The results of two local authority by-elections held on 16 July, show the Conservatives are still under-performing in the West Midlands area.
In the Droitwich Central ward of Wychavon District Council in Worcestershire, the Liberal Democrat candidate Ann Gopsill topped the poll with over 50% of the vote. The Tory share of the vote did improve but only because Labour lost their nerve and failed to stand a candidate at all. Then in the Arbury and Stockingford Ward of Warwickshire County Council, the Tories lost a seat to Labour - no doubt to David Cameron's despair, given how poorly Labour are performing nationally and how unpopular the government is. The Liberal Democrat candidate improved her share of the poll by nearly 4% while the share of the vote gained by the Greens and BNP both dropped by about 10% each.
On 10 July, the Liberal Democrats recorded another creditable election performance in Lichfield. Lichfield is an area that has seen steady progress over the last few years and the Lib Dems did well in the city of Lichfield itself in the recent county council elections. The by-election on 10 July however was in a rural area to the south east of the city in a county division that saw the Conservatives win 67% of the vote in June. A 5% swing to the Lib Dems in this by-election is a sign we continue to be heading in the right direction.