Number of candidates
* There were no by-elections in Scotland.
** There were two by-elections in Wales.
*** There were no independent clashes this month.
**** 'Other' this month consisted of the English Democrats (75 votes) and the National Front (33 votes).
Overall, 13,712 votes were cast over nine individual local (tier one and tier two) authority contests. All percentages are rounded to the nearest single decimal place. For comparison see January's results here.
A pretty dull month, all told. The seat gain/losses figure hides the Tories winning a seat off Labour in Birmingham(!), but who then it turn lost a seat to the LibDems. What is interesting is how, as you might expect, the low number of by-elections means less scope for smaller parties and independents to enter the field. And as a result the polling percentages of the two main parties move more toward their reported positions in opinion polls. I think the Conservatives can take some comfort from the fact they're the party that takes by-elections most seriously as they field a candidate in virtually every contest. But month after month - since I've been collating by-election figures in fact - they are consistently behind Labour in vote averages, regardless of whether a month had a disproportionate number of contests in Tory areas or not. If one of Crosby's minions are keeping an eye on by-elections, this is cause for a furrowed brow. And, good grief, what happened to UKIP?
In minor party news, TUSC has outpolled the Greens for the first time ever. And for two months on the trot the BNP haven't bothered fielding anyone. To put things in perspective the not-quite-as-bad-but-decidedly-dodgy English Democrats have been more active. How long will it be before Nazi Nick and chums are counted as 'Other'?