Lib Dems just miss out on two dramatic wins in wards the party left uncontested last time

An unusual Wednesday by-election kicked off this week’s council by-elections, held a day early so that the new councillor can attend the Thursday full council meeting.

Thank you to Stephen Nice for standing for the Lib Dems.

Then on to the Thursday trio of by-elections, with two Liberal Democrat candidates. That’s two up on the last time these wards were up, and in both cases in a ward that hadn’t had a Lib Dem candidate for quite some time. Good work local parties on putting up people this time!

Here’s how those contests went:

Congratulations and commiserations to Jake Perkins and the team on getting so close from a standing start.

And the same again for Sam Harper-Wallis and the team, also going from a standing start to so nearly winning in a ward that hasn’t even been contested for over a decade:

Sam did however win another election this week:

And the final result:

There’s not been a Lib Dem candidate in the ward ever, going back to its creation for the 2003 local elections.

These by-election results round-ups cover principal authority by-elections as it’s only those for which comprehensive results are available. But this week, this by-election at the town/parish/community council level did catch my eye:

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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