Political

Lib Dems triumph in council by-election… without a contest

Congratulations to Raymond Payne, Liberal Democrat candidate in the Oakham South ward by-election on Rutland County Council. And now by-election winner too as no other candidates were nominated.

As the resigning independent councillor had been elected last time as a Conservative, this counts as a Lib Dem gain from the Conservatives (as the norm is to compare an election with the previous election result).

Striking that the Conservatives couldn’t manage a candidate in such a place:

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.

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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