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Labour gloom as Lib Dems triumph in Bristol West

May 6, 2003 12:00 AM

Winning Here DiamondThe Liberal Democrats were the main winners in the City Council elections. They gained four seats from Labour and the council will be in political balance for the next two years. The Lib Dems now have 28 seats, just behind Labour's 31 and far ahead of the third placed Conservatives on 11 seats.

One of the Lib Dem gains was Ashley ward where Shirley Marshall won the seat from Labour on a swing of more than 13%. The ward is in the key Parliamentary marginal battleground of Bristol West. The Lib Dems won all 5 seats up for election in the constituency, taking almost 50% of the vote.

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Stephen Williams hailed his party's success, "This has been a night of triumph for the Liberal Democrats. We are now poised to elect a Lib Dem MP in Bristol West and to win control of the City Council in 2005."

"I spoke to hundreds of people during the campaign. Many of them said they would never vote Labour again. They had been upset by Tony Blair's failure to transform Britain during his six years in power. They gave him a second chance in the 2001 general election but will not be trusting him again. For many the Iraq war was the last straw."

In the Bristol West constituency there are now 15 Liberal Democrat councillors, with 4 Conservatives and just one surviving Labour councillor. The Lib Dems need a swing of only 4% to win the Bristol West seat from Labour next time, making it the party's third most winnable seat from the government.

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