South Gloucestershire’s Liberal Democrats scored a stunning result in yesterday’s Frenchay and Downend by-election – pushing Labour into 3rd place and narrowly missing out to the Conservatives, who retained the seat with a vastly reduced majority of just 221.
The Liberal Democrat candidate was well-known local shopkeeper and parish councillor, Raj Sood. Raj was the only candidate who lives in the Frenchay and Downend ward. He runs the convenience store on Quakers Road and joined Downend and Bromley Heath parish council in 2015.
Speaking after the result was announced Raj said:
“It is clear from this result that many people in Frenchay and Downend are tired of being taken for granted by the Conservatives. I have been running a campaign built on listening to local residents and championing the issues that matter to them, like helping our local businesses to recover, direct bus services to Southmead Hospital and tackling ring road traffic noise.
“I feel indebted to people who showed their faith in me. I will continue to serve them as a Parish Councillor and local campaigner to the best of my ability.”
Councillor Claire Young, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on South Gloucestershire Council said:
“Raj’s phenomenal result in Frenchay and Downend – cutting the Tory lead to just 221 - shows that people in South Gloucestershire are growing disenchanted with the ruling Conservative Party. At a time when the Conservatives are making gains elsewhere, they are losing support in South Gloucestershire.
“We are confidently looking forward to the next local elections.”
The full results of the Frenchay and Downend by-election were:
Con 1819 (37.8%)
Raj Sood - Lib Dem 1598 (33.2%)
Labour 1049 (21.8%)
Green Party 347 (7.2%)