Lib Dems hold council by-election in Somerton and Frome

Three principal authority by-elections this week, all on Maundy Thursday. Old electoral hands will remember when this used to be a day excluded from election timetables, along with weekends and bank holidays. But it returned to being a normal day for electoral purposes following the Electoral Administration Act 2006.

There was only one Lib Dem candidate. However, that was the same as the last time these wards were up – and that candidate is now a councillor:

Congratulations to Stephen Page and the team, particularly given the financial mess caused by the Conservatives that the Lib Dem council administration is having to grapple with.

The ward will be part of the new Glastonbury and Somerton constituency, for which Sarah Dyke has been selected.

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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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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