Number of Candidates
* There were eight by-elections in Scotland
** There was one by-election in Wales
*** There were no Independent clashes
**** Other this month consisted of Scottish Libertarian (12), Pirate Party (13), Scottish Christian (77), SSP (117), Orkney Manifesto Group (593), North East party (214), Mebyon Kernow (85), Yorkshire First (115)
Overall, 37,337 votes were cast over 16 local authority (tier one and tier two) contests. All percentages are rounded to the nearest single decimal place. A total of six council seats changed hands. For comparison see July's results here.
If this has been the silliest of silly seasons ever where long-held political certainties were trampled beneath the stampede of tens of thousands of new Labour Party members, it's apt that August's by-elections reflect the weirdness.
First off, the SNP vote across just seven by-elections has made it the popular vote winner UK-wide for the first time. It is unprecedented that Labour and the Tories have been forced to concede their duopoly. Will the SNP wave ever show signs of ebbing? That Tory result as well is the worst ever since I've been recording local election results. Though the blues shouldn't feel too blue. It's unlikely to be evidence of a Corbyn surge swamping their redoubts: with eight Scottish by-elections and only three in favourable Tory territory. That said, despite awful polling, Labour's holding its own.
Also of interest is the scrap between the minor parties. This is the third month on the trot the LibDems have beaten UKIP. The yellows I think have grounds to be cautiously optimistic, even though their results here weren't great. And UKIP, well, without the the muck of the media to fertilise them they're not doing terribly well. Long may it continue. More interestingly, the Greens have beaten both for the first time. Remember the Green Surge? The huge pile of extra members they picked up since the Scottish referendum are starting to bear fruit with more seats contested and, presumably, a better ground operation. If Jeremy wins, will this progress get thrown into reverse?
In all, an astonishing month. Will September revert to business as usual or hold yet more surprises?