The 5th May was a day of mixed results, with some great wins, as well as disappointments. However, whilst winning seats is always the main story, we achieved something fantastic - our share of the vote in South Cambs rocketed and we won the overall popular vote.
We fought the Conservatives in places often considered their home turf and came incredibly close to throwing them out of what used to be safe seats.
We ran a really hard fought campaign across South Cambs, alongside our fellow campaigners from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with some fantastic candidates and candidate teams.
Thank you to absolutely everyone who helped with the 4th May County Council and Mayoral election campaign over the past weeks and months, whatever you did your contribution was appreciated and valued - our success is your success too.
County Council results
Our sitting Councillors continue to be very well liked
Firstly, we would like to congratulate our sitting councillors, Susan van de Ven, Amanda Taylor and Sebastian Kindersley for retaining their seats in Melbourn, Queen Edith's and Gamlingay, even though they were all defending divisions with newly cut boundaries with areas where they were less known. Susan and Amanda secured much deserved huge majorities in their divisions.
Hard work runs in the family in Linton
Huge congratulation to Henry Batchelor who returned the Linton division, including our South Cambs villages of the Abingtons, to Liberal Democrat and Batchelor family hands, with over 47% of the vote.
Some very near misses...
Neil Gough in Cottenham and Willingham (shared with SE Cambs) where we lost to the Conservatives by just 2 votes. Neil fought a tremendous campaign as a first-time candidate and as a new member.
In Sawston and the Shelfords, a double-division, Brian Milnes and Peter Fane just lost out to the Conservative candidates. We certainly showed that these seats are within our grasp next time. Thanks to the S&S team for all the hard work that went on in this division.
A rising star brings Liberal Democracy to Longstanton
Sarah Cheung-Johnson ran an inspirational campaign in Longstanton, Willingham and Over, not only working incredibly hard, but also inspiring and recruiting a whole new highly-motivated team, including her husband Will, who all worked alongside her with commitment and determination. It wasn’t to be this time, In Sarah’s own words “No Tory can ever be elected here again taking their vote for granted. And I will spend the next 4 years ensuring our newly re-elected Tory councillor sticks to his promises.” - Sarah is undoubtedly a rising star for the Liberal Democrats!
District Council Leader forced to break a sweat working for his seat in Duxford
Peter McDonald in Duxford division put in a huge amount of work and ran a great campaign, but sadly we were not able to unseat Peter Topping who has built a name for himself in the area, and is of course the leader of SCDC. Displacing a sitting Tory is never easy, and we certainly made Peter Topping work for his seat.
More great results prove Lib Dem newbies are a force to reckon with
Another of our great first-time candidates, Philip Allen also ran a hard-fought campaign in Hardwick, given the Tories a really good run for their money. He has shown great determination, hard work and commitment and has certainly given the Tories something to think about.
Peter Sandford, another new member and first time candidate, did a great job putting in substantial legwork and building our profile in Papworth and Swavesey, coming in a very respectable and much improved second place.
Peter Hedges also managed to secure a good second place in Cambourne as did Jeni Sawford in the District Councillor by-election after a massive amount of work.
A huge thank you to all our candidates.
Our results were amazing in so many places and at another time would have been enough to make huge gains. It is therefore all the more galling to know that the collapse of the UKIP vote actually helped their 'spiritual successors', Theresa May's Conservative party regain the council.
Remember that the Liberal Democrats, though not making much headway in gaining seats, had a phenomenal increase in popular support - be sure to spread the message far and wide!
You can read the full County Council 2017 election results on the County's website here.