Political

Lib Dems make TWO by-election gains off Conservatives

Ten principal authority council by-elections this week. Only six Liberal Democrat candidates this time around, though at least the four wards all without a Lib Dem didn’t have one last time either and one ward with a candidate this time didn’t have one last time.

Let’s start off the results with some unabashed good news: another Lib Dem gain.

Many congratulations to new councillor Jayne Phoenix, making it two by-election wins in a row in the same ward for the Lib Dems. The hard work paid off:

A ward which had no Liberal Democrat candidates 2011-2019 now has two Liberal Democrat councillors.

Look again, by the way, at that lowly SDP vote share in the by-election: 3.7%. Yet here’s the bar chart the SDP used during the election:

Then a second gain from the Conservatives, this time in a multi-member ward where the Greens topped the poll last time around:

Many congratulations to new councillor, Sue Lewin.

Elsewhere:

Thank you to Sophie Drumm for being the Liberal Democrat candidate, especially as there wasn’t a Lib Dem here either of the two previous times this ward has been up.

Thank you to Jack Williams for being the Lib Dem candidate.

Thank you to John Jefkins, the Lib Dem candidate.

The Andrew Pelling who stood as an independent is the former Conservative MP for Croydon Central, who has also been both a Conservative and a Labour councillor in Croydon.

And finally, two Scottish by-elections to fill seats that were left vacant in May due to the absence of candidates:

Thanks and congratulations to second-placed Lib Dem candidate Jamie Dobson, the first Lib Dem candidate in a Western Isles local election since 2007.

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 catch my attention:

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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One response to “Lib Dems make TWO by-election gains off Conservatives”

  1. Good to see Lib Dems thrashing the Green Party in Buckinghamshire and advancing at their expense in Croydon. The Greens are a hard left Party with a doubtful commitment to constitutional methods. Every time they lose ground, whether to Conservatives, Labour or Liberal Democrats should be a cause for celebration.

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