Another Lib Dem gain from Conservatives in the South West

One Mayor and three principal authority council by-elections this week. That trio sees two Liberal Democrat candidates, the same number as the last time the wards were up.

One of those candidates is now a councillor:

Congratulations to new councillor Alex White and the team.

Turning to the Lewisham Mayor by-election:

Chris Maines, the Lib Dem candidate, moved up into third, something the party hadn’t managed since 2014; congratulations!

Hillhead is a multi-member ward elected using STV, with the former councillor being Labour but in the by-election under AV, the Greens winning this seat on transfers. Thank you to Daniel O’Malley for being the Liberal Democrat candidate.

There was also an unusual Wednesday by-election this week too and that, hooray, had a Lib Dem candidate where there was none before:

Thank you to Justin Griffiths for getting the Lib Dems on the ballot papers.

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.

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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