Number of Candidates
* There were nine by-elections in Scotland
** There was one by-election in Wales
*** There was one Independent clash this month
**** Others for October were All People's Party (39), and Baker St: No Two Ways (218)
Overall, 60,273 votes were cast over 31 local authority (tier one and tier two) contests. All percentages are rounded to the nearest single decimal place. Seven council seats changed hands, but all balanced out as no overall gains or losses for contending parties. For comparison with September's results, see here.
Could this month signal the return of "normal" politics? Surely all eyes would have been on Labour's performance, seeing as October was the first full month of Jeremy's leadership how have the punters taken to the "new politics"? Well, a commanding Tory lead doesn't look good. The averages, however, tell a different story - the two parties are virtually neck and neck. The lead is an artifact of the Tories standing as widely as they can. And for this, they have to be commended. Despite having fewer members than Labour for at least five years now, it's rare a seat goes without a Tory presence. Perhaps now Labour has doubled in size we can expect to see a wider by-election coverage by the party. Time will tell.
The SNP polled silly numbers again, though there might - just might - be signs of slippage in Scotland. While they took a seat off the Tories, in the Highlands they lost one to the LibDems. An aberration or early warning that the honeymoon will soon be over? Speaking of the LibDems, get them. Nearly 13% in a by-election tally, it's almost like how it was back in the day. Meanwhile, as they rise UKIP slump even lower. The polls might have them around the 14-17 point mark, but results from actual, real elections are tracking them much lower than stated voting intentions. This month the yellows have totally trounced them, and they only just manage to fend off a strong Green challenge. Kippers have got to be praying that the good times will come again, but there has been a shift in the access of discontent. Tax credits have driven immigration off the agenda and, what a surprise, the purples have nothing to say. UKIP could, of course, make a come back. The EU referendum isn't far off and surely they'll benefit from that in some way. That is, unless, the other parties can stake out better positions first.