review first published here > election-data.co.uk written by @
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.
Proposed parliamentary constituency from 2020: North Norfolk
Norfolk county council division: Wells
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