The results of the Squirrels Heath ward by-election August 23rd were as follows:
National Liberal Party 170 (6.4%)
Labour 210 (7.9%)
UKIP 134 (5.1%)
Havering Residents Ass. 310 (11.7%)
Conservative 1828 (68.9%)
Once again the NLP defeated UKIP (as in the St. Andrews by-election). Given that UKIP are stronger in Tory areas this was a worrying result for that Party The overall result was as expected being a Tory stronghold coupled with their very professional populist campaign.
Postal votes accounted for over 800 votes and very few were for the NLP (such votes are organised by Party machines and are often cast before a campaign can influence or convert). We estimate that over 8% of votes cast on the day were for the NLP.
Some valuable lessons were learned not least the need to canvass (even if just among known supporters), to obtain postal votes and to run a harder campaign in the last week (UKIP, RA’s and the Conservatives all put out a leaflet on the eve of the poll). Obviously resources are an issue but as we build this should fall into place. There is a long way to go but the NLP’s is showing that a Liberal Nationalism is attractive amongst sections of the electorate.