Last night’s three gains from the Conservatives take the Liberal Democrat tally in 2016 so far to a net gain of 28 seats. That makes 2016 the party’s best year for gains in by-elections in more than two decades – since, in fact, ALDC’s records began. (Update: ALDC has now put the figure as the best since 1996 precisely.)
Plus of course there was the little matter of Richmond Park.
Note also that both Labour and Ukip have been losing seats through the year. It’s not simply a matter of opposition parties gaining at the expense of the government. It’s the Liberal Democrats gaining specifically and that sense of the party being on the road to recovery is starting to become the norm in media coverage, which in turn helps reach millions of voters.
Of course one way to spread this good news further is to share the 2016 by-election record on social media yourself…
As with all the by-election round-ups I do, and as is the norm in coverage of council by-elections, these figures refer to principal authority council elections. These are county councils, borough councils, unitaries and so on but do not include town, parish or community councils.