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Lib Dems Celebrate Election Results

May 2, 2003 12:00 AM
Good News Graphic

Lib Dems gained two seats in Bedford on a bad night for both Tories and Labour.

Liberal Democrats were the clear winners on Thursday in the elections for Bedford Borough Council. Liberal Democrat Candidates gained 2 seats in total, De Parys from the Conservatives and Kingsbrook from Labour. They also held on to Putnoe, Goldington and Wootton with good majorities.

Lib Dem Group Leader, Michael Headley said "These are very good results for the local Liberal Democrats. They are a positive vote for the hardworking candidates we fielded and a positive vote for our constructive and well thought out policies for taking Bedford Borough forward."

David Sawyer won De Parys from the sitting Tory councillor who was the cabinet member for finance. The only cabinet member to lose their seat.

The Better Bedford Party failed to make any significant impression, coming fourth in the total number of votes cast. They form the 5th largest group on the Council with less councillors than the Independent Group.

The overall change in seats was:

Lib Dems +2

Better Bedford +1

Independents +1

Labour -1

Conservatives -3

Liberal Democrats across England were celebrating their highest ever vote, gaining 31% of votes - the same as Labour and 3% behind the Conservatives. Charles Kennedy thanked Lib Dem supporters, and said that this proved that politics in this country is now a genuinely three horse race.

In other local results, Mid Beds Lib Dems picked up 6 seats to move to 11 seats and become the official opposition. In Luton, the Lib Dems now have 20 seats, as Labour lost control of the council. The Liberal Democrats retained control of Milton Keynes, and moved to be being the biggest party in St Albans.