Lib Dems defeat Labour in Sheffield Council by-election

The Lib Dems have gained another seat on Sheffield Council after winning the Mosborough ward by-election last night.

Friday, 9th September 2016, 10:17 am
Updated Monday, 12th September 2016, 3:45 pm
Winning Lib Dem candidate Gail Smith with Sheffield group leader Shaffaq Mohammed

Lib Dem candidate Gail Smith secured a huge 31 per cent swing to win the seat after the party came fourth behind Labour, UKIP and the Tories back in May of this year.

The by-election was triggered after the sad death of Labour councillor Isobel Bowler.

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Sheffield Lib Dem leader Shaffaq Mohammed said: "In 2008 we actually took control of the council by winning Mosborough.

"This is a huge victory, it shows the Lib Dems in Sheffield are back and actually, all those seats we lost during the coalition years are there up for grabs.

"This arrogant Labour council has been sent a very strong message that they cannot take the people of Sheffield for granted.

"Mosborough has spoken on behalf of Sheffield - well done to the people of Mosborough for electing Gail Smith who is going to be an outstanding councillor."

Lib Dem Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg said: "Last night's result was a well deserved victory for a hardworking local champion. My deepest congratulations to Gail, who I know will be an excellent representative for the Mosborough community.

"As well as a loss for Labour, this is a significant victory for the Lib Dems. It shows the people of Sheffield appreciate the hard work the Liberal Democrat team do in the Town Hall holding Labour's disastrous local leadership to account and proves once again that the Liberal Democrats are the only real challenge to Labour in Sheffield."

Labour candidate Julie Grocutt finished second with 1,279 votes.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh called the result 'devastating'.

The result comes three weeks after thousands of supporters turned out for a Jeremy Corbyn rally in Barker's Pool - which none of the city's five Labour MPs attended.

The winning candidate previously served as a councillor in the Mosborough ward and has lived in the area for the last 20 years.

Ms Smith's victory sparked a huge reaction on social media.

Keziah Davis-Cottam said: "This was due to Gail Smith being the only representative that actually lived in Mosborough. Like we'd vote for anyone else."

Ben Rathe tweeted: "Often lost in politics of it all is that Mosborough elected a BRILLIANT Cllr tonight. Gail Smith will be great."

Jayne Phoenix said: "(The win is) mainly down to a very hardworking team supporting Gail Smith and people of Mosborough fed up with Sheffield Labour."

Results in full

Lib Dem - 1711 - 45.6% - (+31.8)

Labour - 1279 - 34.1% - (-9.2)

Ukip - 466 - 12.4% - (-9.8)

Conservative - 229 - 61% (-7.9)

Green - 67 - 1.8% (-1.3%)

Turnout = 28%