The Liberal Democrats are celebrating two big by-election wins, and confidence is growing that the party can win the new Harpenden & Berkhamsted constituency at the next general election.

Newly-elected county councillor Allison Wren overturned a 1,580 vote majority to gain Harpenden Rural County Division from the Conservatives, while new district councillor Simon Johns held the seat in Sandridge & Wheathampstead ward.

The results were as follows:

Harpenden Rural County Division

  • Claudio Duran (Conservative) - 766
  • Mario May (Green Party) - 119
  • Symon Vegro (Labour) - 168
  • Allison Wren (Lib Dem) - 1474

Sandridge & Wheathampstead

  • Claudio Duran (Conservative) - 480
  • Oliver James Hitch (Green Party) - 78
  • Simon Johns (Lib Dem) - 793
  • James Elliot Morrell (Labour) - 68

The by-election wins, both in the new constituency of Harpenden & Berkhamsted, now have the Lib Dems believing they and parliamentary candidate Victoria Collins can win the seat at the next general election.

"These results are a ringing endorsement of the brilliant campaign that Allison and Simon have run, as well as the strong Liberal Democrat record of action in communities right across our part of Hertfordshire," said Ms Collins.

"It is clearer than ever before that the next election here will be a two-horse race between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. Labour won’t win here – they aren’t even close.

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"Right across Harpenden & Berkhamsted, people are telling us time and time again that enough is enough - they are fed up of being taken for granted by the Conservatives, and it’s time for change."

Steve Jarvis, leader of the Lib Dem group on Hertfordshire County Council was quick to congratulate Ms Wren and Mr Johns, and he believes the wins send a "clear message" to other parties.

"I am delighted to welcome Allison to our county group, and I know she will be a passionate and tireless champion for the people of Harpenden Rural," said Cllr Jarvis.

"This result should send a clear message to the Conservatives ahead of the general election and the County elections in May 2025.

"Voters right across Hertfordshire are sick and tired of Conservative chaos in national government and at County Hall, and they are turning to the Liberal Democrats in droves."

Helen Campbell, deputy leader of St Albans District Council, added: "I know that Simon Johns will be a brilliant district councillor for Sandridge and Wheathampstead, and his commitment to making his community the best it can be is inspiring.

"I’d like to thank the people of Harpenden Rural and St Albans District for continuing to put their faith in the Liberal Democrats."