Grange Hill by-election boost for Lib Dems

Last Thursday’s district council by-election was a boost for the local Liberal Democrats. Gavin Chambers ran the Conservatives much closer than anyone expected and was just 43 votes from victory. The result was:

  • Conservative 453 (52%, -31%)
  • LD (Gavin Chambers) 411 (48%,+31%)
  • Majority 42. Turnout 17.2%.

The Conservative vote at the last set of district elections in May 2008 was 1262 so this is a big loss of support for them, even taking into account the lower turnout. One factor seems to be have been local frustration at the decision of the Conservatives on the district council to block talks about introducing a Freedom Pass style scheme in Epping Forest. At the moment older people in London can travel free on the tube but not those on the other side if the border in Epping Forest, despite the fact we all share the same tube network.