Dacorum, Adeyfield West council by election 29th September

Dacorum, Adeyfield West - Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative

Party   2016 votes      2016 share   since 2015 "top"since 2015 "average"   since 2013 B   since 2011 "top"since 201`1 "average"
Liberal Democrat  
from nowhere
from nowhere
from nowhere
from nowhere
 from nowhere 
from nowhere
from nowhere
English Democrat  


Total votes


Swing Conservative to Liberal Democrat ~16% since 2015, ~7½% since 2013 by-election and ~28% since 2011
            also labour to Liberal Democrat ~16% since 2015, ~13% since 2013 by-election and ~31% since 2011

Council now 45 Conservative, 4 Liberal Democrat, 2 Labour

review first published here > written by @andrewteale 


Dacorum council, Hertfordshire; caused by the death of Conservative councillor Sharon Adshead at the age of 63.  A former RAF air traffic controller and civil servant, Adshead had served since 2015.

For the week’s only by-election in the Home Counties we are in Hemel Hempstead.  An old agricultural market town on the main transport arteries betwen London and the Midlands – the West Coast main line and the Grand Union canal – Hemel changed forever on 8th February 1950 when its first New Town residents moved into their new homes on Longlands, in the Adeyfield area.  Adeyfield is now big enough to support two wards in a large urban area, and the Adeyfield West ward essentially covers the area of Hemel immediately east of the town centre.  The ward’s economic profile tends towards the working-class end and in 2011 more than a third of the households were still rented from what is now Hertfordshire’s largest district by population, Dacorum council.
Adeyfield West is a fascinating marginal ward with a high councillor attrition rate – this is the third by-election here in the 2010s.  On its current boundaries the ward dates from 2007 but is not much changed from the pre-2007 Adeyfield West which was safe Labour.  The modern Adeyfield West is anything but.  In 2007 its two seats split between Labour and Conservative, and a by-election in March 2010 saw the Tories hold their seat with just 33% of the vote in a poll which saw a good Lib Dem third place and 14% for the BNP.  2011 was a return to the status quo ante, but a by-election in March 2013 saw Labour lose their seat – not to the Tories, but to the Lib Dems who despite polling just 15% in 2011 held, and fielded, the ward’s county councillor.  The Tories and Lib Dems held their seats in 2015 in one of the closest four-way splits you will ever see: the re-elected Lib Dem councillor, who ran a long way ahead of his running-mate, had majorities of 11 votes over the second Conservative candidate, 19 votes over Labour and 43 votes over UKIP.  Shares of the vote in 2015 were 27% for the Conservatives, 25% for the Lib Dems and 24% each for Labour and UKIP, so there really is everything to play for here.
Defending for the Tories is Tony Gallagher, the runner-up in the 2015 election.  The Lib Dems have selected Adrian England.  The Labour candidate is Gary Cook, a former district councillor (until 2007) and county councillor (until 2009) seeking to return to elected office.  Rachel Biggs, chairman of the party’s Hemel Hempstead branch, stands for UKIP.  Completing the ballot paper is Angela Lynch of the Green Party.
Parliamentary constituency: Hemel Hempstead
Proposed parliamentary constituency from 2020: Hemel Hempstead
Hertfordshire county council division: Hemel Hempstead St Paul’s
May 2015 result C 763/706 LD 715/463 Lab 696/450 UKIP 672
March 2013 by-election LD 363 Lab 278 C 229 UKIP 193 EDP 51
May 2011 result C 619/594 Lab 611/592 LD 209/204
March 2010 by-election C 486 Lab 429 LD 362 BNP 203
May 2007 result Lab 518/502 C 508/481 LD 200/178