My Birkdale Ward colleague Simon Shaw has recently updated his council by-election research to the end of January
Simon has now added the results for the three months November, December and January, in which there were 44 principal council by-elections. As reported previously the results continue a lot better for the Lib Dems than might be imagined from some national opinion polls.
There have now been 190 principal council by-elections in the 9 months since the Coalition Government was formed. "Principal councils" cover everything above parish council level, i.e. the results include by-elections in county councils, London boroughs, district councils and metropolitan borough councils, in England, Scotland and Wales.
Over the 9 months to the end of January Lib Dems made a net gain of 1 seat. There were 24 successful defences, and 12 gains just slightly more than compensating for 11 losses. Labour are net 22 seats up; Conservatives net 21 seats down and Others are net 2 seats down. Full details are here:
In the 3 month period November, December and January (since Simon’s last report) Lib Dems were net 1 seat down, with 3 seats successfully defended, 2 gains from Conservatives, but with 1 loss to Conservatives and 2 losses to Labour.
In detail, the movements between the parties in November, December and January are as below:
As was observed in the last report 3 months ago, Labour continue to do well, normally winning a few seats off the Conservatives each month. In the last 6 months they have also gained 3 seats off Lib Dems.
It seems clear that Lib Dems can produce good results where they are seen to be in with a chance, particularly in more traditionally Conservative areas.