Lib Dem gain from Conservatives in Wiltshire

Eight principal authority council by-elections this week. A full slate of Liberal Democrat candidates too, hooray, which is two up on the last time these wards were up.

Results are a little slow coming in this time, but there’s great news from the first one:

Congratulations to new councillor Robert Macnaughton.

Welcome to see Robin Shirtcliffe be the Lib Dem candidate and so get the party back on the ballot paper in this ward.

A rare Labour gain from the Conservatives. Claire Cadogan was the Liberal Democrat candidate who moved the party up from fourth to third.

Thank you to Carol Linton, the Lib Dem candidate who cut the Conservative majority here.

The Lib Dem candidate with the big vote share increase here was Mark Titterington; thank you.

Thank you to the Lib Dem candidate, Garrath Green.

Thank you to the Lib Dem candidate Ray Georgeson and great to see the party on the ballot paper this time.

Thank you for standing to Lib Dem Matt Horrox in this glorious display of first past the post.

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 these town council contests 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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