Political

Liberal Democrats gain council by-election from Conservatives

Three principal authority council by-elections this week and alas a continuation of the mediocre trend of the last few weeks in the number of Lib Dem candidates. However, where there was a Liberal Democrat…

Many congratulations to new Liberal Democrat councillor Richard Streatfeild, especially as the party didn’t contest the ward last time around.

Last year Richard gained a county council seat from the Conservatives, becoming the first Lib Dem county councillor in Sevenoaks for 24 years.

Elsewhere, there was no Lib Dem candidate in the Crawley by-election, despite the party having stood in the ward six times in a row previously, and none also in Breckland, making it three no shows in that ward in a row.

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, these other by-elections did come to notice:

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 “Liberal Democrats gain council by-election from Conservatives”

  1. I don’t want to hear Town Council results. They are no indication of a wider picture as they are essentially very local. with locally known personalities distorting any ‘party’ influence. In any case, at the very local level, which is a Town/Parish/Community council, the very existence of party activism can be divisive, and is certainly irrelevant when local representatives are elected to work together for the good of the community.
    I would also like to see an outlawing of double(let alone triple) hatting. It should be the mantra of our party, and an example to others, to promote greater involvement by bringing more people into political representation. Garnering seats on different councils to one individual is counter to democratic principles, and in any case the role of one council can be every different to that of another, with potential conflicting loyalties and the resulting egotist celebrity persona.

    • WOW
      Whilst I have sympathy with what you say about double hatting surely that is preferable to no hats because, in some areas, and Sevenoaks seems a good example we have very little representation which will take time to turn around.
      The party is doing its best to increase our candidates at all sorts of elections but, we are a long way from achieving even putting one up in 75% of the seats.

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