A big thank you to everyone who voted for our candidates in last week's County Council elections, and to the numerous volunteers who helped to get our message out in difficult circumstances.
We were disappointed not to win any of our target seats in Torridge and West Devon, but the increase in the Lib Dem share of the vote in these areas leaves us well-placed for the District elections in two years' time.
In Torrington Rural, Chris Bright came second to the sitting Conservative councillor, Andrew Saywell, with 21.7% of the votes. Chris has been a councillor for Torridge District since 2019 and now emerges as the main challenger for the Tories in Torrington.
In Northam, David Chalmers and his team fought a campaign which saw the Lib Dem share of the vote rise to 22.4% from only 8.7% in 2017. Although the seat remains in Conservative hands, the Tory share of the vote declined sharply, also due to a strong showing by the independent candidate, Len Ford. David remains a town councillor for Appledore but will sadly be leaving his role as Parliamentary Spokesperson for the Lib Dems in Torridge and West Devon, in order to concentrate on his international work with the party.
In Tavistock, Lib Dem candidate Pete Squire also increased the Lib Dem share of the vote but was again beaten into third place by an independent candidate.
Chair of Torridge and West Devon Lib Dems, Steve Middleton said:
'It is significant that, in each of these three seats, the vote for the Lib Dems outstripped both Labour and the Greens - in Northam this was by a considerable margin. These results show that the Lib Dems are the party which can best challenge the Conservative stronghold in our area and we intend to build on this in the 2023 District elections.
My thanks go to all the candidates who stood for us in these elections and offered a progressive alternative to voters.'