Is “Happy voting!” really the proper way to close an email announcing a Council By-election? Anyway…

A seat has become vacant in the Stonebridge Ward following the death of Councillor Dorman Long. A by-election will be held on Thursday, 13 September 2007 to elect a new representative.

The by-election gives the Lib Dems another opportunity to win a seat – but will they win it? I doubt it. Stonebridge ward is a Labour heartland – you only have to look at the votes cast in the 2006 Local Election to see that… Winning this single seat will not change the overall political balance of Brent Council: The Lib Dems would need to win a few more by-elections or benefit from defections (not for the first time in Brent’s recent political history) in order to be in a position to leave the alliance with the Conservatives and lead a majority administration. This by-election is a litmus paper – are Stonebridge residents pleased with Cllr Paul Lorber‘s coalition administration, enough to give the Lib Dem’s another Councillor? Or will we see a new face in the Council from the Labour Party?