Four Lib Dem gains and one loss in by-elections

This week’s round of principal authority council contests began with an unusual non-Thursday contest, and a rare Lib Dem seat loss, alas:

Commiserations to David Partridge and the Lib Dem team. It’s some consolation to point out that there was already a Green councillor in this ward, who won the ward in the May local elections.

Turning to the Thursday results, we had a mix of normal by-elections and delayed polls, the latter being when a scheduled election for this May was delayed due to the death of a candidate.

Thank you to John Cole for standing and putting the Lib Dems on the ballot paper here for the first time since boundary changes created the ward for the 2017 local elections.

Commiserations to Steven Donkin on not quite being able to add to the Lib Dem gain from Labour in this ward in 2021.

Next up, two Lib Dems gains in the Midlands:

Grahame Andrew and Jayne Davies are the new Lib Dem councillors – congratulations. Commiserations to Tilo Scheel for just missing out on joining them. This ward is a great example of using a by-election to build up the party as after previously never standing in this ward, the Lib Dems came second in the last contest in this ward, in 2021, and now have two councillors in the ward.

Another gain in Surrey too:

Congratulations to the Lib Dem trio of Sashi Mylvaganam, Jacques Olmo, and Helen Whitcroft. It’s a welcome recovery from the narrow Conservative by-election gain in this ward back in 2021 when Jacques Olmo just missed out.

Thank you to Alexander Primmer for standing for the Lib Dems.

Congratulations to new councillors Nick Viney and Christopher West, in a ward that split Conservative/Lib Dem unopposed last time.

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-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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