Lib Dems win council seat off Conservatives – after no candidate last time

Six principal authority council by-elections this week, and all with a Liberal Democrat candidate. That’s good news, and one up on the last time these seats were up.

First up, a successful Lib Dem defence in The Cotswolds – where they build houses:

Congratulations to new councillor Tristan Wilkinson and the team.

Next, a great example of why the Lib Dems need to put up more candidates in council elections. An uncontested ward last time handing the Conservatives the seat… turned into a by-election win this time:

Welcome to new councillor, Adrian Whittle.

Here’s a bit more on how that win happened:

That win also means there’s one fewer councils now without any Liberal Democrats on them:

Then another successful Lib Dem defence:

Congratulations to new councillor Harry Davies and the team.

An excellent result by Stephen Pimm and the team, taking the Lib Dems into second place in this ward for this first time with a huge swing from the Conservatives.

Congratulations to new councillor Charles Gibson on another successful defence.

And to round things off… another Lib Dem gain! And it’s from third place:

Congratulations to new councillor Jonathan Bennett and commiserations to running mate Trisha Trimble who missed out by just 40 votes.

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 town council result 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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