Ed Fordham's campaign boosted by Belsize by-election result

I was delighted to hear that Tom Simon had been elected as the new Liberal Democrat councillor for Belsize Ward in last week s by-election. Tom will, I am sure, be an excellent representative for the area. The Belsize by-election presented the Conservativ

I was delighted to hear that Tom Simon had been elected as the new Liberal Democrat councillor for Belsize Ward in last week's by-election. Tom will, I am sure, be an excellent representative for the area.

The Belsize by-election presented the Conservatives with a golden opportunity to regain political momentum, in an area that used to be one of their strongholds. The Conservatives fought a very energetic campaign and, right up to the count, seemed confident that they would do well.

The fact that the Conservatives were, in the end, comfortably beaten by the Lib Dems casts serious doubt on Tory hopes of winning the new Hampstead & Kilburn constituency.

Electoral experts say that, if the new constituency boundaries had been used in the 2005 General Election, the Lib Dems would have been only 474 votes short of winning the seat from Labour, with the Tories trailing in a poor third place.


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The Belsize result confirms the trend established by last year's Lib Dem by-election victories in Hampstead (where the Lib Dems gained a seat from the Conservatives), Queen's Park and Fortune Green. If the Conservatives can't beat the Lib Dems in affluent Belsize and Hampstead, at a time when they are riding high in the national opinion polls, how can they present themselves as credible challengers in parts of the constituency, like Kilburn, where the Conservatives have practically no support and are barely seen from one year to the next?

The result of the Belsize by-election result is a huge boost to Ed Fordham's campaign to become the Lib Dem MP for Hampstead & Kilburn. It strongly suggests that, come the General Election, Ed will be the only serious challenger to Labour's Glenda Jackson.

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David Abrahams

Councillor for Kilburn Ward (Liberal Democrat)

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