Liberal Democrats’ Dave Goddard has regained his old Stockport seat after a bitter Twitter row with his Labour rivals.
Former Stockport Council Leader Goddard, who lost his place in the last round of local elections in 2012 after 22 years at the helm, was re-elected to the Offerton ward after a hard-fought contest with the local Labour candidate Charlie Stewart.
The rivalry between Goddard, who was originally named Council Leader in May 1990, and Stockport’s Labour group came to a head on Twitter when some of the party’s supporters and councillors chose to have their photograph taken on his street.
He said: “The Labour parties, the candidates and Labour councillors had their photograph taken on my street, with the street name in front of them with the thumbs up – and they tweeted it. Well, I’ve just tweeted that back now saying ‘Labour losers get off my street.”
Labour losing here. Get off my street. I won Offerton Ward by 106, where Lib Dems work Lib Dems win. Thanks everyone. pic.twitter.com/iyna3vAy6I
— Dave Goddard (@davegoddardsk2) May 23, 2014
After being labelled ‘shameless’ and ‘untruthful’ by opposition parties in his 2012 election campaign, Goddard won with 1159 votes and says that even though he stopped being a councillor, he has never stopped helping and ‘kept his hand in’.
Goddard told MM: “My heart’s where my heart’s always been – which is in the politics. When they asked me to stand in Offerton it wasn’t a foregone conclusion because obviously Labour had beaten me and it was a hell of a fight.
“I think that personal vote probably got me over the line today because there was a big UKIP vote, the Conservative vote held up quite well and Labour were firing on all cylinders – we just had to keep going.”
In the end, it was a close-run contest between the two factions as Labour lost out on the top spot by just 107 votes.
The seat was previously held by Conservatives, but they limped home dead last as candidate Bill Law managed to gain only 557 votes.
And Mr Goddard is under no illusion of the level of disappointment felt by Liberal Democrats across Manchester.
“I might be one of the few Lib Dem candidates that have won a seat. Some may have held – but not many will have actually won the seat.”