Week by week local by-election results can fluctuate greatly as the luck of the draw over which seats are up adds to the variations in local circumstances to produce a large spread of results. However, aggregated over longer periods the pattern of local by-elections does say something about the state of the parties. Hence I’ve been looking at the trend in Liberal Democrat performances in the contests since May 2011, of which there have been more than 90.
This following graphs show the change in the Liberal Democrat vote share in by-elections, measured since the seat was previously contested and – to even out for those factors – take in two month averages.
The sort of consistent vote share gains seen in November and December is still a long way short of opposition heydays, but the trend has been one of consistent recovery from May’s nadir.