Congratulations to the folk in Alnwick who won their Town Council election this week making a gain from the Tories. At a time when newspapers keep reporting the alleged reduction in Lib Dem support in opinion polls since the General Election, it is surprising that they give relatively little coverage to the many scores of council by-elections there have been over the last 3 1/2 months. They show a rather different picture of success for the Lib Dems.
My Birkdale Ward colleague Simon Shaw, our resident statistician, has done the psephological research, which covers the 57 "principal council" by-elections there have been since the General Election up to the end of August. "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.
The good news is that Lib Dems have made net gains of 3 seats in that period. There were 5 gains from Conservatives, and 1 from Others (in that case an Independent). These more than compensated for 2 losses to Labour and 1 to the Conservatives. In addition, Lib Dems successfully defended 9 seats.
In detail, the movements between the parties are as below: