Rogate ward on Chichester Council was fought by Kate O’Kelly, already a county councillor and making her the first Lib Dem candidate in the ward since 2007 after four contests without one since. And it was certainly worth her standing as she continued the run of Lib Dem gains from the Conservatives across southern England:
Rogate (Chichester) result:
LDEM: 55.8% (+55.8)
CON: 40.1% (-27.3)
LAB: 2.6% (+2.6)
GRN: 1.5% (-18.2)
LDem GAIN from Con.
Cllr Kelly said: “This is a fantastic result not only for the Liberal Democrats but also for the people of Rogate and the surrounding villages.
“They felt abandoned when their previous councillor was elected as an MP and stopped attending parish and district council meetings. “It is a strong message to the Conservatives that they cannot be complacent and treat their constituents with such disregard.” It is the first time in 11 years that the Liberal Democrats have contested the seat, which has been held by the Conservatives for the last three elections.
The by-election was caused by the resignation of Gillian Keegan, who was elected a Conservative MP in 2017.