Friday 2 December 2022


Labour have held the City of Chester following a by-election to replace the disgraced Chris Matheson.  Matheson resigned in October after a parliamentary watchdog upheld two claims of 'serious sexual misconduct' against him.  Despite the circumstances, Labour candidate Samantha Dixon extended her party's majority from 6,164 to 10,974.  The Tory runner-up saw her party's share of the vote shrink by almost 16 percentage points, making this their worst result in Chester since 1832 (yes, you read that correctly).  The turnout was just 41.2 per cent.

City of Chester Parliamentary By-Election

Samantha Dixon (Lab) 17,309 (61.2%) +11.6%
Liz Wardlaw (Con) 6,335 (22.4%) -15.9%
Rob Herd (LDem) 2,368 (8.4%) +1.6%
Paul Bowers (Grn) 787 (2.8) +0.2%
Jeanie Barton (RefUK) 773 (2.7%) +0.2%
Richard Hewison (Rejoin) 277 (1.0%) New
Cain Griffiths (UKIP) 179 (0.6%) New
Howling Laud Hope (Loon) 156 (0.6%) New
Chris Quartermaine (Frdm) 91 (0.3%) New


New Chester MP Samantha Dixon

The Labour victor in Chester is a local councillor and former council leader.  Samantha Dixon has been a member of Cheshire West and Chester Council since 2011.  A university graduate (par for the course it seems these days), she was awarded an MBE earlier this year for political service.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives did not fair much better in Thursday's council by-elections.  They were defending three seats and lost all of them - two to the Lib Dems and one to Labour.  Tory vote share was down in all five of the seats up for grabs.  Conversely, Labour's vote share was up in all but one.

The Conservatives plummeted to third place in Norfolk, where a Lib Dem surge pipped Labour to the gain by just eight votes.  In Southampton it was another tight race, with Labour taking the seat from the Tories by 13 votes.  In Waverley the Tories were trounced by a Lib Dem surge, aided by the absence of a Green candidate.

It was an easy hold for the Greens in Arun, West Sussex, while Labour held off the SNP in West Lothian and extended their lead in the process.  The latter by-election saw Alex Salmond's Alba Party finish last.

Absentees this week were the Lib Dems and UKIP in Arun, UKIP in Norfolk, the Greens in Waverley and the Scottish Family Party in West Lothian.

Arundel & Walberton, Arun District Council

Grn: 873 (48.3%) +22.4%
Con: 549 (29.2%) -2.5%
Lab: 407 (22.5%) +10.1%


Gaywood North & Central, Norfolk County Council

LDem: 364 (35.6%) +28.5%
Lab: 356 (34.8%) +1.3%
Con: 256 (25.0%) -31.0%
Grn: 46 (4.5%) New

LDem GAIN from Con

Bitterne, Southampton City Council

Lab: 806 (46.0%) +4.6%
Con: 793 (45.2%) -1.9%
Grn: 66 (3.8%) -1.6%
LDem: 61 (3.5%) -0.9%
TUSC: 26 (1.5%) -0.3%

Lab GAIN from Con

Chiddingfold & Dunsfold, Waverley Borough Council

LDem: 652 (66.6%) +43.5%
Con: 297 (30.3%) -11.1%
Lab: 30 (3.1%) -5.1%

LDem GAIN from Con

Broxburn, Uphall & Winchburgh, West Lothian Council

(first preference votes)

Lab: 1,783 (39.8%) +10.2%
SNP: 1,576 (35.2%) -6.7%
Con: 347 (7.8%) -10.0%
Ind: 275 (6.1%) New
LDem: 167 (3.7%) n/c
Ind: 125 (2.8%) New
Grn: 122 (2.7%) -1.6%
Alba: 81 (1.8%) +0.4%

Lab HOLD (elected at stage 8)


Lab = Labour
Con = Conservative
LDem = Liberal Democrat
Grn = Green
RefUK = Reform UK
Rejoin = Rejoin EU
UKIP = United Kingdom Independence Party
Loon = Monster Raving Loony
Frdm = Freedom Alliance
TUSC = Trade Union and Socialist Coalition
SNP = Scottish National Party
Alba = Alba
Ind = Independents

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