Cotswold, Stow council by election 29th September

Cotswold, Stow - Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative

Party   2016 votes     2016 share      since 2015   
Liberal Democrat 
Total votes


Swing Conservative to Liberal Democrat 21% since 2015

Council now 23 Conservative, 11 Liberal Democrat

review first published here > written by @andrewteale 


Cotswold council, Gloucestershire; caused by the death of Conservative councillor Barry Dare at the age of 79.  Dare first held elected office in his twenties on the pre-reform Twickenham borough council in the late 1950s or early 1960s; he was Conservative candidate for Leyton in the two 1974 elections, but it was in 1993 that his political career really took off when he was elected to Gloucestershire county council.  He became leader of the Conservative group in 2002, served as leader of the county council from 2005 to 2010 and co-ordinated the response to the devastating Severn floods of 2007.  Dare’s business career was just as stellar; he ran his own accountancy business for over fifty years and served as chief executive of Unwins Seeds and the Cambridge chamber of commerce.  Dare had served on Cotswold council since 2003, initially for Blockley ward before transferring to Stow ward (his former county seat) in 2015; he had stood down from the county council in 2013.

Having travelled south to Hemel, we now move west to the Cotswolds.  Despite its hilltop location and high altitude, the town of Stow-on-the-Wold benefits from its location at the junction of several roads through the Cotswolds, including the A429 Fosse Way, and was given a market charter in 1107 by Henry I.  The town was the site of a battle in March 1646 in which the Royalists were defeated in the last major battle of the First Civil War.  The market is still going strong today, with the Stow Fairs in May and October being a popular venue for horse trading – literally, trading in horses.
The present Stow ward was created in 2015 by dividing the former Beacon-Stow ward in half, and adds to the town the small parishes of Maugersbury and Swell.  This means that there aren’t many previous results to go on, but the northern Cotswolds is a true blue part of the country anyway.  That said, the only previous result on these boundaries was relatively close, the Tories beating the Lib Dems 56-44 in a straight fight.
Another straight fight is in prospect.  Defending in the blue corner is David Penman, who represented Beacon-Stow ward from January 2006 (gaining a by-election from an independent) to 2015 when he stood down.  Challenging in the yellow corner is Dilys Neill, a retired doctor from Moreton-in-Marsh.
Parliamentary constituency: The Cotswolds
Proposed parliamentary constituency from 2020: The Cotswolds
Gloucestershire county council division: Stow-on-the-Wold
May 2015 result C 783 LD 613