‘Complacent’ Labour and Conservatives handed Lib Dems gains in Sunderland local elections

Wearside Liberal Democrats have put their local election gains down to “good candidates working hard for a long period of time”.

By Nic Marko
Friday, 6th May 2022, 3:35 pm
Updated Friday, 6th May 2022, 3:38 pm

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However, the Liberal Democrats managed to increase its share of the council chamber by two, taking a seat from the ruling group in Doxford, and another from the Conservatives in Fulwell.

It means the party is now the largest it has ever been on the council, holding 14 of the 75 seats.

Liberal Democrat group leader Niall Hodson

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Cllr Niall Hodson, Liberal Democrat group leader, said there were “no secrets” as to why his party was the only one to make gains in the election.

He said: “Good local candidates working hard for a long period of time, that’s it.

“It’s not about the national messaging, we’ve just been working hard in the community, knocking on doors and speaking to people over a long period, in the case of Fulwell, years.

Lib Dem councillor for Fulwell, Malcolm Bond

“They’re well-earned votes. We can’t rely, unlike the big two parties, on national swings, we’ve got to earn our votes, one by one, by speaking to people, and we’ve done that again.”

He added the group is making “really steady progress” and just needs to continue it as Labour “will find themselves under threat again very quickly”.

Fulwell’s new Liberal Democrat councillor, Malcolm Bond, echoed this, describing “three or four years” of hard-work which resulted in swiping the seat from the Conservative Party.

He said: “The big difference I think is there is a realisation now in the population that as well as the fact we’ve got a Sunderland Council that is pretty incompetent and complacent, the Conservatives both nationally and locally aren’t any better.

“People often in our country I feel vote against something, people vote Labour because they don’t want the Tories, and people vote for the Tories because they don’t trust Labour.

“I think I offered something that joined the whole of the ward together, I was able to attract both Conservative and Labour voters and of course that core of centrist people, where I think actually most people are.”