Liberal Democrats take Culverden while Alliance support dwindles

Liberal Democrats take Culverden while Alliance support dwindles

Justine Rutland, the Lib Dem candidate, romped home last Thursday as local residents went to the polls to choose a replacement for Ronen Basu, the Conservative Councillor who died in September.

Ms Rutland secured 888 votes over former Conservative Mayor David Elliot’s 474.

She told the Times she was ‘absolutely delighted’ by the result, adding: “I think I had a few advantages in this election as I grew up in the ward so know a lot of people here and I know a lot of people from church.

“We [Liberal Democrats] also have a great network in Culverden, with a lot of members, so there were enough people to help.”

The freelance copywriter said she was looking forward to working on behalf of residents in the ward and already had meetings lined up.

She also said she would ‘rigorously’ defend the seat when it comes up for re-election next year.

Meanwhile, the party set up to oppose the Council’s now failed theatre project could only manage fourth in Culverden, with their candidate Rachel Daly securing just 180 votes.

The Times revealed in September that the  Alliance had set its sights on targeting the Liberal Democrats after winning five seats during May’s local elections.

But now the project has been scrapped, the party’s candidate not only lost out to the Lib Dems but also the Conservatives as well as the Women’s Equality Party’s Liz Orr, who secured third place with 193 votes.

Labour had perhaps the worst result, with only 99 people of the wards near 6,000 voters bothering to turn out for David Adams. The Greens came last, with Aimee Taylor securing just 67 votes.

The Lib Dems hailed the result as a sign voters would back them next month. Ben Chapelard, parliamentary candidate, said: “This convincing victory shows that we are now well on course to take the parliamentary seat from Greg Clark and put a Remain MP on the map on December 12.”

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