And then there were none: Conservatives lose last seat on Richmond Council

Six principal authority council by-elections this week, and a full slate of Liberal Democrat candidates to go with them. (Here’s why that matters.)

To the results, and let’s start with the London borough of Richmond. In 2014 the Conservatives won 39 of the council’s 54 seats. This week, they lost their last seat and are down to zero councillors for the first time in the council’s history.

A Lib Dem seat was also held in a second by-election in the borough:

Congratulations to new councillors Carey Bishop and Richard Baker.

Congratulations to new councillor Will Sapwell, and what a cracking swing from Labour in the Sheffield Hallam constituency.

Thank you to Thillainathan Haren for being the Lib Dem candidate.

An unusual Conservative gain from Labour, with the winning candidate being a former Lib Dem councillor and the Labour candidate being suspended by her party during the campaign:

Thank you to Dave Raval for being the Liberal Democrat candidate.

Thank you to Laurence Byrne 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 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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If you sign up for my daily email with the latest pieces from this site, you’ll also get included as a little bonus the full set of council by-election results each week:

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