Showing the value of standing a candidate: this week’s council by-elections

Three principal authority council by-elections this week, of which two had a Liberal Democrat candidate, which was one up on the last time these seats were up. (3-2-1? Someone call Ted Rogers.)

First result in is from a ward the Liberal Democrats have never contested before, stretching back to its first election in 2003:

Thank you to Jim Adcock for standing – and for showing how much support there can be to be won even in areas long left uncontested by the party. As with the news from Scotland, it shows why standing more candidates is so important for the Liberal Democrats.

Next the ward without a Lib Dem candidate:

And finally:

Thank you to Dean Southall for being the Lib Dem candidate.

For what all this means for the running total of council by-election results since the last May elections, see my council by-elections scorecard here.

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. But this result did grab my attention:

Congratulations to Phil Forster and the team, continuing a remarkable run of Lib Dem by-election successes in Morecambe.

Understanding the opinion polls

For understanding what is happening in politics, by-elections have the advantage of being real votes in real ballot boxes. But the opinion polls have the advantage of trying to be a representative sample of voters, not just those in the places that happen to have by-elections. To understand the polls properly – and what they do and don’t really tell us – see my book, Polling UnPacked: The History, Uses and Abuses of Political Opinion Polls.

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If you sign up for my daily email with the latest pieces from this site, you’ll also get included as a little bonus the full set of council by-election results each week:

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2 responses to “Showing the value of standing a candidate: this week’s council by-elections”

  1. the Melton result shows just how much latent support there is out there for the Party.. it just needs to be encouraged, or ‘farmed’.

  2. Thank you for the write up.
    I would emphasise that the Liberal Democrats came second.
    The labour candidate took third place.
    Jim Adcock

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