Last Thursday, 7th October, Cranleigh East residents gave the local Liberal Democrat team and Lib Dem led administration at Waverley Borough Council a resounding endorsement yesterday by voting in new borough councillor Philip Townsend with an increased majority on 2019. The by-election was caused by the retirement of Lib Dem councillor Richard Cole.
The win comes not long after the Lib Dems pulled off a convincing win in May's County Councillor elections when they overturned a 1,000 vote Conservative majority and Liz Townsend became the first Lib Dem councillor for Cranleigh and Ewhurst since the seat was created in 2005.
The by-election was a straight fight between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, with the Conservatives pulling out all the stops to try and win. Over the course of the by-election, they had councillors from across Surrey join Guildford MP Angela Richardson plus MPs from Surrey and further afield. In spite of their attempts, the message from voters was clear - they were done with the Conservatives locally and wanted to keep their hard-working Liberal Democrat councillor so voted for Philip Townsend.
Speaking after the result, newly elected councillor Philip Townsend said:
"It is an honour to be elected as Cranleigh East's newest Lib Dem councillor and I can assure local people that I will work hard for them alongside the existing team.
"Speaking to voters across the ward in the run-up to polling day they told me that they really appreciated the hard work that their local Lib Dem councillors do and also the progressive alliance at Waverley Borough Council. So many made it clear that they no longer trust the Conservatives to do the best for our community and they were done voting Conservative, even though they'd voted for them all their lives."
Parliamentary Spokesperson for Guildford and Cranleigh Zöe Franklin also responded saying:
"I'm so pleased that Philip won, he will be an excellent councillor and community champion for the people of Cranleigh.
"This result is another reminder that the residents of Guildford and Cranleigh are angry and frustrated that thanks to Conservative failures they are facing fuel shortages, big cost of living increases and general uncertainty about the future. However, they know that they are no longer doomed to have Conservative councillors or even a Conservative MP. They have a real alternative in the Cranleigh Lib Dem team and me who are fighting hard for them day after day and getting results."
Notes to Editors
7th October 2021 Cranleigh East (Waverley) by-election result:
LDEM: 903 votes 56.8% (+12.0)
CON: 686 votes 43.2% (+4.1)
Liberal Democrat HOLD.
No Lab (-16.1) as prev.
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