56%)
Labour Party 185 (6.68%)
UKIP 69 (2.49%)
Independent 7 (0.25%)
The ALDC website tells us all about Geraldine.
It says that though
"the vision and values of the Lib Dems has always been close to her heart, it was the loss of Vince Cable at the recent election that galvanised her into joining the party".But then in local politics it is often a case of identifying the people you would like to stand for you first and persuading them to join the party aferwards.
Anyway, congratulations to Geraldine Locke and everyone concerned in a victory that give me hope that talk of a Liberal Democrat revival is more than wishful thinking.
But the attentive reader will have noticed that the headline of this post refers to "another" great by-election in Hampton Wick. Let me explain...
In 1983 and 1984 I was living in Kew (well, North Sheen) and have great memories of the night the Alliance took control of Richmond council.
Up until 10 November 1983 the Conservatives had been clinging on to control of the council thanks to the Mayor's casting vote. Then one of their councillors from Hampton Wick died and the Liberal Party (as part of the Alliance) won the resultant by-election and took Richmond.
It must have been the first time the Liberals had run a London borough since... I have no idea when.
Out victorious candidate was a pleasant young Australian dentist called Ted Garside. I can remember cycling down the Thames towpath to his house to help in the byelection.
I also have clear memories of the formidable Pat Wainwright (Richmond's agent) not allowing me home until I had made the evening's canvass returns tally both across and down on her spreadsheet. (This was before the days of EARS and personal computers, kids.)
Why was Richmond's agent in charge of a by-election in Twickenham? I had a vague memory that there had been a second by-election in Twickenham that night, and I was right.
The byelection section at the end of a London Borough Council Elections 8 May 1986 document shows that there was also a contest in Hampton Nursery that night, which resulted in an Alliance hold.
No doubt that was where the Twickenham agent was. It also explains why we had not taken control as soon as the Hampton Wick seat fell vacant.
So well done Geraldine Locke. Let us hope her victory is the first step on the long road to taking back the council and both parliamentary constituencies.