Political

Promising signs of Liberal Democrat recovery spreading in council by-elections

Two weeks to go in the Richmond Park Parliamentary by-election, but four council by-elections around the country this week.

The results start off with two successful Conservative defences. The first is in a rural Leicestershire ward, and with a Liberal Democrat candidate for the first time in a decade.

The second is in Welwyn Hatfield in a split Conservative/Labour ward with another of those good Liberal Democrat third places:

Then a Conservative gain from the Greens in Bath in a split Conservative/Green ward. The Liberal Democrats did win one seat in the ward in 2011, before slipping back to third in 2015 but now returning to second place:

Bath is a particularly good place to be bouncing back at the moment given the police questioning under caution of the Conservative MP. He may not be charged, he may not be convicted, he may be 100% innocent. Or he may trigger a Parliamentary by-election.

The final result, from Scotland, completes a Conservative clean sweep – and also means there wasn’t a full slate of Liberal Democrat candidates:

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