A bumper set of fourteen council by-elections this week. None of the seats up are Lib Dem held. Rather, seven are Conservative, four Labour, one is an increasingly rare Ukip seat, one SNP seat and one is a residents group vacancy.
After last week’s disappointing dip this time there are eleven Liberal Democrat candidates (79%). That’s up four on the last time all these wards were contested.
Even better, the results have brought three Liberal Democrat gains from the Conservatives, all in southern England and extending what is starting to look like a significant pattern. Definitely something to watch for in May’s big round of local elections.
On then to the details…
A Lib Dem gain in Norman Lamb’s North Norfolk constituency with a huge 32% swing. The by-election was caused by the resignation of a councillor first elected as a Lib Dem in 2011 but who switched to the Conservatives in 2013 and was re-elected as a Conservative in 2015:
Congratulations to Saul Penfold and the team.
A second Lib Dem gain from the Conservatives, this time in the south west. This gain follows the previous by-election in the ward in December 2016, which also saw a Lib Dem gain from the Conservatives:
Congratulations to Lorraine Evans and the team.
And then a third gain from the Conservatives, again in the south west:
This time it is congratulations to Martin Wrigley and the team, winning a ward the party has never won before since its creation in 2003.
Elsewhere a trio of major improvements in the Lib Dem share of the vote, , two against the Tories and one against Labour and securing the sort of second places which show that the party’s strength can regrow across a broader front than simply the headline catching victories:
A Conservative gain from Ukip:
A further Conservative hold:
Three Labour holds:
An SNP hold (in a contest which, because it is in Scotland, was by the alternative vote and in which the voting age was 16):
A Residents Association hold:
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.