Cardiff Lib Dem campaigner Robin Rea took an emphatic victory in today’s Plasnewydd by-election, the first time any party has gained a seat off Labour in Cardiff since they took control of the council.
The Lib Dems’ victory with nearly 50% of the vote overturns a 51-vote deficit from 2012, when Labour gained all four seats.
Labour’s defeat means they have now lost more principle council wards than they’ve gained in by-elections across the UK this year. In contrast, the Lib Dems have gained more seats than any other party through by-elections this year.
Following the declaration, newly-elected Councillor Robin Rea said:
“I’m absolutely delighted that Roath have put their faith in me to represent them on the council. I’m looking forward to carrying on with my campaigning now from within the council chamber: cleaning up City Road, protecting services at Penylan Library and Community Centre, and fighting Labour’s plans to close Wedal Road tip.
“Roath sent City Hall a message today: Labour cannot continue ignoring our community and taking local residents for granted. As the only party to have taken a seat off Labour in the past four years, this cements the Lib Dems’ position as the main opposition to a Labour council that can’t get the basics right.”
Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron congratulated Robin on his victory. He added:
“Robin’s victory is just one of many instances across the country of voters deserting Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party and to back the Lib Dems. In fact, under Corbyn’s leadership so far this year Labour have now lost more seats than they’ve gained in local by-elections.
“The Lib Dems are fighting for a Britain that’s open, tolerant and united, and we’ve proven that we are the real opposition to this Tory Brexit Government. Our victory in Cardiff today shows that we’re the only party who can kick Labour out of Cardiff City Hall next May.”
The full result:
Liberal Democrat Robin Rea: 1258 (48.1%, +15.4)
Labour: 910 (34.8%, -2)
Plaid: 177 (6.8%, -5.3)
Con: 115 (4.4%, -1.2)
Green: 93 (3.6%, -9.3)
UKIP: 62 (2.4%, +2.4)