Number of candidates
+/- Quarter Two
+/- Quarter Two
*There were no by-elections in Scotland.
**There were four by-elections in Wales, two of which were contested by Plaid Cymru.
***There were three independent clashes this quarter.
****There were no 'other' clashes. For further details of which parties stood see the results for July, August and September.
Overall 83,944 votes were cast over 65 individual local authority (tier one and tier two) contests. Fractions are rounded to one decimal place for percentages, and the nearest whole number for averages.
For sad election anoraks like me, while theoretically taking a snapshot of local elections over a longer period evens out the distortions that can creep in by clusters of by-elections taking place in safe parliamentary seats, it also has an effect of flattening the support for the two main parties. Well, partly. Labour's share hasn't been as low as 33% for an age, but a number of recent polls have placed the Tories at around the 28% mark. These results only have them a single point beneath that. However, despite that the six-point margin Labour has opened here between itself and the Tories also more or less matches that consistently reported in the polls of late. Interesting.
Also of interest is the "flattening" does not seem to effect the smaller parties much, despite their totals coming from fewer seats. Both the UKIP and LibDem share of the vote appears to be a credible reflection of relatively recent polling, and the Greens consistently knock around the 3-4% mark.
The flattening effect on the two main parties is probably an effect of local authority contests being second order elections. That is all other elections outside the general election "matter less" and therefore voters are more likely to take a punt on a protest party. One oft-noted example is the belief by many that come the general election, the bulk of UKIP voters will return to the Tories to keep Labour out of government.