North Norfolk, Glaven Valley council by election 29th September

North Norfolk, Glaven Valley - Liberal Democrat hold
Party   2016 votes      2016 share      since 2015      since 2011      since 2007   
Liberal Democrat  
 from nowhere 
 from nowhere 
from nowhere
Total votes  


Swing Conservative to Liberal Democrat 2¼% since 2015, 23% since 2011 and 16½% since 2007

Council now 31 Conservative, 16 Liberal Democrat, 1 Independent Conservative

review first published here > written by @andrewteale 


North Norfolk council; caused by the resignation of Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew Wells, who has a new job in London with the law firm Allen and Overy.  He had served since 2015.

“We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
That damned, elusive Pimpernel.”
Now here’s a rarity: a by-election in a Lib Dem-held seat.  Like Cherry Willingham above, here we have a case of a young councillor in his twenties leaving a rural area to take up a better-paid job elsewhere – a reminder that council work doesn’t pay all that well.  In this deeply rural ward the largest centre of population, with 625 electors, is Blakeney, once a harbour on the north coast of Norfolk but now a major centre for birdwatching: the saltmarshes, sand dunes, shingle and mudflats north of Blakeney form an important centre for migrating birds and seals, and the Blakeney Point area has been the subject of ecological studies for more than a century.  This isn’t all good news, because the Blakeney Point coastline is constantly changing and the path of the River Glaven can become blocked, causing flooding.  From Blakeney the ward travels south along the picturesque Glaven as far as the village of Stody.  Glaven Valley has an old age profile – 66% of the population are aged 45 or over, and the ward is in the top 200 in England and Wales for both retired people and self-employed people, reflecting its isolation.
Glaven Valley was a safe Conservative ward in the Noughties, but the Lib Dems suddenly broke through in the 2015 election to gain the ward with 47% of the vote, to 32% for the Conservatives and 11% for UKIP.  That gain meant that the Lib Dems now represent Glaven Valley at all three levels of government, having gained the North Norfolk constituency in 2001 and the local county council seat (Wells) in 2009.
With this ward being in the constituency of the Lib Dems’ deputy leader a loss might be rather embarrassing.  Hoping that won’t happen is Karen Ward, a business adviser from Sheringham.  The Tories have selected Andrew Livsey, a property developer from just outside the ward in Cley-next-the-Sea; he has put out a truly bizarre leaflet advertising himself as a “man of the people who loves a challenge” and demonstrating this by (inter alia) stating that he “won a Porsche 911 in a beer competition” and pointing to his appearances on TV game shows including Blind Date and The Crystal Maze.  Come back when you’ve reached the semi-finals of Mastermind, son, we’ll talk then.  The UKIP candidate is John Dymond, who is the only candidate to give an address in the ward (in Stody), and the ballot paper is completed by Stephen Burke (a former Hammersmith and Fulham councillor) for Labour and Alicia Hull for the Green Party.
Parliamentary constituency: North Norfolk
Proposed parliamentary constituency from 2020: North Norfolk
Norfolk county council division: Wells
May 2015 result LD 634 C 438 UKIP 148 Lab 78 Grn 53
May 2011 result C 500 LD 232 Lab 95 Grn 84 UKIP 83
May 2007 result C 569 LD 431
May 2003 result C 623 LD 275 Grn 52