Tories in crisis as four more seats fall to Lib Dems and Greens in council votes

Boris Johnson takes responsibility for North Shropshire defeat

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The North Shropshire by-election – triggered following the resignation of Owen Paterson, the MP at the heart of the Tory sleaze scandal – saw the Conservative Party lose a seat held for nearly 200 years to the Liberal Democrats. The blow was widely seen as a referendum on the leadership of Boris Johnson as well as the party as a whole.

The vote saw the Tories lose a seat in the House of Commons, with the Lib Dem’s Helen Morgan overturning the majority by nearly 6,000 votes.

The Labour Party came in a dismal third, gathering just 3,686 votes against the Conservatives with 12,032 and the Lib Dems on 17,957.

But while North Shropshire dominated headlines, it wasn’t the only vote that took place on December 16 – a number of council by-elections also took place, and the results will offer scant comfort to the embattled Conservatives.

A total of 12 council by-elections took place, with the Lib Dems overturning a further three Conservative-held seats and the Green Party gaining one as well.

The results of the council by-elections are as follows, provided by Conservative Home and Britain Elects:

Ashford – Highfield

Green Party (40 percent, +21.2) Conservatives (34.1 percent, -7.0) Lib Labour (4.8 percent, +4.8)

  • Green gain from Conservatives

Argyll & Bute – Lomond North

Conservatives 742 (40.7 percent, +11.3 on 2017) SNP 459 (25.2 percent, +5.0) Independent 418 (22.9 percent, +22.9) Independent 204 (11.2 percent, +11.2).

  • Conservatives hold

Bridgend – Caerau

Independent 515 (48.8 percent, +48.8 on 2017) Labour 441 (41.8 percent, -6.4) Plaid Cymru 82 (7.8 percent, -10.7) Conservatives 18 (1.7 percent, +1.7)

  • Independent gain from Labour

Horsham – Roffey South

Lib Dems (41.5 percent, +0.6 on 2019) Conservatives (30.1 percent, -11.4) Green Party (19.9 percent, +19.9) Labour (8.5 percent, -9.1)

  • Lib Dems gain from Conservatives

Lichfield – Armitage with Handsacre

Conservatives 458 (60.3 percent, -2.2 on 2019) Labour 301 (39.7 percent, +2.2)

  • Conservatives hold

Medway – Rochester East

Labour 870 (63.3 percent, +15.2 on 2019) Conservatives 388 (28.2 percent, +8.7) Green Party 69 (5.0 percent, -9.2) Lib Dems 48 (3.5 percent, -2.8)

  • Labour hold

Middlesbrough – North Ormesby

Labour 172 (74.5 percent, +47.7 on 2019) Independent 32 (13.9 percent, +13.9) Conservatives 20 (8.7 percent, +5.5) Lib Dems 7 (3.0 percent, +3.0)

  • Labour gain from an independent

Northumberland – Hexham East

Lib Dems 584 (43.7 percent, +11.7 on May) Conservatives 370 (30.0 percent, -13.9) Labour 154 (12.5 percent, -8.1) Independent 127 (10,3 percent, +10.3)

  • Lib Dems gain from Conservatives

Middlesbrough – North Ormesby

Labour 172 (74.5 percent, +47.7 on 2019) Independent 32 (13.9 percent, +13.9) Conservatives 20 (8.7 percent, +5.5) Lib Dems 7 (3.0 percent, +3.0)

  • Labour gain from an independent

Northumberland – Hexham East

Lib Dems 584 (43.7 percent, +11.7 on May) Conservatives 370 (30.0 percent, -13.9) Labour 154 (12.5 percent, -8.1) Independent 127 (10,3 percent, +10.3)

  • Lib Dems gain from Conservatives

Telford & Wrekin – Dawley and Aqueduct

Labour 996 (55.8 percent, -6.1 on May) Conservatives 735 (41.2 percent, +3.0) Lib Dems 55 (3.1 percent, +3.1)

  • Labour hold

Walsall – Pleck

Labour 698 (64.6 percent, -15.5 on May) Conservatives 382 (35.4 percent, +15.5)

  • Labour hold

West Berkshire – Tilehurst South and Holybrook

Conservatives 548 (42.3 percent, -15.6 on 2019) Labour 387 (29.9 percent, +4.8) Lib Dems 359 (27.7 percent, +10.8)

  • Conservatives hold

West Lindsey – Nettleham

Lib Dems 585 (51 percent, +1.2 on 2019) Conservatives 374 (36.6 percent, -17.5) Labour 116 (10.1 percent, +10.1) Green Party 71 (6.2 percent, +6.2)

  • Lib Dems gain from Conservatives

Speaking after her win in North Shropshire, Ms Morgan said: “The people of North Shropshire have spoken on behalf of the British people.

“They have said loudly and clearly, ‘Boris Johnson, the party is over.’

“Your Government, run on lies and bluster, will be held accountable.

“It will be scrutinised, it will be challenged and it can and will be defeated.”

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