Liberal Democrats in Stratford on Avon are celebrating a double election triumph over the Conservatives. On 26 November, in the Stratford Alverston ward Lib Dem challenger Tony Cronin leapt to the top of the poll to take the seat from the Tories by a majority of 54 votes, obtaining 47% of the poll. Labour were nowhere with only 6% of the total vote.
On the same night there was an election in the equivalent ward of Stratford Town Council where Liberal Democrat, Ian Fradgley, gained the seat from the Conservatives by a majority of 334, with 55% of the poll. Again Labour were in a poor third place with 6%.
So in nearby Stratford the Liberal Democrats are going from strength to strength. They now have all three county divisions in the town, eight out of 11 district seats and 12 out of 18 town council seats. Alverston was once one of the Conservative's best wards, but after fighting hard on the issue of overdevelopment and intensive all-year-round campaigning the Lib Dems now have two of the three councillors.
Overall in 2009, the Liberal Democrats are now running at 17 net gains for the year to date in principal local by-elections.