The Liberal Democrats drew on support from activists across the country to win key seats in last week’s election.

The party held two action days in February and March, where senior figures like Norman Lamb MP, came to the Watford parliamentary constituency to help drum up support.

Opponents suggested this was crucial to the Liberal Democrats winning target seats like Callowland on Watford Borough Council.

Lib Dem strategists also used the ALDC Fighting Fund – a grant which is used to bolster campaigns in target areas – to secure more cash.

These extra activists were used to canvass neighbourhoods.

Areas like Oxhey Hall and Hayling, which fall under Three Rivers District Council’s jurisdiction despite being in Watford’s parliamentary constituency, also benefitted from the additional resources.

The Lib Dems won convincingly in Oxhey Hall and Hayling despite the Tories targeting the seat.

Mike Jackson, chairman of the Watford Labour Party, said: “It was crucial in Callowland, where the Lib Dems put up three younger candidates and they harnessed support from young Liberal Democrats nationally.

“It was crucial there and had a marginal impact in the other wards.

“In political circles, you know your opponents. But we were seeing people we had never seen before. There were 20-odd young people working in Callowland on election day.”

Councillor Keith Crout, representative for Stanborough, said: “We have had a lot of support from younger Liberal Democrats.

“They have come from all over the country. We had one weekend where we had over 40 people out canvassing. It is a reflection of the draw of Dorothy and people respect what she has achieved nationally.

“People look at Watford as an example for the rest of the party.”

But Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst downplayed the significance of these action days, and said the victory was down to local campaigners.

He said: “We run a successful council and we run successful campaigns. Last year was disappointing, but we dusted ourselves down and we reinvigorated our campaign.

“We managed to get our message out about how we have turned the town around and the negative campaign by the Labour group which the residents didn’t like.

“Saying we have wasted money on the top of town, which has brought in extra businesses, and wasted money on leisure centres. But residents like that and they supported us in their thousands.”