Double Lib Dem success in Wales

Six council seats in five wards on principal authorities up for election this week, plus the Mayor of Hackney by-election this week. As well as a Lib Dem candidate in the latter, there were candidates for five of the six seats, up two on the last time these seats were up.

First up a double defence in the council that gave the Lib Dems our first council leader in Wales for a decade:

Congratulations to new councillors Claire Hall and Chloe Masefield, along with their team.

The defeated Conservative candidates included former Powys County Council leader Rosemarie Harris.

Thank you to Alan Harding for being the Liberal Democrat candidate.

Thank you to Nat Sweet for getting the Lib Dems back on the ballot paper in this ward.

And likewise, thanks to James Osborn who put the Lib Dems on the ballot paper in this ward for the first time since it was created for the 2015 elections.

Thank you to Simon De Deney for being the Lib Dem 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 these other contests did catch my eye:

Lynne Thompson is the new Lib Dem councillor in this ward.

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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