Pair of Liberal Democrat by-election gains

Eight principal authority council by-elections this week. Five out of six have Liberal Democrat candidates, with the remaining two being contests for the City of London Corporation which the party doesn’t contest.

Congratulations to new councillor Kevin Whincup. This ward is in the Esher and Walton constituency, where Dominic Raab is standing down in the face of the challenge from Monica Harding.

Congratulations to Anja Schaefer, our PPC in the area, for now being a Buckinghamshire councillor too.

John Gelder was the Liberal Democrat candidate; thank you.

Thank you to Kenny Mackenzie for standing and raising the Lib Dem vote.

Thank you to Matthew Sellars for being the Liberal Democrat candidate.

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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