Politician calls for general election after poor local results for Tories in Hertfordshire

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Voters are "sick to the back teeth" with the Conservative government

Voters are “sick to the back teeth” with the Conservative government, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats has said.

Speaking at an election count in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, Daisy Cooper said: “Quite frankly, the only thing Rishi Sunak could do right now which could instil any trust in people would be to call a general election.

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“We’ve been hearing for months now that people are just sick to the back teeth of this Conservative government.

St Albans MP Daisy Cooper greets Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey at the party's campaign launch in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Credit: Will Durrant/LDRSSt Albans MP Daisy Cooper greets Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey at the party's campaign launch in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Credit: Will Durrant/LDRS
St Albans MP Daisy Cooper greets Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey at the party's campaign launch in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Credit: Will Durrant/LDRS

“As we go into the general election, I can tell voters here in Hertfordshire and right across the country that Liberal Democrats will put our health and social care services front and centre of our campaigning, as well as tackling the cost of living crisis and protecting our local environment.”

The St Albans MP told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Across the country, the Liberal Democrats have had an absolutely fantastic result.

“We have made really significant gains right across ‘Blue Wall’ areas and across the South West where Liberal Democrats are the key challengers to the Conservatives.

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“If you look at places like Woking and Tunbridge Wells, these are real true-blue areas that have been considered strongholds and heartlands for the Conservative Party.

“It’s in those places where we are taking the fight to the Conservatives and we have had some fantastic results.”

In Hertfordshire, the Liberal Democrats made gains at the local elections in North Herts, Watford and Welwyn Hatfield.

The party has majorities in Dacorum, which was not up for election in 2024, St Albans, and Three Rivers, which means its councillors have overall control of their councils.

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In Stevenage, the Liberal Democrats became the largest political opposition group in the borough with six seats.

The Conservatives lost eight out of their previous nine seats to Labour in the Hertfordshire New Town.

But the Conservative Party – the largest in the House of Commons for 14 years – won the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) poll.

Jonathan Ash-Edwards, the new PCC, said: “I think we’ve seen that across the country, where Conservatives have done well, it’s because they have a really clear offer to people.”

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Mr Ash-Edwards said his win was “a really good result for the Conservatives in Hertfordshire”.

He added: “I think it’s because we have had a really clear message – more police, safer streets, action on crime.”

Broxbourne in Hertfordshire’s southeasternmost corner is the only borough council in the county where the Conservatives have a majority.

The party held on to all nine seats it was defending on Thursday, May 2, keeping their 27-out-of-30 seats at Cheshunt’s Bishops’ College.

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Hertfordshire elects second-ever Police and Crime Commissioner as Conservatives ...

Labour is the only opposition group in Broxbourne with three seats, all in Waltham Cross.

Councillor Jim Clune was elected in the Wormley and Turnford ward.

He said: “Our council is an excellent council.

“It’s solvent, we’re very ambitious, and we managed to get that message across to our supporters and to the other residents of Broxbourne who might not be natural Conservatives.

“I’m very humbled and I think it’s been an excellent night.”

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Labour candidates lost three seats to the Liberal Democrats in Watford.

England’s smallest shire district council now comprises 30 Liberal Democrat members and six from the Labour Party, down from nine.

But the party is the largest in North Herts, Stevenage and Welwyn Hatfield.

Alistair Strathern is the party’s Mid Bedfordshire MP, who will contest the Hitchin seat at the next general election.

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At an election count in Letchworth, he said: “It’s really clear that Hitchin is going to be a choice between Labour and the Conservatives at the next election.

“It’s going to be close, and I’m going to be working really hard between now and then to earn people’s support, but we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to finally get the change that people here are desperately crying out for.”

The Green Party secured seats in St Albans’ St Peters ward and Three Rivers’ Dickinsons.

The party’s PCC candidate said the results had put his party “on the map”.

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Councillor Matt Fisher said: “Having gone through the PCC [campaign], it’s brought the whole county together.

“We’re looking at this strategically and looking at where we can give a good fight, and perhaps win a couple of seats.”