Five of the six council by-elections this week are Conservative defences in a week when the government has been in the headlines thanks to a variety of different stories, almost all negative.
Although the sexual harassment headlines have involved other parties, other stories have been just negative about the Conservatives. Will that be reflected in the ballot box? Let’s see what the results bring and how the Lib Dem candidates (present in five of the six contests) do.
First in, a Lib Dem gain from the Conservatives on the south coast of England:
It’s been an area of Lib Dem strength in the not-so-recent past, with the party holding a county seat covering part of this ward until earlier this year. Good to see the local party bouncing back so quickly. Congratulations to Martin Smith and the team.
Next, another Lib Dem gain, this time over in Southport with former Lib Dem MP John Pugh returning to the local council in a ward that has swung back and forth between Conservative and Lib Dem in recent years:
And then, um, no Lib Dem candidate, though this is in a ward which has had no Lib Dem candidate stretching back to its creation for the 2003 local elections:
But much better news in North Devon in a marginal Lib Dem-Conservative ward where the Lib Dems missed out on one seat by just three votes last time:
Finally, in Beaconsfield:
Good to see a Lib Dem candidate in both cases, especially as other parties who have stood in these wards in the past fell by the wayside this time.
These by-election results round-ups cover principal authority by-elections. See my post The danger in celebrating parish and town council wins for your own party for the reasons to avoid straying too often into covering town, parish or community council by-elections.