Four council by-elections had been due this week. Three were called off because of coronavirus. The legal basis for doing that was unclear, though there were assurances from the government that no Returning Officer would be prosecuted for cancelling a contest and it’s unlikely anyone will object in the circumstances.
One council by-election did go ahead, making it the last election for quite some time, especially given the emergency legislation going through Parliament which, in addition to delaying this May’s elections to next year, also has plenty on delaying by-elections.
That one contest was in the West Midlands, where turnout was under 10%, perhaps reflecting that the voters were ahead of the election system in thinking that now is not the time to have such contests.
Upper Stoke, Coventry
There was regularly a Lib Dem candidate in this ward up to and including 2018 (including victorious candidates on a couple of occasions), but this time as in 2019 there was no Lib Dem on the ballot paper.
The bottom-placed candidate was Jane Nellist, standing for the Socialist Alternative. Her husband Dave was previously a Labour in the city from 1983 until 1992. In 1991 he was deselected by Labour for supporting Militant. He then stood as Independent Labour, narrowly losing with 29% of the vote in a close three-way contest.
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.
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