Lib Dem Dave Busby wins safe blue wall Chiddingfold & Dunsfold seat from Tories


Residents in Chiddingfold and Dunsfold have backed Lib Dem Dave Busby with a tremendous 66% of the vote in a Waverley Borough Council by-election held on Thursday 1st December 2022, ending over forty years of disappointing Conservative control.

In the past few months, local campaigner and resident Dave Busby has visited hundreds of residents at their homes across Chiddingfold and Dunsfold to find out about issues affecting their lives. Residents are facing a huge cost of living crisis under this Conservative government, local roads and pavements are in a terrible state of repair under Conservative-run Surrey County Council, and they need better representation and communication from elected councillors.

The seat in Chiddingfold has been a Tory stronghold since the 1970s, and since the combined Chiddingfold & Dunsfold seat was created in 2003, it has only ever returned Conservatives to Waverley Borough Council. After Dave’s many months of activity, talking with residents, understanding issues and promising active representation for the villages, voters overwhelmingly elected the first ever Liberal Democrat to the Chiddingfold and Dunsfold seat.

The leadup to polling day was marred by a chaotic Tory campaign after the Haslemere Herald reported that their candidate, ex-UKIP Ian Mitchell, had been suspended by the Conservatives for alleged misuse of social media. The party opted to suspend Mr Mitchell at the eleventh hour, but long after many postal votes had already been cast. Despite the Tory by-election chaos, support for Lib Dem Dave Busby remained strong across both villages and residents turned out to ensure they elected a hard-working, local candidate who promises to put residents' issues first.

The selection of an ex-UKIP candidate was endorsed by Jeremy Hunt MP and Cllr Anna James in a letter to voters, demonstrating that local Conservatives are taking residents for granted and not addressing the real issues they face with a growing cost of living crisis, pollution issues in Chiddingfold streams, and the Conservative-approved fossil fuel drilling in Dunsfold.

Cllr Dave Busby will become the 17th member of the Liberal Democrat group on Waverley Borough Council, which has grown from the 14 councillors originally elected in 2019 and now also includes Cllr Julian Spence, who recently gained Hindhead from the Conservatives in June 2022.

This is a reminder to residents in Tory seats across the "blue wall", including South West Surrey and Guildford, that electing a Conservative to office isn't inevitable. Hard work and putting residents first can deliver results and change across our areas. If you would like to donate to the Waverley Liberal Democrats campaign or join us as a volunteer or candidate, you could help us enact change and unseat Conservatives in our area.

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