Yesterday’s by-election in St Kingsmark, Chepstow, saw the Liberal Democrats surge from fourth place to a strong second - putting them in prime place to challenge the Conservatives.
There were nervous faces as the votes were counted and as the Lib Dems surged from 6% to over 29%, increasing their vote from just 62 in 2017 to 230 last night.
If this swing was reflected across the constituency, then the party could be within reach of taking the constituency itself. With the Conservatatives split due to internal fighting and with incumbent MS Nick Ramsay standing as an independent, there are concerns that this could cost them the seat.
Commenting on the results Jenni Brews, the by-election candidate, said:
“I want to thank those that put their trust in me. Although we aren’t quite there this time, I am delighted by the encouragement I've been given to stand again next May, and I hope we can keep the momentum going to give St Kingsmark the strong local representatives that they deserve.”
Cllr Jo Watkins, candidate for Monmouth in May’s Senedd elections, said:
“This is an incredible result - even though we didn’t quite manage to get Jenni, our brilliant candidate, over the line our sharp increase in votes shows that we are the clear challengers to the Conservatives in Monmouthshire.
“We have shown that a vote for us is one that can have a real impact. Monmouthshire doesn’t have to stick with the Conservatives, there is an alternative that is ready to get down to business, and focus on putting the recovery from Covid first, in the next Senedd term.
“Monmouthshire is a race to watch on May 6th – there is a story developing here that isn’t necessarily visible from the polls nationally.”