Nine principal authority council by-elections this week. Only six Liberal Democrat candidates in them, though that is at least the same as the last time these seats were up.
And the news is much better when it comes to counting votes rather than candidates:
Congratulations to new councillor James Buczkowski and the team – especially as this is a seat the party has never won all the way back to its first contest in 2003.
And another gain:
Again, it’s the first time the Lib Dems have topped the poll here since the seat was first contested back in 2003. Congratulations new councillor Margaret Corless and the team.
And it was so close to a third gain too:
Commiserations and yet also congratulations to Karen Afford and the team on such a massive swing, only just short of winning a seat the Lib Dems haven’t won since 2006. It’s certainly a promising sign ahead of the all-out elections due in Liverpool next year:
Thank you to Paul Howard for standing.
We’ve also had a continuation of Labour’s mediocre results against the Conservatives in local by-elections:
Labour is net down three in council by-elections against the Conservatives since last May, a strikingly poor performance for the official opposition.
Thank you to Steve Fitzsimmons for standing.
Thank you to Pascal Roberts for standing.
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 week, my attention was caught by…
With a hold to round off a trio of wins:
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: