Lib Dems win seat off Conservatives in Gloucester

Three principal authority council by-elections this week, all with Liberal Democrat candidates – and that’s a reason to be cheerful as it’s two up on the last time these wards were up.

Congratulations to new Lib Dem councillor Rebecca Trimnell and the team.

I guess the Lib Dem local election campaign launch went better than the Conservative one

This ward is a good example of why the party shouldn’t just cede wards to Labour or the Greens to fight the Conservatives but rather think about long-term development. Lib Dems were fourth here two elections ago, second last time and now winners.

Thank you to Sarah Jackson for putting the Lib Dems back on the ballot paper in this ward for the first time since 2013.

Thank you to Zygimantas Adomavicius for getting a Lib Dem name on the ballot paper after last time’s no show in this ward.

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 as it’s only those for which comprehensive results are available. But this week, this by-elections 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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