The Lib Dem target seat of Broadland received a timely boost yesterday when two local council gains were made in the constituency.
In Wroxham, a large rural ward on Broadland District Council the Lib Dem vote was up by more than 50% to snatch the seat the Tories expected to pick up easily. This seat was won by the Tories in 1998, and although the councillor later sat as an independent, he was never known for being anything other than a Con-dependent and was not often opposed in elections by Tory candidates.
In the other election, the Lib Dems gained Walsingham from the North Norfolk independent group after the sad death of Cllr Tom Moore. I knew Tom when I was on North Norfolk council and he was a genuine and popular independent councillor. Again the Lib Dem vote was up significantly (over 30% up).
With Broadland Lib Dems on something of a roll after other recent by-election wins in Aylsham and Buxton, there should be no shortage of good candidates wanting to stand to become the Lib Dem PPC. Many people will know that the former PPC transferred her candidature to Norwich North.
As for the Council representation after this, North Norfolk Council now has 31 Lib Dems (Tories on 15 with one vacancy) and Broadland has 11 Lib Dems, the Tories on 34.
In terms of district councillors within each of the Broadland and North Norfolk constituencies, the number for Broadland is 17 Lib Dems to 18 Tories. In North Norfolk it is 23 Lib Dems to 15 Tories.